KRRC- ensigns

For general discussions on the British Army of the Victorian era or specific regiments.

KRRC- ensigns

Postby jf42 » 12 Nov 2016 10:35

From p.82 'The Annals of the King's Royal Rifle Corps'Corps: Vol 3 "The K.R.R.C." 1831-1871
By Lieut-Col. Lewis Butler

'In May 1854 the rank of 2nd Lieutenant hitherto borne by the junior officers of Rifle regiments was abolished and that of Ensign substituted.'

What, I wonder, lay behind this order, given that the Rifle Regiments did not possess colours and therefore did not require junior officers of the rank of Ensign to bear them? Was this something to do with pay?
User avatar
jf42
Senior Veteran member
 
Posts: 2123
Joined: 10 Mar 2011 15:12

Re: KRRC- ensigns

Postby Frogsmile » 12 Nov 2016 12:01

jf42 wrote:From p.82 'The Annals of the King's Royal Rifle Corps'Corps: Vol 3 "The K.R.R.C." 1831-1871
By Lieut-Col. Lewis Butler

'In May 1854 the rank of 2nd Lieutenant hitherto borne by the junior officers of Rifle regiments was abolished and that of Ensign substituted.'

What, I wonder, lay behind this order, given that the Rifle Regiments did not possess colours and therefore did not require junior officers of the rank of Ensign to bear them? Was this something to do with pay?


Hello JF. My understanding is that it was to standardise officer rank terminology across the line infantry, leaving just the Foot Guards as 'different'. I will be interested to learn if that is wrong? I don't really see what difference it would make to pay as the position within the ascending steps towards field rank were the same.
I also seem to recall that there was an earlier period when fusilier regiments (and possibly light infantry too) had second lieutenants (the 7th RF being the first to do this) whilst the rest of the line still had ensigns. I remember that this was something to do with company colours not being carried in their earliest days, unlike the remainder of the line.
User avatar
Frogsmile
Forum Fellow
 
Posts: 4468
Joined: 25 Jan 2011 20:17
Location: Wiltshire, England

Re: KRRC- ensigns

Postby jf42 » 12 Nov 2016 12:21

Yes, I hesitated to mention the Fusiliers, since I wasn't sure what the status of their subalterns was in the mid-C19th. Since the Light Infantry continued to bear colours, at least ceremonially, I don't know how their subalterns were classified.

My reference to pay may have been a confused recollection of grenadier companies only having Lieutenants, who did receive higher pay than ensigns/ second lieutenants.

What confuses me is why the rank wasn't standardised as Second Lieutenant, which woud have covered all bases.
User avatar
jf42
Senior Veteran member
 
Posts: 2123
Joined: 10 Mar 2011 15:12

Re: KRRC- ensigns

Postby Frogsmile » 12 Nov 2016 12:46

jf42 wrote:Yes, I hesitated to mention the Fusiliers, since I wasn't sure what the status of their subalterns was in the mid-C19th. Since the Light Infantry continued to bear colours, at least ceremonially, I don't know how their subalterns were classified.

My reference to pay may have been a confused recollection of grenadier companies only having Lieutenants, who did receive higher pay than ensigns/ second lieutenants.

What confuses me is why the rank wasn't standardised as Second Lieutenant, which woud have covered all bases.


My understanding is that the original differentials were directly concerned with two factors from the earliest days of the organisation of the standing army, the presence or otherwise of company colours and the arrangements by which the colonels company was commanded and by whom and the knock on effect down the other companies. From memory this is all explained in either Commodore Perrys book (circa 1882) or the Reverend Booth's book (circa 1922).
User avatar
Frogsmile
Forum Fellow
 
Posts: 4468
Joined: 25 Jan 2011 20:17
Location: Wiltshire, England

Re: KRRC- ensigns

Postby jf42 » 12 Nov 2016 16:21

My apologies- I should have made clearer that what I didn't understand was why, when the Ranks of junior subalterns were standardised c.1854, they opted for the rank of 'Ensign' for all, rather than Second Lieutenant (given that such a label didnt really make sense in corps that didn't bear colours).
User avatar
jf42
Senior Veteran member
 
Posts: 2123
Joined: 10 Mar 2011 15:12

Re: KRRC- ensigns

Postby grumpy » 12 Nov 2016 16:40

Frogsmile wrote:
jf42 wrote:From p.82 'The Annals of the King's Royal Rifle Corps'Corps: Vol 3 "The K.R.R.C." 1831-1871
By Lieut-Col. Lewis Butler

'In May 1854 the rank of 2nd Lieutenant hitherto borne by the junior officers of Rifle regiments was abolished and that of Ensign substituted.'

