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Kipling referes to a unit as "THe Holy Christians" as they'd been on home service so long - a dig at the Guards, I think.

Peter

Or possibly the Bedfordshire Regiment, which until the Relief of Chitral, had spent most of the 19th century in garrison. They did qualify for the Canada General Service Medal, "Fenian Raids 1866", but it wasn't authorized until the end of the century.

The 21st Lancers were another regiment in the same boat.

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Hello Gents,

Several years ago I published some studies about the fightings in South West-Flanders, October 1918.

The 1st Bn. Newfoundland Rgt. fought their last battle (and got a Caribou monument in Harelbeke)in WWI. During the search for info, someone told me their nickname ( i'm wondering if the last word will show tiny stars?) : the five bob ######s. I was told the Newfie's were paid five bob ( five shilling's??) a day , more than a British soldier. Is there anyone who know's the pay of a British soldier during WWI?

Was wondereing if someone could confirm this, or can throw a light on this.

With kind regards,

Jef

Don't know about that far back but I can confirm from bitter experience that the rate of pay for a junior in 1981 was ?7.25 per day!

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There was one regiment (Bedfordshire?) before the Great War were nicknamed the Peacemakers, from the lack of battle honours on their colours.

Queen's (West Surrey) Regt - Mutton Lancers (from the Paschal Lamb cap badge)

Army Service Corps - Ally Sloper's Cavalry, The Jam stealers or the Ascots (more an officer thing)

Royal Army Service Corps - Run Away, Someone's Coming

My late Father (RASC 1939-41, ACC 1941-45) referred to the Army Catering Corps as 'Knights of the Flaming Piss Pots' - from the 'steaming cauldron' on the badge

Army Catering Corps - Andy Capp's Commandos, Aldershot Concrete Company

Royal Army Ordnance Corps - Rag and Oil Company

And I believe that, although 'semi-officiallly' nicknames "Di's Guys", the PoWRR were more often known as "The Squidgies" (but I'm willing to be corrected).

Tom

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Just to throw another couple of nicknames (and try to re-activate this thread).

The Highland Light Infantry At different times:-

From their initials (and the number of Irishmen in their ranks?)

the Hairy Legged Irish

and, from the Elephant and Bugle on their badge

The Pig and Whistle Light Infantry

Tom.

Edited by walrus

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I was told the Newfie's were paid five bob ( five shilling's??) a day , more than a British soldier. Is there anyone who know's the pay of a British soldier during WWI?

Was wondereing if someone could confirm this, or can throw a light on this.

With kind regards,

Jef

Jef, as far as I know, the Brit PBI were on a shilling a day. Even today the infantry are paid less than other soldiers, or at least they were in the 1980s.

Rickshaws Cabs and Taxis - RCT

The Shiny 7th - 7th London Battalion

Ink slingers - RAPC

The London Thieving Corps - ASC

Blarney's Bloodhounds - RIF

Tony

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Hello Everyone,

My wife's uncle, who was killed just after the Normandy landing, belonged to the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders (SD&G). Their HQ is in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada.

Their nic name is Sand, Dirt and Gravel.

I've included a photo of his actual hat badge (I have added the tartan).

I've also included a set of post WW II badges (Queen's crown) with their battle honours listed in the framed display.

Cheers :cheers:

Brian

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Not quite the same thing, as this is a Royal Air Force story, but I think it is worth the telling as it contains quite unmistakable references to Army regimental nomenclature.

In 1941/42 the Royal Air Force was attempting to build up a credible heavy bomber force for conducting the nocturnal campaign against the 3rd Reich. One of the great white hopes so far as new aircraft types on order to undertake this campaign was the Avro Manchester, a large twin engined type powered by two very large 24 cylinder engines built by Rolls Royce and called the Vulture. Unhappily for all concerned, this engine was a bit of a shocker (typical WW2 story, revolutionary new engine, bigger and more powerful than anything else so far attempted for normal squadron use, rushed into production in a new aircraft, desparately reuqired for the growing campaign), and the reputation of this aircraft went from bad to worse. Although issued to some seven squadrons (49, 50, 61, 83, 97, 106, 207, with last named being the first to be issued with Manchesters), all of which suffered basically similar problems with this revolutionary new aircraft, one alone became known by a nickname that stuck. This was No.97 Squadron based at Coningsby, and perhaps this unit spent more time grounded because of technical issues than any other, to such an extent that it became referred to jokingly as the "97th Foot". It was re-equipped from January 1942 onwards with the Lancaster, basically a Manchester with a longer wing centre section and four Merlins in place of the two Vulture engines. Perhaps some board member can enlighten us why 97 Sqdn was so honoured as to be selected for such a name as this? Perhaps some wit in Headquarters of Bomber Command or the Group HQ who imagined it had an authentic Army ring to the number?

David D

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There was "Ferret Force" in Malaya c. 1948. It was a special counter-terrorist unit.

Does'nt "Ferrets" feature in "The Great Escape" or some book or other on WWII POW camps as the POWs nickname for the German troops who were used to search the camps?

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I believe that the 'Inns of Court Regiment', were raised as a Yeomanry regiment during the 1805 Invasion scare.

The story goes that the Militia, Fencibles and Yeomanry for London were paraded for King George III, who, while inspecting the Inns of Court Yeomanry were told that they were raised from Lawyers and legal clerks etc. his reaction was to suggest that they should be called "The Devil's Own".

Tom

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Does'nt "Ferrets" feature in "The Great Escape" or some book or other on WWII POW camps as the POWs nickname for the German troops who were used to search the camps?

