The Minute Book
Saturday, 16 August 2014

Toasts in the Army
Topic: Tradition

Very different in character … was the unofficial toast of "Bloody War or a Sickly Season," often drunk in India, but only on informal occasions. In the days closely following the Mutiny, when promotion was slow, subalterns were wont to express this sentiment and raise their glasses in the hope that if these evils came they might be the fortunate survivors.

Toasts in the Army

By Lieut.-Colonel C. C. R. Murphy, published in the Journal of the Royal United Service Institution, Vol. XCIII, February to November 1948)

A toast may be defined as a pledge in drinking, a way of expressing a wish for the health and happiness of persons or the success and prosperity of things. The custom of drinking them certainly bears the stamp and charm of antiquity. It had its origin in love or war, and so the first person to drink a toast must have been either a lover or a soldier; he was probably both.

Fighting is the oldest craft in the world; but although a standing army is, in these islands, a comparatively modern institution, let us not forget that there has been a British Army ever since the dawn of our history. What customs prevailed amongst our prehistoric soldiers we cannot say; but in the Middle Ages, when our Army was composed of its finest material—namely, the yeomen of England—the practice of drinking toasts was already well established. And it has outlasted the voluntary Army.

No doubt regiments that existed before the days of the standing Army—such as the Earl of Pembroke's Regiment, mentioned by Shakespeare in Richard III—honoured toasts of their own. The custom may have been started by one or more regiments drinking .a certain toast on a certain night of the week. Then, as it gathered popularity, regiments may have agreed amongst themselves to drink the same toast on the same night, until at last the custom became general and a fixed set of toasts was evolved and recognized throughout the Army. For some reason or other, these eventually became known as the Peninsular Toasts. The list is as follows: Monday, "Our Men; "Tuesday, "Our Women"; Wednesday, " Our Noble Selves; "Thursday, "Our Swords;" Friday, "Our Religion;" Saturday, "Sweethearts and Wives;" Sunday, "Absent Friends."

As will be seen, they are brief, simple and inclusive, and of course quite unconnected with politics or sects. No exception could be taken to any of them—not even to that of "Our Swords," which in those days were never drawn without cause and never sheathed without honour. These toasts, some of which may be centuries, older than their collective name implies, were honoured by regiments, irrespective of whether they had served in the Peninsular War or not, which had nothing to do with the case. Perhaps the most popular of them were "Sweethearts and Wives", and "Absent Friends." The first of these was proposed by the junior officer at the table or else was drunk informally; whilst to the second the words "and ships at sea "were sometimes added.

I believe Mr. Winston Churchill has referred to the Peninsular Toasts in his writings, though I cannot remember where. Andre Maurois, in Les Silences du Colonel Bramble, has given a list of toasts for each night in the week as drunk in the British Army, but it differs slightly from the Peninsular list. (Footnote to original: "Among other informal toasts, that of 'Fox-hunting' was honoured from time to time by enthusiasts of the chase.")

Very different in character from the above was the unofficial toast of "Bloody War or a Sickly Season," often drunk in India, but only on informal occasions. In the days closely following the Mutiny, when promotion was slow, subalterns were wont to express this sentiment and raise their glasses in the hope that if these evils came they might be the fortunate survivors.

The XVIIIth Century found a divided loyalty to England and, after the "Forty-five," certain regiments disaffected towards the Sovereign were ordered to drink his health. To salve their consciences, the Jacobite officers of the day used to stretch their glasses over their finger-bowls and drink to "The King over the water." Ever since those days it has not been the custom to put finger-bowls on the mess table. (Footnoted: Major R.M. Grazebrook, O.B.E., M.C., in the ]ournal of the Society for Army Historical Research.) Some regiments of the old Army, such as the Grenadier Guards, Coldstream Guards, the King's Royal Rifles, and many more, priding themselves that their loyalty was never in doubt; did not drink the health of the Sovereign at all. Others, equally trusty, drank it every night.

The actual procedure followed in honouring the loyal toast was marked by some interesting variations in different regiments. For example, the 1st Royal Sussex, the Royal Norfolk, the East Surreys, and the Border Regiment (except on guest nights when the band played) used to remain seated when drinking it. The Black Watch drank to the King and Queen, whilst the old 54th Foot always drank the Sovereign's health in a bumper toast. In the case of the Lancashire regiments, the loyal toast in certain circumstances took the form of "The King, Duke of Lancaster."

Special reference must be made to two toasts connected With the Peninsular War. The first of these was "The Emperor," drunk by the 14th Hussars, the origin of it being as follows, During that campaign the regiment captured part of the baggage train of the Emperor Joseph Napoleon, and amongst other things found therein was a fine silver domestic utensil bearing his coat of arms. From it the health of "The Emperor" was always drunk on guest nights. The other toast is that of "Dyas and the Stormers," drunk by the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. It commemorates the gallantry of Ensign John Dyas, 51st Light Infantry, who at Badajos on three separate occasions led the storming parties in the face of almost certain death, His conduct must have been of an exceptionally high order, because the toast was sometimes drunk in the messes of other regiments—a very unusual circumstance.

Some of the regiments who served in the Peninsula celebrate particular battles of that war either at mess or by setting aside their anniversaries as regimental holidays. For instance, every year on 16th May, the old 57th Foot used to drink "To those who fell at Albuhera," in memory of the 415 " Die-hards " killed in that battle. Similarly, the 50th Foot, on the anniversary of Corunna, used to drink to the "Corunna Majors,!' who led the regiment on that occasion and attracted the favourable notice of Sir John Moore. The two officers concerned were Charles Napier and the Hon. Charles Stanhope, who was killed. Battles of other wars, such as Dettingen and Minden,' were also commemorated; b1it strange to say, glasses were seldom raised to those who fought and fell at Waterloo—the most famous battle in the history of the world.

Most of the Scotch, Irish and Welsh regiments drank to the pious memory of their Patron Saint on the appropriate day, though St. George was not honoured to the same extent by English regiments. On St. David's Day, the ceremony of eating the leek was also observed by the Royal Welch Fusiliers. In the Cameronians, it was not the practice to honour toasts at all. In the case of the 1st Battalion, the origin of this goes back to the early days of the Covenanters when the drinking of healths was contrary to their religious beliefs. The 2nd Battalion, formerly the 90th Perthshire Light Infantry, did not observe the loyal toast either; but according to the wits of the day, this was because they had not been granted the Prince Regent's Allowance!

In passing, a word about this special mess allowance will not be inappropriate. It was instituted by the Prince Regent at the beginning of the Peninsular War, and amounted to £250 a year in the case of a regiment of full establishment. This enabled the officers to obtain, duty free, four pipes of port, and thus put them on a more or less equal footing with the Navy who already enjoyed a drawback of the duty on wines consumed on board ship. In those days and until recent years, no officer in the British Army under the rank of Captain could live without private means. He had to payout of his own pocket for the honour of serving. In the Navy, the position was different; nevertheless, it was felt that there was no justification for the disparity between the two Services in the matter of excise duties. This, of course, had been the reason for its introduction; but after being- in existence for just over a century, it was suddenly abolished during the reign of King George V.

One of the most inspiring regimental toasts was that of the Seaforth Highlanders, given in Gaelic by the Pipe-Major on guest nights. It ran as follows:—

"The land of hills, glens, and heroes; where the ptarmigan thrives and where the red deer finds shelter; as long as mist hangs o'er the mountains and water runs in the glens, may the deeds of its brave be remembered, and health and victory be with the lads of the Cabar Feidh."

In 1940, a regulation was issued permitting officers to drink the King's health in water or other non-alcoholic beverages—a portent of the watery grave to which the old Army with all its traditions was about to be committed.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 2 May 2014

I am the Infantry
Topic: Tradition

I am the Infantry

US Army Infantry Journal, July 1956

I am the Infantry—Queen of Battle! I meet the enemy face to face … close with him and destroy him. For two centuries, I have been the bulwark of our Nation's defense. I am the Infantry! Follow me!

Hardship … and glory, I have known. My bleeding feet stained the snow at Valley Forge. With Washington, I crossed the Delaware … tasted victory at Yorktown … and saw our Nation born. I am the Infantry! Follow me!

At New Orleans, I fought beyond the hostile hour … discovered the fury of my long rifle … and came of age. I am the Infantry!

Westward, I moved with the covered wagon … marched with the empire across the plains … to far-flung outposts on the wild frontier. Follow me!

I went with Scott to Vera Cruz … battled Santa Anna in the mountain passes … and climbed the high plateau. I planted my flag in the Plaza of Mexico City. I am the Infantry!

From Bull Run to Appomattox my blood ran red. I served two masters … the Blue and the Grey … and united again under my banner of blue. I am the Infantry! Follow me!

