The Armed Forces and COVID-19

Coronavirus has disrupted many of the Armed Forces celebrations this year. Armed Forces Day, which was supposed to see celebrations across the country on the Saturday 27th June had to be cancelled. The Red Arrows performed a flypast in Scarborough however to commemorate the day. The Hawk jets flew over the town which has planned various events which had to be moved online or cancelled. The Queens Trooping the Colour, which celebrated the Queen’s Birthday, was also scaled back this year. It was confirmed that a mini trooping the colour would be held on the 13th June at Windsor Castle. The small parade of Welsh Guards which would see them troop their colour accompanied by a smaller group of the Bands of the Household Division. VE Day or Victory in Europe was celebrated during this year’s lockdown on Friday 8th May. Celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of the day were planned across the country however due to coronavirus many celebrations were cancelled. The Queen addressed the nation via a televised broadcast at 9pm on the day, which was the same time her father, The King George VI gave the radio address 75 years ago. The Beating Retreat was also due to take place on June 3rd-4th this year however the decision was made to cancel this military event also due to Covid-19. Those who purchased tickets for the event are to be refunded for their tickets and the organisers hope this event will take place next year. During the coronavirus pandemic the Armed Forces have been on call helping out around the country with various tasks. The Forces have taken a lead role in the UK’s response to the pandemic. During the height of the pandemic there were 20,000 members of the Armed Forces at readiness with more than 4000 being deployed at any one time. One of their major tasks has been helping the NHS. Various Armed Forces personnel helped to set up the Nightingale Hospitals around the country. The vast majority of the mobile testing units were run by military personnel. Staff from HMS Prince of Wales and 1st Battalion Irish Guards were among the staff. 400 members of the Armed Forces were mobilised to help the COVID Support Force. Members from the British Army, RAF and Royal Navy have been supporting the NHS ambulance services and tri-service personnel have trained to drive oxygen tankers if required. Other duties included delivering PPE to NHS staff. The British Army teamed up with EBay to help healthcare workers find and order free personal protective equipment. They have also helped in the increase of medical provision. Two specialist RAF aircrafts, which are normally used to transport Government ministers were reconfigured to help in the fight against coronavirus by being adapted into medical evacuation planes for the critically ill COVID-19 patients.

2021-03-30T14:49:13+01:0027 August 2020|

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 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.

2021-03-30T14:50:35+01:0027 November 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|

Armed Forces Day 2019

[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]

2021-03-30T14:54:15+01:0025 June 2019|

HMS Pickle

There have so far been eight ships named HMS Pickle in the Royal Navy. The most recent being an Algerine-class minesweeper which was launched in 1943. The original HMS Pickle was launched in the 1800s and was a 10-gun topsail schooner. The ship was present at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, under John Richards’ Lapenotiere, but was unfortunately wrecked in 1808. During the Battle of Trafalgar, HMS Pickle was too small to fight but was given the honour of being the first ship to bring the news of Nelson’s victory to Great Britain. In 1995, five replica Baltic packet schooners were constructed. In 2005 one was renamed ‘Schooner Pickle’ and although not a replica of HMS Pickle, this ship took part in the 200 year Trafalgar celebration. Currently the ship is at Hull Marina on the Humber and is kept as a representation of the original Pickle. The anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar is on the 21st October. If you wish to purchase your HMS Pickle cap tally click here.

2021-03-30T15:04:13+01:004 October 2018|

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 ribbons, and there are already two or more rows worn, then the top row must be left incomplete and must be worn centrally. Each row of ribbons should be approximately 3 mm apart. Ribbons worn are to be stitched to the garment instead of mounted. Orders, decorations and medals are to be worn using an unseen brooch and on the left breast. If wearing a Full Dress tunic then they are usually placed in the middle, between the first and second buttons from the collar. Medals should be worn to show the Sovereign’s head. Orders, Decorations and Medals are to be worn at the following occasions: - State Occasions - Royal Occasions - Guards in London - Military Funerals - Guards on Royal residences - Guards of honour - Guards in Edinburgh - Ceremonial and Sovereign’s parades - Parades incorporating a religious service Orders, Decorations and Medals are worn on Full Dress, Frockcoat and No 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 10 and 11 Dress. They are not to be worn on greatcoats and No 8 Combat Dress. Orders, Decorations and Medals are also not to be worn on operational or protective clothing. To view our range of medals and medal ribbons click here.

2021-03-30T15:17:06+01:0021 August 2018|

Mine Counter-Measure Vessels

During the 1990s the Royal Navy had two classes of off-shore patrol vessels: Island-class and Castle-class. In 1997, however, these were replaced by River-class which featured much larger vessels. The largest patrol vessel is HMS Protector which is a dedicated Antarctic patrol ship. There are also mine counter-measure vessels currently in service, including: the Sandown-class mine-hunters and the Hunt-class vessels. Hunt-class vessels have mechanical devices known as ‘sweeps’ used for disabling mines, while modern ships are soundproofed to reduce the chances of detonating the mines. Minesweeper vessels differ considerably to minehunter vessels. While minehunter vessels detect and neutralise mines, minesweepers clear open waters containing large numbers of mines.  Both vessels are formally referred to as mine counter-measure vessels (MCMV). There are various Royal Navy bases for the Mine Counter-Measures Squadron. HM Naval Base Clyde and Faslane are two of them. The First mine Counter-Measures Squadron (MCM1) recently received the Surface Flotilla Efficiency Trophy for keeping sea lanes safe from mines. When operating overseas, the UK’s Mine Counter-Measures forces are supported by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA). Usually ships spend three years on deployment and the crew changes every six months. At the end of the three year period the ships swap and another vessel takes over.

2021-03-30T15:17:28+01:007 August 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|

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.

2021-03-30T15:47:01+01:0030 January 2018|

Queen to formally commission HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The Queen has formally commissioned the aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth. She was joined by Princess Annie, First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones and Prime Minister Theresa May. It was the first time the Queen had seen the new flagship since Rosyth in July 2014. A commissioning ceremony usually takes place once a ship has completed its sea trials. In this specific ceremony The Queen said a few words and then the commissioning warrant was read. The Blue Ensign has been replaced with the White Ensign. The Blue Ensign has been flying from the ship during trials. The replacement of the Blue Ensign to the White Ensign symbolises the acceptance of HMS Queen Elizabeth into Her Majesty’s fleet. This also makes it an Official Navy Warship. The only milestone left for HMS Queen Elizabeth is the flight trials, which will begin in 2018. The HMS Queen Elizabeth is set to be deployed, with jets on board, in 2021. Her sister ship, HMS Prince of Wales has also been formally named and is structurally complete. Both of the new aircraft carriers are being delivered by Aircraft Carrier Alliance. We stock the HMS Queen Elizabeth ship crest and cap tally on our website. View the items here.

2021-03-30T15:49:12+01:0011 December 2017|
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