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Michael Herridge

Honorary Commissions

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Michael Herridge

One of those listed in the attached copy of the London Gazette is a cousin. Could someone please explain what an honorary commission was in 1920, and it's purpose. As they were cadets, but the war war was now over, were they being fobbed off with an honorary rank rather than a regular army career?

Many thanks

 

Michael Herridge

Watson, Horace Hamilton - London Gazette 11 June 1920.jpg

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rolt968

Since they all have OR serial numbers, I suspect that it gave them the privilege of using an officer's rank title in future life. Otherwise they would have been demobbed as other ranks. Isn't it in Good Bye to All That that Robert Graves describes being sent a letter which told him which officer's rank he could use in future life?

 

RM

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Steven Broomfield

Is it possible (and I merely surmise) that these were o.r.s who had been to an Offcer Cadet Battalion but were demobbed while in training, but before commissioning?

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rolt968
30 minutes ago, Steven Broomfield said:

Is it possible (and I merely surmise) that these were o.r.s who had been to an Offcer Cadet Battalion but were demobbed while in training, but before commissioning?

Also only a guess on my part, but that is what I based my comment on.

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Ron Abbott

I've also come across an honorary commission given to a Pipe-Major. 

 

Pipe-Major W H West was the pipe-major of a civilian pipe band/corps of pipers (London Caledonian Highland Pipers) who went around the country playing the pipes and giving speeches to encourage recruitment in 1914/1915 and he was subsequently given an honorary commission as a 2nd Lt. in the 5th Bn. Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, although he was not a serving soldier.  He is mentioned in numerous newspaper articles from that era.

 

Here is the entry in The Gazette....

 

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/29068/supplement/1536/data.pdf  

 

So OK, a complete different scenario to that mentioned above!

Edited by Ron Abbott

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Muerrisch

Very interesting indeed. I agree with the surmises, but I cannot see what good it would do, except for ego and possibly, just possibly, as part of a CV.

The convention is [and I believe was then] that only officers of field rank [army major] or above used their rank once retired. There were and are exceptions ...... the occasional captain has been known to weigh in.

The other consideration is of wearing uniform at ceremonial occasions such as Remembrance, Funerals, Weddings. The rules are very subject to interpretation but are not policed, its really only a societal judgement. However, these ex-cadets did not have officers' uniforms.

The matter sounds like a cheap Treasury get-out.

 

The conventional use of honorary rank was in the appointment of quatermasters and riding masters ........ officially these were non-combatant commissions, and, in some regiments, had only limited Messing rights. The Great War saw an end to those nonsenses.

 

Perhaps a serving army officer [or one of recent experience] can elaborate or put me right please?

Edited by Muerrisch
addendum

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IPT

These are nice posh young RAF men.  They all seem to have been born c1900 and joined in the last year of the war. Possibly the honorary commissions came at the end of their reserve periods?

 

Here are the first three on the list. You can view their records through the watermark. Perhaps someone can decipher?

 

Barnard, Frederick Pagden  -  http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D8190447

Burnet, Donald Rodber  -  http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D8197667

Begg, Hugh  -  http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D8191042

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