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Regimental Names

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I was wondering how certain Regiments got there nicknames offical or unofficial.
I believe the Old Middlesex Regiment gained there nickname from a battle in The Pennisula when there ranks were being decimated by the French and The Colonel called out to his men to " Diehard " resulting in the " Diehards"

I'm also sure that you Ex servicemen have names for Regiments you weren't too friendly with! :D

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest John Sukey

Somebody refresh my memory
Pontius Pilates bodyguards
The Cherry Bums
The Poison Dwarves.

No problem with the guards, "Wooden tops", or" educated feet"

101 airborne "Screaming Eagles"

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  • 5 weeks later...

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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An interesting question came up in a pub yesterday whilst a group of us like minded folk were discussing the latest disgraceful round of swingeing Defence cuts by this 'government'. Four excellent front line Battalions and now they are proposing messing with the Brigade of Guards? Glad I have a place in France to run to.....................vive la Legion!

Back to the question. In a past round of amalgamations some years ago when our Cavalry Regiments were chopped up piecemeal it was common for two units to be joined under one title, numerically i.e 17th/21st Lancers.

As you probably know the numbers reflected the Regiments position in the Army list, the older the Regiment the more senior it was and therefore the smaller the number the more senior the Regiment. Very important in mess circles that.

Why then was the 16th/5th Lancers so called? The 5th was consderably older than the 16th.

PS This is a genuine question. I do not know. Answers on a postcard please.........

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The 5th (Royal Irish) Regiment of Dragoons was originally disbanded in April 1799.

They were reformed in Feb 1858 but lost their precedence and were then ranked after 17th Lancers. Hence 16th/5th when they amalgamated in April 1922. wink.gif

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Atilla Jones

And what about the 'unofficial' nicknames, e.g. RASC - Run Away Someones Coming, REME - Rough Engineering Made Easy, etc. Know anymore ? :food-smiley-004:

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Guest John Sukey

Royal Indian Army Service Corps R.I.A.S.C
Really I am so common

Norfolk Regiment
The Holy Boys ( Not because of their piety, but because once, when they were about to leave for duty overseas, each soldier was given a bible, every one of which was sold for beer.)

Highland Light Infantry
Glesca Keelies (which is a term for someone who regards a brawl in a public house a social evening)

65th foot(Ist York and Lancaster
The "Hickety Pips" (which was the way the maori's pronounced their name)

the 58th Foot
The steelbacks (because they could take a flogging without crying)

Last of all, the LDV, Local Defence Volunteers, before it became the Home Guard
Look, Duck, and Vanish! biggrin.gif

Edited by John Sukey
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  • 5 months later...
Guest Colin

POntius Pilates Bodyguard refers to the Royal Scots(The Royal Regiment) who are the 1st Foot and therefore the senior line regiment.

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Guest Colin

Further to my last, I believe I read somewhere that No. 1 Squadron RAF is(or was) known as Pontius Pilate's Bodyguard, or similar, but I can't remember where or when I saw it.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Here's afew canadian ones:

PPCLI (Princess Patricias Canadian Light Infantry)

Please Protect Canada's Little Idoits

Piss Poor Canadians Lacking Intelligence

RCR (Royal Canadian Regiment)

Run Chicken Run

They also go by "Chicken F*ckers". And according to the story, an officer came into the mess for supper, after meal hours and asked for the roast chicken that had been served at supper. There was none left, however he badgered and pulled rank on the staff. So eventually the cook roasted him a chicken with a special sauce in the cavity of the chicken. Hence the handle!

This was my regiment when I was in the regular force, although I have no affinity for having sexual relations with chickens biggrin.gif. They also have the distinction of being the oldest serving line regiment in Canada

Edited by Laurence Strong
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Re: The Canadian Airborne Regiment. You are correct, they have been disbanded.

All I can say it was a sad day for the Canadian Military, and another example of what happens when the ******* politically correct get involved.


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