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Sergeant major R.F.A. cloth insignia?


20th Division
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In a 1917 photo of my Granfather he wears his Segeant's stripes above which is the "R.F.A. "cannon". Does this denote the rank of a Sergeant Major?-----if not, what additional insignia would denote ths rank?--anyone know please? Many thanks. Dave.

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The gun above the three stripes is a Royal Artillery sergeant's insignia. A WOII would wear a crown above the cuff, a WOI a small royal coat of arms, also above the cuff.

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Not an RA expert, but surely all ranks at and above full sergeant wore the gun badge?

Grumpy and Daggers.

Thanks for that info-----I can safely assume that my Grandad was a full-sergeant-and NOT a sergeant Major now as there is no sign of anything on or above his cuff.

Again Thanks. Best wishes Dave.

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Grumpy and Daggers.

Thanks for that info-----I can safely assume that my Grandad was a full-sergeant-and NOT a sergeant Major now as there is no sign of anything on or above his cuff.

Again Thanks. Best wishes Dave.

20th Division,

No need to strain your eyes - if he has stripes there is CERTAINLY no crown or coat of arms, as it was one or the other (i.e. stripes on the upper arms for NCOs and crown/coat of arms on the forearm for Warrant Officers), NOT both.

RA Sergeants all wear the Gun above their stripes to this day, though to my eternal shame I'm not sure if Staff Sergeants do (I'm a serving Gunner officer and should really know!) - I think not, as this would put the SSgt crown a disproportionate disctance above the stripes, but will check next time I see a SSgt in No. 2 dress. These days we spend most of our time in CS95 kit (DPM, or "cammo" for you civvies) with the simplified and subdued rank slides on the chest (no Gun badge, just stripes), so I have an excuse for neglecting my Regimental dress regs!

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20th Division,

No need to strain your eyes - if he has stripes there is CERTAINLY no crown or coat of arms, as it was one or the other (i.e. stripes on the upper arms for NCOs and crown/coat of arms on the forearm for Warrant Officers), NOT both.

RA Sergeants all wear the Gun above their stripes to this day, though to my eternal shame I'm not sure if Staff Sergeants do (I'm a serving Gunner officer and should really know!) - I think not, as this would put the SSgt crown a disproportionate disctance above the stripes, but will check next time I see a SSgt in No. 2 dress. These days we spend most of our time in CS95 kit (DPM, or "cammo" for you civvies) with the simplified and subdued rank slides on the chest (no Gun badge, just stripes), so I have an excuse for neglecting my Regimental dress regs!

Staff Sergeants cetainly do wear the Gun between the stripes and crown in dress uniform.

Regards

Paul

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Staff Sergeants cetainly do wear the Gun between the stripes and crown in dress uniform.

Regards

Paul

I did say I wasn't sure... Mea Culpa - sackcloth and ashes donned. Thanks Paul; my resignation is in the post!

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I did say I wasn't sure... Mea Culpa - sackcloth and ashes donned. Thanks Paul; my resignation is in the post!

Hi Paul and Dave-------thanks for all this. To clarify the situation then---a staff sergeant would have a Crown between his stripes and gun on his dress uniform??---and NOT above his cuff?

Apologies for confusion. Thanks again Best wishes Dave.

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Hi Paul and Dave-------thanks for all this. To clarify the situation then---a staff sergeant would have a Crown between his stripes and gun on his dress uniform??---and NOT above his cuff?

Apologies for confusion. Thanks again Best wishes Dave.

Dave,

Confusion completely understood! Senior NCOs (lets stick to Sgt and SSgt for this thread - there used to be a plethora of specialist appointments as well) would have worn 3 x chevrons ("stripes") on each upper arm with a Gun badge above the stripes; a SSgt (equivalent of an infantry Colour Sgt) would then have a crown above the Gun as well. The next rank up would be Warrant Officer Class 2 (for example a Battery Sergeant Major), who would have a crown on the forearm. Next up - and the highest non-commissioned rank - would be the Warrant Officer Class 1 (for example a Regimental Sergeant Major), who would wear an elaborate Royal Coat of Arms on the forearm. Until we all moved into DPM kit for working dress, this would not have been restricted to Dress uniform - that is a modern adaptation based on the fact that we don't wear sleeve ranks anymore in working dress. So in WW1 the Gun badge would've been worn by SNCOs in all forms of dress, including the SD uniform worn in combat. I would be interested to see the photo of your Grandfather if that is possible?

