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Remembered Today:

7th Bn. Hampshire Regiment


Aurel Sercu

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A question on behalf of an acquaintance., to dog lovers (and non-dog lovers) in the UK (and elsewhere).

The man (the expert in the Ypres Documentation Centre with regard to the Belgian Army) right now is focussing on British badges, and more specifically on the historical meaning and origin of what is depicted in them.

We know that the Royal Hampshire Regiment has a flower (rose ?), but a book with a description of insignia says that "the 7th Battalion wore the dog gauge badge in either white or gilding metal and in bronze for officiers".

We both know what a dog is, and more or less what a gauge can be. But what is a "dog gauge" ?! What is (was) it used for ? And is there any reason why the 7th Bn. had this in their badge ?

Aurel

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Aurel- the dog guage was used in the New Forest (near Southampton in Hampshire) to measure dogs . If the dog was of a certain size it was de-clawed to stop it killing the deer in the New Forest.

Amazingly, I think there has been a thread that mentioned this on this Forum before !

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Aurel- the dog guage was used in the New Forest (near Southampton in Hampshire) to measure dogs . If the dog was of a certain size it was de-clawed to stop it killing the deer in the New Forest.

Amazingly, I think there has been a thread that mentioned this on this Forum before !

Aurel

The thread Ian is referring to might be this one (mid-way down, page 3):

Hampshire Regiment - 7th

Incidentally, my great-grandfather served with the 2/7th Bn. and the cap-badge is clearly visible in one of the photographs posted (if they're still viewable).

Ed

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Thanks, Ian and Ed,

And right after Ian's reply, and just before Ed's, I rediscovered the thread indeed. (Which I remember reading half a year ago, but somehow I must have missed or forgotten the postings with regard to the 7th Bn badge.)

And I gladly quote what Marc Thompson wrote then, when mentioning the dog gauge : "A device used in the Forest (Hampshire) to prevent dogs from chasing the deer. Basically, any dog that could get through the gauge, had its 3 middle claws removed. Strange folk in the Forest..."

(To tell the truth, I'm not sure I understand. So it means that small dogs had the 3 middle claws removed, and it was the small dogs that were prevented from chasing the deer, not the bigger ones ?)

And should anybody know why exactly this item was depicted in the 7th Battalion's badge ...

Aurel

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7th Battalion's formation town was Bournemouth which is located fairly close to the South west of the New Forest (whereas Southampton is to the East). It would seem likely that training, marching etc would have taken place in the New Forest thus explaining the choice of a symbol with a connection to this place.

Having said this, no doubt some Hampshires expert will now explain that Lt Colonel Hubert Dogg-Guage was a famous commanding officer of the battalion !

Proud to say that Southampton is the city of my birth and of my formative years - and still just hanging on in there in the Premiership.

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Aurel,

From: 'Regimental Badges' by major T.J. Edwards

“THE "STIRRUP" has nothing to do with horse riding, but is a

metal gauge in the shape of a stirrup, which was once used to

measure dogs in the New Forest. At present it is chained to the

wall in the old Verderers' Hall in The King's House at Lyndhurst.

Traditionally, it is supposed to be King Rufus's stirrup and that

any dog that could get through it had to be expeditated?that is,

have the three middle claws of its front paws removed to prevent

it from running fast enough to chase deer. The actual measure

ments are: From the "foot rest" to top of arch 6.1/2 in., width of

"foot rest" 9.1/2 in. From this it will be seen that quite small dogs

could not get through. The "stirrup" is, in fact, of early Tudor

pattern. Under the Forest Laws no dogs were allowed in the

Forest, but as in those days some of the Forest inhabitants were

not "quite nice," people were allowed to keep a mastiff in the Forest for personal protection, all of which had to be expeditated under the Lawing of Dogs. (I am indebted to D. W. Young, Esq., Deputy Surveyor, Forestry Commission, Lyndhurst, for these details of the "Stirrup."?T. J. E.)

On the reforming of the Territorial Army after the Second World War, the role of the Regiment was changed and its present title is 524th Light AntiAircraft/Searchlight Regiment, Royal Artillery (7th Royal Hampshire Regiment.

It now wears the R.A. cap badge.”

Jacky

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Thanks, Jacky.

So it seems the complete answer comes from a non-UK dog-lover !

I think I understand now. My problem yesterday was : how come the small dogs were not allowed in the New Forest (or had to have their claws removed), whereas the big ones were allowed to get in and chase the deer ! (Now I see the mastiffs had an excuse to be in the Forest).

One thing I don't understand. The measurements of the gauge/stirrup were 6.1/2 - 9.1/2 inches, and "from this it will be seen that quite small dogs could not get through" (!) I would say : the smaller the easier to get through. But we continentals can't be expected to understand everything that comes from across the Channel, can we. Besides, this 'detail' will give the islanders-doglovers something to think about ... ;)

Aurel

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Aurel - I share your confusion. I think part of the problems could be semantic . The writer may mean that "even dogs who could be regarded as quite small will not be able to get through". This would make sense if small dogs that could make it through were defined as not being able to attack a deer and were allowed to escape the de-clawing. Or are we compltely "barking up the wrong tree" ! - is it the potential speed of the dog that is the issue here , with the de-clawing slowing them down ?

