Jump to content

peter monahan

  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by peter monahan

  1. It used to said that the owners of the Swastika Laundry intended to sue the NSDAP and the Hitler government for copyright-related reasons but were headed off by the de Valera government. Probably an urban myth but I have always wanted it to be true!



    On a fairly regular basis over here in Canada, usually after someone has defaced a synagogue, some earnest person writes to the newspapers to point out that the swastika is "an ancient [Hindu / Native / Aryan / Vedic} symbol", not the property of the Third Reich and NSDAP, and should really by rehabilitated and returned to its former glory. I do love optimists!


  2. On a similar note of inquiry as Djedi's: I have a lovely Turkish kinjul, recently received as a gift, with a gold inscription on the blade. Does any of you gentlmen read Persian script or know where I might get it translated? I can send an image but probably not to this forum - still wrestling with the size restriction thing.

    Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated!

    Lovely, lovely decorations, BTW. I drool in your collective direction! :P


  3. Hello everyone:

    I too saw this photograph on Ebay. I recently read a few very interesting articles posted on the internet regarding American black men who had escaped slavery during the Revolutionary War and were recruited by Kurhessen regiments as drummers. Apparently it was a status symbol for a regiment to have a black drummer as their skills were highly prized. According to the article, Prussian regiments of the time also followed this tradition. It is interesting to see that this tradition stayed around for awhile.



    As mentioned on the other thread (by me :blush: ) the British began, about 1780 or so, to use "Turkish music" in their regimental bands: big drums and "Jingling Johnies". The band was a privately paid for regimental showpiece, not the fifes and drums the King provided.

    Anyway, one status symbol was to have a black in harem pants and turban to play the cool new instruments, Turks being few on the ground in 19th century Europe. The blacks in the Br service were sometimes slaves but usually freemen, hired as musicians (ie: civilian employees of the reg't).

    The custom seems to have died out in the mid 1800's but it's interesting that it persisted in Germany. Closer to home, I recall my surprise the first time I saw two kilted Chinese members of the 48th Highlanders of Canada, a local militia regiment. Strange old world. :P


  4. I suppose the fun starts at the first dress inspection parade, and the Razzman whats to know why your not wearing your `gong`......"GET HIMMMM AWAY!!!!!!", as my old RSM used to shout!!!!

    Can't quote chapter and verse, but there was one court martial of a recently discharged private soldier (Irish) for selling his gongs, in the mid 1860's I think. I recall being surprised because he can't have been the only one by a long shot!

    The circumstantial detail, if memory serves, was that a serving sergeant bought them to sew on his second best tunic (no medal bars back then and few suspenders), someone noticed that Sergeant Smith was wearing Private O'Hooligan's group and, presumably decided to make an example of the ex-private: "This sort of offence is becoming entirely too common." Poor sod got hammered.

    Plus ca change!

  5. It also makes me wonder who these people are who are selling them, surely they must be reservists/TA or soldiers who left the army short after the campaign, given the fact that if your still serving then you`ll still need it? There was an article in Soldier Mag this month, commenting on this issue, I`d very much like to hear the views of soldiers/collectors on this subject!!! :speechless1:


    I remember (many many years ago) being in a store in Canada when a chap came in with two Falklands War medals. This was within 3-6 months of the end of the campaign, but each had a slip of paper stating that they'd been bought in Liverpool the week the Queen Mary docked there on her return from the South Atlantic. Both were named to Royal Marines.

    I can't attest, obviously, to the truth of the stories but I do recall reading that within a very short time of the initial issue all replacements were being so marked before issue due to the distressingly high rate of "lost" medals among serving troops. I also recall that the prices were in the hundreds of dollars/pounds so even regulars may have succumbed to the temptation to earn some easy money!


  6. Temporary promotions happened in WW1 as well.

    Captain in 1917, and by the end of the war a Colonel. In 1920 reverted back to Captain, a month later (or less) promotion to Major and promoted to Lieutenant Colonel 15 or so years later. Ii happened to Patton, Eisenhower, Bradley and others.

    Knew a Marine Gunner once, a "mustang" promoted from the ranks who got "downsized" right out of his commission and served another ten years as a senior NCO. He says he used to regularly get saluted first by Lts and Captains who'd been commissioned and served with/under him when he was a Major. :P Go figure!


