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  #1  
Old 20-03-15, 11:32 AM
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Default 20th Hussars Regimental Police.

20th Hussars Regimental Police taken in England around the time of the Great War. The R.P. brassards are clearly visible on the left cuffs of three of the men. Two of the men are wearing cloth shoulder titles.
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File Type: jpg Hussaars 001.jpg (71.3 KB, 58 views)
File Type: jpg Hussaars 002.jpg (73.7 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg Hussaars 007.jpg (61.8 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg Hussaars 004.jpg (53.0 KB, 45 views)
File Type: jpg Hussaars 006.jpg (57.0 KB, 42 views)
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  #2  
Old 20-03-15, 04:36 PM
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A nice unusual photo. The presence of the embroidered titles allows a fairly narrow date range to be given to the picture.

Embroidered titles in blue on yellow were authorised for the 20th Hussars on 1st October 1901. All these early embroidered titles, worn by all arms, were declared obsolete between November 1907 and May 1908 and replaced by gilding metal titles. So allowing for some laxity in removing them this photo was probably taken no later than 1909.

Information from the Army Clothing Factory records at the National Archives, Kew, classes WO359/12 and 13.

Jon
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Old 20-03-15, 06:10 PM
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Jon,

thank you for your informative reply. Is there anyway of knowing who were in the regimental police of any given regiment from service records? I am guessing that Regimental Policeman was an appointment rather than a rank. Would they be likely to have served in the Military Police at a later date?

Simon

Last edited by High Wood; 20-03-15 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 20-03-15, 08:43 PM
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The epaulettes are not WW1 but the early braided type which supports the pre 1909 date.

They would be cavalry men on appointment as RP and very unlikely to transfer to CMP.
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Old 21-03-15, 05:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by High Wood View Post
Jon,

thank you for your informative reply. Is there anyway of knowing who were in the regimental police of any given regiment from service records? I am guessing that Regimental Policeman was an appointment rather than a rank. Would they be likely to have served in the Military Police at a later date?

Simon
Regimental police were simply that, regimental, and had no connection with the MPs although of course individuals may have transferred to the MPs.
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Old 21-03-15, 08:57 AM
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So, if I understand correctly, if I looked through the muster rolls for the 20th Hussars between 1901-1907 none of the entries would have Regimental Police marked against an individual's name and there is no hope of identifying the individuals in this photograph.
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Old 21-03-15, 10:18 AM
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So, if I understand correctly, if I looked through the muster rolls for the 20th Hussars between 1901-1907 none of the entries would have Regimental Police marked against an individual's name and there is no hope of identifying the individuals in this photograph.
They could be marked as RPs in the muster rolls in the same way any other specialist would.
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Old 21-03-15, 03:41 PM
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They could be marked as RPs in the muster rolls in the same way any other specialist would.
It's doubtful though. From my own experience I don't know of any way you can tell who was RP unless you have a picture of them wearing the brassard.
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Old 21-03-15, 06:15 PM
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I have a similar un-named picture of the Regimental Police of the 8th (Service) Btn Devonshire Regiment and have no idea who any of them were. A great shame as the battalion was decimated at Fricourt on 1st July 1916.
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Old 23-03-15, 12:03 AM
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So, if I understand correctly, if I looked through the muster rolls for the 20th Hussars between 1901-1907 none of the entries would have Regimental Police marked against an individual's name and there is no hope of identifying the individuals in this photograph.
These appointments (RPs) were regularly changed to prevent the soldiers from getting above themselves. Even the Provost Sergeant (shown in full dress) would not usually do more than a year other than in exceptional circumstances. A similar appointment that changed regularly was the Officers' Mess sergeant. In most regiments it was usually a requirement for RPs to have at least 2 good conduct badges. Great photo by the way.
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Old 23-03-15, 12:53 PM
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These appointments (RPs) were regularly changed to prevent the soldiers from getting above themselves. Even the Provost Sergeant (shown in full dress) would not usually do more than a year other than in exceptional circumstances. A similar appointment that changed regularly was the Officers' Mess sergeant. In most regiments it was usually a requirement for RPs to have at least 2 good conduct badges. Great photo by the way.
Without disrespect I would like to take issue with you over my highlighted wording. It would be my opinion that RP appointments were and are a test bed for young troopers who are being investigated to see if they're suitable as permanent NCO's. To see how they handle authority. Even back then there was a style of man management which is still in use today because of its effectiveness.
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Old 23-03-15, 03:44 PM
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Without disrespect I would like to take issue with you over my highlighted wording. It would be my opinion that RP appointments were and are a test bed for young troopers who are being investigated to see if they're suitable as permanent NCO's. To see how they handle authority. Even back then there was a style of man management which is still in use today because of its effectiveness.
I understand your point, but all I can say is that it was my experience at lengthy regimental duty and later when on the staff when visiting a unit that steady, older soldiers were used, not least because of the experience needed on garrison night patrol at turfing out time. There was the occasional youngster, but usually as a compassionate dispensation because of some personal problem that needed a period of stability. Turning to the Victorian period, at least good conduct badge was generally required and my extensive reading of biographies led to me making the statement that I have. Others may have their own views, but those are mine and the rationale behind them. I also have numerous photos that bear this out. Interestingly, as a general point most TF and Service battalions seem to have tried to follow a similar policy where possible.

