Tag - RAF

Mess Dress Uniform

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 [...]

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 [...]

War Memorial Saved Rehoused

1914-1919 Roll of Honour War Memorial

War memorial almost lost forever as wartime researchers struggle to find it a new home.  The Roll of Honour was originally displayed at the Woodlands Lodge, Haworth, No185 (N) of the Grand United Order of Oddfellows Friendly Society for their fallen and served members in the Great War of 1914-1919. The memorial is a rectangular wooden board which has supporting pillars and a cornice. The Coat of Arms is at the top with the names of those who fell listed below it. The inscription reads “1914 Roll of Honour 1919/ Amicita Amor Et Veritas/ Members who have made the/ Supreme sacrifice.” Listed are the names of the 83 who served, 10 of whom sadly died and 73 who returned. The Regiments and Corps named on the Roll of Honour are listed below; – Army Ordinance Corps (AOC) – Army Service Corps (ASC) – Army Service Corps (motor transport) (ASC (mt)) – Coldstream Guards (CG) – Duke of Wellingtons (West Riding Regiment) (D of W (WR)) – Durham Light Infantry (DLI) – [...]

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 [...]

Military Chaplains

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 [...]

Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment

Military White Parade Gloves

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.

RAF wearing white parade gloves

The Royal Air Force Regiment

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 [...]