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Weixiang Liu

Shoulder Boards for the Aide-De-Camp to King George V

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Hi guys!

I just recently purchased a pair of heavy shoulder boards for an ADC to King George V and thought that this might be a great addition to the WWI topics!

Its quite a unique shoulder board as it only has the monograms of George V without any particular rank insignia, and the style of the gold cords greatly differ from standard military officers.

Was wondering if anyone has any idea if such a shoulder board was worn by normal military officers or reserved for ADC generals at that time as large gold shoulder cords were often reserved for the General officers.

Thanks!

Weixiang

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Weixiang

I'm not very expert on diplomatic and ADC badges, but I would have guessed that the crown on each board is in fact a major's rank badge, which would be appropriate for an ADC to the king - fairly senior in rank. These are obviously full dress epaulettes and not unlike what was worn by senior officers in full dress.

Boris, a member from Spain, has recently started drawing all the rank badges for the British Army in WWI, starting with Generals, so you should check out his site for examples of Staff and other high ranking officers to compare their shoulder boards to these. Here is the thread: http://gmic.co.uk/index.php/topic/60340-ranks/. I'm sure Boris will be happy to share any information he has.

Thank you for sharing them! Please keep us posted on anything you find out aboput them.

Peter

Edited by peter monahan

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Hello Weixiang

Thanks for your kind words.

Hello Peter.

Yes, I think I can help you with those shoulders boards. Just give me some time to get the exact information and possible examples. Peter anyway have show you the right way to understand.

ADC to the King Staff, royal cypher means, full dress, the King's Crown is the rank badge for Majors.

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Hi Boris

You're welcome! I've seen the updates you've made to your WW1 rank insignia PDF too!

But just to clarify one matter, does this mean that any officer who was an ADC to the King would wear these shoulder boards or are these reserved for the higher ranking officers such as the ADC Generals? Because I would have thought that the large shoulder boards are usually reserved for General officers and above in their full dress uniform.

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There is a difference between an ADC and an Equerry to the Sovereign. Usually both of these would have officers at about

this level - however, the senior Equerry to the Monarch is a General and is known as the Equerry General.

Remember, that Equerries are permanent appointments - Aides could be for any period - often for a particular occasion or,

visit. All officers who have served in this capacity have the right to wear the Sovereign's cypher - in miniature - beneath

the rank badge. This also applies to other senior members of the Family. You can therefore - have several cyphers

to one officer, covering different members of the Royal Family. Mervyn

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Hello Weixiang and Mervyn

I had reponse to Weixiang's first question in the other trhead:

http://gmic.co.uk/index.php/topic/60340-ranks/page-4

Taking advantage of this moment it would be good to go on with the work in this point. I mean Royal House Staff.

Edited by Boris

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I have enlarge the first draws with the attached regulations. From here we can pull out the differences between differents appoiments and ranks.

Edited by Boris

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We are now to see what is in general an Aide-de-Camp and a Equerry.

I have take this definitions from internet:

-

Equerry is an officer of honour. It is a personal attendant, usually upon a Sovereign, a member of a Royal Family, or a national representative. They are equivalent to Aides-de-Camp, but the term is now prevalent only in the Commonwealth of Nations.

British equerries are appointed only to senior members of the British Royal Family, and are drawn only from senior officers of the British Armed Forces.

An equerry “is essentially a military [appointment] which is invariably filled by a service or retired officer of the Armed Forces”

senior/permanent one known as the Deputy Master of the Household

and a junior one known as the Junior Equerry.

Also:

lso a "public official". An official is someone who holds an office (function or mandate, regardless whether it carries an actual working space with it) in an organization or government and participates in the exercise of authority (either his own or that of his superior and/or employer, public or legally private).

The only regulations I have met in "

King's Regulation and orders for the army-1912":

King's Regulation and orders for the army

3 . — A P P O I N T M E N T S O P E N T O R E T I R E D

O F F I C E R S A N D D I S C H A R G E D W A R R A N T

A N D N O N - C O M M I S S I O N E D O F F I C E R S .

