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Sgt or Sjt

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Guest

Chaps.

Again on a related matter to my Great Grandfathers victory medal. Is the rank inscription possibly scottish, I believe that he may have been born there. The reason I ask is that I thought the usual abbreviation for sergeant was SGT the inscription on the medal is SJT.

Any guidance would be gratefully received.

Graham. <_<

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Joe Sweeney

Graham,

In 14-18 the rank was Serjeant. The usual abbreviation was Sjt.

The spelling of Sergeant and the abbreviation Sgt is post 14-18.

Joe Sweeney

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Ken Lees

In my experience of looking at Great War documents, the two spellings are interchangeable. I wouldn't attach any significance to the spelling on the medal.

Ken

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dycer

Ken,

I think you are probably right My Uncle's medals are stamped "Sjt" but when reading the Battalion History written 1919/20 for the local Newspaper the full spelling is "Sergeant".No abbreviations e.g.Sjt,Sgt are used within the text.

George

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Muerrisch
The spelling of Sergeant and the abbreviation Sgt is post 14-18.

Cannot agree. OFFICIAL spelling was 'serjeant', but it co-existed [may even have been archaic by then] with 'sergeant'. War Diaries and personal accounts make this crystal clear. Usage 'serjeant' still clings on in the ancient offices of state, of course.

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dycer

lb et al,

Whilst I am not disputing the facts.

According to my 1950's school dictionary.

serjeant(noun)-member of the highest class(abolished 1880) of barristers"

Would one of our more learned Pals wish to comment?

George

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guy taylor

George et al,

I believe the original term was 'Serjeant-at-Law' (sounds like a real barrack-room lawyer !) and hence "Serjeant's Inn", one of the original Inns of Court. This is mentioned in at least one of the Dickens' novels.

There is a present-day survival in the Common Serjeant in the City of London.

My grandfather's MSM was stamped with the inscription ...S/Sjt (A/CQMS)....and that was gazetted in the Victory Honours List of 1919. I seem to recall that some (or all) of the Guards regiments still use the 'old' spelling.

Guy

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Guest Pete Wood

I hate to disagree with LB, but it depends on which regiment you are in. Some infantry regiments, even today, use the rank Serjeant (abbreviation Sjt). I know, because I served with one such regiment.

My understanding is that the rank of Serjeant, which is a French term, was changed to Sergeant (because the British were at war with Napoleon). Some regiments did not receive the order to change the ranks - and as part of military tradition, were allowed to retain the rank.

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Brother-Bayonet

I believed that it was something to do with Serjeant-at-arms originally. Its prodominantly infantry units who use the spelling currently.

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dycer

This subject is as clear as mud!.

If we go back to Graham's original post about "Sjt" being Scots I can support this as my Uncle served in the Royal Scots and his medals are stamped "Sjt".However,as I said earlier the History(although unofficial) uses Sergeant.

RT states that some Regiments still use "Sjt"

Do we need a definitive list?

George

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Muerrisch
My understanding is that the rank of Serjeant, which is a French term, was changed to Sergeant (because the British were at war with Napoleon).

Gordon's Military Origins says sergens or servientes was title of gentlemen serving in armies of France [Philip Augustus], then Richard Coeur de Lion formed serjeants at arms as bodyguard.

Oxford dictionary says serjeant is a variant of serjeant, and says sergeant is Middle English. I don't buy the Napoleonic theory at all, the confusion predates it enormously.

But I too would like a list of 1914 1918 units who clung to serjeant. Probably the Brigade of Guards for starters.

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Guest Pete Wood

LB my info, and I accept it could be urban legend, comes from the two Light Infantry units I was posted to; Light Infantry use the term Serjeant to this day. You've hit the nail on the head with your French translation (servant) which is what I was told 'most' of the military took exception to (allegedly).

Look at SDGW and it gives the rank of LI men, killed as Sgt/Sergt. But put their names in the CWGC database and you'll soon find that Sjt is common for the 120 paces-a-minute men.

Name: AMERY, THOMAS JOHN

Initials: T J

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Serjeant

Regiment: Somerset Light Infantry

Unit Text: 8th Bn.

Date of Death: 27/10/1918

Service No: 7468

Awards: MM

Additional information: Son of Sarah and the late Frederick Amery, of 10, Adelaide St., Bute Docks, Cardiff.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: VII. M. 7A.

Cemetery: MONT HUON MILITARY CEMETERY, LE TREPORT

Listed in SDGW as Sergeant (Sergt)

I think you'll also find it was the 'Rifle' regiments that also used the term Serjeant.

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BottsGreys

RT:

A photo I have of an NCO of the Rifle Brigade dated 1916 is inscribed "Serjt. Smart"

Chris

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182 CEF

I just recieved the Service records of Albert T Howard 13th Battn CEF. He is listed as being promoted to "SGT" Nov 1914, also listed as A/QM SGT for awhile.

Dean Owen

Whitby Ontario

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JulianB

seems to be Sjt in the MGC

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Terry_Reeves

As has already pointed out, the two spellings were interchangeable. Just to prove the point, I have a copy of the "Journal of Operations Conducted by the Corps of Royal Engineers" for the Seige of Sebasatpol. It was published in 1859. Both spellings of the rank appear in the book, sometimes on the same page!

Terry Reeves

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Staffsyeoman

Julian is right, though; 'Sjt' was the preferred usage in the MGC, and was generally not/not interchangeable. Another one for Langley!

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guy taylor

Dear All,

Gordon's Military Origins says sergens or servientes was title of gentlemen serving in armies of France

This root is the reason that the Household Cavalry won't use the word and substitute "Corporal" in all ranks and appointment where Serjeant/Sergeant would otherwise be used.

What a proud and united army to belong to !

Or is it done intentionally, just to confuse the enemy ?

Guy

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AGWR

What about Lance-Serjeant? I think that I have only seen this spelt with a 'j'.

I have been wanting to start this thread for ages! Glad to know that it's not just me.

Yours none the wiser

AGWR

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guy taylor

AGWR,

That's really a Corporal - but in the Guards they don't have Lance/Corporals, so...

This is surely support for the confuse the enemy theory ? :D

Guy

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stiletto_33853

Hi All,

Can only add to this that checking my granfathers Army Form B108, Life Guards and Scots Guards from 1911 to 1933 the spelling in the Life Guards and Scots in this was Sergeant.

Andy

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CROONAERT
The spelling of Sergeant and the abbreviation Sgt is post 14-18.

In "The South African War Casualty Roll" (published 6 monthly between March 1900 and June 1902) the spelling of all of this rank is "Sergeant" (but abbreviated "Sergt.")

Dave.

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Peter Beckett

I note that my Uncle Bill who was killed in WW2 was as follows

Serjeant Beckett No 5622751, 86 (5th Bn The Devonshire Regt)Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery.

Died 29 December 1944 aged 25

Peter

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