Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

emjayen

Serjeant or Sergeant?

Recommended Posts

emjayen

Hi,

Need the collective expertise of the Forum members again!

Am researching the 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who utilise the rank, Serjeant.

Question is, what is the differentiation between Serjeant and Sergeant in Infantry regiments? Why did some use Serjeant and others Sergeant?

No doubt there is a simple answer which I have missed!

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
old sparky

It seems to me to be a time thing Emjayen. I have a DCLI man who is both serjeant and sergeant in official documents. Earlier records talk of serJeants but at the time they were written spelling was generally optional.

Peter B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GraemeClarke

Morning

CWGC quote

Concerning our spelling of Sergeant: "Serjeant" spelt with a "J" is peculiar
to the British and New Zealand armies and is used in connection with those
services only. The British army did not change its spelling to "Sergeant"
with a "G" until November 1953. As we commemorate those who died during the
two world wars only, the "Serjeant" spelling is historically correct.
I hope that this will clarify the situation for you.

Its been discussed many time

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=8964

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=161971

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=113355

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=52790

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=23255

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=147789

etc, etc, etc

Regards,

Graeme

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ron Clifton

Hello Michael

The J spelling is used in the Army Act, King's Regs and the Pay Warrant, i.e. the sources defining the legal status of the rank. It can still be found in Queen's Regs 1955.

The G spelling is much commoner and is used by the Official History. The RAF has never used the J spelling.

Ron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gibbo
squirrel

KRR's always used Serjeant and also after amalgamation in to the Royal Greenjackets as 2nd battalion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
old sparky

KRR's always used Serjeant and also after amalgamation in to the Royal Greenjackets as 2nd battalion.

They also wear black buttons and call bayonets 'swords' Squirrel. It's a case of maintaining a difference and calling it tradition. The discussion over the correct spelling of the rank is however academic as both spellings were in common use during the Great War as is demonstrated in official documents and War Diaries etc. It would be wrong to change the spelling in a specific case just because the General Staff did not feel it necessary to rule on the matter until 19158. Whatever the spelling the rank is the same.

Regards

Peter B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
squirrel

Thanks Peter, I'm quite familar with the "traditions" of the Rifle Regiments. KRR's also used the designation Colour Serjeant although the regiment never carried colours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
old sparky

I was trying to make a point about 'military mannerisms' Squirrel. Sorry if I caused offence.

Best wishes

Peter B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stripeyman

Thanks Peter, I'm quite familar with the "traditions" of the Rifle Regiments. KRR's also used the designation Colour Serjeant although the regiment never carried colours.

I did not know that the Rifle Brigade did not have 'colours'. why not ?

Thanks

Bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
emjayen

Thanks guys.

Guess its a mixture of time and tradition.

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
squirrel

Rifle Regiments, 60th (King's Royal Rifle Corps) and 95th (Rifle Brigade) were skirmishers and marksmen unlike the line infantry which as the name suggests fought in line.

They wore green uniforms and were trained to act on their own initiative. Carrying colours was not practical in the role that the Rifle regiments were used.

Line infantry used drums for signalling orders. Rifle regiments used the bugle as drums were also not practical for their role.

In order to move and deploy quickly the fast marching pace was adopted.

A number of Line infantry regiments were trained in a similar role and designated Light infantry but these retained their colours and drums.

No offence taken Peter - time and tradition as Michael says and "Military mannerisms" as you say.

Any "differences" are jealously guarded and maintained.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stripeyman

Thank you Mr Squirrel, I now understand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nigelfe

The notion of the rifle/LI being tactically different to the rest of the infantry died out long before WW1, along with Fusiliers being different. Incidentally I was always under the impression that the correct name for the KRRC was the 'Loyal Americans' to distinguish them from the disloyal ********.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
squirrel

KRR's originally the Royal American Regiment.

The notion of the rifle/LI being tactically different to the rest of the infantry died out long before WW1, along with Fusiliers being different. Incidentally I was always under the impression that the correct name for the KRRC was the 'Loyal Americans' to distinguish them from the disloyal ********.

The "tactical differences" disappeared shortly after the Napoleonic Wars as training became more standard throughout the Infantry. Wouldn't mention that to The Rifles though...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nfh249

I was always told that Sergeant with a 'g' meant servant and hence Serjeant with a 'j' was preferred. Sounds now like a bit of made up/reinvented history!

Cheers,

Neil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ron Clifton

Not altogether a myth, Neil. The Household Cavalry have always used Corporal of Horse instead of Serjeant/Sergeant, and have Corporal-Majors and Quartermaster-Corporals too, because their ORs were thought to be gentlemen, not servants.

Ron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bill24chev

Not altogether a myth, Neil. The Household Cavalry have always used Corporal of Horse instead of Serjeant/Sergeant, and have Corporal-Majors and Quartermaster-Corporals too, because their ORs were thought to be gentlemen, not servants.

Ron

Not altogether a myth, Neil. The Household Cavalry have always used Corporal of Horse instead of Serjeant/Sergeant, and have Corporal-Majors and Quartermaster-Corporals too, because their ORs were thought to be gentlemen, not servants.

Ron

When I served in the RAPC during the 80's There was a chap called Major and some comic at Manning 7 records posted him to the Household Cavalry as a Corporal. You can imagine the confusion when he answered the phone "Pay office, Cpl Major speaking" :hypocrite:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
old sparky

When I served in the RAPC during the 80's There was a chap called Major and some comic at Manning 7 records posted him to the Household Cavalry as a Corporal. You can imagine the confusion when he answered the phone "Pay office, Cpl Major speaking" :hypocrite:

Shades of 'Catch 22' there. Was he paid in the higher rank ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
J. Shelley

It's spelt with a J in the rifles regiments in the British army, for the following reason.... spelt with a 'G' sergeant derived from the word servant in French 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OxonRfn
On 05/06/2019 at 20:10, J. Shelley said:

It's spelt with a J in the rifles regiments in the British army, for the following reason.... spelt with a 'G' sergeant derived from the word servant in French 

One of the longest serving old wives tales in our regiment, and it’s still taught to Riflemen! Serjeant with a ‘G’ matches no word in French for servant (which is serviteur) I’ve never been able to trace back where this myth started!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jim Clay

My Concise OED tells me it comes from "ME, from OF sergent from L serviens -entis servant".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Steven Broomfield

Is that not why the Household cavalry don't have Sergeants?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Scalyback

Same as Jail and Gaol. Just another twisting of J/G and the flexibility of the English-language. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Uncle George

R. Money Barnes, in his ‘A History of the Regiments and Uniforms of the British Army’ (1950), agrees with Jim Clay: “SERGEANT: From French Sergent, derived from Latin serviens = serving.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...