Last edited by Toby Purcell; 23-03-15 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 23-03-15, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Toby Purcell View Post
I understand your point, but all I can say is that it was my experience at lengthy regimental duty and later when on the staff when visiting a unit that steady, older soldiers were used, not least because of the experience needed on garrison patrol at turfing out time. There was the occasional youngster, but usually as a compassionate dispensation because of some personal problem that needed a period of stability. Turning to the Victorian period, at least good conduct badge was generally required and my extensive reading of biographies led to me making the statement that I have. Others may have their own views, but those are mine and the rationale behind them.
I can see the rationale and experience behind your opinion. Mine differs somewhat because of conflicting experience. In our mob you'd find a lot of young RP's and not necessarily roughie toughie guys either. I can well understand different outfits having different policies, indeed I saw this for myself when visiting infantry or artillery units.

I put it to you and other readers that it's one of those sets of circumstances where there is no cut and dried ready answer and the reality is based upon the policies of whatever the contemporary Colonel, Adjutant and RSM had decided it would be during their tenure. Would you agree?

It was probably very different in Victorian times. Harsher conditions, heavier alcohol consumption and a high proportion of Irishmen (up to 60% at various times) would have made barrack discipline a much harder regime to impose.
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Old 23-03-15, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Hussar100 View Post
I can see the rationale and experience behind your opinion. Mine differs somewhat because of conflicting experience. In our mob you'd find a lot of young RP's and not necessarily roughie toughie guys either. I can well understand different outfits having different policies, indeed I saw this for myself when visiting infantry or artillery units.

I put it to you and other readers that it's one of those sets of circumstances where there is no cut and dried ready answer and the reality is based upon the policies of whatever the contemporary Colonel, Adjutant and RSM had decided it would be during their tenure. Would you agree?

It was probably very different in Victorian times. Harsher conditions, heavier alcohol consumption and a high proportion of Irishmen (up to 60% at various times) would have made barrack discipline a much harder regime to impose.
I agree there is no cut and dried answer. There never is. That said, my response was based on an amalgam of modern regular army practice combined with a lifelong study of the Victorian and WW1 army. I shall post some photographic evidence of the latter later on.
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Old 23-03-15, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Toby Purcell View Post
I agree there is no cut and dried answer. There never is. That said, my response was based on an amalgam of modern regular army practice combined with a lifelong study of the Victorian and WW1 army. I shall post some photographic evidence of the latter later on.
My own experience is from the modern army too however, albeit not post Options for Change. But as a cavalryman I am very cognisant of the fact that we did things differently; sometimes in a way which would have seemed unusual to those from the General Service Corps.

As for the Victorian age: I haven't made a particular study of RP in that era but as you can see from one of my answers above I'm not entirely ignorant of military practice both pre and post Cardwell. so I don't think I'm absolutely wide of the mark in my opinions. It's always nice to learn something new though so if you've got anything to share I'd love to see it. I always find I can never learn enough from others.
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