H i s M a j e s t y ' s B o d y G u a r d , & c .

1 8 8 . Applications from officers to have their names placed on the Applica­

n t s of candidates for appointment after retirement, to His Majesty's tionsfor

Body Guard of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms, as Exons S"

in the King's Body Guard of the Yeomen of the Guard, or as Military

Knights of Windsor, should be addressed to the Secretary of the

War Office, to whom also recommendations of warrant officers or

sergeants for appointment, after discharge, as Yeomen of the Guard,

should be forwarded.

The conditions for appointment are contained in Appendix X X I .

A P P E N D I X X X I .

C O N D I T I O N S F O R A P P O I N T M E N T T O H I S M A J E S T Y ' S

B O D Y G U A R D , & c .

(Referred to in paragraph 188.)

(i)—His Majesty's Body Guard of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-

Arms.

1. A candidate for appointment must be—

(a) A retired combatant officer of the British Army, Indian Army

or Royal Marines.

(6) Not over 50 years of age.

© Not less than 5 feet 8 inches in height.

(d) In possession of at least one medal for field service.

2. Vacancies are filled by His Majesty, on the recommendation of

the captain of the corps, from a list of officers of long or meritorious

service, kept at the War Office.

(ii)—Exon in the King's Body Guard of the

Yeomen of the Guard.

1. A candidate for appointment must be—

(a) A retired combatant officer of the British Army, Indian Army,

or Royal Marines, who has held rank not below that of

captain.

(6) Not over 50 years of age.

© In possession of at least one medal for field service.

(d) Not less than 5 feet 10 inches in height.

2. Vacancies are filled by His Majesty, on the recommendation of

the captain of the King's Body Guard, from a list of officers of long and

good service, kept at the War Office.

(iii)—Military Knight of Windsor.

A candidate for appointment must be—

(a) Under 73 years of age.

(b) A member of the Church of England.

© A " gentleman brought to necessity," but whose income does

not amount to less than 50Z. per annum for himself, and

251. per annum for his wife, and 251. per annum for every

other individual dependent on him.

(iv)—Yeoman of the Guard.

1. A candidate for appointment must be—

(a) A discharged warrant officer or N.C.O. not under the rank

of serjeant.

(6) Of exemplary character.

© Under 50 years of age.

(d) Not less than 5 feet 10 inches in height (measured without

boots).

© In possession of at least one medal for field service.

2. The application should be accompanied by—

(a) Record of service (A.F. B 200).

(b) Copies of conduct sheets.

© A certificate, signed by an officer of the R.A.M.C., showing

the exact height (without boots) at the time of application.

(v)—Warder of the Tower.

Applications should be addressed to the Constable of the Tower of

London, with whom the nomination rests.

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I have been too taking a view to this page:

http://www.thepeerage.com/index_royal.htm

Not too deepely, cause we should need an statistics work to afirm any point but:

In my very modest opinnion, the aides-de-camp and equerries In the British Royal House at those times and except that King's regulation I have show and minor rules bornt from it.

This dersonal number and organization depend of the Monarch's necessities and choice in each moment or period.

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Hi Boris

You're welcome! I've seen the updates you've made to your WW1 rank insignia PDF too!

But just to clarify one matter, does this mean that any officer who was an ADC to the King would wear these shoulder boards or are these reserved for the higher ranking officers such as the ADC Generals? Because I would have thought that the large shoulder boards are usually reserved for General officers and above in their full dress uniform.

After that general view, i will try to answer:

There is several types of shoulder cords that you find in the regulations as plate examples or described in the text.

As you can see below, the Equerries, if General Officers may wear his rank uniform, then the shoulder cords of their rank. Other ranks and apoiments have their own shoulder cords.