Yes, "ferrets" was the general kriegie nickname for the Abwehr specialists who searched for tunnels.

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And as an exercise for the student: Which units bore the following nicknames?

British cavalry units: "The Emporer's Chambermaids", "The Cherrypickers", & "The Tinbellies"

Canadian infantry (militia) units: "The Hasty P's", "The Rileys", & "The Vandoos"

Peter

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Possibly

"The Emporor's Chambermaids" - The 14th King's Hussars, fron the capture of a carriage of Joseph Bonaparte (Napoleon's Brother) - including a silver chamberpot.

"The Cherrypickers" (aka "Cherry bums" or "Cherubim"*) - 11th (Prince Albert's Own) Hussars. from an action in a cherry orchard (the later names from the tight cherry red overalls introduced in the 1840s/50s)

"The Tinbellies"(also "Tacky Tins") - Life Guards, from the cuirass worn in full dress (last regt to wear such armour in action?).

For the Canadian regiments, the only one I recognise is "The Vandoos" 22nd (or more accurately 22eme) Regiment, from Vingt-deux (22) (I believe that the regiment was raised in Quebec, RHQ in Montreal).

Tom

*Victorian 'bowdlerised' nickname)

Edited by walrus

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Spot on, Walrus!

The "Hasty P's" are the "Hastings and Prince Edward (county) Regiment". A noted Canadian author Farley Mowat served with them in WWII, in Italy, as a 19 yr old intelligence officer - bright lad. He wrote of it in a book titled "And No Birds Sang" (biog.) as well as in "The Regiment", a more general work, and even describes his own breakdown and running away after days of sehlling and no sleep. Excelent account of a really nasty campaign for our boys.

The "Rileys" are the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, whose first battalion were decimated at Dieppe (70% killed, wounded or captured, I believe).

Peter

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Hi Barney,

I believe it was Kaiser Bill himself who is credited with this quotation.

Ludendorf did not yet hold a prominent General Staff position at the start of World War 1 sufficient to be deemed worth citing.

Regards,

Mike

#

Ah. Thats an easy one...............

In the summer of 1914 the French and German armies were mobilising upwards of three million Regular and Reservist troops each. The British Army sent the BEF - 100,000 strong.

They did not even feature in the French Order of Battle. When Ludendorf was told of the presence of a British Army in the field he dismissed it as a "Contemtible Little Army" He soon learnt otherwise.

Strangely enough, in the manner of the British Soldier through the centuries, the BEF rejoiced in the name and publicly revelled in the adversity and the name stuck.

Though there are a few British WW1 survivors still living, alas it is believed no Old Contemtibles................

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My dad was in the R.A.S.C. and in addition to the "Run Away Someones Coming" he would have said "Royal Army Skirt Chasers"

He also mentioned that the Corps motto aluded to the Blue Yellow and white colours of their flag "White to the mast, blue to the last and yellow to the core"

Steve R

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I know this is not a regiment but I still think that is interesting:

THE ORDER OR ST. MICHAEL AND ST. GEORGE.....

Commander - C.M.G. - CALL ME GOD

Knight Commander - K.C.M.G. - KINDLY CALL ME GOD

Knight Grand Cross - G.C.M.G. - GOD CALLS ME GOD

Mike

P.S. I also have heard the Military Police called Meat Heads because of the red of their caps......

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Pontius Pilate's Bodyguard (Royal Scots) - I understood this nickname came from the period in the early/mid-17th Century when they were hired out by Charles I to the French in their war against the Holy Roman Empire. At that time, they were known as Le Régiment de Douglas (after its Colonel, having previously been called Hepburn's Regiment after its founding Colonel, and in French service as Le Régiment de Hebron) and they had a great rivalry with the oldest French infantry regiment as to which regiment was more senior. According to the French version (which, as a Scot, I find highly spurious !), each side was telling increasingly taller tales than the other. The Jocks decided to top it once and for all by saying that their regiment was recruited from Caledonian Celts by the Romans and were guarding Christ’s tomb for Pontius Pilate when the rock rolled away and Jesus emerged, resurrected. The French responded by saying that if they had been guarding the tomb, no-one would have escaped !

Edited by Lachlan09

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Lachlan. Welcome to GMIC. An interesting anecdote - this original thread goes back to the start

of the Forum - but, information and stories such as these are always of value. We hope to hear

more from you. What are your collecting interests ? Mervyn

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Possibly

"The Emporor's Chambermaids" - The 14th King's Hussars, fron the capture of a carriage of Joseph Bonaparte (Napoleon's Brother) - including a silver chamberpot.

"The Cherrypickers" (aka "Cherry bums" or "Cherubim"*) - 11th (Prince Albert's Own) Hussars. from an action in a cherry orchard (the later names from the tight cherry red overalls introduced in the 1840s/50s)

"The Tinbellies"(also "Tacky Tins") - Life Guards, from the cuirass worn in full dress (last regt to wear such armour in action?).

For the Canadian regiments, the only one I recognise is "The Vandoos" 22nd (or more accurately 22eme) Regiment, from Vingt-deux (22) (I believe that the regiment was raised in Quebec, RHQ in Montreal).

Tom

*Victorian 'bowdlerised' nickname)

11th Hussars were nicknamed Cherry Pickers because during the Wellington campaign in the Penninsular War they were riding past a cherry orchard, dismounted to gain extra rations and were attacked and descimated by French cavalry (the British like to celebrate their less succesful moments).

Edited by Odulf

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