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Here's a difficult one!


gwalchmai

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a question I have looked hard into but cannot come up with an answer.

royal navy - beards in ww1

Kings Regulations & Admiralty Instructions - 1913

Chapter XXXIV

Royal Marines

1149. Beards and Moustaches.- Officers and men of the marines ashore or afloat may wear their beards and moustaches, or moustaches only, as each may elect.

Now we all know that the ratings etc. in the RN could request permission to grow and you often find them bearded. However, from what I can gather [and this is even talking to the RM museum chaps] the marines never had beards only moustaches. Now there are a few pics out there of bearded marines - some as POW's and one of a group that is supposed to be a coastal gun crew in the Orkneys. But under normal circumstances even on ship they never had beards. My question is WHY? if the regs were the same for sailors and marines why no beards among marines?

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Hi,

Unless of course they were subject to the Army act at the time, they then had to follow the Army Regulations. See 1134.

Regards Charles

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Marines were Navy men - Only the marines of the RND from 1916 came under army regs. It is the marines on board ships that are a mystery to me :)

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It was probably a case of Regimental Standing Orders for the Marines in preference to moustaches. Possibly reflecting their Army roots.

Bom T

Edited by Bom T
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Appears to originate from instructions in June 1869 and further instructions in December 1869 because the marines were not following the June instructions I've highlighted where the differences may have arisen from

"Circular No. 36.-LMM.

Admiralty, 24th June, 1869,

Beards and Moustaches in the Royal Navy.

The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty have had under their consideration the provisions of the Chapter 44, Article 43, page 336 of the regulations forbidding the wearing of Beards and Moustaches by Officers and Men of the Fleet.

Representations having been made to their Lordships that it would conduce to the health and comfort of men, under many circumstances of service, were they to be permitted to discontinue the use of the Razor on board Her Majesty's Ships, they have been pleased to issue the following Regulations:

1. Clause 43, Chapter 44, of the Regulations is repealed, and Officers and men on board her Majesty's Ships, including the Royal Marines when embarked, will in future be permitted to wear Beards and Moustaches.

2. In all cases, when the permission granted in Clause I is taken advantage of, the use of the Razor must be entirely discontinued. Moustaches are not to be worn without the Beard, nor is the Beard to be worn without the Moustaches.

3. The Hair of Beard, Moustaches, and whiskers, is to be kept well cut and trimmed, and not too long for cleanliness. The Captain is to give such directions as seem to him desirable upon these heads, and to establish, so far as may be practicable, uniformity as to length of the Hair, Beards, Moustaches, and Whiskers of his Men; observing that those Men who do not avail themselves of the permission to wear Beard and Moustaches will wear their Hair and Whiskers as heretofore.

4. Officers of Divisions will take special care that the provisions of Clauses 2 and 3 are strictly attended to by such of their Men as may avail themselves of the permission contained in Clause 1, and failure in these respects is to be considered as an offence under Article C in the Table of Summary punishments.

5. Royal Marines on shore will follow the Regulations of the Army with regard to Beard and Moustaches.

6. Their Lordships desire that it may be distinctly understood that permission now given to wear Beards and Moustaches is not necessarily to be considered as permanent, and that if neatness and cleanliness are not observed this order will be revoked.

By Command of their Lordships,
W. G. Romaine.
To all Commanders-in-Chief, &c.

Circular No. 67.-LMM.
Admiralty, 8th December, 1869.

Beards and Moustaches for Royal Marines.

1. The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty have observed that the provisions of Circular No. 36, of 24th June, 1869, have not been uniformly interpreted as to the Royal Marines embarked on board Her Majesty's Ships, and they are pleased to direct as follows:

2. Officers and Men of the Royal Marines may wear their Moustaches only, when embarked, should they prefer so to do.

3. Considering the hardships that might be involved, in compelling such Officers and Men of the Royal Marines, as elect to wear both Beards and Moustaches when embarked, to shave their Beards on being discharged to Head Quarters on shore, their Lordships are pleased to direct that the permission to wear Beards on board ship, granted by Circular No. 36, shall be extended to all Officer, and Men of the Royal Marines on shore.

4. In other respects, the provisions of the above Circular apply to Royal Marines on shore, as well as afloat, and the attention of Commanding Officers is especially called to the necessity of enforcing neatness and cleanliness

By command of their Lordships,
Vernon Lushington
To: all Commanders-in-Chief, &c."

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Hi,

Please take the time to read the difference between Ashore and Afloat the catch phrase is 'Ships Book' if the RM are not on a ships book then they are subject to the army act, a Royal Marine Shore Establishment is a Ship.

The rules on Beards for RM have changed several times over the years during WW1 they could wear a full set. Now they cannot.