I think I am now going to retire from this discussion before it drives me completely nuts !

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And should anybody know why exactly this item was depicted in the 7th Battalion's badge ...

Aurel

Although the Bn HQ was in Bournemouth, it recruited across the New Forest - from Bournemouth to Totton (now almost a suburb of Southampton) - from places such as Fordingbridge, Burley, Sway, Hythe, Marchwood and Fawley, so I guess it was a reasonably straightforward badge for them. Many of the members of the Bn would have been foresters or commoners (possibly, I imagine, verderers), or at least family members, so something wth a local connection would have been 'nice'.

I remember seeing it engraved on an old building in Southampton, in Woolston (near the Veracity Playing Field for So'tonians) about 15 years ago. Sadly, the building has been demolished. I presume the successor artillery outfit was based there?

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The dog gauge badge goes back even further than the 7th Hampshire's to the 4th (Bournemouth) Rifle Volunteers Corps. The 4th RVC was formed in 1885 as a volunteer battalion of The Hampshire Regiment with HQ at Bournemouth by transfer of six Bournemouth, Christchurch, Lymington and Ringwood coys from 2nd Hampshire RVC.

Interesting to note that the 4th V.B. Formed a company of New Forest Scouts who were mounted on New Forest ponies.

In 1908, The Hampshire Volunteer Battalions Became the 4th to 8th Battalions T.F. The 4th becoming the 7th Battalion commanded by Lord Montagu of Beaulieu.

Marc

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Steve - thanks for the info. re the badge near what I used to call the Veracity Ground. Many a memory jogged there. I'm a Sholing boy and worked in Woolston at Vospers during many vacations.

As you say Bournemouth may have been H.Q but the New Forest was the real home patch. I wonder if the battalion is commemorated in any of the New Forest churches ?

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The writer may mean that "even dogs who could be regarded as quite small will not  be able to get through". This would make sense if small dogs that could make it through were defined as not being able to attack a deer and were allowed to escape the de-clawing.

Ian,

Yes, of course, that must be it. Re-reading the sentence in Jacky's posting for the fifth time now leaves no doubt. Or hardly any ... I think... I hope ... :huh:

Steven en Marc,

Thanks for the additional information ! I'm sure that Roger (on whose behalf I started this thread, also because I myself too found it a puzzling item) will be very pleased.

And now I will think for a few minutes whether my late yorkshire terrier would have been de-clawed or not in the New Forest.

I will not let you know the result of my thinking ...

Aurel

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Gent's , I may be wrong but I think it was the larger dog's who had their toe's removed as they were of a size that could bring a deer down, and those dog's who could pass through the stirrup were ok, after all a small terrier would have some difficulty pulling down a deer.

Len

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Steve - thanks for the info. re the badge near what I used to call the Veracity Ground. Many a memory jogged there. I'm a Sholing boy and worked in Woolston at Vospers during many vacations.

As you say Bournemouth may have been H.Q but the New Forest was the real home patch. I wonder if the battalion is commemorated in any of the New Forest churches ?

Cheers - I'm a newcomer myself...moved here from Cambridge in '87.

Interestingly, I have had a look at Fordingbridge Church - no specific memorial, and very few 7th Hants casualties. The 1/7th spent the war out east - finishing up in Aden, while the 2/7th didn't get to the Front (and then in Mespot) until September '18, so I'm guessing they had relatively few fatalities. I haven't looked on SDGW though.

Ianw - do you remember the building I mean?

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We know that the Royal Hampshire Regiment has a flower (rose ?)

Aurel

Just an afterthought, but I believe the rose is the Hampshire Rose, granted to Southampton when he passed through on his way to biff the French at Agincourt, and still present on the badges of Southampton City Council and Hampshire County Council (and very cool policemen's helmets!)

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Gent's , I may be wrong but I think it was the larger dog's who had their toe's removed as they were of a size that could bring a deer down, and those dog's who could pass through the stirrup were ok, after all a small terrier would have some difficulty pulling down a deer.

Len

Len,

I agree. Absolutely.

Having the relatively small dogs declawed (for a dog getting through a stirrup of 9.5 x 6.6 inches ( (24 x 16,5 cm) cannot be called big) because they could be considered dangerous to the deer, and leaving the big dogs unharmed, does not make much sense. What harm can a chihuahua or a papillon do to a deer ?

Yes, I understand, maybe the big dogs needed their claws to protect the people walking in the forest from the forest residents with evil intentions, but that doesn't justify having the very small dogs declawed. And this is what the fragment quoted by Jacky in a previous posting says. (I know that Ian tried to interpret it (semantically) in a different way, but somehow I'm not convinced.)

