Six Military Units you never knew existed.

Classic military units differ in their specialization and size from country to country. Here are some Military Units you probably didn’t know existed. Lovat scouts (United Kingdom) Frederick Burnham, was the Commander of the Scottish Highland Regiment. He formed the Lovat Scouts in 1900 to fight in the Second Boer War. They became known as one of the first heavily camouflaged units during the First World War. Their suit, know are a Ghillie suit, was designed to resemble the background environment, such as sand or snow.  Most of the regiment’s soldiers were gamekeepers from big Scottish estates and were known for their shooting skills so not surprisingly, in 1916 the military unit became the British Army’s first sniper unit.  61st Cavalry Regiment (India) Formed in 1953, the 61st Cavalry Regiment is the largest cavalry regiment in the World that isn’t ceremonial and is fully operational. The Regiment is made up of 270 men and is the only regiment that reserves a third of its places for Kaim Khani Muslim soldiers. The Regiment took part in combat in 2001, when it was involved in Operation Parakram, which was a stand-off along the Indian Pakistani border.  ‘A’ Force (United Kingdom) The ‘A’ Force unit was set up by Dudley Wrangel Clarke during WWII and he was the only solder initially. He gave himself the task of deceiving the enemy by setting up fake regiments and operations. The unit was eventually given real mean to work behind the enemy lines. Filthy Thirteen (USA) The Filthy 13, or formally called, The Demolition Section, was made up of 18 paratroopers. These men were sent behind enemy lines to destroy and secure bridges following the Normandy landings in 1944. Most of their missions were seemingly suicidal. Many of them wore facepaint and were unwashed, hence the name. one of the soldiers said, “didn’t do everything we were supposed to do in some ways and did a whole lot more than they wanted us to do in other ways. We were always in trouble.” Fifteen of the eighteen men lived.  The ‘Underground Army’ (United Kingdom) Churchill set up the Auxiliary Units, incase Germany’s Operation Sea Lion had been a success, to provide resistance and overthrow the enemy. Although these men hid under the veil of the Home Guard, they were fully trained in guerrilla warfare, assassination and sabotage. There were 3500 men in the regiment who were recruited to be self-sufficient, in their small teams, and entirely autonomous. They lived in especially dug-out underground shelters. Many of these men joined the SAS at the war’s end.  Mormon Battalion (USA) The Mormon Battalion was the only religious regiment in the US. The battalion was made up of over 500 men, women, boys and girls. They never fought a single battle although marched 2000 miles across America, helping to play a part in the expansion of the US.

2021-03-30T14:53:37+01:0029 July 2019|

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 differ by the individual services and also often by rank or regiment. 

2021-03-30T14:53:56+01:009 July 2019|

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 the Royal British Legion (RBL) and specifically represents remembrance associated with the British Armed Forces. There has been a long standing opposition to the white poppy, with critics suggesting that it undermines the message of remembrance around Armistice Day. However, St John’s Ambulance has changed its dress code policy to allow volunteers to wear the white poppy as an alternative. During the war when the soil was churned up by endless fighting, poppies still managed to flourish leading the red poppy to become a symbol of remembrance of the First World War. The poppy is also seen as a symbol to honour the millions of current servicemen and women who fight in our Armed Forces. Charities such as Blesma The Limbless Veterans also provide support to amputees from the Armed Forces. They currently help 1873 amputees who lost limbs in the line of duty. Every year a member of Wyedean attends the local service in Haworth to lay a wreath to honour those who have fallen. Which service will you be attending this year? Will you hold a two minutes silence at 11am? Listen out on Sunday for the half muffled church bells. To make a donation to the Poppy Appeal visit the British Legion website here: http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/

2021-03-30T15:06:25+01:0030 October 2018|

The Military Knights of Windsor

The Military Knights of Windsor were known informally as the Poor Knights. Originally known as the Alms Knights, they are retired officers who receive a pension and accommodation at Windsor Castle. They are commanded by the Governor of the Military Knights of Windsor, who is a senior officer who has also retired. Retired Officers must become a Military Knight before the age of 65 and places are given to applicants in needy circumstances who are married. Military Knights provide support for the Order of the Garter and for the services of St. George’s Chapel. The Military Knights of Windsor participate in the Order’s processions and escort the Kings and Ladies of the Garter and are not paid for their duties today. During the reign of King Edward III, following the Battle of Crecy (1346), the Alms Knights of St George’s Chapel were established. Originally, veteran warriors were called to ‘serve God continually in prayer’. Duties included attending four services per day and praying for the sovereign and the Knights of the Order of the Garter and rooms. The Alms Knights were a charity organised to pray for its patron. Originally they were Poor Knights or impoverished military veterans who were required to pray for the Sovereign and Knights Companions of the Order of the Garter. In return they received 12p per day and were given lodgings at Windsor Castle. If any Poor Knight were to acquire an income of more than £20 a year then he would be removed from the college. In 1833 King William IV renamed them the Military Knights of Windsor. The Military Knights of Windsor claim to be the oldest military establishment in the Army List. Their home is in the Lower Ward of the Castle for as long as they can carry out their duties, which often takes them until the end of their days.

