Every year we as a nation unite to remember those who have fallen fighting for our country. This year celebrations will be a little different due to Covid. The annual Remembrance Sunday March past at the Cenotaph, where up to 10,000 War Veterans take part in London did not take place this year. The ceremony was still broadcast live on BBC1 at 10:15am. The closed ceremony was attended by the likes of The Prime Minister and Members of The Royal Family. Attendees laid Poppy wreaths at the Cenotaph. Armistice Day 2020 will take place on Wednesday 11th November. 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 hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.” In many of the Allied nations, and France, this is a national holiday. All over the world people stop to observe a two minutes silence at 11am on the 11th of November. Poppies are worn as a symbol of respect and a tribute to those who fell during the Wars. Socially distanced ceremonies took place on Sunday on a much smaller scale due to Covid. The local councils advised much smaller outdoor ceremonies. We are advised to keep numbers down to those wishing to lay wreaths. Buglers are able to perform outdoors. Any communal singing must be outdoors and is limited to the national anthem and one additional song.
This year marks the 75th Anniversary of VE, or Victory in Europe Day. On 8th May 1945, Winston Churchill made an announcement on the radio at 3pm after enemy forces had surrendered the previous day. He said, “My dear friends, this is your house.” This year on the 8th May 2020 it will be 75 years since the guns fell silent and marked the end of World War II. To commemorate the event, this year’s May Day Bank Holiday has been moved. Usually the May Day Bank Holiday is the first Monday of May, however this year the date has been moved to Friday 8th May to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Events will take place around the country over weekend from the 8th May to the 10th May 2020 to mark the enormous sacrifice, courage and determination shown by those who served and the millions who lost their loved ones in the conflict. If you wish to find out more information on how you can take part in celebrating the 75th anniversary of VE Day click here. Ensure your uniform is ready to take part in the parades and remembrance duties. You can find all your uniform accessories on our website.
The Life Guards (LG), along with The Blues & Royals, are the most senior regiments in the British Army. Together they form the Household Cavalry Regiment (HCav). The regiment was formed in 1660 by King Charles II. It consisted of 80 Royalists who accompanied the King and formed themselves into a military bodyguard to protect The Sovereign. The regiment has always remained the senior regiment of the British Army. The regiment was nicknamed the ‘Cheesemongers’ in the 1780’s. After originally, only recruiting gentlemen-troops, the regiment allowed members of the common merchant class to join. ‘Cheesemongers’ was a pejorative term for the people who worked in a trade. In 1815 the regiment were a part of the Household Brigade at the Battle of Waterloo. Under Major- General Lord Edward Somerset the regiment charged at the French heavy cavalry equivalents, along with the then, Royal Horse Guards. In 1922 the regiment became known as The Life Guards. In 1992 the Life Guards and The Blues & Royals formed a union but retained their separate identity. Since 1945 the regiment has served wherever the British Army has been in action. The Life Guards have been on tours to various places including; Cyprus, Northern Ireland, The Gulf, Palestine and Afghanistan. The regiment continues to be fully integrated as part of the modern British Army and are ready to deploy whenever they are needed. The Life Guards uniform if distinguishable by their red tunics with white horsehair plumes atop their helmets. They also wear a metal cuirass consisting of a front and back plate. Another distinguishing factor of The Life Guards uniform is that they wear their chin strap below their lower lip, unlike The Blues & Royals who wear theirs under their chin. On service dress the Life Guards Officers and Warrant Officers Class One wear a red lanyard and a Sam Browne belt. The Order of the Garter Star are used for Officer rank pips. Their motto is Honi soit qui mal y pense which is popularly translated to “Evil be to him who evil thinks.” View our Life Guards uniform accessories here.
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.
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/
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.
A High Sheriff is a ceremonial officer appointed to each county of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Office of High Sheriff is a non-political Royal appointment lasting for a single year. The role dates back to Saxon times, when the ‘Shire Reeve’ was responsible for the maintenance of law and order within the county. High Sheriffs are the oldest secular Office in the UK after the Crown. Today there are 55 High Sheriffs serving the counties in England and Wales. Supporting the Crown is still one of their central roles, but they also lend support to crime prevention agencies, emergency services and the voluntary sector. Each year three nominations are made in a meeting of the Lords of the Council in the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court of Justice. Every March the meeting of the Privy Council takes place where the Sovereign selects the High Sheriffs. This is known as the ancient custom of ‘pricking’. Male High Sheriffs wear a ceremonial uniform called Court Dress. It is the same uniform worn since the late seventeenth century. The black or dark blue velvet coat is worn with a cocked hat, sword and shoes with cut steel buckles. Some High Sheriffs wear their military uniform instead of Court Dress. Ladies wear a style of uniform adapted from the traditional men’s Court Dress to suit their needs. When not in uniform A High Sheriff wears a badge of Office on a ribbon.
They are to be worn by RAF and PMRAFNS Officers with a No 1A and 6A service dress, whether or not a sword is being worn, and with No 1 and 6 service dress when a sword is worn. White gloves are to be worn by airmen and women with No 1 and service dress when participating in: State Occasions, Royal Occasions, Guards of Honour, Service Funerals, Sovereign’s Birthday Parades and Guards at Royal residences. White gloves and white webbing may be worn at other ceremonial events but this is usually authorised by personnel before the event. The gloves are made from 100% cotton and have stitching on the cuff with a button. We stock the white parade gloves on our website. Click here to view them.
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.
The Royal Air Force Regiment (RAF) is the ground fighting force for the Royal Air Force and provides a range of force protection. The Royal Air Force Regiment functions as a specialist airfield defence corps and was founded by Royal Warrant in 1942. The regiment’s members are known within the RAF by a number of names: ‘The Regiment’, ‘Rock Apes’ and ‘Rocks’. The regiment trains in CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) defence. They are equipped with advanced vehicles and detection methods. Each member undertakes a 32-week gunner course and is trained to prevent a successful enemy attack in the first instance, minimise the damage caused by a successful attack, and ensure that air operations can continue without delay in the aftermath of an attack. The regiment was formed in 1942 and had 66,000 personnel drawn in from the former Defence Squadrons No.’s 701-850. The role of the new regiment was to seize, secure and defend airfields to enable air operations to take place. The regiment was made up of both field squadrons and light anti-aircraft squadrons. The Royal Air Force Regiment is under command of the 2 Group, Air Command. There are eight regular squadrons within the regiment: Nos 1, 2, 15, 26, 27, 34, 51 and 63 Queen’s colour Squadron. The Field Squadrons are divided into flights which are a similar size to an army platoon. Each field squadron has rifle flights who are to engage enemy at close range, and a support weapons flight, which provides fire support to her rifle flights using machine guns, mortars and snipers. The RAF regiment became the first branch of the British Armed Forces to allow women into all of its roles. To view our RAF Regiment products and accessories click here.