The Special Air Service (SAS) is the British Army’s most renowned United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF) unit. Its motto is ‘Who Dares Wins’ and has become well known all over the world. The SAS was created by David Stirling in 1941 as a desert raiding regiment mainly for carrying out sabotage missions. During 1950 the unit was changed from a regiment to a corps. The SAS’ roles include counter terrorism, hostage rescue and covert reconnaissance. Currently the corps is made up of the 22 Special Air Service Regiment, the 21 Special Air Service Regiment (Reserve) and the 23 Special Air Service Regiment (Reserve). In order to become part of the Regiment, soldiers have to pass a number of exercises and tests during a five-week-long selection process. Although there are around 200 applicants each time, only 30 usually make it through. The first SAS mission was in 1941 and involved a parachute drop in support of the Operation Crusader offensive. This mission, due to German resistance and the weather conditions, made the mission a disaster. 22 men were killed or captured. Their most well-known operation, however, was Operation Nimrod which was carried out during the Iranian Embassy Siege in London in 1980. In 17 minutes the soldiers of the SAS Regiments rescued 24 out of 25 hostages and killed 5 out of 6 terrorists. Currently the SAS has around 400 to 600 members and each regiment consists of four operation squadrons with approximately 65 men in each.
The Parachute Regiment, also known as “The Paras”, is an airborne regiment of the British Army that acts as support to the United Kingdom Special Forces. The Parachute Regiment was formed to surprise enemy troops by being dropped behind enemy lines to capture key positions. They were then able to hold them until the rest of the invasion force could link up with them. In modern day warfare the Parachute Regiment provides infantry to Britain’s 16 Air Assault Brigade. The Parachute Regiment was formed during the Second World War on the 22nd of June. This is the only infantry regiment of the British Army that has not been amalgamated with another since the end of the Second World War. They are able to deploy an infantry force at short notice. The Parachute Regiment consists of three regular army battalions; the 1st, 2nd and 3rd battalion. The 1st is based in St Athan, Wales and is attached to the Special Forces Support group. This battalion also receives further training on additional weapons, communications and specialist assault skills. The 2nd and 3rd Battalion form part of the 16 Air Assault Brigade and are known for being highly trained for their versatility. The Paras receive intensive training making them fierce. Their motto is “Utrinque Paratus” which means ‘Ready for Anything.’ Their training and experience means that they are ideal for joining the SAS. Reportedly the Special Air Service is now made up of 60% ex-Paras. The Paratroopers are trained in an array of missions from pre-emption tasks to complex or high intensity war fighting.
A Cap Tally is a black nylon ribbon which is usually tied into a bow on the left-hand side of a Royal Navy sailor’s cap. The tally is black with a gold inscription and usually bears the name of the ship to which the sailor belongs. During World War II the ship’s name was often left off the cap tally to protect the ship from any espionage. A Cap Tally bow is notoriously difficult to tie. The ribbon is wrapped round the hat, with the inscription positioned in the middle of the hat. A bow is tied to the left of the cap. Watch the video below to learn how to tie your cap tally. Wyedean stocks many different Cap Tallies for the Royal Navy. To view our range click here. We are also able to manufacture bespoke cap tallies with a custom name. Please note that due to the setup of the machine, each design comes as a set of two. The cost per design is £25. For larger quantities we do offer a significant discount. To order your custom cap tally and view available price breaks, click here. To order multiple designs of cap tallies click here. Please note a minimum order of 2 per design is still required.
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 of a knot with three loops, as a corporal’s badge of rank. In this form it was made of worsted or silk cord of regimental colour, with the pointed tags in the same metal as the buttons and coat lace. They were also worn in this fashion by staff officers in metal cord. This style continued for staff officers up to 1814 when the French style was introduced. This had evolved in the French court and army into the style we now recognise but in lighter cord and made in worsted, silk or metal cord. The modern heavy cord style is an elaborate Victorian invention. In the British Army there are four different types of aiguillette. 1st Class or Royal are worn by admirals of fleet, field marshals and also by members of the royal family. These aiguillettes are made from gold wire cord and worn on the right shoulder. Commissioned Officers of the Household Cavalry also wear this, but only in full dress. Warrant Officers of the Household Cavalry also wear them but on the left-hand shoulder. 2nd Class or Board are gold and dark blue or crimson and light blue. These differ slightly depending on whether they are worn by the RAF, Royal Navy or Army. This aiguillette is worn by officers on the right shoulder, along with military members of the Defence Board. 3rd Class or Staff are gold and dark blue, crimson or light blue. This again depends on whether they are being worn by the RAF, Royal Navy or Army. This aiguillette is worn on the left shoulder by assistants and aides-de-camp. The fourth is a simple aiguillette and is worn by lance corporals in the Household Cavalry and by bandsmen of the Dragoon Guards in full dress.
