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I was alerted to this R.A. blue cloth on eBay http://cgi.ebay.co.u...E:X:RTQ:GB:1123 and the obvious question posed was why it had a spike instead of a cup and ball.

Well I remembered this "problem" from a dialogue with Wilson Research, via GMIC, about May last year where I was asked to comment on an R.A. helmet http://www.militaryh...r.com/items/760

The answer is wrongly attributed there but then again with the few that I looked at they haven't yet got it together.

Regardless the R.A. sported the spike untill 1881, according to Barnes in his book on R.A. dress, and then moved to the cup and ball. So the item on eBay may indeed be correct but who knows?

Anyway, for those not familiar with the cup and ball, here is an example.

Stuart

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Guest Resurgum

I found this photo of an Artillery Volunteer c1878 which clearly shows the spike.

Stuart

Great pictures Stuart. One of the factors that determined the RA to change from a spike to a ball was their rivalry with the Royal Engineers. Both Corps were afforded the honour title 'UBIQUE' by their sovereign at the same time and so in 1878 had adopted almost identical badges and helmets that made them appear very similar in silhouette (albeit that the RE were in scarlet). They then amended their badge to include a gun and changed the spike for a ball, which resolved matters to their satisfaction.

Edited by Resurgum
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Guest Resurgum

Toby,

it is fascinating as to how these things came about. BTW: have you heard of Kane's List which is cited by Barnes?

Stuart

No Stuart, I never have heard of 'Kane's List'. What is it?

Toby

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My apologies as the book is written by Captain R.J. MacDonald - no idea why I said Barnes. Probably in a hurry as usual.

Kane's List, I find, refers to John Kane's List of Officers of the Royal Regiment of Artillery. I found it in the preface of MacDonald's book.

Stuart

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Guest Resurgum

My apologies as the book is written by Captain R.J. MacDonald - no idea why I said Barnes. Probably in a hurry as usual.

Kane's List, I find, refers to John Kane's List of Officers of the Royal Regiment of Artillery. I found it in the preface of MacDonald's book.

Stuart

This might be the list referred to colloquially as the 'Blue Book' listing all RA officers. It still exists, but no longer has the cachet of showing the more 'elevated' officers of the RHA. It used to be that the top 10% of RA officers, as determined by examination and/or annual confidential report, were moved onto the RHA part of the list as a de facto elite.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I bought the Royal Artillery Volunteers blue cloth because of the spike (1878 - 1881). Since neither the helmet nor the accompanying tin have any names I can't prove that the spike is correct but then again no-one can prove otherwise.

Stuart

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