I left these shores with the sinking of the Maine … led the charge up San Juan Hill … fought the Moro— and disease—in the Philippines. Across the Rio Grande, I chased the wily villain. Follow me! I am the Infantry!

At Chateau-Thierry, I went over the top. I stood like a rock on the Marne … cracked the Hindenburg line … broke the back of the Hun in the Argonne … and I didn't come back until it was "over, over here." I am the Infantry! Follow me!

At Bataan and Corregidor, I took a beating … licked my wounds and fought back. I invaded Tunisia on the African shore … dug my nails into the sand at Anzio … and marched into Rome with a flower in my helmet. I am the Infantry!

The channel and the hedgerow could not hold me. I broke out of the "Bulge" … jumped the Rhine … and took the Heartland. Follow me!

From island to island, I hopped the Pacific … hit the beaches … and chopped my way through swamp and jungle. I walked into the face of the Rising Sun. I am the Infantry! Follow me!

In Pusan perimeter I gathered my strength … crossed the frozen Han … marched to the Yalu. Along the 38th parallel … and around the world, I make my stand. I am the Infantry!

Wherever brave men fight … and die, for freedom, you will find me. I am the bulwark of our Nation's defense. I am always ready … now, and forever. I am the Infantry—Queen of Battle!

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 19 April 2014

Mess Night Manual
Topic: Tradition

Mess Night Manual

From the US Navy Department Library comes the 1986 edition of the Mess Night Manual published by the Naval School, Civil Engineer Corps Officers, Port Huenema, California, dated August 1986.


A "Mess Night" is a scheduled evening when mess members and their guests gather in the mess for dinner. A formal Mess Night is referred to as a "Dining-In." Normally only officers of the mess and command guests are included. When spouses and other personal guests are invited, the occasion is called a "Dining-Out." Throughout this publication, the term "Mess Night" will be used as synonymous with both "Dining-In" and "Dining-Out." "Dinings-In" and "Dinings-Out" are conducted in the same format. The only difference is in the attendees.

A Mess Night is more than an officer's dinner party. It is a military formation, as old and as rich in tradition as the quarterdeck or the mounting of the guard, and as essential to a close-knit, smooth-performing unit as are drills, inspections and military ceremonies. Throughout the messes of the world, military men meet to honor their regiments, ships, standards, battles and dead. It is significant to note that irrespective of nationality, these mess formations vary in form only so much as do the traditions of the military organizations. It cannot be too strongly emphasized that mess night is not a party in any sense; it is very similar to honors, for its purpose is to solemnly pay tribute to all of those intangibles for and by which the military unit stands.

The Mess Night format is derived through tradition from a number of sources, particularly the Vikings and the British Navy. Meticulous attention should be given to the traditional aspects of this format.

The "Dining-In" had its inception in the earliest military victory celebrations. In the opening centuries of the Christian Era, it took its first step toward a stylized format in the revels of the Viking Clans on the occasion of their return from successful raids and forays against distant shores. These celebrations saw all male clan members present with the exception of the watch. The leader took his place at the head of the board with all others to his right or left in descending order of rank. Those of the clan who did not participate in the raid were seated below the salt, and did not participate in the disposition of the spoils. Warriors who had conducted themselves with valor or distinction were "guests" for the evening. They were seated closer to the leader than their rank normally entitled them. These "guests" customarily received a bonus from the share of the leader for their deeds.

The celebrations of the Vikings were great feasts where vast quantities of food and drink were served. Down through the millennium since the heyday of the Norsemen, the practice of recognizing and perpetuating the anniversaries of significant battles and feats of outstanding heroes by formal ceremony became generally adopted as a natural outgrowth of the special camaraderie of the military.

Like so many of our service traditions, the term "Mess Night" and the format used in the U.S. Navy today was derived from the British Navy. Although the tradition is very old in England, it is not exclusively military. Tradition has it that the custom began in the monasteries, was adopted by the early universities, and later spread to military units when the officers' mess was established. At one time, the formal dining procedure was observed nightly in the British military messes. This nightly formality and elegance was abandoned by the United States Navy when alcoholic beverages were abolished aboard ship by General Order 99. However, Mess Nights are still observed on special occasions such as an anniversary, a commissioning or decommissioning, the visit of a senior officer, or simply to enjoy good company.

elipsis graphic

The manual is divided into several sections for the convenience of the reader.

  • Section I, Mess Night Origins, presents a capsule summary of the meaning of Mess Night and the background of the traditions which are observed at Mess Nights.
  • Section II, Mess Night Format, traces the various events which occur in a Mess Night.
  • Section III, Toasts, is a summary of the etiquette of toasting as practiced at Mess Nights.
  • Section IV, Arrangements, is intended primarily for those individuals who are responsible for planning and organizing a Mess Night, but may be of general interest to all officers.

The manual also contains several appendices which may be of assistance in planning a Mess Night.

  • Appendix A is a Summary of the Rules of Etiquette for Mess Night Attendees, which should be made available to all officers and guests attending the occasion.
  • Appendix B, Recommended Schedule for Mess Night Preparations, lists the "countdown" or actions which should be taken in preparing for a Mess Night.
  • Appendix C, Form of Toasts for Heads of State, may prove useful when foreign guests attend a Mess Night.
  • Appendix D, Sample Mess Night Script is included to serve as a guide in preparing the Mess Night Script.
  • Appendix E contains a Sample Mess Night Souvenir Menu.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 9 April 2014 2:37 PM EDT
Sunday, 13 April 2014

Wearing of Emblems with Uniform
Topic: Tradition

The Battle of Minden, by by Dawn Waring (Source)

Wearing of Emblems with Uniform

Major T.J. Edwards, M.B.E., F.R.Hist.S., Some Military Customs and Survivals, The Army Quarterly, Volume XXXIX, October 1939 and January 1940

Wearing of Emblems with Uniform.— the custom of wearing emblems in various forms to commemorate important events is very ancient and is not entirely prohibited in the [British] Army, although "King's Regulations" prohibit the wearing of unauthorized ornaments and emblems with uniform. General authority is, however, given for all ranks when not on duty to wear their national emblem or flower on their respective Saint's day, i.e.—

  • Rose on St. George's Day (23rd of April) for English personnel.
  • Thistle on St. Andrew's Day (30th of November) for Scottish personnel.
  • Leek on St. David's Day (1st March) for Welsh personnel.
  • Shamrock on St. Patrick's Day (17th of March) for Irish personnel.
  • All ranks are permitted to wear a poppy on Armistice Day (11th of November).
  • Minden Day (1st of August). Of the more particular types of emblems worn perhaps the "Minden Roses" are the best known. … There are six "Minden" regiments.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 26 March 2014 4:37 PM EDT
Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Esprit de Corps
Topic: Tradition

Detail from The Thin Red Line (The Sutherland Highlanders at the Battle of Balaclava 1854), by Robert Gibb

Esprit de Corps

The Regiment! It is impossible for a foreigner to realise what that word means to a British soldier.

The Soul and Body of an Army, General Ian Hamilton, G.C.B., 1921

Thus, automatically, our Army remains brimful of esprit de corps. This spirit is not, as used to be the case in Germany, brewed by the State. Clerks in the War Office used to be always on the nibble at any speciality in custom or dress upon which corps took a particular pride. Nor, in posting to corps, did the Military Secretary treat ancestors very nicely. On the contrary three generations in a regiment count for less in the eyes of our Army Council than three miserable marks in a miserable competitive exam. Still, the spirit is brewed and flows in, so to say, on its own. Officers as well as men manage to get back into old corps in which served their fathers and grandfathers. Units have their own private gala days; uniforms and colours blossom out with roses again on each 1st of August in memory of the battle amongst the roses at Minden in 1759; badges are fixed to the back of the helmet to commemorate 1801, when cavalry were beaten off by the rear rank facing "about" instead of forming square; mourning lace is worn by the corps which took part in the burial of Sir John Moore at Corunna or of Wolfe at Quebec. In fact, in any and every possible way, tradition puts its marks upon something of which helmets, lace and nicknames are only the outward and visible signs. One way or another the roots of tradition strike down deep. The soldier feels the regiment solid about him, The Regiment! It is impossible for a foreigner to realise what that word means to a British soldier. The splendour — the greatness — the romance of this awe-inspiring, wonderful creation in which he himself is privileged to have his being!

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 8 February 2014

The Marine Tradition
Topic: Tradition

The Marine Tradition

MCWP 6-11 – Leading Marines; U.S. Marine Corps, 27 Nov 2002


Marines' Hymn

From the Halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli;
We fight our country's battles
In the air, on land, and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title
Of United States Marine.

