Mess dress uniform is not to be confused with full dress uniform. Mess dress is the semi-formal uniform worn by the military, police and other public uniformed services. The uniform is worn for certain ceremonies and celebrations on private occasions. Design may vary but they mainly consist of a mess jacket, trousers, white dress shirt and are worn with medals or other insignia. Mess dress is seen as an alternative to black tie for evening wear and is sometimes known as half dress. Mess dress is worn predominantly by commissioned officers and non-commissioned officers. It can however be worn by some senior enlisted personnel. The Royal Navy has two forms of evening dress. Mess dress (No. 2A) consists of a mess jacket, plain navy blue mess trousers, white waistcoat and black bow tie. The mess undress (No. 2B) consists of a mess jacket, plain navy blue mess trousers, blue waistcoat or black cummerbund and a black bow tie. Officers in the Royal Navy with the rank of Captain and above wear gold laced trousers and may wear the undress tailcoat with either mess dress of mess undress. The Royal Marines mess differs from the Royal Navy in that the jacket is scarlet. The Royal Marines also wear a scarlet cummerbund. The British Army mess uniform appeared in 1845, initially utilizing the short ‘shell jacket’. The original purpose was to provide a comfortable and inexpensive alternative to the full dress uniforms. After World War I, full dress uniforms mostly disappeared and mess dress became the most colourful and traditional uniform to be worn by most officers in the British Army. The most commonly worn mess dress in the British Army is the No. 10 Mess Dress. It can differ slightly depending on the regiment or corps but mostly this includes the short mess jacket. The colours of the mess jackets and trousers reflect the traditional full dress uniforms of the regiments. Usually the jackets are scarlet, dark blue or rifle green and are worn with embroidered waistcoats. The jackets are worn with high waisted, very tight, trousers called overalls. Ornamental spurs are often worn by cavalry regiments and traditionally mounted corps. Female officers and soldiers wear mess jackets over a dark coloured ankle length evening dress. The Royal Air Force mess dress is similar to the Royal Navy, except the jacket and trousers are mid blue. The No. 5 Mess Dress is also worn with a slate grey cummerbund. For women the same uniform is worn except they wear their high waisted jacket with an ankle length blue grey skirt. Unlike the men’s jacket, which has a pointed lapel, the ladies jacket features a shawl collar. Wyedean work along side military tailors by manufacturing and applying the braiding to the Mess Dress uniforms. Contact us today with your requirements.
Remembrance Sunday, will be held on Sunday 10th November. The National Service of remembrance will be held at the Cenotaph at Whitehall in London at 11am. The service honours the service and sacrifices of the Armed Forces who fought in the two World Wars and any other conflicts. This yearly remembrance ensures no one is forgotten and honours those who sacrificed themselves to protect our freedom. Every year up to 10,000 veterans, current serving Armed Forces personnel and bereaved spouses and first generation descendants take part in the March Past. From 9am on the 10th November the Royal British Legion detachments form up on Horse Guards Parade. At 10am the March Past begins then at 11am there is a two minute silence in which the whole country falls silent to remember those who gave their lives. The beginning and the end of the silence is marked at 11.00 and 11.02 by the firing of guns by the Kings Troop at Horse Guards Parade The 11th November marks Armistice Day. This year will mark 101 years since the end of the First World War. On November 11th 1918 the armistice was signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany. This stated an end to any conflict and an end to the war. This was signed at 11am, “on the eleventh house of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.” In many of the Allied nations, and France, this is a national holiday. Remembrance does not glorify war. Its symbol, the red poppy, is a sign of remembrance and the hope for a peaceful future. The poppy is greatly appreciated by those who it is intended to support and shows your respect. This well-established symbol is one that carries a wealth of history and meaning. During WW1, much of the countryside on the front in Western Europe was repeatedly bombarded by artillery shells. This turned the landscapes into bleak and barren scenes where nothing could grow, apart from the poppy flower. The Flanders poppy flourished in the middle of all the destruction, growing into tens of thousands. Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, saw the poppies which gave him his inspiration to write the famous poem ‘In Flanders Fields’. This poem led America academic, Moina Michael to adopt the poppy into the memory of those who had fallen in the war. Anna Guerin, in 1921, sold the poppies in the UK where she met Earl Haigh , the founder of the Royal British Legion. He was persuaded to adopt the poppy as the emblem for the Legion in the UK and so in 1921 they ordered nine million poppies and sold them that year. They raised £106,000 to help the veterans which became the first ‘Poppy Appeal’. In today’s Poppy Appeal, 40,000 volunteers distribute 40 million poppies. Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day offer us all a chance to remember not just those who fought, but what they fought for. Today in the UK, remembrance is very different to how it was 100 [...]
The Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) is not only the largest Corps in the British Army, it is also an incredibly diverse organisation. Its soldiers work on both peacekeeping and on operations. The RLC’s main function is to provide constant support to help the Army maintain its optimum operational capability. The RLC was formed in 1993 by a union of five units; the Royal Corps of Transport, Royal Army Ordnance Corps, Royal Pioneer Corps, Army Catering Corps and the Postal and Courier Service which were previously part of the Royal Engineers. Currently the RLC are deployed in Cyprus, Kenya, Canada and the Caribbean. Their current deployment to Cyprus is a 6 month peacekeeping mission as part of the UN peacekeeping agreement. Previously they have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Soldiers in the Royal Logistic Corps are infantry trained. They are also professionally trained in one of 12 trades. 40% of the RLC is detached and serves with other units. The RLC flag is dark blue with the Corps badge in the centre. The unit is the only Corps (Combat Service Support) of the British Army with battle honours. Their battle honours are: Peninsula, Battle of Waterloo, Lucknow, Taku Forts and Peking. Their motto, ‘We Sustain,’ was kept from the Army Catering Corps and their cap badge is an amalgamation of the cap badges from the original forming corps. The laurel and garter band are from the Royal Engineers, the star is from the Royal Corps of Transport, the shield is from the Royal Army Ordnance Corps and the crosses axes are from the Royal Pioneer Corps. The Colonel-in-Chief of the RLC is HRH The Princes Royal. The RLC have a Corps of Drums and a Marching Band. To view our range of RLC uniform accessories click here.
The King’s Royal Hussars are a regiment with cavalry traditions and an interesting history. The King’s Royal Hussars were established in 1992, however the four original cavalry regiments which make up the modern King’s Royal Hussars have a long history of service with their own customs and traditions. The origins of the regiment stretch right back to 1715 when the 10th, 11th and 14th Hussars were raised to serve in the two Jacobite Rebellions. In 1854 the 11th Hussars took part in the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimea campaign. The various regimens went through numerous changes over the years culminating in 1992 with the merging of the Royal Hussars and the 14th/20th Hussars into the Kings Royal Hussars we see today. The regiment is located at Aliwal Barracks in Tidworth, they are experts in operating a range of armored vehicles including the Challenger 2 battle tank which is used to support troops on close combat operations and the Scimitar reconnaissance vehicle which are used as scout vehicles ahead of the main troop. Overall their job is to form aggressive action against any enemy targets using their armoured vehicles. Their skills include; reconnaissance, conducting patrols, close combat, shock action and surveillance. We stock a variety of the Regiment's badges. Click here to view the range.
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] 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 forces. #SaluteOurForces is an easy way for anyone to pay tribute to the British Forces. The UK Armed Forces work around the world delivering aid, promoting peace, providing security and fighting terrorism. Will you be supporting Armed Forces Day? Find your local events here [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
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.
