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Acting rank NCOs

 
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Ben Townsend
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:06 pm    Post subject: Acting rank NCOs  Reply with quote

Like everyone else, I have been coveting- I mean admiring- the new badges of our acting corporal and acting sergeant. Where do these hail from? Apologies if this is more a research forum thing.
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Obadiah
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ohhhhhh you want it don't you.

The acting ranks are mentioned in Green Book so I believe, but Blakey is the one to answer this one.

If your a good boy I'll let you stroke my badge at Waterloo, You'll like that won't you!

Lance Sgt Thingy Me Do da
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Paul Durrant
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While you're both at it, here's the Colour Sgt's Chevron from the Royal Green Jacket's Museum, Winchester. (Stay calm).


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Ben Townsend
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice Paul. From now on to be known as Blakey's Precious.
Dave, I know all about the acting ranks and how the Rifles don't adopt the term 'lance' til the 1930s, just wondered where the inspiration for the design of those Gucci patches came from. I'm working on the Valiant Researcher forearm patch you see..
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Paul Durrant
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

C'mon Blakey! 'Fess up!
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The Sarge!
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Acting Rank.

In the Green Book it refers to acting ranks thus.

The first Squad is to have the Senior Cpl made upto acting Sjt, in the brakets of the margin its refers to this person being the Lance Sjt, the senior Chosenman to be made acting Cpl and be in the fourth Squad with the Senior Sjt.

In lou of the Cheven, the man is to be awarded a badge to be worn above his rank that is a white sword above his chevons. the actual design is based on what type of sword this would be, by looking at the Colour Sjt rank badge you will see it has crossed straight swords, so i copied this in style and design and the badge had to be big enough to sit in the chevons, so that is where the size came from and the make up of the badge is copying how the chevons are made.

so its a bit of direct lifting from the Green Book and best guess based on what i knows.
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Paul Durrant
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Sarge! wrote:
Acting Rank.

In the Green Book it refers to acting ranks thus.

The first Squad is to have the Senior Cpl made upto acting Sjt, in the brakets of the margin its refers to this person being the Lance Sjt, the senior Chosenman to be made acting Cpl and be in the fourth Squad with the Senior Sjt.

In lou of the Cheven, the man is to be awarded a badge to be worn above his rank that is a white sword above his chevons. the actual design is based on what type of sword this would be, by looking at the Colour Sjt rank badge you will see it has crossed straight swords, so i copied this in style and design and the badge had to be big enough to sit in the chevons, so that is where the size came from and the make up of the badge is copying how the chevons are made.

so its a bit of direct lifting from the Green Book and best guess based on what i knows.


Quote in full:

Article VI. Rewards for Merit — Punishment for Crimes (in margin: ‘Lance Serjeants, Corporals, and chosen men - how distinguished.)

“With regards to exterior marks of distinction, as a reward for good conduct, and as encouragement for merit, they must be given with a sparing and careful hand, in order that their real value may be felt: until the corps has been for some time permanently established, no exterior marks of distinction can be given excepting to such well behaved Non-commissioned Officers and private Riflemen, as are promoted to a rank higher than their actual position on the establishment; as for instance, acting Serjeant major, Serjeants, Corporals, and the chosen Men; as a distinction at once honourable, and implying authority, all Non-commisioned Officers acting in a superior rank will wear, in lieu of the customary V, or arrow, a sword on the right arm…chosen men will be distinguished by a ring of white cloth on right arm.”


Also:

Isla de Leon, Cadiz, June 20th 1810, General Stuart,

"...3rd: Lance rank is very useful and all units are to adopt, each company having one corporal as lance sjt and two privates as lance corporals, all to be distinguished by single chevron on the left arm.”

NLS, Acc 9074, 46, Brigade orders Peninsula 1809-11
________________________________________

So, Question: would they be known as Lance Serjeants & Lance Corporals (lance corporals in the 95th are, I presume, chosen men)?
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Ben Townsend
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was some pretty serious thread-necromancy. There is some stuff on lance ranks in my re-edition of The Green Book.