Our flag's unfurled to every breeze
From dawn to setting sun;
We have fought in every clime and place
Where we could take a gun;
In the snow of far-off Northern lands
And in sunny tropic scenes,
You will find us always on the job
The United States Marines.

Here's health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve;
In many a strife we've fought for life
And never lost our nerve.
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven's scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.

"Such as regiments hand down forever." The individual Marine, recruit and officer candidate training, "every Marine a rifleman," and our maritime character contribute to our heritage. Separately and collectively, they set us apart from other fighting forces and are the cement that glues the Marine Corps together and gives Marines a common outlook that transcends their grade, unit, or billet. Self-image is at the heart of the Marine Corps–a complex set of ideals, beliefs, and standards that define our Corps. Our selfless dedication to and elevation of the institution over self is uncommon elsewhere.

Ultimately undefinable, this self-image sets Marines apart from others and requires a special approach to leading. Consequently, Marine leaders must be forged in the same crucible and steeled with the same standards and traditions as those placed in their charge–standards and traditions as old as our nation itself.

Those who know Marines give many reasons why America needs a Marine Corps, but first and foremost, Marines exist to fight and win. From this duty, from this reason for being, everything else flows. If it doesn't, it is meaningless. This spirit is the character of our Corps. It is the foundation of our cohesion and combat effectiveness, and it gives Marines that "swagger, confidence, and hardness" necessary for victory–qualities seen in the hills of Korea and in hundreds of other engagements before and since.

Marines believe that to be a Marine is special; that those good enough to become Marines are special; and that the institution in which they are bonded is special. That is why the legion analogy is so appropriate for the Corps. Marines, far flung, performing dangerous–sometimes apparently meaningless and often overlooked missions–find strength and sense of purpose simply knowing that they are Marines in that mystical grouping they know as the Corps.

Among the five Armed Services of our nation, four have Service songs; only the Marine Corps has its Hymn. For scores of years before it became recently fashionable to stand for all Service songs, Marines always stood when our Hymn was played. And to this day, while others stand with cheers and applause to their Service song, Marines stand quietly, unwaveringly at attention, as the Hymn of their Corps is played. Marines are different.

"The 1st Marine Division, fighting its way back from the Chosin Reservoir in December 1950, was embattled amid the snows from the moment the column struck its camp at Hagaru. By midnight, after heavy loss through the day, it had bivouacked at Kotori, still surrounded, still far from the sea." The commanding general was alone in his tent. It was his worst moment. "The task ahead seemed hopeless. Suddenly he heard music." Outside, some Marines, on their way to a warming tent, were softly singing the Marines' Hymn. " 'All doubt left me,' " said the general. " 'I knew then we had it made.' "

For more than 200 years, the steady performance of the Marine Corps has elevated it to the epitome of military excellence. It is an elite fighting force renowned for its success in combat, esprit de corps, and readiness always to be "first to fight." "More than anything else, Marines have fought and … won because of a commitment–to a leader and to a small brotherhood where the ties that bind are mutual respect and confidence, shared privation, shared hazard, shared triumph, a willingness to obey, and determination to follow."

"The man who will go where his colors go, without ask ing, who will fight a phantom foe in jungle and mountain range, without counting, and who will suffer and die in the midst of incredible hardship, without complaint, is still what he has always been, from Imperial Rome to sceptered Britain to democratic America. He is the stuff of which legions are made.

"His pride is in his colors and his regiment, his training hard and thorough and coldly realistic, to fit him for whathe must face, and his obedience is to his orders. As a legionary, he held the gates of civilization for the classical world; … he has been called United States Marine."

The Marine Corps' vision of leading is less concerned with rank, self-identity, recognition, or privilege than the essence of our Corps: the individual Marine and the unyielding determination to persevere because Marines and the Corps do not fail.Our vision of leading is linked directly to our common vision of warfighting, which needs leaders devoted to leading, capable of independent and bold action, who are willing and eager to assume new and sometimes daunting responsibilities, willing to take risks–not because they may succeed, but because the Corps must succeed.

This always has been, and always will be, what leading Marines is all about.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 3 January 2014

Ghost Officer of the RCD
Topic: Tradition

Ghost Officer Tradition of Canadian Dragoons

The Evening Citizen (Ottawa); 10 February 1951
Tri-Service news, by V.A. Bonner

This is the story of the ghost officer of the Royal Canadian Dragoons. His silver tankard sits on the shelf behind the bar with those of the other officers. His place is set at the table. And his name is well known in the mess and the regiment.

Everyone knows Lt. J.G. Smithers. But where is he? And where has he been?

Asked Colonel

These were the questions I asked Lt.-Col. George Wattsford, officer commanding the Royal Canadian Dragoons after he presented me the tankard for my use while at Petawawa and one of his officers suggested I ask about the officer whose name was inscribed on the silver mug beneath the regimental crest, a leaping Springbok.

"He's not here. And he never was. And never will be." replied the Colonel.

"Then where is he?" I asked.

"He isn't" replied the colonel.

By this time I was wondering who was crazy.

"He isn't. He never has been. And he never will be." I queried again.

"Right," said the genial colonel.

And right then I surrendered.

"All right. Give me the story. I've bitten."

Most Remarkable Story

So I heard the most remarkable story I have ever encountered. Actually there is no Lt. J.G. Smithers. There never was. And there never will be barring the longest and most remarkable of coincidences. For Lt. J.G. Smithers is a mistake. And a mistake which the boys of the regiment tie on the colonel and the colonel hands on to a silver engraver of a well known national firm.

It seems when the idea first came into being that each officer who served with the RCD should have a silver mug engraved with his name and leave it as a memorial to its stay, the colonel was asked to submit a proper design.

He gave the matter grave thought and came up with a design for a glass bottomed silver tankard engraved as described above. Just to make sure the design was done right he drew a diagram and instead of lettering "Lt. John Doe" he lettered in "Lt. J.G. Smithers." The design went off to other authority and in due time came to the firm for the preparation of the mugs according to the list attached.

One for Smithers

Back came the mugs. And lo and behold there was one suitably engraves for " Lt. J.G. Smithers." The joke was on someone. But it was too good to let it pass. And so the mug of Lt. Smithers remains behind the bar with the rest. And each visitor gets to have drink from this tankard first of all whether it is milk or something a little more appealing. He hears the story of how the officers presented the mugs and a little about each officer. Sooner or later he is bound to ask about the officer whose tankard he has borrowed. And it is then that he hears the story of Lt. J.G. Smithers, the ghost officer of the Royal Canadian Dragoons who never served, who never will be, and who really doesn't exist, yet is a tradition in the regiment.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 26 December 2013 3:55 PM EST
Thursday, 7 November 2013

The Soul of Every Battalion
Topic: Tradition

The Soul of Every Battalion

From: The Washing of the Spears; The Rise and Fall of the Zulu Nation, by Donald R. Morris, 1965

The soul of every battalion resided in the Colours. Each battalion of infantry of the line carried two gold-fringed silken standards: a Sovereign's Colour of the Union Jack charged with the Crown and the regimental title, and a Regimental Colour that matched the color of the facings and bore the regimental crest and the battle honors. They had originally served to rally units disorganized in the shock of battle, and in 1879, for the last time, they were still being taken into action. They were carried cased on the march and kept in the guard tent in camp, uncased only on Guest Night in the mess, at special ceremonies when one Colour at a time was trooped to show it to the men, and in battle. Battalions might carry their Colours for half a century and more, and when the worn fabric was hopelessly frayed, they laid them up in the regimental cathedral and were issued new ones. The loss of a Colour was a disgrace felt so keenly that officers and men would unhesitatingly risk their lives to save what Rudyard Kipling once described as something looking like "the lining of a brick-layer's hat on a chewed toothpick."

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 19 October 2013

Oldest vs. Senior
Topic: Tradition

From the cover of Sentinel 1974/5, A Centurion tank of the Royal Canadian Dragoons passes through a town in the Federal Republic of Germany during a NATO exercise.

Oldest vs. Senior; Precedence and Component

The Canadian Armed Forces Magazine Sentinel, in their Volume 10 (1974), Issue No. 5, made the following statements in an article on the Royal Canadian Dragoons.

Canada's Senior Armoured Regiment

The Royal Canadian Dragoons, Canada's oldest permanent force cavalry regiment, was formed just over 90 years ago on December 21, 1883, in St. Jean. P.Q., as the Cavalry School Corps.

These seemingly innocuous statements resulted in two letters to the editor, in each case with further editorial reply. These are presented below, and well illustrate the long and often repeated debates in both the armoured and infantry corps regarding regimental seniority, and the complications of precedence dictated by component.