It is in the Dress Amendments when you find those apointments. (I mean Equerries and ADC)

Here the shoulder cords for general officers:

And here the tunics of Sustantive Colonel with staff distinctions and ADC to the king:

And the regulations about this questions:

106. The horse furniture of the King's Equerries is the same in all respects as for His Majesty's Aides-de-

Camp. Equerries, if General Officers, may wear the uniform of their rank with a detachable aiguillette on the

right shoulder, and the Royal Cypher and Crown below the badges of rank. They will retain their own

shoulder cords. The aiguillette will be attached

EQUERRIES TO THE KING.

105. The uniform of the King's Equerries is the same as that described for His Majesty's Aides-de-Camp,

with the following exceptions:—

Full dress tunic.—On each side in front above the waist, four embroidered frog-drop loops, graduated

in length from the shoulders to a sufficient height above the waist to admit of the sash being

worn. Four embroidered loops and buttons on the sleeve instead of three. The full dress aiguillette is not detached from the shoulder cord. Miniature Royal Cyphers and Crowns are

worn on the tags.

Undress tunic.—Similar to the full dress tunic but fastened with the 5 buttons down the front instead

of hooks and eyes, and without the 4 embroidered frog drop loops on each side of the front.

An aiguillette similar to the full dress pattern, but of A-inch cord, is worn with the serge

frock. It will be detached from the shoulder straps.

106. The horse furniture of the King's Equerries is the same in all respects as for His Majesty's Aides-de-

Camp. Equerries, if General Officers, may wear the uniform of their rank with a detachable aiguillette on the

right shoulder, and the Royal Cypher and Crown below the badges of rank. They will retain their own

shoulder cords. The aiguillette will be attached

261. A Substantive Colonel holding one of the appointments mentioned in para 188, will wear the aiguillette

para. 120; gorget patches, para. 124; and forage cap, para 125.

188. Officers holding the following appointments will wear staff distinctions. These distinctions are the

aiguillette with tunic and frock coat, the gorget patch on the blue serge frock, the forage cap (para. 125), a

special shoulder strap on the drab service dress jacket, and the order of dress, "Review order—staff in blue":—

General Officer, and Staff Officer of the Headquarter Staff of the Army.

Major-General in charge of Administration.

Brigadier-General of the General Staff.

Brigadier-General in Charge of Administration.

Officers of the General Staff.

0 Officers shewn in the Army List as attached to the General Staff at Headquarters of Commands.

Staff Officer for Royal Horse and Field Artillery

Assistant Adjutant-General.

* Officers attached to the General Staff on active servioe in the field will not wear staff diitinotiona. Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster-General.

Assistant Quartermaster-General.

Deputy Assistant Adjutant-General.

Deputy Assistant Quartermaster-General.

Deputy Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster-General.

Brigade Major.

Staff Captain, except Staff Captain, Boyal Artillery, and Staff Captain, Boyal Garrison Artillery.

Assistant Military Secretary.

Aide-de-camp.

Military Attache.

Gorget Patches )

SUBSTANTIVE COLONELS NOT BELONGING TO A CORPS OR DEPARTMENT.

FULL DRESS.

226. Cocked Hat.—As described in para. 24 with loop of f-inch lace, and half ball netted button.

227. Plume.—White swan feathers, drooping outwards, 8 inches long, with red feathers under them,

long enough to reach the ends of the white ones; feathered stem 3 inches long.

228. Helmet.—Foreign service—White Wolseley with white pagri. A badge in gold embroidery, similar

to that for the forage cap is worn on the front of the helmet. Plume as for cocked hat.

229. Tunic.—Scarlet cloth, with blue cloth collar and cuffs. The collar laced round the top and bottom

with f-inch lace; the cuffs round, 8 inches deep, with two bars of f-inch lace round the top, showing -inch of

blue cloth between the bars. A scarlet flap on each sleeve, 6 inches long, and 24 inches wide at the points,

edged with f-inch lace, and a similar flap reaching to j-inch from the bottom of the skirt on each skirt behind,

the flaps j-inch wide at the top, 1$ inches at the centre point, and 2 inches at the bottom. A bar of f-inch

lace from the centre of the waist to the bottom of the skirt; eight buttons down the front; three on each flap,

the top buttons on the flaps behind being at the waist. The front, collar, cuffs, flaps and bar of lace on the

skirts edged with white cloth 17-inch wide. The tunic lined with white; round the waist inside a band of white

leather, 2 inches wide, fastened with two hooks and eyes. Twisted round gold shoulder cords, universal

pattern, lined with scarlet; a small button at the top.