By the way, can a native speaker tell me what the word "to expeditate" means ? (In Jacky's posting.) I cannot find it in any of my dictionaries. (The only one that resembles it is "to expedite" (speed up) but I don't think it applies.)

Aurel

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The writer may mean that "even dogs who could be regarded as quite small will not be able to get through". This would make sense if small dogs that could make it through were defined as not being able to attack a deer and were allowed to escape the de-clawing.

Sorry Aurel but I think I had actually reached the same conclusion previously !

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Ian,

I'm afraid I have reached a point that I will decide it's time to give up trying to understand all this, and to leave it a mystery. There are moments that I think I understand, but 3 1/2 seconds later I'm sure Jacky's quote doesn't make sense at all.

I'm watching my own dog now (Ringo, a Maltese dog), and wondering if he had been in the New Forest, whether it would have been with or without claws. I could measure his "diameter", but the poor thing has his birthday today (15 !), and I don't think I could do that to him today. Tomorrow, perhaps ... And I'm sure he could have got through the stirrup. Which would mean that .... ? Anyway, at his age now he has long since given up chasing the deer in Boezinge ... Only a cat in my garden once in a while.

And if only I understood the word "expeditated"... :(

(By the way : as I read it, the mastiffs too had their claws removed ? Is that right ? (Which would mean that ... all dogs had to be de-clawed ? So, what's the use of a gauge ?) Or may theirs were not removed ... Far too puzzling for me...

Aurel

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Ah Aurel, I can shed some light on "expeditate" . It is the technical terms for the process of de-clawing the dog (From the latin "ex" out and "pedis" foot , apparently). It is clear from a google search that a lot of people use this word in error when they mean "expedite".

My final take is that small dogs that could get through the guage escaped expediation but this meant that dogs that were really pretty small didn't (including those who were simply a bit fat and couldn't chase deer anyway ?) Perhaps some personal protection dogs like mastiffs may have been exempt from the expeditation process - but no doubt there were other laws that would come down on these dogs like a ton of bricks if they transgressed.

Of course, the New Forest was a Royal Forest and all it's resources would have been protected strictly. No doubt you could have been hanged for stealing a mushroom never mind a deer !

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(...) My final take is that small dogs that could get through the guage escaped expediation but this meant that dogs that were really pretty small didn't (including those who were simply a bit fat and couldn't chase deer anyway ?) Perhaps some personal protection dogs like mastiffs may have been exempt from the expeditation process (...)

Ian,

I think that this indeed will be the final conclusion. Which means that probably some error was made in the way it was phrased in the extract from Regimental Badges that Jack quoted. Which ran :

"... than any dog that could get through it had to be expeditated, that is, have the three middle claws of its front paws removed to be prevented from running fast enough to close the deer." Or at least it was meant to mean the opposite of what it apparently says. That is, says to me... (Yet this morning Jacky confirmed that what he wrote in his posting were the exact words.)

And a linguistic remark to end (?) with. We in Dutch have a saying "Dat kan niet door de beugel". Literally : "This cannot get through the ... " In English "beugel" can be many things, but almost all have something in common : a more or less circular metal ring : brace, clamp, bracket, handle, shackle, trigger guard, clasp, and also a ... stirrup (stijgbeugel).

I had always wondered where that expression comes from in my language. I found it seems to date from the Middle Ages, from the custom to ... get dogs through a ring to find out if they were not too big. (Hence that "niet door de beugel kunnen" in Dutch has a negative connotation, for something, bad, unacceptable, unethical, etc.) And I am proud (and also puzzled) to say that it seems that my language is the only language that uses an expression with that item. For the equivalent in other languages is : That cannot pass, that won't do, that is no go ; das kann nicht passieren ; cela ne peut pas passer... Rather poor unimaginative and uninspired expressions, I would say, compared to Dutch ! :rolleyes:

(Sorry for behaving like a teacher (again).)

Aurel

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I'm confused. Good job they didn't exfoliate them by mistake, though I suppose the small irritating dogs might chase around and get in the way!

I have e-mailed the New Forest Museum to see if they can shed any light on this bizarre problem. Watch this space for a reply.....

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Thanks, Steven.

Meanwhile my thoughts will be with the poor little and/or big creatures that spent miserable clawless lives in the New Forest.

And I who thought that UK people were dog lovers ... <_<

Aurel

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Aurel - King's love of deer takes precedence !

Over the populace as well as the people. Bloody Normans....what did they ever do for us?

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Hello everyone. I have an answer from the Deputy Librarian of the New Forest Museum in Lyndhurst. He is explicit that small dogs (which could pass through the gauge) would NOT be 'lawed'; the big ones (which could not pass through the gauge) were a danger to the king's deer and were lawed - i.e. treated as previously discussed.

The gauge apparently now lives in the Verderers' Hall.

Hope that clears this up.

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