"Oldest" Controversy

As published in Sentinel, Volume 11 (1975) , No. 1

I do not wish to split hairs, but your article in Number 5, Volume 10 of the Sentinel uses the words "senior" and "oldest" as though they were synonymous.

The RCD are indeed Canada's senior Armoured (and senior Cavalry) Regiment; however, they are not the oldest. That distinction belongs to the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise's) who were formed as a Regiment in 1848 from eleven independent cavalry troops, the first of which was raised in 1825. I refer you to CFSO 43/72 and to Hansard of 4 April 1973.

J.R. Beveridge (Col.)
CFB Suffield
Ralson, Alberta

Director of History, W.A.B. Douglas, confirms that the date of formation of 8 CH was established as April 4, 1848. The date was officially recognized when CFSO 43, published Feb. 4, 1972 corrected the organizational date of the regiment, previously listed as Jan. 3, 1866. Thus 8 CH began as The New Brunswick Yeomanry Cavalry of the N.B. Militia.

The Director of History points out that the date of formation is not the only consideration in determining a regiment's position in the order of precedence. So 8 CH takes the "left of the line" to LSH and RCD, because as a regular unit it only dates from Jan. 29, 1957, while the other two regiments were regulars from their formation on July 1, 1901 and Dec. 21, 1883, respectively. — Editor.

RCD Guidon

The Guidon of the Royal Canadian Dragoons (above) and the Standard of the Governor General's Horse Guards (below), as seen on the Directorate of History and Heritage page for Colours:Armoured Regiments. (See the DHH page for larger versions.)

GGHG Standard

Senior Shock

As published in Sentinel, Volume 11 (1975) , No. 4

I was amazed at the statements made both by Sentinel and Col Beveridge (1975/1), under the illusion that the RCD and the 8CH are the senior regiments of this country. I am shocked that neither of you knew this was an accomplishment of the Governor General's Horse Guards in Toronto. This honour was awarded to the Governor General's Body Guards on 27 April 1866, General Order No. 1 states this fact. Therefore, the regiment is the SENIOR regiment of either armour or cavalry, and the GGHG provides mounted escorts for ceremonial occasions with a full squadron of cavalry. The only claim to fame of the RCD's is that they are the senior regular unit.

A note worthy to add, if you check the CFAO's is that the GGHG is the only Canadian cavalry or armoured unit to parade a Standard. The RCD and 8CH carry only Guidons. This tradition is copied from the British who only allow the senior regiment to parade a Standard.

E. Heidebrecht (O/Cdt)
Toronto, Ont.

(Officials in Ottawa's Directorate of Ceremonial advise that the senior armoured or cavalry regiment in the Forces is the RCD, as regular regiments take precedence over militia regiments. However, the senior militia regiment of cavalry is the Governor General's Horse Guards, as by tradition Horse Guards take precedence over other cavalry regiments, in this case, the older 8 CH.

The statement that the British only "allow the senior regiment to parade a standard" is, of course, wrong. The Life Guards, The Blues and Royals, and all regiments of Dragoon Guards are authorized a standard, as was the 4th Princess Louise Dragoon Guards of Ottawa before its disbandment. The GGHG is authorized a Dragoon Guards type of standard, not a Household Calvary standard. — Editor)

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 16 October 2013

"Gentlemen — The Queen!"
Topic: Tradition

A Mess Dinner table including regimental silver trophies, flags and menus.

"Gentlemen — The Queen!"

By Lieutenant F.S. Dowe,
Army Headquarters, Ottawa

Canadian Army Journal; Vol. 6, No. 2, June 1952

How often have we heard that toast and how little have we thought of its origin, development and variations. In fact, why do we drink a toast at all, and in doing so what significance has it? Let us then attempt to briefly trace its origin, development and variations through the years. It was the custom in Ancient Greece and Rome to drink libations to the gods and later when mortals qualified for this honour a toast "This to thee" was proposed and the cup handed to the person so honoured. This is probably the origin of our custom of raising the wine glass when drinking a toast. "Health drinking" was a great and favoured pleasure of the Saxons and later when the habit was turned, by monks, into more or less of a religious custom, the wussail bowl became known as the poculum caritatis or loving cup. In some parts of England, and particularly Scotland, it is still known as the "grace cup". This term was given to a bowl of wine passed around by the hostess to induce guests to remain seated until grace was said after the meal.

In the 17th Century when loyalty to the Sovereign was somewhat divided, officers were ordered to drink the King's health as a sign and token of their devotion. To salve their consciences, the Jacobites and their sympathizers used to place their glasses over their finger bowls and so drink "To the King over the water", meaning, of course, the exiled House of Stewart. To avoid this insult, and up until the reign of Edward VII, finger bowls were not permitted in Officers' Messes. It might be interesting to add at this point that George IV, when he was Prince Regent, introduced the Regent's allowance to assist poorer officers in meeting their wine and liquor bills. This custom held good until 1919 when the Pay and Allowance Regulations for the British Army were revised. There are many ways in which the Queen's health is, and may be, drunk. Once they were drunk on bended knee, and, in Scotland, with one foot on the table and one on the chair. In some messes this may still be seen, particularly Highland messes, and the custom is referred to as Highland honours.

The usual procedure, however, is to have the wine passed around the table to the right left and the last glass to be filled is that of the Commanding Officer. This is done so that he will know that every officer has got his glass filled and is ready for the toast. The Commanding Officer then gives the signal and the Mess President rises, saying "Mr. Vice - The Queen". The "Vice", who is generally the most junior officer in the Mess and who is seated at the foot of the table, rises and seconds the toast, saying "Gentlemen - The Queen". All officers then stand, raise their glasses, and respond. The toast is drunk, and after a slight pause, taking the time from the President, the officers sit down. If the Regimental band is in attendance, the officers stand while the first six bars of the National Anthem are played, holding their glasses in the meantime. The toast is then drunk after the band has finished playing. It is at this point that I would like to point out the variations and customs that have crept into the toast. In some Regiments all officers respond to the toast by saying "The Queen, God bless her"; in others only field officers may respond, and in a few the officers remain silent. In some messes the custom is to drink "no heel taps", that is, a bumper glass (brim full) drained at one swallow. The expression "heel tap" came from the reference to one thickness of leather making up the heel of the old boots. Some Regiments do not drink the toast at all and others drink it only on special occasions; some - and indeed most Regiments stand for the toast, some remain seated, only the President and Vice President standing, and others remain seated throughout.

I will, a little later on, give examples of these various deviations from the normal and quote, if possible, the incident that gave rise to the custom. However, before doing so I would like to state that as far as the Canadian Army is concerned any deviation from the normal method of toasting the sovereign is a result of affiliation with a British Army unit that observes some custom. However, many Canadian Regiments observe special days of remembrances and it is possible that some custom has been carried on that as a result of usage has become a tradition of the Regiment. The following are some examples of the deviations by Regiments of the British Army, together with the reason for the custom which has now become tradition. The Royal Navy and Royal Marine Regiments remain seated during the toast while they are afloat. This custom arose from the fact that years ago wardroom ceilings were so low that it became quite a game to avoid hitting the beams and to avoid a loss of dignity inherent with the dodging and darting, officers were permitted to remain seated.

Some line Regiments of the British Army have during their period of existence served as Marine regiments and to commemorate the occasion remain seated during the toast. The Rifle Brigade remain seated because their loyalty has never been questioned. The King's Own Shropshire Light Infantry do not drink the toast and this arose from an incident in Brighton in 1821. During the course of a Regimental dinner, at which King George IV was a guest, he declared that, as a result of the actions of the officers in dispersing some rioters who threatened him while he was attending the theatre in Brighton "Such loyal gentlemen as these need never drink the King's health or stand while the anthem is being played". During the reign of Victoria, the Scots Guards remained seated during the toast, except for the President and Mr. Vice. Those seated drank the toast in silence. In the Royal Tank Regiment the toast is drunk in the normal manner however, the words "God Bless her" are optional to everyone. On guest nights the Gordon Highlanders drink the toast in silence. Unless a member of the Royal family is present the 17/21st Lancers do not drink the toast, and in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry it was the sentiment that "it was wrong and unregimental to parade loyalty; a thing to be taken for granted". Consequently the toast is not drunk. The list is almost endless and it is safe to say that no two regiments do the honours in precisely the same manner. Like life, where variety is the spice, so tradition and custom make mess life unusual and interesting. What a grasp tradition and custom have become, how rigid and persistent.

Letters to the Editor — Toasts and Traditions

Canadian Army Journal; Vol. 6, No. 3, July 1952

Editor, Canadian Army Journal.