1134,

post-7039-0-15321800-1393882060_thumb.jp

Regards Charles

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Paragraph 1134 deals with discipline and military law and who's jurisdiction Royal Marines came under at what time. Desn't really deal with whether or not they were permitted to wear beards.

Centurion's post is probably closer to the answer whether or not Royal Marines could wear beards.

Remember regulations were for individuals units to enforce or not as the case maybe.

At the time regulation stated that troops were supposed to salute to the left with the left hand, but this was not strictly enforced.

Always remembering pioneers in army units were allowed beards but not always chose to.

Bom T

Edited by Bom T
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Hi,

a... Remember regulations were for individuals units to enforce or not as the case maybe.

Who would undermine Kings Regulations or Army Orders........ Have you got a reference to say they can.

b.. At the time regulation stated that troops were supposed to salute to the left with the left hand, but this was not strictly enforced.

Yes it was.

c.. Always remembering pioneers in army units were allowed beards but not always chose to.

Where does it say that.

Centurion has found something on the internet that say what he thinks, 1869 is a long way from the Great War.

A scan is far better than someone else's quote as it could always be altered to match the circumstance.

Regards Charles

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A scan is far better than someone else's quote as it could always be altered to match the circumstance.

Regards Charles

And why would anyone want to? I don't like your implication

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From page 389 of The Navy List, Corrected to the 20th December, 1872:

NL1_zps294b36fa.png

NL2_zps15dbaee0.png

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I take it you have the Primary document to scan. Otherwise how do you know it is correct, there is no implication, it is just a fact not an assumption.

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Simon,

The Great War is the time, the scan is rather irrelevant in this case Navy List 1872.

The question is can officers and men of the Royal Marines wear beards during the Great War. The rules and regulations at the time say they can, we are not discussing the 1870s.

The point I brought up was.... subject to the Army Act or Kings Regulations and Admiralty Instructions.

I don't really want guesses or assumption.

Regards Charles

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Charles, I know very well what paragraph 1134 refers to. I was merely posting the screenshots in response what appeared to be an appeal by you for scans as you seemed to be questioning Centurion's posting of the contents.

Out of interest what regulations is your picture from?

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Hi Simon,

I was not questioning Centurion himself but if the original is posted there can be no question if it is right (unless you are a very good forger).

The quote itself was irrelevant, and came of a well known site that I know has mistakes, some changing the way the rules and regulations are portrayed.

If you are well aware of paragraph 1134 then you will know it came from Kings Regulations & Admiralty Instructions - 1913, I cannot find it as the same number in any other year.

My Copy of 'Kings Regulations & Admiralty Instructions - 1913' was in the Captains Office of HMS Cumberland as is my Volume Two.

Picture is a good word, at least you can see what is on the reverse page in mine.

Regards Charles

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Not really going to drawn into arguments but

1. After 16 years regular army service I have personal experience of when regulations were and were not enforced.

2. The saluting with the left hand was already falling into disuse by the great war and I believe the regulation was rescinded in 1916? or there abouts

3. Not being a detail expert in the regulations but the wearing of beards by pioneers in army units is a well known practice.

Bom T

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Hi,

I served 25 years and dealt with the discipline of my units, I have not had any experience of the Regulations being for units to enforce, they are for the services as a whole.

I am a detailed expert with the Regulations and quite happily go to bed to read the Manual of Military Law, whatever year it was published.

Still waiting for someone to come up with the Rules and Regulations on Pioneers wearing beards.

Regards Charles

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Hi,

I served 25 years and dealt with the discipline of my units, I have not had any experience of the Regulations being for units to enforce, they are for the services as a whole.

I am a detailed expert with the Regulations and quite happily go to bed to read the Manual of Military Law, whatever year it was published.

Still waiting for someone to come up with the Rules and Regulations on Pioneers wearing beards.

Regards Charles

.Then I bow to your superior knowledge and withdraw gracefully from this thread

Bom T

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Gwalchmal, off topic but maybe of general interest.

Not nit picking but in your 1st post you say ratings requested to grow a beard.

The request I believe was always to discontinue shaving.

Leave was stopped for four weeks the ratings beard then inspected by the Captain.

He (the Captain) then decided if the ratings beard was presentable, if so leave grated, if not shave off.

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Hi,

He requested to discontinue shaving, if signed by his Divisional Officer he had two weeks and if the Master At Arms decided it was a reasonable set he was allowed ashore, if not he would be allowed more time.

If the set wasn't good enough in two weeks it was unlikely it would be.

He did have the right to state a complaint if he thought he was been treated unfairly.

The Master at Arms would take a razor to the Captains table............ to enable the outcome to be carried out with zeal and alacrity and in the minimum time.

Regards Charles

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