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Dave,

Confusion completely understood! Senior NCOs (lets stick to Sgt and SSgt for this thread - there used to be a plethora of specialist appointments as well) would have worn 3 x chevrons ("stripes") on each upper arm with a Gun badge above the stripes; a SSgt (equivalent of an infantry Colour Sgt) would then have a crown above the Gun as well. The next rank up would be Warrant Officer Class 2 (for example a Battery Sergeant Major), who would have a crown on the forearm. Next up - and the highest non-commissioned rank - would be the Warrant Officer Class 1 (for example a Regimental Sergeant Major), who would wear an elaborate Royal Coat of Arms on the forearm. Until we all moved into DPM kit for working dress, this would not have been restricted to Dress uniform - that is a modern adaptation based on the fact that we don't wear sleeve ranks anymore in working dress. So in WW1 the Gun badge would've been worn by SNCOs in all forms of dress, including the SD uniform worn in combat. I would be interested to see the photo of your Grandfather if that is possible?

Hi dibw29. Thanks for clarifying the situation-really appreciated. I will study the photo in more detail---and am happy to send you a copy but I do not really know how to attach a photo to a forum-posting as yet believe it or not!! ( I'm sure it's quite simple really!!)---however i DO know how to attach photos etc to conventional e-mails---so if you are willing to allow me to use your e-mail address for this purpose I will gladly forward a copy.

MANY THANKS again--------Best wishes Dave.

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Note that WO Class II only came into existence after a year of the Great War. The most senior of the CSgts and Staff Sgts were promoted into that rank, the more junior ones retained rank and badges as hitherto.

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Note that WO Class II only came into existence after a year of the Great War. The most senior of the CSgts and Staff Sgts were promoted into that rank, the more junior ones retained rank and badges as hitherto.

Hi Grumpy-thanks for that info---my Grandad was promoted to Sergeant rank in late 1916-and this photo taken whilst on leave on Oct 2nd 1917-----taking a well earnt rest after the 20th had retaken Langemark. The family "myth" was always that he was a "Sergeant Major"-but from his "records" ( luckily intact)--and from what you and others have said about his insignia, his rank was as full Sergeant.

Best wishes Dave.

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Note that WO Class II only came into existence after a year of the Great War. The most senior of the CSgts and Staff Sgts were promoted into that rank, the more junior ones retained rank and badges as hitherto.

Grumpy,

Quite right - Army Order 70 of 1915 introduced Warrant Officer Classes 1 and 2 and the crown badge of rank for WO2s. I believe that Company Sergeant Majors were in existence from the time of the re-organisation of Battalions to the 4 Coy structure, but that the rank of the incumbent was Colour Sgt (presumably the senior CSgt in the sub-unit). Reference to "the S'arnt Major" before 1915 was always therefore to the RSM, and I believe that in the Guards the RSM is still so titled.

Sorry, slightly OT!

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Nice to have my expertise confirmed.

AO 323/1913 promulgated the 4 coy org. wef 1 Oct 1913 [not implemented TF or SR until a year or more later].

AO 207 and 210/14 invented CSM and CQMS both as CSgt appointments and awarded them a paltry few pence for the extra responsibility

AO 70/15 intro WO II and WO I, those in CQMS appointments to remain CSgt rank, CSM to become WO II.

AO 168/ 15 addressed the matter of their pay, and

AO 174/15 finally got around to rank badges for each.

AO 309/18 introduced the distinction for WO II who were appointed RQMS ..... the crown within wreath

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Nice to have my expertise confirmed.

AO 323/1913 promulgated the 4 coy org. wef 1 Oct 1913 [not implemented TF or SR until a year or more later].

AO 207 and 210/14 invented CSM and CQMS both as CSgt appointments and awarded them a paltry few pence for the extra responsibility

AO 70/15 intro WO II and WO I, those in CQMS appointments to remain CSgt rank, CSM to become WO II.

AO 168/ 15 addressed the matter of their pay, and

AO 174/15 finally got around to rank badges for each.

AO 309/18 introduced the distinction for WO II who were appointed RQMS ..... the crown within wreath

Blimey, somebody swallowed the Army Orders book! Thanks for the info Grumpy. If it's not too "necky" I'd be interested to know if the appointment of Battery Sergeant Major therefore pre-dates the infantry's CSM, as RA Batteries had not been subject to the same degree of change as infantry Companies (change from 10 Coy to 4 Coy ORBAT). Was the BSM in existence before AO 70, and if so in what rank - SSgt?

Apologies to Dave B for hijacking his thread!

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dibw29

Campbells book on the uniforms of the Royal Artillery quotesa BSM ranks from mid to late 19th century, so it would appear they do indeed pre-date the introduction of the CSM, although I am only really acquainted with the RA side of things. My area of interest being RA only.

Regards

Phil

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When I have time later this morning I will look up a couple of earlier threads that showed my grandfather in the late 1800's

and approx 1906-07, they are on the forum somewhere. Definitely in 1915 he was photographed wearing only a crown on

his forearm sleeve.

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Below is a pre war photo of my g/father, at the time he was a Staff Sgt instructor in gunnery

post-36459-1247985880.jpg

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