The article "Gentlemen - the Queen!" in the May 1952 edition of the Journal contains some points which invite comment. The author refers more than once to the "usual procedure" but one is left in some doubt as to just what this procedure is. He states "the wine is passed around the table to the right and the last glass to be filled is that of the Commanding Officer." Many variations in the procedure for the loyal toast do exist among the regiments of the British Common wealth, but I venture to believe that in no mess is the wine passed "around the table to the right".

Further, it is a rare occasion when the Commanding Officer is the last officer to fill his glass. The most common procedure is for the Commanding Officer to be seated in the centre of the table on the side nearest the main entrance to the dining room, with the President at the right and the Vice at the left end, respectively. Actually, the President can be seated anywhere, i.e. from where he can best supervise the table and the service. The wine decanters are placed in front of both the President and the Vice and on a signal from the former both taste it to "assure those present that it is fit to drink". The wine is then passed "to the left" and the Commanding Officer fills his glass in turn. In large messes where two or more tables may be in use, some local variations of this procedure undoubtedly will exist, but the general form remains the same. For example, the Commanding Officer rather than the President may propose the toast, and at extra long tables decanters may have to start being passed from several points, but these are just more of those deviations mentioned in the article.

The author also infers that Canadian regiments or units allied to British take on the traditions of the latter. This is a misconception prevalent among Canadians and devoutly to be discouraged. No Canadian regiment would consider adopting the battle honours of its allied British regiment, yet regimental traditions, customs or quiffs are usually honours won long ago on the field of battle or distinctions awarded by a reigning sovereign or other high personage. The person who granted the tradition in the first instance is now hardly in a position to permit its delegation to another regiment. To request authority to adopt one or more of these "honours" may prove embarrassing to the British regiment and to adopt without sanction would be Regimental Marched even more embarrassing to the Canadian regiment. In essence, therefore, Canadian regiments should earn their own traditions.

Lieut.-Col. R.H. Webb, Army Headquarters.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 9 October 2013

A Toast to the Regiment
Topic: Tradition

Brig Murphy

Click to see full image at the Library and Archives Canada online exhibit Faces of War.

Brigadier William Cameron Murphy, CBE, DSO, ED, commanded the 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade in Italy and Northwest Europe from 27 Feb 1944 to 25 Jun 1945.

What is Tank Country?, by William Murphy, as published in Canadian Military History, Vol. 7, No. 4. Autumn 1998.

A Toast to the Regiment

Canadian Army Journal, Vol. 6, No. 2, June 1952

The following is the text of a Toast to the Regiment proposed by Brigadier William Murphy, CBE, DSO, ED, at the annual Officers' Mess dinner of the British Columbia Regiment (DCO) (13th Armoured Regiment) held in Vancouver earlier this year. Brigadier Murphy, who is president of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps Association, is the author of the article entitled "What Is Tank Country?" published in the April 1951 issue of the Journal. - Editor.

Mr. President, Your Honour and Gentlemen:

It may seem strange to some of the younger Officers here tonight that I should be called upon to propose the Toast to the Regiment. After all this is my Regiment. I was commissioned with it and served with it, from Lieutenant to Major, for a period of some fourteen years. The fortunes of war did not permit me to fight with it - nevertheless it is my military home. It might well be asked then, by those new to military tradition, how it is that I propose a toast to my own Regiment. Again, some of the younger Officers may wonder, when the toast is proposed, if they too should rise and drink. Surely, they might say, this cannot be the correct procedure. It is like toasting oneself. In the answer to these queries lies the true meaning of the Regiment. It is not only right and proper that I should propose this Toast, however poorly I may do so, but it is also right and proper that every Officer in this room, whether he is now serving with the Regiment or whether he has ever served with the Regiment, should do it honour by rising and drinking to its name. The Regiment is not the officers and men who serve it. The Regiment is not those officers and men who originally founded it or who fought in its name in the Boer War and the two Great Wars or who served it in the intervening years of peace. The Regiment is not those officers and men who will proudly carry its name in the years to come. The Regiment is above and beyond those who serve it. It would take a far more eloquent speaker than myself to adequately define for you that intangible something to which we do honour at this time. The Regiment is tradition - the Regiment is service - the Regiment is love of country - the Regiment is unswerving loyalty to our Queen and all that She stands for - the Regiment, above all else, is sacrifice. Those who served it yesterday, those who serve it today, and those who will serve it tomorrow, have added, and will add, glory to its name. They are honoured in that opportunity. Year by year the faces in our ranks change. Year by year young men come forward to take the places of older men and of hose who fall in battle. But the Regiment goes on. When all here tonight are but a memory, the Regiment will still stand - famous for past deeds, ever ready for new duties.

Gentlemen, I give you the Regiment.

Brigadier Murphy's Obituary, as published in The UBC Alumni Chronicle, Vol 15, No. 4, Winter, 1961

William Cameron Murphy, D.S.O., E.D., Q.C., BA, LLD45, died October 20, 1961 in Vancouver at the age of 56. While at U.B.C., he was associate editor of the Ulyssey, represented the university in intercollegiate debating and played on the rugby team. He was called to the B.C. bar in 1929. Brig. Murphy was an army man from the time he was 15 years of age when he joined the 31st Battery, Field Artillery, in Vancouver. He had reached the rank of major in the militia when he reverted to the rank of captain to go overseas with the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry at the outbreak of the Second World War. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel in 1942 and took command of the B.C. Dragoons Regiment in the United Kingdom. He rose to the rank of brigadier and in 1944 was placed in command of the 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade.

Brig. Murphy was appointed to the Vancouver Police Commission in 1955 and served until March, 1958. He was a member of the Alumni Association (president in 1931-32), the B.C. and Canadian Bar Association and a trustee of the Poppy and Last Post funds.

Besides being a partner in Campney, Owens and Murphy and president of Canadian Western Pipe Mills Ltd., he was a director of many companies.

Brig. Murphy was the son of the late Mr. Justice Denis Murphy, BA, PhD (Ottawa Coll.), LL3’36, who served on U.B.C.’s Board of Governors during the years 1917-1935, and 1938-1946. Three of Brig. Murphy’s brothers and sisters also graduated from U.B.C.; Mrs. John Creighton (nee Sally Murphy, BA‘23), the late Denis W. Murphy, BA‘29, and the late Paul D. Murphy, BA‘29. Another sister, Mrs. Margaret MacFadyen, is living in Watchung, New Jersey. He leaves his wife, Mary, and two daughters, Mrs. Waiter Green, and Patty, all of Vancouver.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 3 October 2013

"Regimental Tradition in the Infantry of the Line"
Topic: Tradition

From "Regimental Tradition in the Infantry of the Line"

Pubished in the Journal of the Royal United Service Institution, Vol. XCVI, February to November 1951

By Major C.E. Hawes, Honorable Artillery Company (late 1st King George V's Own Gurkha Rifles)

Yet it is only human for one who is proud to belong to some perhaps ancient and honourable institution, be it a college, society, firm or regiment, to need some outlet for his pride: and this is often found to take the form of deprecatory references to a rival or neighbouring institution of the same sort. If it is admitted then that the British find pleasure, and perhaps even some moral profit, in their traditions, it seems likely that British soldiers too will tend to prize the military traditions they have inherited.

More particularly, the soldier's trade is a dangerous one, especially the infantry soldier's; any man who is to face danger and death must be in some way built up and fortified before he can be confident that he will not flinch from that stern assignment. Saints and martyrs have in themselves enough spiritual toughness and faith to be able to endure without human aid; but the ordinary man, it is suggested, needs to feel that he is one of a specially chosen and selected company, membership of which at once inspires him to the utmost of which he is capable and reassures him that his comrades too are of the same high quality. It may be further suggested that such a consciousness of belonging to a corps d'elite may be induced in four main ways:—

(i)     By selection. Thus the commando raider or the airborne soldier knows that he and his fellows have passed a rigorous physical test and have emerged successfully from a period of intense and exacting training and testing. He is confident that having endured so much nothing can defeat them.

(ii)     By obvious differentiation. This explains why the Royal Navy has no need to try and maintain "crew spirit (if that is the equivalent of regimental tradition): every rating knows that simply by being a seaman he is a different kind of person from a mere landsman, and, because he has mastered an element which the latter instinctively dreads, a superior one: and so are all "they that go down to the sea in ships" along with him.

(iii)     By technical attainment. here again the Royal Navy scores, and so do the Royal Regiment of Artillery and the Royal Engineers to both of whom still accrues the prestige due to a "scientific corps": every gunner and sapper knows that he is a skilled man to whom, as to his companions, delicate instruments and weapons of precision are entrusted.

(iv)     By membership in an organization which has its own strongly marked and characteristic habits, standards, codes of behaviour, even a distinctive dress, in a word, its traditions, in which the individual can share and take pride.