  7. Mind you, it's a lovely tin though Ralph.


    Ralph, it is a beautiful example of the type too. Lovely condition! Our Canadian War Museum has one with chocalate and cigarettes inside but I don't think it's quite so shiny as yours. They also have a scarf (or "muffler" if you prefer) allegedle knitted by Her Majesty with her own little knitting sticks and sent out to some poor trooper stuck on the veldt for Christmas. :( I believe there were said to be 50 such, so she must have been very busy. Or at least her ladis in waiting must.


  8. Looks fine to me. Could have easily been awarded an ISM early in ERII reign. I am suprised there is no further Home service in WW2 (Defence Medal) , but he may have been unfit for service through his previous War service (or too old) and been a postman etc which accounts for the ISM.


    I'd agree: loks ok, though the mounting bar is maybe a late addition. It would be an odd one to fake anyway - nice, unusual but not a real "gotta have it grabber" and the three forenames would be a lot of work to match/fake.

    My tuppence worth.


  9. [

    If you can substatiate that the 95th were not there I would appreciate it. I am under the impression that, thats the way the story line went in the series, but that in real life they were not at the seige? Is this correct?

  10. ]


    try Googling "Younghusband" - they were an Anglo-Indian family who served with the Guides for generations. (The founder of the unit was a Younghusband). MM Kaye, the English romance novelist was married to the last Younghusband to serve with the unit I believe. Anyway, that might get you some photos.

    I have a privately published hisotry to the Corps, printed in India in 1885 and covering the period from their raising to 1880. Quite interesting, as much of it is a transcription of the Adjutants' records, full of the "small change of soldiering" as someone put it: patrol here, column there, promotions and leaves, etc.


  11. Grant,

    Thanks for adding to this post and clearing up as to why QLR wear the capbadge backing. The only bit you got wrong was the hackle of the Lancashire Fusiliers which was infact "primrose yellow", which they wore until amalgamated with the other English Fusilier Regiments in 1968 and then the old Royal Northumberland Fusiliers hackle of red & white was adopted by all battalions

    And presumably the Lancs had primrose regimental colours as well as facings, so adopting the "yellow" backing would commemorate the colours upon which some of that incredible number of battle honours would be embroidered. Very clever of the colonel in question!

    A couple of points to agree with Grant on the "cowardice" issue. Lets' think this through:

    Forcing a unit to wear a cowardice badge would do what for their recruiting prospects?

    How long would it be before the unit did something (suicidally) brave enough to rehain their unit honour and have the sign removed?

    If such a thing were prescribed, especially in a removable form like a lanyard, how often would it be lost or forgotten, with the active connivance or the NCOs and officers, as opposed to worn to proclaim their shame? "Oh, the lanyard? We wear that in No. 77 Dress, our second Sunday of every leap year uniform." :rolleyes:

    To quote Freud, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar" and sometimes white and yellow are just colours. And lanyards do have a use - use one on my own jackknife when I'm camping 100 miles from the cutlery store. :P

    My tuppence worth!


  12. [

    quote name='Tony' date='Nov 1 2005, 13:55 ' post='28508']

    When going through one of my books a while back I realised some of the words/expressions still used in the British army stem from the pre 1914 and 14-18 soldier?s corruption of Hindustani, Arabic etc. words.

    Is anyone here a member of the Aussie or Kiwi forces, or Canadian even? If so, are these words in use with your armed forces? I don?t doubt the Anzacs and Canadians used them during WWI.

    Add these;

    "Blighty" for England (from "Belait" in Hindi) In WWI a "blighty one" was a wound that sent you home for good, ideally a tow gone or something similarly slight but incapacitating

    "Have a decco" (look round) from the Hindi for "Look / watch for

    "Khaki" of course is from the Persian word for "dust" - colour first used during the Indian Mutiny by the Indian Armies Corps of Guides

    I think of some more anon.


  13. Who and when first introduced the idea of Army police/Provost ? :cheers:

    If you want to get really historical, you can go back to the medieval English campaigns in France. I'm working from an increasingly shaky memory here, no notes, so bear with me.

    Anyway, as early as Agincourt there were "squires" whose duty it was to prevent quarrels - "affrays" in camp and punish people who "cried havoc" without just cause (ie: raised a false alarm). There are copies of the orders for the armies, which cover looting, making affray and other offences against the king's peace.

    The squires had real power and could execute offenders on the king's say so without any particular form of trial. They were the ones who executed/murdered the French prisoners at Agincourt when it looked as if the French might get into the english camp and free them.