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Try this link:

Equerry/ADC Full Dress - Sleeve & Tassel'' target='_blank'>Equerry/ADC Full Dress - Sleeve & Tassel>Equerry/ADC Full Dress - Sleeve & Tassel

http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/lot/a-pair-of-gold-shoulder-cords-of-an-4077219-details.aspx?intObjectID=4077219

Here

The Army Ordnance Department, Colonel (Staff).1904
The 60th Rifles, Officer. 1904 .
Aide-de -Camp to the King. 1904.

(Major R.M.Barnes) Edited by Boris

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Nothing at all, Weixiang Liu.

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I have found by chance some news about this theme:

First, the Count of Allenby with uniform of sustantive colonel of the Regiment of Horse LIfe Guards:

http://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portraitLarge/mw177876/Edmund-Henry-Hynman-Allenby-1st-Viscount-Allenby

And one detail that sound to me extrange when I was looking for Field Marshal rank of badges details:

I am going to put two marshall shoulder badges. Then, my question is: Do you see something extrange?

I made this question intereactive for evident reasons:

A Portrait of Allenby showing his rank shoulder in undress uniform.

http://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portraitLarge/mw65705/Edmund-Henry-Hynman-Allenby-1st-Viscount-Allenby?LinkID=mp00085&search=sas&sText=allenby&role=sit&rNo=16

Douglas Haig Rank Shoulder badges:

http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/30097353

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The matter is that in Allenby shoulder strap is just the field marshal rank badge.

Ad in Haig's shoulder straps there is too an extra crown. I thought in a beginning that it doesn't mean anything in special. But Haig was ACD to the KIng in 1914. Then the crown means that.

I have not see this detail in regulations... but can't be a caprice, but regulations forbid all fashion or extra badges, even in field marshal.

That was all

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Yea it does seem interesting that Haig's insignia had an extra crown to it. I managed to find another field marshal of that time, Sir Henry Wilson, whom only had the field marshal badge without the crown too. Still not too sure what this extra crown would mean

http://www.nickelinthemachine.com/2008/10/knightsbridge-michael-collins-and-the-murder-of-field-marshall-sir-henry-wilson/

I've also finally managed to find someone wearing the ADC shoulder boards which I've shown above. The person wearing it was Field Marshal Herbert Plummer, though at the time of the picture he was of a Brigadier General rank.

http://www.lighthorse.org.au/famous-battles/famous-battles-boer-war/famous-battles-onverwatch/

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Hello Weixiang Liu

I attach a new sketch with the problem in the regulations.

Sir Henry Wilson was not ADC to the king, then he had not to wear any extra badge. Anyway link and photo are very interesting.

About the Brigadier General, as you can see in the plate there is two imagined hole in regulations.

I think, Bridadier General have to wear the ADC uniform, then have not an special badge for his own one.

We are taling now of WW1 and badges during current appoiment.

I will come back with more information widen the problem to wwII. It is supposed regulationsw had not changed in that point.

Regards and thanks for the links.

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Really that I have not find any regulations about the "crown of field marshal Haig". Then I can't say why is there for sure.

The rank of Brigadier General and the appointment of ADC to the King or ADC general to the King is not clear too in regulations, by now as less, maybe a better reading brings new points of view. I go on with this theme, in the meanwhile i am practising to draw the cords tha is not any easy. :D

I have not meet any badge for WW1 field marshal related to ADC general to the king.

But in the WII there is as less two examples, (attached).

I have find some regulations about retired officers.

Regards

Boris

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