Royal Air Force

Operation Market Garden

This year, the 17th of September, marked the 75th anniversary of Operation Market Garden. This World War II mission was fought in the Netherlands from 17th – 25th September 1944. Market Garden consisted of two sub operations. Market was an airborne assault to seize key bridges and Garden which was a ground  attack moving over the already seized bridges creating the salient, or inroad into enemy held territory Up until that point, this attack was the largest airborne operation, in World War II. The operation was the idea of General Bernard Montgomery. It began with heavy air raids, with para troopers landing around 13:00 hours. The initial phase of the operation was a success as the Germans were taken completely by surprise. Even though the resistance by the Germans was heavier than expected, most of the bridges were captured. The most important bridge, Arnhem, was the most strategically placed and in order for this mission to be successful the ground [...]

Grenadier Guards

Military Sword Belt Ensembles

Sword belts in the military are worn around the waist, their purpose being to hold a ceremonial sword. There are various styles of belts available, some which ore worn over the tunic, such as the Sam Browne, the RAF Officers and the Naval Officers.  Sword belts can have several components; as well as the waist belt, there are also sword slings, or a sword frog for retaining the scabbard. Often there is a shoulder belt worn with the ensemble to prevent the weight of the sword pulling down the belt. This can also, be achieved by the belts being held in place by hooks on the tunic. Swords can be worn in two positions, raised or hooked up, where the scabbard or frog is attached to a hook to raise the sword to stop it trailing. Alternatively, they can be worn down hanging from the slings or the frog. Sword belt ensembles can be made from a number of materials, but are primarily made from leather, webbing, PVC, or a combination.  Sword belt styles [...]

Guardsman of the Irish Guards Holding Regimental Colours

Military Colours

Military colours, standards or guidons are carried to act as a rallying point for troops and to mark the location of the commander.  During the High Middle Ages, it became a regular practice to have their commander’s coat of arms on their standards.  It was decided that during the chaos of battle, the soldiers needed to be able to determine which their regiment was. Regimental flags were awarded by the head of state and were inscribed with the names of battles of other symbols representing achievements. They were treated with honour.  It became considered a great feat of arms if the enemy’s standard was captured. Colour Guards were enlisted to protect their colours. These were often elite soldiers. If the colours are ever in jeopardy of being captured by the enemy, they must be destroyed.  The Colour Guards are a group of soldiers assigned to protect the regimental colours. This duty is usually carried out by a young officer as it is [...]

Firefighters Showing their Support for Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day 2019

Every year Armed Forces day is celebrated to show support for the men and women who make up our Armed Forces community. This can include veterans, cadets and current serving troops and their families. Each year, on the last Saturday in June, Armed Forces Day takes place. This year it will take place on Saturday the 29th of June. The flag is raised on Monday 24th June on buildings and famous landmarks around the country. The National Event will be held in Salisbury this year, and in Scarborough in 2020 although local events happen all over the country to celebrate. Reserves Day also takes place on the 26th June. Each year, on this day, reservists wear their uniform in their regular civilian life. Reservists are often unrecognized so Reserves Day was created to highlight the valuable contribution the Reservists make to our Armed Forces. Armed Forces Day not only boosts morale for the troops, but allows the public to find out more about the [...]

Wyedean bespoke commissions

Wyedean’s bespoke commissions

Wyedean is known mostly for manufacturing accessories and accoutrements for the Armed Forces around the world.  We are, occasionally asked to produce some specialist items too. The business once received an order from The Royal Jordanian Army which had a camel mounted ceremonial regiment. The order was for fringing to hang over the camels eyes, similar to false eyelashes. The purpose was to stop flies or sand irritating the camel’s eyes. Over the years the fringe has become more ornate for ceremonial purposes. We supply a wide range of headwear for use in many different applications; from the standard ceremonial peaked caps to cadet helmets and covers which we were commissioned to design, develop and test. We have also more recently manufactured the bespoke costume tea cup headwear for the famous Yorkshire Tea marching band. One of our newer products is the Kevlar webbing. This is a key component in protective, flame resistant clothing. The webbing is used by blue light services and is useful where [...]

Combat Stress

Combat Stress- Bring Them Home.

