Monthly Archives - June 2017

HMS Queen Elizabeth in Rosyth Dockyard

HMS Queen Elizabeth is ready for Sea trials.

As Britain’s largest ever warship,  it’s been an anxious and exciting wait for the launch of HMS Queen Elizabeth as it finally left its dockyard in Rosyth to head out for sea trials. The 65,000 ton aircraft carrier squeezed through an exit with only 14 inch clearance on either side. After nearly a decade-long build, this marks the latest milestone for the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth Class carriers, which have cost more than £6 billion pounds, the other being HMS Prince of Wales. One of the Royal Navy’s warships will be escorting HMS Queen Elizabeth while its commanders try out the North Sea and Moray Firth. Shore-based helicopters will also be on the lookout for any submarines trying to sneak a peek at Britain’s new warship. 1,000 sailors and contractors will be aboard testing the vessel for the next six weeks. 650 doors and hatches on the vessel have been checked for fire safety and to check they are water tight. Multiple [...]

RAF College Remembrance Parade 2009

Ranks Of The Royal Air Force (RAF)

The Royal Air Force (RAF) introduced officer ranks in 1919. Prior to this, Army ranks were used. Interestingly, many ranks within the Royal Air Force do not correspond with the actual duties of an officer. For example, a pilot officer may not be trained to pilot an aircraft. The ranking for pilots actually starts at cadet officer and is then upgraded to flying officer on graduation. Commissioned ranks within the RAF wear rank insignia on the lower arm of their dress uniform. There are many ranks which exist across all three forces: Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and Army. Of the three, the Royal Air Force rank will most always be the junior – the Royal Navy has seniority over the Army and the RAF. The commissioned ranks for the Royal Air Force are shown here. Rank insignia, which was to be worn on the jacket cuff, was established for the force in 1918. The ranking insignia has similarities to the Royal Navy rings. In [...]

Horse Guards with Spurs

What is a Spur?

Spurs are usually worn in pairs on the heels of riding boots. Their purpose is to help direct the horse to move forward or laterally while riding. They help to refine commands but to also backup more natural riding aids such as the legs, hands and voice. The spur was first used by the Celts during the La Tène period which began in the 5th century BC. A medieval knight was said to have ‘earned his spurs’ and this phrase has continued in to the modern era as an honour given to individuals in organisations with military heritage. Members of the British Order of the Garter receive spurs from the Monarchy. Spur styles differ between disciplines. For instance, spurs used for western riding tend to be more decorated and heavier. Spurs used in English riding tend to be of a more conservative design and are very slim and sleek with a rounded or blunt end. When used in sports riding such as dressage, [...]