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Remembered Today:

Addressing hypenated officers


Muskoka

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I've seen references to Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae as "Colonel McCrae".

If I had tea with a Brigadier-General, would I say, "Please pass the marmite, General?" :D

Just want to be sure that my characters are following the proper protocol!

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I believe you would, if he was a Brig Gen - but we don`t have brigadier generals these days, just brigadiers. Probably why they no longer wear the crossed baton and sword rank badge, but a crown and 3 pips. Phil B

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If the officer is senior in rank to you, I think you play it safe and refer to him as Colonel, General etc - even if his rank is that of Lieutenant-Colonel, Brigadier-General etc. Perhaps if you are of a higher rank, you can afford to be more precise :)

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I guess you could say Brigadier with no fear of offence. But if he were a lieutenant-general you would definitely not say 'Please pass the marmite, Lieutenant.' Might cause a swift exit, harrumphing loudly.

cheers Martin B

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Thanks all!

I have a civilian character having tea with a Brig-Gen in WW1. Do you think she would be "buttering him up" if she called him General, rather than Brigadier?

And when others talk about John McCrae, they could just say "Col. McCrae is convalescing on the Riviera" - which he was in Oct. 1916.

Gabriele

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I think it was normal to call a brigadier general "general" in WW1. But "brigadier" in WW2!

Quote:-

Brigadier is a rank in the British Army ranking above Colonel and immediately below Major-General. It was introduced in the British Army in 1928 to replace the short-lived appointment of Colonel-Commandant that had replaced the rank of Brigadier-General in 1922.

Phil B

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In the area I work in a Lieut-Colonel is always referred to as Colonel unless being formally introduced (say) at a meeting or referred to in meeting minutes when the full rank is used.

Dave

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Thanks all!

I have a civilian character having tea with a Brig-Gen in WW1. Do you think she would be "buttering him up" if she called him General, rather than Brigadier?

And when others talk about John McCrae, they could just say "Col. McCrae is convalescing on the Riviera" - which he was in Oct. 1916.

Gabriele

Other army officers ,in casual conversation about a third party, might well use his name. McCrae is convalescing , I hear. Nicknames were also prevalent. You can't do better than read Agatha Christie. Very keen on the proper procedures and her books were populated by officer classes and their associates.

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You mean like (Major-General) “Boom” Trenchard. I must have known that subliminally, since that's how I referred to him in my first Muskoka novel. I read all the Agatha Christie novels a few decades ago and something must have stuck!

Thanks everyone for your helpful input!

Gabriele

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It does start to get very confusing! Currently wording a formal letter to a Lt-Colonel in which I make mention of another Lt-Colonel. As its a formal letter I use the full title of Lieutenant-Colonel when addressing said officer, but when mentioning other Lt-Colonel should I refer to him as 'Colonel' or 'Lieutenant-Colonel'??? Don't want to be making one appear higher than the other, but if I were talking to this chap in person, I would refer to both of them as Colonel.

Ooooh my head! :huh:

Barrie

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My diary of Alexander Johnston. when Brigade major, - Johnston often talks of 'went round the trenches with the General' - ie the brigadier general. Bit confusing sometimes as you are not always sure whether the Divisional Commander might not have popped over for a stroll.

Edwin

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Military

Generals, Lieutenant Generals and Major Generals are addressed as General

Colonels and Lieutenant Colonels as Colonel

Staff Sergeants and Colour Sergeants as Staff or Colour

Corporals and Lance Corporals as Corporal, or Bombardier in the Artillery

Private soldiers are addressed by their title and their surname. The title may vary depending on the regiment, or the arm or service. For example Highlander, Rifleman, Private, Guardsman, Bugler, Gunner, Sapper, Fusilier, Trooper, Signalman etc.

Company or Squadron Sergeant Majors as Sergeant Major, Miss or Mr and Regimental Sergeant Major as Sir, Ma'am, Regimental Sergeant Major, Miss or Mr, depending on the rank of the addressor.

Extracted from - http://us.deskdemon.com/pages/uk/events/formsofaddress

I remember reading a book about Custer in which, although only a Colonel, he was addressed as General from his Civil War days; and Major Reno was addresssed as Colonel.

Pete

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I remember reading a book about Custer in which, although only a Colonel, he was addressed as General from his Civil War days; and Major Reno was addresssed as Colonel.

Pete

But he became Brevet Major General. Phil B

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QUOTE (Phil_B @ May 2 2007, 05:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
But he became Brevet Major General. Phil B

During the American Civil War there was (obviously) rapid promotion and when peace returned in 1865 many officers had to drop several ranks to remain in the army. It was customary to address them by the highest rank they had reached, though I'm not sure whether this was done only in formal circumstances. I guess I've seen too many Hollywood interpretations of the Custer story in which he was usually addressed as Colonel but Reno always as Major. I believe that Captain Benteen also held higher rank in the Civil War. Incidentally in 1876 Custer was "only" a substantive lieutenant-colonel; the colonel commanding the 7th Cavalry was on detached duty at the time of theBattle of the Little Big Horn.

Moonraker

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