It follows that while those in any of the first three classes often enjoy the advantages of the fourth as well (a member of the King's Troop, R.H.A., is an example of a soldier who can be included in all four) the infantry soldier must depend entirely upon the fourth, for it is all that he can hope for. Whatever laudatory things important people can find to say, especially in war-time, about the infantryman, it must be admitted that he is what is left over when all the experts, scientists, and intellectuals have been taken away, and, while everyone else who is employed in the fighting Services is some sort of specialist, the infantry soldier is a Jack of All Trades if there ever was one: though he has certainly shown a remarkable aptitude for mastering them successfully.

It is for this reason that the infantryman, and particularly the infantry officer, sets far greater store by tradition than do members of the other arms; it is a sound instinct which makes him insist upon the differences which distinguish his regiment from others, even if he seems thereby to attribute undue importance to minutae of dress, drill or deportment. Upon precisely such details is founded conviction of the foot soldier that he is indeed one of the Elect.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 29 September 2013

Historic Names For Camp Gagetown
Topic: Tradition

The current sign at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, soon to be changed to the 5th Canadian Division Support Base.

Historic Names For Camp Gagetown

Canadian Army Journal, Vol 13, No 4, Oct 1959
From A Public Relations Report Issued At Camp Gagetown, N.B.

Areas occupied by the Army garrison at Camp Gagetown, N.B., are to be named after persons prominent in Canada's growth and military history, it has been announced by the Camp Commander, Colonel C.H. Cook, ED, of Ottawa. Names selected perpetuate battles in which Canadian soldiers distinguished themselves, they include also a deceased Victoria Cross winner of the First World War, a deceased Canadian general, an early Canadian fort and others of historical and regimental significance. The names will identify messes, quarters and other accommodation occupied by Camp Gagetown's four major elements, including field and permanently-established units. Signs are to be erected in the areas so designated.

Parade at Camp Gagetown (circa early 1960s). MIKAN 4234182: Copyright belongs to the Crown; Credit: Canada. DND/LAC.

Fort Carleton, built by the Hudson's Bay Company on the North Saskatchewan river, will be perpetuated in the name to be applied to the area occupied by Camp Headquarters and the static units. The area will be known as "Fort Carleton Barracks". Choice of Carleton was made because of a county in New Brunswick of that name, and because of the former Carleton and York Regiment, now perpetuated in the Royal New Brunswick Regiment.

The name of a St. Catharines, Ont., soldier who won the Victoria Cross in the First World War, will be given to a junior ranks club for personnel of Camp Headquarters and static units. He is the late Lance Corporal Frederick Fisher who won the VC in the [1915] Battle of Ypres while serving with the 13th Canadian Infantry Battalion. The club will be known as "The Frederick Fisher Club".

The name of a former Honorary Colonel Commandant of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery will be bestowed on the area of the camp occupied by the 3rd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery. He is the late Maj-Gen. H.O.N. Brownfield, of Brockville, Ont.

The junior ranks club of 3 RCHA will be called "The Grenade Club". because of the grenade insignia of the artillery and its association with the weapon.

Two battles of the First and Second World Wars will denote the barrack areas and junior ranks club of the 1st Regiment, 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise's). The barrack areas will be known as "Cambrai Barracks", after the Battle of Cambrai in 1916 in which tanks were first used. The Hussars junior ranks club will be known as "The Coriano Club", commemorating the Battle of Coriano Ridge in Italy in 1944 in which the 8th New Brunswick Hussars (Princess Louise's) played a leading role.

Buildings at Camp Gagetown (circa early 1960s). MIKAN 4234336: Copyright belongs to the Crown; Credit: Canada. DND/LAC.

St. Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland, lends his name to the barrack areas of the 2nd battalion, The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada. The cross of St. Andrew is duplicated on many of the Black Watch insignia.

The unit's junior ranks club will take its name from the brilliant red plume worn by members of The Black Watch on their balmorals, the red hackle. The club will be designated as "The Red Hackle Club". The red hackle originated with The Imperial Black Watch in 1795. At that time the regiment was covering the retreat of a British force at Gildermalsen, Holland, who were falling back before the French. An artillery unit left its guns in the retreat and The Black Watch counter-attacked, recovered the guns and manhandled them back to safety. In commemoration of this event, the artillery unit lost its right to wear the red plume on their headdress in favor of The Black Watch. The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada, this country's oldest highland regiment, gained the right to wear the red hackle in 1915 for their part in the Battle of St. Zubien's Wood> in France.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 20 September 2013

Attila on: "Custom"
Topic: Tradition

Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun

By: Wess Roberts, Ph.D.; Warner Books, 1985

NOTE (from the Preface): "The aphorisms spoken by Attila in this book have no basis of authenticity as ever having been said by the King of Huns. they are rather, ones that I have written based upon my own experiences, research and observations. The have been reviewed and tested by some demanding critics and were only incorporated after having survived considerable scrutiny."

Attila on: "Custom"

Excerpted from Chapter 3: Becoming a Hun: "Customs"

All who are Huns and those who seek to become one of us must learn, adapt and adhere to our custom s. If they are not Huns, then we must suspect them to be Romans or to be allies of the empire; therefore, we must treat them with caution.

It is not essential that a Hun compromise those characteristics that make him a unique warrior. Every Hun, however, must be willing to conform to those things that distinguish us as a nation of strong, united tribes. We must be single in purpose, yet individuality that does not distract from the tribe or nation must be preserved.

What is good for the Hun must be good for the tribe and nation. Conversely, what is good for the tribe and nation must be good for the Hun; otherwise, he will desert to the Romans.

When we prescribe dress for battle, celebration, ceremony or other occasions, Huns will see to it that they wear that which is customary.

When we establish Hunnish methods, they must be taught to our young so they will know what is expected of them in every situation. If Huns do not learn the rules, their chieftains cannot expect them to be followed.

Our songs and dances must be unique in the celebration of our noble heritage. We must not introduce into them contaminants that may cause our heritage to become confused.

Our approach toward exacting tribute and loyalties from those we have chosen as the opposition must continue to use and increase the strength of the nation. Only when we fail to recognize our power and influence over the adversary have they set us back.

We must modify our customs when the situation warrants, if such an alteration will strengthen our position. We cannot, however, distill those customs that remain key to the success of the Hunnish nation. We cannot permit strong chieftains or groups of young Huns to attempt the founding of customs that serve only the their purpose. Customs are of nations, not of individuals.

Being a Hun requires dedication and devotion to the cause of our nation. Following our customs is a tribute to our heritage and to our present and future.

Huns are required to make oaths of lasting obligation to the nation. We, in turn, as leaders, must ensure that we have customs—strong traditions—worthy of such lasting conviction and must welcome into our tribes and nation all who adhere to those principles and ways we value now and forever.

To a nation of such robust and independent heritage, I, Attila, give counsel as to those things we admonish all to honor as our customs:

  • It is the custom of all Huns to hold strong to personal and national honor. This is a cardinal virtue. Ones word must prevail over all other considerations, including political expediency.
  • We must value the capable Hun, whether of lowly or of noble birth. We must appoint our chieftains from among those most qualified to lead, regardless of ancestry.
  • We must not retaliate against the innocent, use unscrupulous tactics or kill unsuspecting or trapped enemies. We must be fierce in the eyes of all we seek to influence, yet the use of unnecessary terror is ignoble.
  • A nation of one ancestry and race is weak. We must hold strong our custom of welcoming all foreigners who seek to join our cause, treating them with dignity and respect and teaching them our language and customs.
  • Our accepted differences and diversities must be pooled into a common purpose worthy of our efforts as tribes and as a nation.
  • Our racial, cultural, moral and social concepts, inherited from our ancestors of Asia and Europe, must be recognized and honored by all, through respect for our fellow man, his faculties and well-being.
  • We must never build pyramids in our own honor. While we hold strong the custom of individual and national pride, we must not fall victim to pompous, practices that weaken the fiber of our vitality and appeal to those we serve.
  • We must hold fast to our custom of high ideals and optimism—never being discouraged by those who would seek to gain personal or national advantage over us.
  • Our songs, dances, games, jests and celebrations must always remain steadfast as propitious opportunity to renew our allegiance and identity as Huns.

You chieftains have the responsibility to continue to teach and practice the customs that make our diverse people and tribes a strong and powerful Hunnish nation, lest they falter for lack of an identity.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 6 September 2013 2:46 PM EDT
Friday, 16 August 2013

Right of the Line
Topic: Tradition

Standing Orders for The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery (1963)

Right of the Line

The Regimental Badge of
The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery

The Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (RCHA) Badge

141.     Although all Gunners are aware of the Royal Regiment of Artillery's order of precedence as "The Right of the Line", very few know how this honour was acquired.

