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nfh249

Serjeant v Sergeant

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nfh249

Can anyone tell me when the spelling of sergeant changed??

Ta.

Regards,

Neil.

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HarryBettsMCDCM

A search on this site for "Serjeant" will no doubt answer your query,with threads such as this one:~Serjeant v Sergeant

Other postings indicate its usage right into the 1950's

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CROONAERT

I don't believe that this question has ever been satisfactorily answered on this forum, nor do I believe it ever will be! (Is there a definitive answer? I don't think there is - too much paperwork showing both spellings at various times) Another slant on the question could be - "how many times has the spelling "officially" changed?"

Dave

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per ardua per mare per terram

The Oxford English Dictionary says its now always sergeant, but does not give a date when that was fixed. Both were acceptable variants, both feature in the OED lists of uses from Wellington 1810 to JTB McCudden VC DSO MC MM's memoirs.

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nfh249

Thanks all, that's as clear as mud!! so much for a simple question. I should have known!!!

Neil.

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SilverSoldier

Hello Pals.

You are all correct in the context of the spelling of the rank. When I joined the ranks in 1962 it was Sergeant. and was so when I held the rank, also Sergeant Major. But I have service records of my Father and several of my uncle's 1939-1945 where it occurred with the letter 'j'. It was in common usage WW1 and previous to that time. I have seen both spellings used in Newspaper's, Magazines and Books in Modern times. Both are correct, if one looks back in military history it invariably uses the term 'Serjeant".

Terry W.

:)

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edwin astill

The whole thing seems to be up to the individual. Interesting to note how the 'Sergeants/Serjeants' use the title as in Surgeon Serjeant to the Queen, Serjeant at Arms in the Houses of Parliament etc. I think there are legal 'Serjeants' as well... the Dicky tells us that the word derives from the latin for 'Servant'.

Edwin Astill

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Terry Denham

The convention used by CWGC is laid down by the various military authorities.

They are instructed to use 'serjeant' for UK & colonies and NZ army casualties up to a date (which I am still looking for!) in the early 1950s. Army men of both wars from Australia, Canada, South Africa are to be listed as 'sergeant' at all times.

Men of the RAF are to have a 'j' for WW1 and a 'g' for WW2.

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CROONAERT
They are instructed to use 'serjeant' for UK & colonies and NZ army casualties up to a date (which I am still looking for!) in the early 1950s. Army men of both wars from Australia, Canada, South Africa are to be listed as 'sergeant' at all times..

Terry.

Just curious....I know that the Boer war graves aren't exactly the CWGC's responsibility, but I know that they are tending to some of them. Do they have any listing of those that they tend? If so, how is the spelling on this list? (The official quarterly Boer War casualty lists of the time spelt it with a "g" !).

Dave.

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Steven Broomfield
the Dicky tells us that the word derives from the latin for 'Servant'.

Edwin Astill

Which is why (I believe) the Household Cavalry don't use the word

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Muerrisch

Major Gordon in 'Military Origins' says 'sergens' or 'servientes' was, in the reign of Philip Augustus of France, the rank given to gentlemen below the rank of knights. The OED says it was from the Latin 'serviens', 'serviente': servant .

Why anyone should object to the etymology baffles me: we have the armed SERVICES, and we have the Civil Service, of which I was a proud member for 41 years.

The Household Cavalry probably have no idea why they really make life so difficult for ousiders with their infinity of corporals!

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Terry Denham
Just curious....I know that the Boer war graves aren't exactly the CWGC's responsibility, but I know that they are tending to some of them. Do they have any listing of those that they tend? If so, how is the spelling on this list? (The official quarterly Boer War casualty lists of the time spelt it with a "g" !).

Although CWGC is due to take over the care of the extant British Boer War graves under contract from MoD, it has not really got underway yet.

Currently, CWGC South Africa is inspecting the graves notified to them to see which are maintainable and what they need in terms of maintenance. When this has been completed, the details will be added to CWGC's database in the non-public section as 'Non-World War Graves in CWGC Care'.

I'll let you know when this happens but I suspect that it will be a while yet.

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gj.simmonds
Major Gordon in 'Military Origins' says 'sergens' or 'servientes' was, in the reign of Philip Augustus of France, the rank given to gentlemen below the rank of knights. The OED says it was from the Latin 'serviens', 'serviente': servant .

Why anyone should object to the etymology baffles me: we have the armed SERVICES, and we have the Civil Service, of which I was a proud member for 41 years.

The Household Cavalry probably have no idea why they really make life so difficult for ousiders with their infinity of corporals!

Harking back to my military history lessons, I seem to recall that the change from Sergeant to Corporal de Horse was under direct instructions from Queen Victoria who refused to allow her Cavalry NCO's to be called servants

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Muerrisch

so why did she allow junior officers of the 'spit-and-polish-donkey-wallopers' to be named after an ice cream cone, then?

I'm afraid I would need evidence regarding Queen Victoria's stance: I don't think Household Cavalry ever had sergeants, never mind after 1834.

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