2021-03-30T15:05:42+01:0027 September 2018|

Military Funerals

A military funeral is a memorial given by the military for a serviceman who died in battle, a veteran or prominent military figures. A military funeral may include the firing of a volley of shots as a salute, drumming, a flag draped over the coffin or a guard of honour. In British Army military funerals, reserved arms are carried and the Last Post and Rouse of Reveille are sounded. Any Service personnel who died while serving are entitled to a private funeral or a funeral at public expense. Generally, there is no ceremonial at a private funeral. This normally depends on the next of kin in conjunction with the unit. Military funerals take place with some or all military honours depending on the circumstances. Any salutes of guns are fired after the body has been laid to rest. The Military honours are: - Bearer Party - Pall - Bearers - Insignia Bearers - Escort and Firing Party of Gun Salute - Musical support - Minute Guns Personnel who have served in all ranks are entitled to funeral honours at the public expense. This is providing that the troops involved are stationed within reasonable distance. Coffins used in military funerals are draped with a Union Jack flag.

2021-03-30T15:17:56+01:007 June 2018|

Military Chaplains

A chaplain is a religious representative who is attached to a secular institution such as a prison, military unit or hospital. Originally, the world chaplain referred to a representative of the Christian faith, but is now applied to all faiths and philosophical traditions. The first recorded English military chaplains were priests on board vessels during the 8th century, however, the current form of military chaplain dates back to the First World War. A military chaplain provides pastoral, emotional and spiritual support to service personnel. They often conduct religious services whilst at sea or on a military base and are nominated or commissioned in different ways in different countries. A military chaplain could be an army-trained soldier with theological training or an ordained person who is nominated to the army by religious authorities. The Ministry of Defence employs chaplains in the UK, but their authority comes from their church. The Royal Navy chaplains are sent on a 16 week bespoke training course. This includes a short course at Britannia Royal Naval College and specialist fleet time at sea with a more experienced chaplain. Those who are in service with the Royal Marines have a five month training Commando Course and then wear the Commandos’ Green Beret, if successful. Those chaplains in the British Army undertake a seven week training course at the Armed Forces Chaplaincy Centre Amport House and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurt. RAF chaplains complete a twelve week Specialist Entrant course at the RAF College Cranwell. They are then sent for an additional two week Chaplains’ Induction Course at the Armed Forces Chaplaincy Centre Amport House. In the air force and armies, they carry ranks that are differentiated by crosses or other religious insignia. They are normally given officer status, however, in more recent times the British have required their chaplains to be unarmed. We stock Chaplain uniform accessories online. View our range here.

2021-03-30T15:46:38+01:0015 March 2018|

Dalton, Barton & Co Ltd.

