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  #16  
Old 14-05-20, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Alan O View Post
A quite unique piece of headdress - not sure whether I hate or love it but I can understand why the RTR decided to stop wearing them all the same.
It reminds me of the RAF officer's leather and fur dress headgear "inspired" by the leather flying helmet - an attempt to turn a practical, utilitarian form of headgear into something it can never aspire to be.

These things must've dismayed those required to wear them.
I feel the plain black beret unadorned by bullion and feathers is smarter and more suited to parade wear utilitarian though it may be.

At least no one appears to have tried forcing a beret draped with curly fake fur and gold lace on the Parachute Regiment, they seem happy with the basic beret.
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  #17  
Old 14-05-20, 03:45 PM
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No beech brown badge backing either but I might still be WRAC (Warm, Round And Cuddly !)

PL
A plain green beret but you had a very colourful badge in it.
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  #18  
Old 14-05-20, 07:24 PM
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didn't use to be warm round and cuddly. But i can't say what it was here. Had a mate who was a maureen. He had a green hat, courtesy of the army in ww2.
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  #19  
Old 15-05-20, 07:08 AM
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I remember being sat down, having a brew with a guy from the 325th (US) trying to explain to him, that we didn't really hate each other that much! - Regards Mark
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  #20  
Old 15-05-20, 11:47 AM
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As the Gordons have been mentioned, this might be the kind of thing you're after.

When I read the following to my wife who is from Aberdeen, she said 'Aye that's why a'the lassies love a Gordon'.......

Order Commanding Officer 29 march 1939

'The practice of wearing pants when dressed in the kilt is contrary to the traditions of Highland Regiments. This practice will cease forthwith. Pants may only be worn under the kilt when attending dances and when taking part in Highland Dancing. Disciplinary action will be taken against any soldier contravening this order'.

The 5th Battalion (Buchan & Formartine) on being ordered to replace their kilts with battledress trousers and one supposes the aforementioned proscribed pants, decided to burn the kilt in a ceremony. Fittingly on 5th November 1939.

A granite stone plinth was to be erected at the spot where the kilt was burned in Aldershot, but as the Regiment had already left for France and the rocky road to St Valery, it was sent to Aberdeen, where it now stands outside the museum.
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Last edited by dubaiguy; 20-05-20 at 06:16 AM.
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  #21  
Old 22-05-20, 05:51 PM
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A green beret and not a royal green jacket? You were wrac then?
Just because I remembered that I have the photo - an eBay offering -
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  #22  
Old 22-05-20, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by cbuehler View Post
All,
I am very interested in what a particular regiment, or battalion thereof, may have had with regard to efficiency, smartness or any distinction (or lack of the former, crime, poor officers, etc.) in the old early 20th century army. In example, I have a vague recollection that a battalion of the Suffolk Regt. had a high reputation for marksmanship at some time.
Of course the entire army had standards, but surely a given battalion must have been reflective of the abilities of the commanding officer at times and there must have variations in efficiency and reputation in some cases. I recall some battalions may have had problems in India.
Also, what regiments were thought to be very fashionable and desirable to be in, or less so.
Any further info, anecdotes etc. would be very interesting please!

CB
There is an excellent, well researched and well written book on this subject, by David French (Oxford University Press). It’s expensive to buy but perhaps you can order one from one of the superb libraries in the USA.
I recommend this book to all who have an interest in this subject. There is a preview available here: https://books.google.co.uk/books/abo...on&redir_esc=y

“The regimental system has been the foundation of the British army for three hundred years. This iconoclastic study shows how it was refashioned in the late nineteenth century, and how it was subsequently and repeatedly reinvented to suit the changing roles that were forced upon the army.Based upon a combination of official papers, private papers and personal reminiscences, and upon research in the National Archives, regimental museums and collections, and other depositories, this book challenges the assumptions of both the exponents and detractors of the system. The author, David French, shows that there was not one, but several, regimental systems and he demonstrates that localised recruiting was usually a failure. Many regiments were never able to draw more than a smallproportion of their recruits from their own districts. He shows that regimental loyalties were not a primordial force; regimental authorities had to create them and in the late nineteenth century they manufactured new traditions with gusto, whilst in both World Wars regimental postings quickly brokedown and regiments had to take recruits from wherever they could find them. French also argues that the notion that the British army was bad at fighting big battles because the regimental system created a parochial military culture is facile.This is the first book to strip away the myths that have been deliberately manufactured to justify or to condemn the regimental system and to uncover the reality beneath them. It thus illuminates our understanding of the past while simultaneously throwing glaring new light on the still continuing debate over the place of the regimental system in the modern army today.“
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Last edited by Toby Purcell; 22-05-20 at 07:11 PM.
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  #23  
Old 22-05-20, 07:18 PM
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Thanks button.
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  #24  
Old 22-05-20, 11:38 PM
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I have learned to be wary of books such as this, as in all history, one cannot be sure of just what is the truth and what is not. So often half truths are the answer. The British regimental system was one of the more unique phenomena of military history and much just will not be known.
One of my favorite go to accounts are the two works by Frank Richards; Old Soldier Sahib and Old Soldiers Never Die.
Although limited in some aspects, they do provide what is likely an honest appraisal of the RWF at the time.
I am getting the impression that there was little real connection with the supposed regimental recruiting areas.

CB

PS, a couple of anecdotes I recall: Field Marshal Montgomery chose the Royal Warwickshire Regiment because he liked the cap badge. David Niven, when given the choice of his regiment, said any but the HLI. We know of course where he ended up!
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Last edited by cbuehler; 22-05-20 at 11:51 PM.
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  #25  
Old 23-05-20, 01:17 AM
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If you’re not paying for it there’s no need to be “wary” of reading a book. All I can say is that as someone who spent almost 40-years in the British Army it is well written and chimes with everything that I have experienced, and read and heard about from my brother, father and grandfather before me.
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  #26  
Old 23-05-20, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Toby Purcell View Post
If you’re not paying for it there’s no need to be “wary” of reading a book. All I can say is that as someone who spent almost 40-years in the British Army it is well written and chimes with everything that I have experienced, and read and heard about from my brother, father and grandfather before me.
Thanks for that. Your confirmation of the book will make it a must for me.
Cheers,

CB
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  #27  
Old 23-05-20, 01:22 PM
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One should remember that reputation and rivalry of any Unit devolved right down to Platoon level in my experience. Each Platoon thinking it was the best in the best Company of the best Battalion. In my Regiment, The Coldstream Guards the Battalions were known as 'Shiny First' and 'Taggy Two', having served in both during my time there was not much between them, indeed the cross transference of Officers and Other Ranks meant that both Battalions maintained the highest standards (IMHO).

I personally believe that the Regimental system is an essential part of The British Army and long may it be so. Generations of both Officers and Other Ranks have served in the same Regiment and this too adds an essential element to the reputation and efficiency of The Army as a whole.

Simon.
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  #28  
Old 23-05-20, 01:32 PM
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Thanks for that. Your confirmation of the book will make it a must for me.
Cheers,

CB
I hope that you can obtain it from a library. I only recommended it because of the precise inquiry that you made in your opening post. It covers the points that you asked about comprehensively.
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  #29  
Old 24-05-20, 12:57 AM
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The Regimental system is indeed the core of the British Army! This seemingly quixotic way ensured that a "professional" army never held sway over the British Nation, unlike that of other less fortunate ones.

CB
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  #30  
Old 24-05-20, 01:11 PM
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Everybody else is a "Fish and chip mob"....
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