What, I wonder, lay behind this order, given that the Rifle Regiments did not possess colours and therefore did not require junior officers of the rank of Ensign to bear them? Was this something to do with pay?


Hello JF. My understanding is that it was to standardise officer rank terminology across the line infantry, leaving just the Foot Guards as 'different'. I will be interested to learn if that is wrong? I don't really see what difference it would make to pay as the position within the ascending steps towards field rank were the same.
I also seem to recall that there was an earlier period when fusilier regiments (and possibly light infantry too) had second lieutenants (the 7th RF being the first to do this) whilst the rest of the line still had ensigns. I remember that this was something to do with company colours not being carried in their earliest days, unlike the remainder of the line.


I may be misreading the above with respect to the Foot Guards. If ensign was established in the Rifles "leaving the Foot Guards as differnt", that implies that the Foot Guards did not have ensigns.
If true, what was the period when the Guards did NOT have ensigns? I thought Ensigns there were continuous?
grumpy
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 770
Joined: 26 Nov 2009 19:38

Re: KRRC- ensigns

Postby Frogsmile » 12 Nov 2016 17:30

jf42 wrote:My apologies- I should have made clearer that what I didn't understand was why, when the Ranks of junior subalterns were standardised c.1854, they opted for the rank of 'Ensign' for all, rather than Second Lieutenant (given that such a label didnt really make sense in corps that didn't bear colours).


Well that is why I assumed it was to standardise terminology, in that Ensign was already used by the majority. The War Office was forever trying to browbeat regiments into conformity, largely unsuccessfully.
User avatar
Frogsmile
Forum Fellow
 
Posts: 4468
Joined: 25 Jan 2011 20:17
Location: Wiltshire, England

Re: KRRC- ensigns

Postby Frogsmile » 12 Nov 2016 17:33

grumpy wrote:
Frogsmile wrote:
jf42 wrote:From p.82 'The Annals of the King's Royal Rifle Corps'Corps: Vol 3 "The K.R.R.C." 1831-1871
By Lieut-Col. Lewis Butler

'In May 1854 the rank of 2nd Lieutenant hitherto borne by the junior officers of Rifle regiments was abolished and that of Ensign substituted.'

What, I wonder, lay behind this order, given that the Rifle Regiments did not possess colours and therefore did not require junior officers of the rank of Ensign to bear them? Was this something to do with pay?


Hello JF. My understanding is that it was to standardise officer rank terminology across the line infantry, leaving just the Foot Guards as 'different'. I will be interested to learn if that is wrong? I don't really see what difference it would make to pay as the position within the ascending steps towards field rank were the same.
I also seem to recall that there was an earlier period when fusilier regiments (and possibly light infantry too) had second lieutenants (the 7th RF being the first to do this) whilst the rest of the line still had ensigns. I remember that this was something to do with company colours not being carried in their earliest days, unlike the remainder of the line.


I may be misreading the above with respect to the Foot Guards. If ensign was established in the Rifles "leaving the Foot Guards as differnt", that implies that the Foot Guards did not have ensigns.
If true, what was the period when the Guards did NOT have ensigns? I thought Ensigns there were continuous?


As far as I can recall without checking my library, you are right that Foot Guards always had ensigns; even when ordered to use second lieutenant, they merely ignored the order in time-honoured tradition. I think that it was JF who made the comment to which you refer.
User avatar
Frogsmile
Forum Fellow
 
Posts: 4468
Joined: 25 Jan 2011 20:17
Location: Wiltshire, England

Re: KRRC- ensigns

Postby grumpy » 12 Nov 2016 17:49

Thank you .............. and nobody has mentioned short-lived sub-lieutenant yet either.
grumpy
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 770
Joined: 26 Nov 2009 19:38


Return to The Army

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest