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Remembered Today:

Little Nuggets of information


Muerrisch
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Many of us come upon little pieces of information in our reading and think "interesting, I didn't know that I didn't know that!", and then memory fades and the nugget has disappeared.

 

I start this thread as a repository of such gems and trifles and invite contributions. If the idea catches on, this might be the ONLY place on the Forum where a SEARCH might find such gleanings.

 

I suggest one item per post, complete with a reference wherefrom.

 

Please give it a go. Whatever turns you on!

Edited by Muerrisch
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Scots Guards officer with bayonet early in the war. Till the trumpet sounds again Vol I Randall Nicol. page 331. "........ I lay on a sort of hump and cut it away from under me with my bayonet ........"

 

Comment: March 1915, long before the Guards formally adopted other ranks items of equipment or armament.

Edited by Muerrisch
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Brodies. First experimental issue to Scots Guards.  Till the trumpet sounds again Vol I Randall Nicol . page 431.       "82 steel splinter proof helmets issued for trial"  October 1915.

 

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Scots Guards corporals as such, and lance-sergeants as such, co-existing.  Till the trumpet sounds again Vol I Randall Nicol  pages various.

 

Comment: this demonstrates clearly that the automatic elevation of full corporals to the Sergeants' Mess had not begun in the regiment.

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TF units based in Ireland pre war. One in Dublin and one in Belfast. Platoon sized. Black Watch. Something I did not know ....

Edited by Guest
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In Paul Harris's excellent book on the G Staff, The Men Who Planned the War, he makes the point that the pre-1914 Staff College students spent much time in syndicates planning operations and drawing up orders for them, but never had to do it in very limited time. This might explain in part why they found it very difficult to cope with the pressures of the Retreat from Mons.  

 

Charles M

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Hadn't come across 'skilly' before until I came across it in 'Four Years on the Western Front' where it gets a  mention several times. The OED gives it as:

A kind of thin, watery porridge, gruel, or soup, commonly made from oatmeal, and traditionally used especially in prisons and workhouses.

also, apparently, as soldiers' fare on the Western Front, and doubtless elsewhere as well!

NigelS

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Another word that popped out at me, so to speak.

 

"Buddy"   Till the trumpet sounds again Vol I Randall Nicol

several times, by an other rank quoted.

 

I looked at the etymology, apparently from "butty", a British usage. My modern take was that "Buddy" is an Americanism and may indeed be defunct there.

 

Live and learn.

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17 minutes ago, NigelS said:

Hadn't come across 'skilly' before until I came across it in 'Four Years on the Western Front' where it gets a  mention several times. The OED gives it as:

A kind of thin, watery porridge, gruel, or soup, commonly made from oatmeal, and traditionally used especially in prisons and workhouses.

also, apparently, as soldiers' fare on the Western Front, and doubtless elsewhere as well!

NigelS

'Officers wives get puddings and pies, but soldiers wives get skilly' were apparently words put to the bugle call summoning officers to dinner. ORs got 'Come to the cookhouse door, boys'

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6 minutes ago, Muerrisch said:

I looked at the etymology, apparently from "butty", a British usage

Very common in the pits of South Wales going back many decades.

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12 minutes ago, Muerrisch said:

I looked at the etymology, apparently from "butty", a British usage.

Interestingly in canal parlance a 'butty' is an unpowered (or dumb) boat or barge towed, or run breasted (ie tied alongside), by another powered craft, which, at least in my view, fits in nicely with 'buddy'

NigelS

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1 hour ago, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

Very common in the pits of South Wales going back many decades.

Still used in Mid-Wales, usually shortened to Butt!

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Badges for Good Shooting

 

This is not strictly Great War, but concerns the lineage of the Great War family of musketry badges, which had expanded after the Boer War to comprise:

 

crossed rifles, crossed rifles with star, crossed rifles with crown,crossed rifles with star surrounded by bay leaves, and crossed rifles with crown surrounded by bay leaves.

 

The earliest date claimed for a badge and or prize in Edwards and Langley's British Army Proficiency Badges is 1869, from Musketry Regulations. It is known that the various Rifles regiments had a system of cockades denoting prowess as early as the Peninsula War.

 

New evidence has come to light, courtesy of a correspondent in Australia. This includes 1858, when the Royal Marines could qualify for badges with extra pay, comprising crossed muskets and crown in gold, cross muskets in gold, and cross muskets in worsted. These to be worn lower left sleeve.

 

Also, in 1860, suitably armed cavalry could qualify for prizes [badges not mentioned] apparently for the first time.

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This is a strange one to me, but then it is a Scottish regiment and ..............

 

.................. who am I to think it odd?

 

Till the trumpet sounds again Vol II Randall Nicol 

 

caption to a photograph reads

 

Pipes and Drums and Corps of Drums of the 2nd battalion Scots Guards ......

 

Does this imply that their were drummers who were specifically part of the Pipes and Drums, as opposed to drummers who played/ beat either with the Pipes or with the Corps when it used bugles or fifes?

 

A Sassenach might have captioned thus:

 

Pipes and Drums of ........"

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The Pipes and Drums and The Corps of Drums were (and still are) separate entities, and together the two bands form the Drums Company, part of HQ Company and under direct command of The Adjutant.

 

The Pipes and Drums have their own drummers and their rank is Drummer. Pipers are obviously Pipers.

 

In the CoD they are all Drummers regardless of whether they beat a drum, play a flute or blow a bugle.

 

The drummers of the P+D and the CoD are not interchangeable, although (and I tread very carefully here), a Pipe Band Drummer could probably beat a drum in the CoD, but it's unlikely that the reverse would be true. They are all skilled musicians in their own right of course, and trained Guardsmen to boot, unlike the Musicians in the Regimental Band who are purely musicians.

 

 

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Thank you

 

Can I deduce that the drummers of the Pipes and Drums are trained to the distinctive beats and rhythms thereof?

 

And can I also deduce that there is no way for a third party to distinguish between the two clans of drummers until they parade? No uniform distinctions in any form of dress?

 

As a subsidiary, can I also guess that the drummers of the P & D do not carry the bugle?

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I was just about to edit my post regarding Pipe Band drummer and the bugle.

 

Yes, they do carry a bugle, even when playing with the P+D... and they know how to use it!

This means that they can take their turn at being Duty Drummer, where they sound the Regimental Calls.

 

The drumming techniques (and also these days the drums) used by the P+D and the CoD are quite different, hence the requirement for two species of drummer, although it is quite common for the P+D Bass Drummer to be selected to keep the beat during Battalion Parades, where he would use a hard Beat Stick, as opposed to the fluffy sticks used to accompany the Pipe Band.

 

The dress of both variety of drummer is identical.

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