Dalton Barton & Co was a textile manufacturing company founded near Coventry on the 16th of January 1852. The name Dalton and Barton corresponded with that of its two founding weavers: Robert Arnold Dalton and George Samuel Barton. Robert Dalton was born in 1825, the son of a plumber and glazier, but at the age of 14 he started a 7-year apprenticeship with William and John Sargent, who were ribbon makers in Coventry. In 1847 he became a ribbon manufacturer. Later in life he was elected an alderman and mayor of the city. Little is known of George Barton, only that he was a year younger than Robert Dalton. It wasn’t until 29th May 1872 that the company became a limited company. Dalton Barton & Co Ltd had an incorporated number of 6313, meaning that there were only 6312 incorporated companies before it so it was one of the first few. The company flourished and extended its range from ribbon making to narrow fabrics, braids, upholstery trimmings, uniform regalia and lanyards. The Company had a huge boost when it received the contract to produce Australian moquette tape used in railway carriages. Both the Coventry factory and its London marketing company continued to prosper and they became one of the largest haberdashery wholesalers in the world. In 1940 during WWII disaster struck when an air raid destroyed the whole Coventry factory. By this time the factory had focused all of its efforts on military narrow fabrics such a chevron lace, medal ribbon and parachute harnesses etc. This meant it was able to obtain Government funding to build a new factory on Mason Road, Coventry. As the war progressed, sourcing the pure silk for the weaving of medal ribbons became increasingly difficult. Nylon was suggested as an alternative - at the time it was a newly-developed material. King George VI refused stating that his award medals were for superior acts of gallantry which would be manufactured from only the finest materials. David Wright, father of Robin Wright, the present owner, joined the company in 1959. He had no experience of narrow fabrics but was skilled in textile manufacturing management and design. He joined the company and moved the factory near the river Wye in Gloucester, which is close to the Forest of Dean. David then renamed the company Wyedean Weaving. In 1964 a severance was proposed by Dalton Barton and its subsidiary Wyedean Weaving. David Wright struck a deal to transfer all of the haberdashery production looms, in exchange for him being allowed to purchase the military production machinery. Wyedean Weaving was relocated to Haworth, West Yorkshire where David grew up and focused its energies on uniform accoutrement such as sergeant sashes, chevrons, RAF rank braid and naval collar tape which was mainly sold to customers such as the Ministry of Defence. To view our range of narrow fabrics click here.

2021-03-30T15:47:41+01:0025 January 2018|

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 Colour the Major-General commanding the Household Division wears full dress uniform with a cocked hat and a swan-feather plume. When the Queen is represented in Parliament by Lords Commissioners, a plain black bicorne is worn. Senior officers holding certain royal appointments wear cocked hats.

2021-03-30T16:03:20+01:003 August 2017|

Flag of the 45th Line

Ensign Charles Ewart was a Scottish soldier of the Royal North British Dragoons and is most famous for capturing the regimental eagle of the 45th Regiment of the Line flag at the Battle of Waterloo. The French Imperial Eagle was gilded bronze and fixed to the top of a staff carrying the standard of the French 45th Infantry Regiment. The imperial eagle is one of the most iconic objects from the Napoleonic period and was a symbol of pride and loyalty among French troops who would form the backbone of Napoleon’s newly-formed regime. On June 10th 1815, the 45eme de la Ligne received its new eagle which was carried into the Battle of Waterloo by Pierre Guillot, where it would, after a bloody and brutal battle, be famously captured by Ewart. This symbolic victory made Ewart a hero and this captured eagle is now kept in Edinburgh Castle as one of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards most prized honours. So famous was this victory, in fact, that the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards changed the design of their cap badge to show the eagle above a Waterloo banner on crossed rifles. Wyedean was recently commissioned by a customer, who owned a replica 45th Infantry Regiment flag and eagle which had faded over the years, to recreate the flag and bring the staff, eagle and standard back to its former glory. Supplied with the core components, Wyedean’s tailoring department recreated the flag using printed materials instead of the original hand embroidered materials and stitched the detailing to stop the flag ballooning and ensured the drape was correct. Wyedean are specialists in the manufacture of flags and standards and our tailoring department have the skills and expertise to take on bespoke commissions as well as restoration projects.

2021-03-30T16:15:07+01:0024 April 2017|

Lord Lieutenant

A Lord-Lieutenant is a personal representative for the British monarch in each county of the United Kingdom. Today Lord Lieutenancy is mostly a ceremonial position, but historically they were responsible for organising the county’s militia. The Lord Lieutenant is the highest rank of the lieutenants, followed by a Vice Lord Lieutenant and then Deputy Lieutenants. The Vice Lord Lieutenant takes over duties if the Lord Lieutenant is ill or unable to attend. There are usually between 30 to 40 Deputy Lieutenants appointed by the Lord Lieutenant depending on the county’s size. The main duties performed by a Lord Lieutenant are arranging visits for members of the royal family, as well as escorting royal visitors, presenting medals on behalf of the sovereign and participating in civic and social activities within the lieutenancy. The uniform worn by Lord Lieutenants is military in style and has many similarities with army uniforms. Currently Lord Lieutenants wear a dark blue uniform in the style of a General Officer’s Army No 1 dress, while the detailing, such as buttons, shoulder boards etc. are silver rather than gold. The cap badge, which is worn on the peak cap, varies depending on the Lieutenant’s country. A rose is worn in England, a shamrock in Northern Ireland, a thistle in Scotland and Prince-of-Wales feathers in Wales. To view our range of Lord Lieutenant uniform accessories click here.

2021-03-30T16:15:31+01:0019 April 2017|
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