    Some deep background. For what it's worth!

  14. Hi,

    nice, that must a a collecting theme in itself, mason badges with a military theme...

    I'm involve in reenacting the War of 1812 here in Canada (a small sideshow of the Napoleonic wars) and one of our regiments is the 8th (Kings) regiment. Most of the officers and some of the men wear Masonic badges with an "8" and a square. I've always assumed that the 8th had a travelling lodge over here, but will ask next time I see one of them.

    Rudyard Kipling has at least three short stories on this theme too - military lodges - as well as the famous "The man Who Would Be King", in which two british soldiers of fortune become "Kings of Kaffiristan" because they wear Masonic badges which match the symbols left behind in deepest darkest Afghanistan by Alexander the Great! great story and not a bad movie either. :P


  15. Now that I know that's him, I wonder where his stuff went....



    Beaverbrook die in England but his ashes are in Fredrickton, New Brunswick, Canada, in the base of a statue to him. (He was a local paperboy made good!) There is also a Beaverbrook Gallery there with a very good collection of art he acquired and later donated but also, apparently some stuff in England, where his (bankrupt) grandson is trying to re-coup the family fortunes. Try looking for "The Beaverbrook Foundation", which administers his estate and many charities, and see what info they have.


  16. 1257 Farrier-Major William Vaz, 31st Lancers

    An interesting partial group that raises many questions.

    1- British War Medal - named "1257 FAR-MAJ. W. VAZ, 31 LRS.""

    2- Indian Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, Edward VII - named "1257 Sowar William Vaz, 31st D. of C.O. Lcrs"

    Interesting is right! The disparity in ranks, for one, and the name for another. "wiliam vaz" in a Bombay Cavalry regiment? Anglo-Indian? Indian Christian? Rather odd any way one slices it! It would be fascinating to know what his other medals were too. Is it possible to research Other ranks yet for Indian stuff? It wasn't when I collected them, which of course is why I could afford Indian groups.

    Keep the lovely stuff coming! :jumping:


  17. To add mine, incredibly rare to the Indian Army. This is the only one I've seen in 30+ years. Few Indians served in West Africa, thougfh many in East and Central Africa. Named "3297 SEPOY HAZARA SINGH. 15TH SIKHS".


    Were the 15th Sikhs there, or was your man attached to another unit or to a British officer ? One hads heard, for example, of two 5 or 6 bar QSA's to Indians: both were orderlies for "Bobs Bahadur" (General Roberts).

  18. Fewer than 100 silver medals were issued and they are exceptionally rare and command a very high price.


    Probably a book in this for someone! The various expeditions were right out of P.C. Wren and Hollywood. The early ones involved boat trips up the Niger and Benue to suppress various slavers and "juju cults" (read human sacrifice still, unfortunately, practiced occasionally there). Launches full of Hausa levies, manned by sturdy Jack Tars, navigating narrow waterways through dense jungle under threat of poisoned arrow attack. Destination: really horrible "temple" sites.

    Later, in the north, attacks on mud-walled forts and swarms of sword weilding native cavalry facing British squares and Gatling guns. British always outnumbered 10-20 to 1 and surviving by dint of superior firepower and discipline. A microcosm of the imperial story. And BTW, mud walls are not to be sneezed at. In 1980 the Kano Jail had mud walls: 30 feet high, eight feet thick and as hard as concrete. Not something I'd want to take under fire! :(

    The Lagos Hausa Force were northerners recruited on the coast, so effectively mercenaries, like the Trans-Frontier Pathans in the Frontier Force regiments of the old Indian Army. And good fighters! The Nigerians sent 2 divisions to Burma in WWII where they had a reputation for fierceness second to none.

    My tuppence worth! (I'm rambling here because the medal brings backs memories of 2 years in northern Nigeria back when I was young and adventurous).


  19. I recently have seen a patch in a grouping that has CANADA over a flying eagle which is over USA. Is this a rare patch similar to the Eagle Squadron patch?? I dont have pictures.


    The only help I can give is to tell you that there were, pre-Pearl Harbour, a lot of Yanks in the RCAF. In fact, one base had it's sugn changed toe read "Royal California Air Force. But I've never heard that they wore anything but standard RCAF patches. Sounds very very strange. A fantasy piece, maybe?


  • Create New...