Tag - Military Uniform

Foot Guards

Foot Guards

The Foot Guards are the Regular Infantry regiments of the Household Division of the British Army. There are five active regiments of the Foot Guards and one reserve regiment: Grenadier Guards Coldstream Guards Scots Guards Irish Guards Welsh Guards Royal Guards Reserve Regiment A simple method to help distinguish between different Guards is by looking at the spacing of the buttons on their tunics. Grenadier Guards – evenly spaced tunic buttons. Coldstream Guards – paired tunic buttons. Scots Guards – tunic buttons in groups of three. Irish Guards – tunic buttons in groups of fours. Welsh Guards – tunic buttons in groups of fives. The ascending number of buttons also indicates the order in which the regiments were formed. Various other features on the uniform help distinguish between regiments such as the plumes, the collar badge and the shoulder badge. When the regiments all parade together they form up in the order of: Grenadier Guards on the right flank, then Scots Guards, Welsh Guards, Irish Guards and the Coldstream Guards on the left flank. [...]

Yeomen Warder

Yeomen Warders

Beefeaters, is the affectionate name given to what are more formally known as the Yeomen Warders of Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London, and Members of the Sovereign’s Body Guard of the Yeoman Guard Extraordinary. They are responsible for looking after any prisoners in the Tower of London and safeguarding the British crown jewels but are also the ceremonial guardians of the Tower of London. To be eligible to become a warder you must be retired from the Armed Forces of Commonwealth realms and must have been a former warrant officer having at least 22 years of service. You must also hold the Long Service and Good Conduct medal. The Yeomen Warders were originally formed in 1485 by King Henry VII. Since the Victorian era they have conducted guided tours around the Tower of London. In 2011 there were 37 Yeomen Warders and one Chief Warder. Each night the Beefeaters participate in the Ceremony of the Keys. One [...]

Dalton Barton

Dalton Barton World War II Letter

The Wyedean Weaving Company established itself in Haworth in 1964 as a manufacturer of narrow fabrics, braid and uniform accoutrement. The business originated in Coventry around 1850 and was previously known as Dalton, Barton and Co Ltd. During WWII, the main factory in Coventry was completely destroyed during the Blitz in 1941. The company’s East End London warehouse and store in Jewin Street London were also later destroyed. For this reason the company possesses no artefacts or records dating from before the Blitz, nor evidence of this difficult time in the Company’s history…that is until recently when the letter shown below came to light from one of Dalton Barton’s war-time customers. Gary Smith is the current owner of fourth-generation upholsterers JE Smith and Son, and he tracked Wyedean down when he found the letter from Dalton, Barton hidden away in the company’s workshop. Gary’s grandfather purchased webbing from Dalton, Barton during the war and his company manufactured sewing bags for gas [...]

Cocked Hat

Cocked Hats

A bicorne, or cocked hat, is a two-cornered cocked hat which was worn during the 18th and 19th centuries and was adopted from the European and American military and naval officers. Today the bicorne is mostly associated with Napoleon Bonaparte and this style of hat was worn widely by most generals and staff officers until 1914. The bicorne descended from the tricorne. There was usually a cockade in the national colours at the front of the hat, but later on the hat became more triangular in shape and the two ends became more pointed. During the 1790s the hat was worn side-to-side. Some were even designed so they could be folded flat. This style was known as a chapeau-bras. During World War I the bicorne was worn as part of the full dress for officers. By the Second World War the hat had almost disappeared in this context. In the UK, cocked hats are worn during some ceremonial occasions: During the Trooping of the [...]

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, [...]

Royal Irish Regiement

Blue is the Colour

The soldiers chosen to Troop the Colour, on June 17th at Horse Guards Parade, have this year been examined to check they are up to the job. The 1st Battalion The Irish Guards were inspected in their red tunics by General Officer Commanding London District and Major General Commanding the Household Division, Ben Bathurst. The Irish Guards wear a blue plume on the right side of their bearskins, and given that this is The Queen’s Blue Sapphire Jubilee, this seems very appropriate. The mantle and sash of the Order of St. Patrick, is also blue. Everything from the tailoring of the uniform to the regiment’s ability to march to time was under scrutiny by The Major General at Cavalry Barracks in Hounslow. Dohmall, the regiment’s famous wolfhound mascot was also on parade. Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge, became Colonel of The Irish Guards in 2011 and this year will be the first time since 2009 that their soldiers have trooped the [...]

Ceremonial Guard Military Plume

What is a Hackle/ Plume?

The plume/hackle is generally made from clipped chicken feathers and is worn on a military headdress purely for decorative or ornamental purposes. The colour of the plume differs between regiments but they are mostly worn by infantry regiments, especially those designated as fusilier regiments. The large plume was originally named a heckle by the Scots, and was attached to the feather bonnet worn by the Highland regiments, drummers, pipers and bandsmen. The smaller version was adopted by the 42nd Royal Highland Regiment and to be worn as a sun helmet. The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers wears a very distinctive red and white hackle. The regiment was awarded the hackle to recognise its defeat of the French at the Battle of St Lucia in 1778. The white hackles were removed from dead French soldiers and then in 1829 the regiment was ordered by King William IV to make their white plumes more distinguished with a red tip. Shop Now

How to wear an Aiguillette

An aiguillette is an ornamental braided cord, usually worn on a uniform to denote an honour. Although similar in some ways to a lanyard, the two should not be confused. Lanyards are made from fibre, whereas aiguillettes are usually made from silver or gold cord. Aiguillettes also have pointed tips. Plates of armour used to be secured together by attaching the breast and back plates with short loops of cord acting as a hinge on one side, while a more ornate loop was tied to support the arm defences on the other. As armour became more ornamental so did these ties. After the civil wars it became fashionable to have bunches of ribbons worn at the shoulder sometimes in the form of bows with tagged ends. This fashion died out in England but continued in the French court dress of Louis the 14th and 15th into the early 18th century. This style was revived by the British Army in the form [...]

British Salute American Salute

Why do Troops Salute

Salutes are primarily used in the Armed Forces to show respect. There are numerous methods for performing the salute including: hand gestures, rifle shots, hoisting flags and the removal of headgear. The salute is to acknowledge the Queen’s commission. The subordinate salutes first and holds it until their superior has responded. It is thought that the salute originated when knights greeted each other to show friendly intention by lifting their visor to show their faces. Medieval visors were equipped with a spike which allowed the visor to be lifted in a saluting motion. A British order book in 1745 stated that ‘The men are ordered not to pull off their hats when they pass an officer, or to speak to them, but only to clap up their hands to their hats and bow as they pass.’ This, overtime, evolved into a modern salute. The naval salute is a different gesture, again, as sailors salute with their palm downwards. This is said to [...]