142.     It has not been clearly established exactly when the Royal Artillery was given its position on the "Right of the Line" but it was very likely in Flanders l742-l748. There is a record where, in l742, at a camp at Lexden Heath near Colchester, "The Artillery on its own authority, moved from the left of the camp to the right, which was its customary place."

143.     In l756, the matter was brought to official notice on a complaint by a Capt Pattison, whose company of artillery was denied its usual place on the right during a parade to witness the execution of a deserter. He based his claim on the custom in Flanders. The claim was upheld and the official letter on the subject concluded as follows:

"It is the Duke of Cumberland's order that Colonel Bedford write to Capt Pattison and acquaint General Blond, it is His Royal Highness' command that the Artillery take the right of all FOOT on all parades and likewise of Dragoons when dismounted."

144.     In 1773, at Gibraltar, the Commander Royal Artillery protested that the governor had changed the accepted order of precedence in parading the Guards. The protest was then taken to His Majesty, who upheld the Gunners claim. The custom was again upheld in 1787 when it was questioned whether the Royal Irish Artillery should parade on the right or left of the Royal Military Artificers who were then next in order of precedence after the Royal Artillery. The answer to this question was: "The Royal Artillery to be on the right, either English or Irish, there is no exception."

145.     The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery holds the place of honour on the "Right of the Line" by reason of the fact that the Canadian Army has adopted many of the customs and traditions of the British Army.

The same Standing Orders provided that precedence within the Artillery would be as follows:

a.     Field Artillery Branch

(1)     Royal Canadian Horse Artillery Regiments
(2)     Field Artillery Regiments
(3)     Medium Artillery Regiments
(4)     Surface to Surface Missile Units
(5)     Locating Units
(6)     Air Observation Post Units

b.     Air Defence Artillery

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 6 July 2013

Poilu, a lion for a mascot
Topic: Tradition

Regimental Mascots

By Major T.J. Edwards, M.B.E., F.R.Hist.S.
Member of the Society for Army Historical Research

Published in The Army Quarterly, Volume LXVI, April and June, 1953


A number of wild animals, or semi-wild ones, have become regimental mascots and Jumbo, the elephant of The Seaforth Highlanders, has already been mentioned. In the Great War of 1914-18 the late General Sir Tom Bridges, K.C.B., K.C.M.G., commanded the 19th Division. In the spring of 1916, whilst on short leave in Paris, he was given a young lion cub, named "Poilu," which he took back to his headquarters in a hamper at the back of his car. When he arrived at his H.Q., his staff eyed the champagne hamper with pleasant expectations, hoping for the best, but when, on raising the lid, a young King of Beasts sprang out, they were visibly sobered. However, Poilu soon became friendly, installed himself honorary member of the mess and before long was dominating life around him. He was a great favourite with the troops who regarded him as their mascot.

For some time he lived right under the German guns at Boombezeele, whose inhabitants viewed him with disgust and sought the aid of the gendarmerie to have him removed as they feared he might pounce upon their children to assuage his enormous appetite. He followed General Bridges like a dog, quite loose and not on a leash, and if any natives saw him coming their way they would rush for cover or shin up the nearest tree. Stolid army mules that never turned a hair under the heaviest enemy bombardment were galvanized into life at the sight of Poilu. Kitchens and meat stores were particular objects of his interest and the hearts of master cooks did not beat anything like normal until he was well away.

He had the run of the officers' mess, but once, having committed a misdemeanour, he was banished to the mess garden as a punishment. During lunch-time he happened to spy one of his favourite dishes being brought in and placed on the mess table. In an instant he jumped through the French windows, smashing them to pieces, and with his mane glistening with broken glass he mounted the table, seized his prize and returned to the garden with it via the smashed windows.

Poilu was not persona gratis with the hierarchy at G.H.Q. and the C.-in-C. particularly did not approve of him. General Bridges received from his friends at court several hints that if young Leo was not sent away from the division there would be trouble, but the only answer he sent to those well-wishers was "Come and take him." He removal was, however, occasioned by other circumstances which the General left on record, thus:

"My headquarters were then in dugouts in Scherpenberg Hill, a prominent point, where distinguished visitors would come and actually see shells bursting. Such callers were frequent and they very often dropped in for refreshment. Mr. Asquith came one day but his climb to the hill-top was interrupted by meeting Poilu face-to-face. 'I May be wrong,' he said, 'but did I see a lion in the path?'"

Whatever entertainment the Divisional Staff enjoyed at seeing a leading statesman thoroughly embarrassed, the incident caused the wires to buzz, but General Bridges took scant notice of the threats he received from G.H.Q.: the lion was the dividional mascot and his presence did much in maintaining the morale of the troops who loved petting him and seeing him scare the mules. Unfortunately General Bridges was wounded in September, 1917, and as his successor had no liking for such "big cats," Poilu was sent home and placed in Mr. Tyrwhitt-Drake's private collection near Maidstone. "Always the perfect gentleman," wrote General Bridges, "he contrived to die, aged nineteen, on the 19th of June, 1935, the mascot of the 19th Division."

The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Queensland)

WAR MASCOT; Sir T. Bridge's Lion

LONDON, January 16, 1934.

The "Daily Mail" says that "Poilu," a 24-year-old lion, which was presented to Sir Tom Bridges, a former Governor of South Australia, as a mascot, and which lived at the front until Sir Tom Bridges was wounded in 1917, is still alive at Mr. H. G. Tyrwhitt Drake's Zoo, at Maidstone.

Mr. Tyrwhitt Drake says that» the sight of the cub following Sir Tom Bridges in the trenches must have cheered the soldiers and made them feel that they had the British lion with them both in person and spirit.

Sir Tom Bridges's successor found that the cub in time grew too big for a mascot, and sent him to Maidstone, where he sired many cubs.

Poilu has also been mentioned on the Great War Forum, here and here.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 16 June 2013

Military Moustaches Revisited
Topic: Tradition

When I published an earlier blog post on Military Moustaches, one friend commented that it seemed incomplete. Perhaps Major Edwards felt the same way, for he revisited the topic in his 1954 volume "Military Customs" and expanded on it.

Military Customs

By Major T.J. Edward, M.B.E., F.R.Hist.S.
Fourth Edition, 1954, Gale & Polden, Ltd., Aldershot


On the catalogue of facial ornaments the "military moustache" has a definite place. Unlike the "Charlie Chaplin," however, it did not suddenly spring into existence, but has come down to us through a hundred and fifty years of change. The original purpose of the moustache was to give the warrior a ferocious appearance and with this intention they were first worn by Hungarian Hussars of the eighteenth century. These moustaches appear to have been of the ragged, bristling, "walrus" type, and in their native, unkempt state needed little encouragement to add an element of frightfulness to an already fierce expression. So effective were these moustaches in daunting the foe that when hussars were introduced into the French Army, every hussar had to cultivate one. If an unfortunate hussar could not raise any hair at all, or could only manage something below the recognized "offensive" standard, he had to paint one on his face, usually with blacking. Apropos this, Baron de Marbot, the well-known French military writer of the last century, tells us in his memoirs that this practice proved very unpleasant in hot weather, because the sun would dry up the moisture in the blacking and this drew up the skin in a painful manner. Marbot also records that the French General Macard used to say, "Look here!, I'm going to dress like a beast," and forthwith stripped off as much clothing as possible and went into battle showing a shaggy head, face and body.

This facial ornament has a real significance in the French Army; in fact the nickname for a French soldier is "Poilu," which means a so1dier who has let his beard, and presumably his moustache, grow. As French soldiers did not shave on campaigns, a "beaver" plus "walrus" was an obvious indication that the wearer had just "returned from the wars." The British soldier of Peninsular and Waterloo days scraped his upper lip, but immediately after that campaign, moustaches began to appear in the British ranks, no doubt due to contact with continental troops in Paris during the occupation. In the early part of the last century there seems to have been some uncertainty about the orders governing the wearing of moustaches, as shown by the following Memorandum of 11th February, 1828, from the Adjutant-General (Sir Henry Torrens), reproduced in the Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, Vol. XXII, p. 305:–

"The practice of wearing moustachios is now growing into very genera1 extent throughout the Service. There never was any precise Order or Regulation under which this habit was permitted, even in the Hussars. But a kind of understanding has existed, that it was tolerated by the permission of authority, in that description of Force. Mustachios have been adopted in the Lancer Corps and gradually throughout all the Regiments of Dragoons. I do not believe that any Regiment of Cavalry is now without them. This practice is extending to the Infantry. When I was in Dublin four years ago, it was attempted by the 23rd Fusiliers, and by my interference was put down. But that corps shortly afterwards embarked for Gibraltar, and it immediately adopted mustachios, from having found some Corps in that Garrison wearing it. Since then I have understood that the practice is general in that Garrison. The 7th Fusiliers wear the mustachios. It was adopted in the Rifle Brigade, and I believe in a great many other Corps in the Mediterranean without orders or authority. It is un-English and a hindrance to recruiting."