Ideas about whether facial hair is allowed in the military have differed throughout the years. In the mid-19th Century, facial hair was an unusual sight in the British Army, except for the Infantry Pioneers who were the only ones for whom it was tradition to have a beard. Later facial hair, moustaches and beards became more common in the military and it was even encouraged during the Crimean War, especially during winter months when the soldiers were encouraged to grow full beards. Regulations were later introduced which actually prevented soldiers from shaving above their top lip, ensuring that, those who could grow a moustache, had to have one. It wasn’t until 1916 when the rule was abolished by Lieutenant General Sir Nevil Macready who disliked his own moustache. Since 1916 the British Army, Royal Air Force and the Royal Marines have allowed moustaches and connected side whiskers, and only allowed full beards if they were grown for medical reasons or religious reasons. Facial Hair in the British Army When on parade, the only Army rank allowed to wear a beard is that of Pioneer Sergeant, who also carries a battle axe instead of a bayonet. The tradition was for one Pioneer to march in front of the regiment clearing the path for the soldiers behind. They can also be seen wearing an apron, which, in years gone by, would protect his uniform whilst he was performing his duties. The Pioneer Sergeant also acted as a blacksmith for the unit so was therefore allowed a beard to protect his face from the heat. Even though they are not compulsory for Infantry Pioneers, most do choose to grow a beard. It is also permitted in the Scottish Infantry regiments and sometimes expected, especially by the Drum Major, Pipe Major and Commanding Officer’s piper. In more recent years, the British Army has seen a full range of facial hair. This is often in an effort to blend in, especially when in Afghanistan where facial hair is seen as a sign of authority. When the soldiers are on tour water is harder to come by so often they understandably prioritise the water for drinking, rather than for shaving. There is also a more practical reason for facial hair being banned, if the soldiers ever need to use gas masks facial hair breaks the seal around the mouth meaning the masks do not work properly. Facial Hair in the Royal Navy The Royal Navy has always allowed full beards but never a moustache alone. If after a period without shaving, it becomes clear that the soldier cannot grow both a moustache and beard then his commanding officer may order him to shave it off. Facial Hair in the Royal Air Force The RAF are not allowed to wear beards at all unless for religious reasons and are only allowed moustaches if they are not grown longer than the edge of the mouth. A Royal Navy serviceman, once approved, should keep his beard for six months. [...]
The sword knot began existence as a simple cord attached to the hilt of the sword of a mounted soldier. The knot is in fact, a loop usually made out of leather, or other material. Before engagement with the enemy the soldier wraps the loop around his wrist to prevent the loss of his sword, which can happen either in the heat of the battle or if he needs to relax his group in order to steady his mount. In more recent years the sword knot has gradually evolved to become a more ornamental and decorative piece of uniform regalia. The design of it has also changed such that it now features a double strap which is also attached to the sword guard and wrapped around the hilt when not attached to the wrist. There are two main types of sword knots: full dress and active service. The sword knot used for active service features a plain buff leather strap, while the full dress versions are usually more elaborate creations made from gold and silver cord with decorative tassels for that final added flourish. In recent years there has been a demand for good quality sword knots from museums and collectors, while there are only a few original sword knots for sale. View our range of sword knots on our webstore.
This year, Armed Forces Day, formerly Veterans’ Day, will be celebrated across the UK on Saturday 25th of June. It is a chance for everyone to show their support for the men and women who have been, or still are, a part of the Armed Forces. Organisations across the country have already started to show their support by flying the flag in support of the British Armed Forces. The event first started in 2006 and in the years proceeding has grown into a national day of celebration. In 2009 its name was changed to Armed Forces Day and it’s now accepted as always falling on the last Saturday in June. The aim of the day is to ensure that members of the Armed Forces, past and present, are never forgotten and that their contributions are remembered. There are many activities happening up and down the country to celebrate the event and every year the event takes place in a different city. Previous locations include Birmingham, Blackpool, Kent, Cardiff and Edinburgh. The National Event, is this year being held at Cleethorpes in north East Lincolnshire but there will be other local events taking place. During the day parades and silences, to more local events such as stalls and live music, are being held to raise awareness and give a morale boost to the troops and families. The hashtag #SaluteOurForces is a simple way for anyone wishing to pay their tributes to the British Armed Forces on social media.