'The intentions regarding officers and non-commissioned officers are clear. The regimental staff is at the upper size limit for the epoch, with two lieutenant-colonels and two majors. In company terms it sets a precedent with three lieutenants under the captain, the senior acting as captain-lieutenant, a peculiar eighteenth century term for the captain’s understudy. This is a generous complement, and that is amplified in the non-commissioned officers. The first additional NCO is the senior serjeant of the company who is to act as company serjeant-major and do no squad duty. He is effectively understudy to the junior lieutenant. Each company has six serjeants and four corporals, one of the corporals is an ‘acting-serjeant’, and there is also an acting-corporal selected from the privates. These are equivalent to lance ranks, which are not analogous to the new position of chosen man, of which every company had four.
This represents a complement of fifteen NCOs to eighty private riflemen, which by the standards of the time was high. Compare for instance, with a British line regiment, or with a French regiment of the ligne or leger. In 1793 a French fusilier company disposed of three officers and eleven NCOs, plus some appointés, a sort of lance corporal position. When the post of appointé was abolished in a revolutionary egalitarian gesture, only three officers and eleven NCOs remained to a company with a paper strength of 140, as compared to the British paper strength of 100.
Why were the numbers so high? One of the answers is found in the text- a company of riflemen must be able to act as an autonomous entity: the so-called company system in one of its earliest expressions. It was expected that the companies would be allocated as specialists to larger formations or detached on special duties, and so would be isolated from regimental staff, and often deployed into still further diminished company subsections that would require more non-commissioned officers to maintain order.
The second reason, or at least the second effect, was to establish superior command and control over the opponent. One of the functions of light infantry in general and riflemen in particular was to target the officers and drummers of the opposing force. By doing so, they could deprive the enemy of signal and command functions, and so, by the same token, a superiority of officers and non-commissioned officers in friendly forces meant that the company could maintain its own cohesion better, and longer, in the face of dispersion or casualties.
In fact company rolls show that the 95th maintained these ratios and even increased them during deployment in the Peninsula and on other service. By example, in 1811, a typical company of the 3/95th had a complement of six serjeants and six corporals. (Cumloden papers, Letter from Colonel Stewart, National Archives of Scotland, ACC. 9074, 34).
One notorious equalisation occurred on the field before the battle of Salamanca.  This naturally caused furious anguish among those officers to be ordered home to form cadres for new companies. In fact, the practice of company officers remaining with the battalions in the Peninsula as supernumeraries rather than returning home to England upon equalisation appears to have been unofficially condoned by the regiment. The chance of a vacancy occurring in the field, and the opportunities for preferment or of distinguishing oneself led many to linger on active service.

‘.. the two battalions of the 95th or Rifle Regt ... shall be forthwith equalised in point of numbers and efficiency for service, by allotting the old and young soldiers in equal numbers to each battalion and appropriating them in equal proportions to the several companies.'
WO3/39 Page 476, Letter dated 14 Oct. 1805.'
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JBristoll(60th)
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, are there any images of modern interpretations of these sword badges someone could post in here? Interested to see these. I imagine they would adhere to the Chevron regulations?
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Paul Durrant
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The earliest form we know of are the swords in this colour Serjeants badge from Winchester.


Whilst the museum dates it as 1808, we understand it didn't come in to being as a rank until 1813(Ben?). Personally I think its post our period.

There's also an account by Costello talking of such badge;

Costello just after Siege of San Sabastian:

"In this camp an order arrived from the Horse Guards for the appointment of a colour-sergeant in each company, to be considered as senior or sergeant-major with an extra sixpence per day. As no badges (the cross swords) had arrived from England, the deficiency was supplied by our master-tailor, who formed an imitation with coloured silks, worked on the arms of the men appointed."  

Rifleman Costello, Leonaur 2005, p185 (end Ch19)

I believe there is an example of a hand stitched one somewhere in our archive...
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Paul Durrant
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here ya go:

Previously posted by 'Gregger', Canada, in the 'NCO Distinctions' thread.

"As a follow up to a recent question on the grenadier sergeant coat of the KGL in Celle, I thought I'd start things off with some images of an colour sergeant coat I have on my HD. The location of the coat is unknown to me.
This garment has the thinner, plain NCO lace of the period. Note the shoulder straps are not sewn into the shoulder seam; the tuft at the end of the strap is woven and sewn to the underside of the strap, not slipped on; and the NCO pocket flaps are slanted like an officer's, in spite of this being a battalion coat.
This, and the waist having a broader opening than the rank and file, and the cuffs are split, does show that NCOs had a different cut coat from the other ranks, not just a better quality fabric.
The colour sergeant stripe is on a huge piece of coat fabric that covers the right upper sleeve form seam to seam.
Any other images of original NCO coats would be interesting to see.

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Eddie
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Colour Sjts' coat above is in the museum in Cardiff Castle and is attributed to a named NCO of the 69th Foot. Rob Yuill took the photos - I was present at the time - the images come from an album on the FB page of the 68th.


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