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peter monahan

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Posts posted by peter monahan

  1. It was about status, for sure.  Officers wore different uniforms, with different accessories, for centuries.  Swords and sashes rather than belts and bayonets.  Cocked hats instead of shakos. [Until that made them to easy to snipe.]  Then when uniforms became similar - but not the same! - the older markers became that sacred cow of militaries everywhere, 'a tradition'. And new ones were added - ties for WOs and Officers, but not for ORs. 

    in the Great War, officers were instructed never to be seen carrying parcels, but to have all private purchases from shops delivered.  Working men carried things, gentlemen swung canes. I think one of the greatest changes brought about by WWI was the necessity of commissioning rankers.  'Not our sort', but bloody useful by 1917-18. :)

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


  2. 5 hours ago, 1812 Overture said:

    I wanted to speak a language that was forbidden on the forum, but I refused (to tell him) the last eunuch in China. The Qing Dynasty ended its rule the day after he was operated on. This is a sad story. I was laughing

    Wow.  Not the kind of 'last' anyone would personally want to claim. :(


  3. On 14/10/2020 at 22:08, Bayern said:

    Peter,  They were Chassepots ?... I think in Chassepots because they were the last rifles that they employed,  Probably by 1866 they were armed with Lorenz rifles .

    I'm pretty sure they were NOT Chassepot because I wouldn't have recognized that rifle in those days - I was 22, so this was 43 years ago.  My strong recollection is that they were Sniders, repurposed to fire 12 guage shotgun shells.  So, the slings with the markings may have been added later or the letters have stood for something else, though I can't think what.' 

    Sorry, that;s not much help. :(


  4. On 10/10/2020 at 10:19, CN Naval Historian said:

    I doubt Admiral Chen was popular with the ladies, as he was a eunuch.

    Interesting indeed.  At that relatively late date in China's history, eunuch's were still being 'produced'? 

  5. What a great thread! 

    I was once lucky enough, on a film shoot, to work with a dozen old rifles whose slings were marked 'ZP', which we assumed meant 'Zoauves Papal'.  They were the property of the Canadian Broadcasting Corproation, which has a huge presence in Quebec, where a number of the Zoauves were recruited, so I've always assumed some brought their weappons hiome with them.  Who knows?  But, yes, a fascinating group of men for many reasons.

    Thanks for sharing, gents. :)


  6. 16 hours ago, dond said:

    Are you saying you cannot be gay and happy?  I'm sure Chris would beg to differ.....😇

    Nope.  I'm sure Chris is both.  I was simply remarking on how word meanings change. 

    'Slut' originally menat a woman who had a dirty household.  Nothing to do with sexual behaviour. 

    And a 'cad' - an everyday word in 2020 - was a British trolley conductor.  But they were notorious for their bad language, so the meaning morphed into 'not a very nice chap'. :)

    Shall I stop now and show myself out?

  7. I'll wade in here!  [Lots of opinions, a few of them informed. :)]

    The term 'hate belt' is, I firmly believe, the invention of militria dealers and collectors.  Before the Great War, regiments of the British Army served literally all over the world and it was not uncommon, for example, to find 3, 4 or even 5 British units sharing 'the lines' in a large Indian cantonment.  This occasionally led to inter-regimental riots on a beery night, but also to collecting badges or buttons of units with whom one had been stationed.  These were displayed on a belt, strictly unoffical, which one might wear in 'walking out' kit.  If one could get it past an inspecting sergeant!

    I am equally convinced that the Great War 'hate belts' were simply a development of this: Allied troops collected buttons and badges from nearby [friendly] units, bought them from German POWs for a cigarette or two and, occasionally, took them from the uniforms of men they had killed.  Most of the belts contain a mixture of British/Allied insignia AND German samples, which I would argue supports my thesis.  Surely a real 'hate' belt would have only the insignia of fallen foes?  

    I am quite interested in the Great War and see these belts advertised but have yet to find an example with any real provenance, even something as simple as 'Gran'fer says he took these buttons from dead Huns.'  Because they are unoffical, they don't figure in the histories and no one I know has come up with any references in letters or diaries. There are examples from WWII, and at least one from WWI, of blankets with cloth insignia sewn to them.  The Great war example was put together by a Nursing Sister and has, I think, two German patches.  All represent the units of men she nursed.

    My tuppence worht and more! ;)


  8. Under the British system of organization in WW!, infantry companies were typically numbered and cavalry troops lettered, though most regiments had four troops - A,B,C,D - I think. 

    The Auckland Mounted rifles was apaprently a composite unit, with three squadrons, numbered 3, 4 & 11.  There is more in formation here, if you can puzzle it out, including some links to unit histories at the bottom of the page.  https://nzhistory.govt.nz/war/auckland-mounted-rifles

      Good luck!


  9. DPast

    My only contribution, I'm afraid, is to observe that many of the Auxilliary Force India units were made up of very well off Britons 'domiciled in India': The Surma Valley Light Horse, for example, was made up of tea planters.  In consequence, some of them had all their insignia made in the UK, not infrequently in sterling, and were very fond of social gatherings disguised as military training: shooting competitions, 'field days' and gymnkhanas. 

    Based on that, I'd guess that the medal marked 'Cawnpore 1907', if that is what it says, is an example of a privately purchased award given out by an A.F.I. unit.  The likeliest suspects would be Cawnpore Light Horse or the Cawnpore Volunteer Rifles, as host units to an event held there.  I'm afraid, however, that I don't have any more information on these units which would allow you to track down this piece. :(

    Good luck with the hunt!


    A possible lead.  But you would need to contact the BISI and order this back issue. 

    "William Garnett, the Volunteering Major" by Michael Garnett FIBIS Journal Number 26 Autumn 2011, pages 26-30. For details of how to access this article, see FIBIS Journals

    He played a major role in the establishment of the Cawnpore Light Horse and on retirement to England in 1919 held the rank of Company Sergeant Major. This article contains much information about the Cawnpore Light Horse and about Volunteer Regiments generally.


  10. On 07/09/2020 at 21:18, Bayern said:

    Peter , do you know these Artillerymen method used to fire . one shot short the other long ,then you divided the diference between and the third shot must fall certere . Well ,we need the one who made bullseye

    The field is Spain and there options are Fabrica de Armas de Toledo or Fabrica de Trubia .

    Spot on, Bayern.  'Ranging in', we call it.  

    Too early, too late, riught date!  

    Be safe.


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