A new campaign has been released by the veterans’ mental health charity ‘Combat Stress’. The aim of the campaign is to reveal the isolation experienced by veterans with trauma.  Combat Stress worked with Channel 4’s in-house creative agency to produce the short film ‘Combat Stress – Bring Them Home’.  Real life veterans feature in the film and show how mental health problems can leave former servicemen and women isolated. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the most common and can often leave them feeling withdrawn from their family and friends.  The Combat Stress charity helps veterans by providing specialist support and treatment to help them overcome mental health issues like anxiety and PTSD. Often they struggle as they relive their trauma on the battlefield through nightmares and anxiety.  The charity was founded on May 12th 1919 and have now been helping veterans for the past 100 years. When the First World War ended, thousands of returning servicemen, came back shell shocked and [...]

100 years of the RAF

D-Day Anniversary

Each year, thousands of people, descend on Normandy in France to remember those who risked their lives in D-Day, Operation Overlord and the Battle of Normandy. This year celebrates the 75th anniversary of the tragic battle. The anniversary will be commemorated with military parades, fireworks, airdrops, concerts and military camp re-enactments. The 6th June 1944 marks the D-Day Landings and the Battle of Normandy commenced, where men from all over the world came to fight the Nazi regime. Around 156,000 American, British and Canadian forces landed on five beaches along a 50 mile stretch in Normandy. General Dwight Eisenhower was appointed commander of the Operation Overlord and he told the troops “You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you”. The amphibious invasions began at 6:30am and by the end of the day more than 4,000 Allied troops lost their lives. Thousands more were [...]

Soldier With Poppy

Remembrance Day 2018

On Sunday the 11th of November 2018 at 11am the country will fall silent to remember those who fought for our country. This year Armistice Day and Remembrance Day fall on the same day, sometimes this day is also known more informally as Poppy Day. Each year veterans participate in the Cenotaph March Past at the Parade in Whitehall. The red poppy has become the symbol for Remembrance Sunday with poppy wreaths being laid at cenotaphs all over the country to commemorate Britain’s war dead. In more recent years there has been an increased appearance of the white poppy, a pacifist symbol of remembrance. White poppies, according to the Peace Pledge Union (PPU) represent remembrance for all victims of war, commitment to peace and a challenge to the glamorisation of conflict. The white poppy was produced in 1933 by the Women’s Co-operative Guild to symbolise ‘no more war’ and represents all victims of all wars. The red poppy appeal is organised by [...]

Queen's Diamond Jubilee Parade and Muster at Windsor Castle

The order of precedence for the British Army

The divisions of the regular army of the British Army have an order of precedence which dictates the order in which these divisions parade, from right to left. The unit on the extreme right, usually the Household Cavalry, is generally the highest ranking unit. Army Reserve units and Militia take precedence over regular units but this does not include the Honourable Artillery Company and The Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers. • Household Cavalry • Royal Horse Artillery • Royal Armoured Corps • Corps of Royal Engineers • Royal Regiment of Artillery • Royal Corps of Signals • Infantry • Foot Guards • Line Infantry • The Rifles • Special Air Service • Army Air Corps • Special Reconnaissance Regiment • Royal Army Chaplains Department • Royal Logistic Corps • Royal Army Medical Corps • Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers • Adjutant General’s Corps • Royal Army Veterinary Corps • Small Arms School Corps • Royal Army Dental Corps • Intelligence Corps • Royal Army Physical Training Corps • General Service Corps • Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps • Corps of Army Music • Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers [...]

Medals in wear

How to wear your Medals

The British Armed Forces recognise outstanding personal achievements by giving individuals from the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and British Army various awards and decorations. Medals, ribbons and emblems awarded by HM The Queen are only permitted to be worn by the recipient. Whether friend or family, wearing someone else’s awards is classed as fraud. Ribbons can be worn without the medals themselves, apart from The Orders of the Garter and Thistle. Ribbons are to be worn over the left breast pocket button in the centre of the pocket. The ribbons are worn in rows with the most senior medal worn nearest the jacket lapel or front buttons, and in the top row if multiple rows are worn. The number of ribbons worn in a row depends on the width of the breast pocket, however, if the uniform has no breast pocket then the number of ribbons worn must be no more than five. If there is an incomplete row of [...]