The Hussars The uniform of the Napoleonic Hussars included the pelisse: a short fur-edged jacket which was often worn slung over one shoulder in the style of a cape, and was fastened with a cord. This garment was extensively adorned with braiding (often gold or silver for officers) and rows of multiple buttons. The tunic was worn underneath, which was also decorated in braid. The Hussar's accoutrements included a Hungarian-style saddle, covered by a decorated saddlecloth, with long pointed corners surmounted by a sheepskin. On active service the Hussar normally wore reinforced breeches which had leather on the inside of the leg to prevent them from wearing. On the outside of their breeches was a row of buttons, and sometimes a stripe in a different colour. A busby was worn as headwear. The colours of the dolman, pelisse and breeches varied greatly by regiment, even within the same army. Hussars were the only corps in the British Army allowed to wear moustaches. The Hussar's look has mostly become legendary because of what the hussars did while wearing it. They had made it a point in their honour code to be the most scandalous, daredevils of all military corps. They wore ponytails and moustaches. They looted and pillaged. You may have seen many of these uniforms in the recent television production of War and Peace. Many braids and laces used on this uniform can be seen on our website here. The United States Marine Corps Dress Blues The Marine Corps have a dress blue uniform, in addition to their green service uniform which is part of a long line of historical Marine Corps uniforms - dating back to the American Revolution. The most formal of a Marine's uniforms outside of the elaborate evening dress uniforms of officers and senior enlisted, it is often referred to as "Dress Blues" and can be worn in many forms. It is the only uniform of the United States military to use all of the colours of the nation's flag and incorporates button designs which are the oldest military insignia still in use in the United States Armed Forces. A sword may be worn when the individual is in command of troops in formation. When wearing the sword and Dress Blue coat, officers wear the Sam Browne belt. For enlisted, the sword is worn with a white waist belt and brass buckle when wearing the Dress Blue coat. It is the single most imitated uniform by other militaries and has remained unchanged for decades. Royal Air Force The RAF's service dress is worn on formal and ceremonial occasions. It remains essentially unchanged from the service dress uniform adopted in the early 1920s. It consists of a blue-grey jacket and trousers (or skirt for a female). In 1947, the temperate officers' service dress jacket was altered. The lower side pockets were removed and the single slit was replaced by two hacking jacket style slits. The lower button was moved up to a position behind the belt and [...]
Soldier's Uniform wearing lanyard. A lanyard is also referred to a fourragère – and is a braided cord with a sharp spike at one end. The fourragère is a very old component of some military uniforms and originates from the French uniforms where it was used to bundle forage for pack animals or cavalry horses. The lanyard first gained symbolic importance during the Dutch Revolt from 1568-1648. It is said that the Duke of Alba’s troops fled the field against the Dutch rebels. The Duke was so angry that he vowed to hang every single man in the unit if they retreated again and consequently forced them to wear a fourragère, or lanyard, around their shoulder to remind them of the fact. After the next battle the Duke of Alba was so impressed by their bravery that he them permitted them to wear the cord as a reminder of their oath to fight. The symbol was later revived by Napoleon for the French army and then passed to the American military uniforms during the First World War. Originally lanyards were cords worn to fasten armour, to carry small items, or to keep weapons from being lost. They date back to when signals were issued by whistle. The lanyard would make it easier to reach for items out of the soldiers pocket and made it virtually impossible to lose the compass, whistle, or pistol should they be knocked over. They now serve a limited purpose as whistles are not often used. Until the 1950s lanyards in the British military were only an officially authorised dress embellishment for officers although some regiments paid for them and wore them unofficially. As part of the post war tidy-up of embellishments, it was agreed that any embellishment which was approved by the War Office Dress Committee established in 1946 would be supplied by Ordnance as an official issue and the issue of lanyards was extended more widely. Lanyards are still often used to hold onto things and make them more accessible. In the Australian Army the different Corps of the Army wear various coloured lanyards, and Infantry Battalions wear them on the opposite arm. From a distance you could often tell which corps people belonged to by their lanyard (or their hat badge, colour patch or even beret colour). In the 19th century, lanyards were also used by artillery units in the 19th century to hold devices to adjust the fuses on artillery shells. On ceremonial uniforms, they moved the lanyard to be worn over the shoulder and it is colour coded to identify a unit, or position (Honour Guard, Colour Guard, Representative, etc.) The first list of authorised lanyards was published as an Army Council Instruction in 1953. To view the range of lanyards worn by the UK armed forces today, click here.