In 1830, however, an order was issued forbidding the growing of moustachios except by Household Cavalry and Hussars. This order was published on 2nd August, 1830, and on the 29th of the same month the Officer commanding the 2nd or Royal North British Dragoons (now The Royal Scots Greys) submitted a request to Lord Hill, the Commander-in-Chief, for permission for his regiment to continue the wearing of moustaches. There is quiet humour in the Adjutant-General's reply, dated Horse Guards, 27th August, 1830, for one paragraph reads:–

"Lord Hill is persuaded that the distinguished character of the Royal North British Dragoons can derive no additional weight from the wearing of moustachios."

From a postscript to the letter of the Adjutant-General it Iooks as though Lord Hill had been turning the matter over in his mind, for we find:–

"P.S.-Could the moustachio have been considered in any way a National Distinction, Lord Hill might have been induced to recommend the continuance of it by the Royal North British Dragoons, hut as the case is quite the contrary, his Lordship sees no ground on which he could approach His Majesty on the subject."

After that The Greys had to scrape their upper lips. In 1839, however, they renewed their request, but Lord Hill was still Commander-in-Chief and John MacDonald was still Adjutant-General, and the answer was the same as nine years previously.

With the coming of the Crimean War in 1854, the wearing of moustaches became optional. The Horse Guards Circular Memorandum dated 21st July, 1854, on this point reads:–

"A large part of the Army being employed in Turkey, where it has been found beneficial to keep the upper lip unshaven and allow the moustache to grow, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief is pleased to authorize the practice in the army generally The wearing of the moustache is to be optional with all ranks."

During the Great War of 1914-1918 the wearing of the moustache was also made optional, as it is at present [1954]

King's Regulations and Orders for the Army; 1908

1695.     The forage cap will not be worn with service dress, unless specifically ordered as a distinguishing mark between opposing forces. Forage and service dress caps will be placed evenly on the head. The hair of the head will be kept short. The chin and under-lip will be shaved, but not the upper lip. Whiskers, if worn, will be of moderate length.

The Frontenac Times

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 15 June 2013

The Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) - (1915)
Topic: Tradition

From: Regimental Nicknames and Traditions of the British Army, Fifth Edition, 1915; printed by Gale & Polden, Ltd., Aldershot

The Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)

Depot: Hounslow
Record Office: Hounslow

Battle Honours:

Namur, 1695
Martinique, 1809
Kandahar, 1880
Afghanistan, 1879-1880
Relief of Ladysmith
South Africa, 1899-1900

Uniform: Scarlet
Facings: Blue
Headdress: Racoonskin cap, with white plume on right side. Cap, Blue, with scarlet band.

Regimental March: "British Grenadiers"

Until after the Crimean War there were no 2nd Lieutenants or Ensigns in the regiment. The regiment has the privilege of marching through the City of London with fixed bayonets, drums beating and colours flying.

Raised in 1685. In the Peninsular War it took a glorious part, and no troops hazarded their lives more freely for their country's cause, than the Royal Fusiliers. At Talavera, they met the storm od war with unshakable firmness, and captured seven of the enemy's guns, but the undying lustre of the glory they won at Albuhera, almost overshadows their other gallant exploits at this time. They had marched from Badajos at 2 a.m. the same day, and the night march of 20 miles, followed by the supreme effort which regained the lost heights of Albuhera, must rank as an unsurpassed feat of arms. During the Crimean War the conduct of the Royal Fusiliers won further glory.

It was once known as "The Hanoverian White Horse," and also as the "Elegant Extracts" from the fact that the officers were selected from other corps.

Military Customs

By Major T.J. Edward, M.B.E., F.R.Hist.S.
Fourth Edition, 1954, Gale & Polden, Ltd., Aldershot

No Loyal Toast:

There are some regiments which never honour the Loyal Toast; the usual reason given is that they have at some time obtained a dispensation from the Sovereign on the ground that their loyalty was above suspicion. But this is a fallacy, because, by inference, the loyalty of those regiments which do observe the custom is in question. Some of these regiments are The Queen's Bays, 3rd Carabiniers, 5th Royal Iniskilling Dragoon Guards, The Royal Dragoons, 3rd Hussars, 15th/19th Hussars, Grenadier Guards, Coldstream Guards, Welsh Guards and The Royal Fusiliers.

City of London Privilege:

Up to October, 1924, the privilege was enjoyed solely by the 6th Battalion, which was formerly the Royal London Militia and was recruited, on its formation, in the City of London under the usual Warrants. Its claim is strengthened by the fact that it is the lineal descendants of the London Trained Bands.

In October, 1924, the privilege was extended to all battalions of The Royal Fusiliers in view of the fact that it had been designated "City of London Regiment" and that a large proportion of its recruits are London men. Moreover, it is the only regiment which is representative of London.

The regiment was raised in 1695 as an "Ordnance Regiment," the nucleus being two old Independent Companies which had garrisoned the Tower of London for many years. This circumstance gave it a strong claim to the privilege.

Wide Red Stripe of Trousers:

At the time of the rebellion led by the Duke of Monmouth in 1685, James II raised several regiments of Horse and Foot to augment the small Royal army. The senior regiment of Foot then raised was under the colonelcy of George Legge, Lord Dartmouth, by Commission date 11th June, 1685. His Lordship was Master-General of the Ordnance at that time and was, therefore, responsible for the artillery. The guns were manned by specialists in this at, and the armament was transported by horses led by civilian drivers hired as occasion needed. No provision was made for the defence of the guns. Dartmouth's regiment was accordingly armed with fusils and given the duty of acting as escort to the artillery, or ordnance, from which circumstances it was sometimes described as "The Ordnance Regiment." However, in the Royal Warrant appointing Dartmouth to the colonelcy it is a designated "Our Royal Regiment of Fusiliers," thus taking its name from the weapon with which it was armed.

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries it was possible to deduce the functions and organization of a regiment from its title—e.g., Horse, Dragoon, Marines—and it was in accordance with this system of nomenclature that the above-mentioned regiment was designated Fusiliers, because at the beginning of their service they were armed with fusils.

A reminder of the fact that the regiment was once closely associated with the artillery may be seen in the extra-wide red stripe down the outer seams of the officers' full-dress overalls and pantalons. Before the late war the usual width of stripe in infantry regiments was one-quarter inch, but in The Royal Fusiliers it was five-eighths inch. With the intrduction of No. 1 dress since the war the width of the red stripe for officers of the infantry generally is one inch, but in The Royal Fusiliers it is one and three-quarters inches, thus maintaining the distinction.

Owing to its special duty of guarding the artillery, The Royal Fusiliers did not carry Colours at the outset of their career, and consequently had no officers of the rank of Ensign, but had Lieutenants instead. A little later, however, their organization corresponded to a Foot Regiment and they carried Colours, but they did not have Ensigns until 1854.

Bandsman's Brass Scabbards:

For the past one hundred and sixty years it has ben the custom of the bandsmen of the 1st Battalion The Royal Fusiliers to wear brass scabbards for their swords (or dirks). H.R.H. The Duke of Kent, father of Queen Victoria, was Colonel of the Regiment from 1789 to 1801. In 1790 he presented these brass scabbards to the regiment and they are still in use, which speaks well for the durability of the material.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 15 June 2013 12:55 AM EDT
Monday, 27 May 2013

Military Tradition: Moustaches
Topic: Tradition

(An Excerpt From) Some Military Customs and Survivals

By Major T.J. Edwards, M.B.E., F.H.Hist.S.
Published in The Army Quarterly, Volume XXXIX, October 1939 and January 1940


This may seem an odd subject to have any association with military matters, but, nevertheless, the growing or otherwise of moustaches by officers and soldiers had a definite relation to military fitness.

For purposes of personal hygiene all European armies usually removed as much hair as possible from their persons—heads were closely cropped and the face clean-shaven, thus rendering it impossible for disease-carrying vermin to get a footing. In the eighteenth century, however, we are told that the Austrians permitted their already blood-thirsty hussars to wear moustaches to give them a terrifying appearance. Apropos of this, Baron de Marbot, the well-known French military writer, records that the French General Macard used to say, "Look here!, I'm going to dress like a beast," and forthwith stripped off as much clothing as possible and went into action showing a shaggy head, face and body. Marbot also tells us that when he was a hussar in the 1790's the order was for all French hussars to wear moustaches for smartness and to give them a manly appearance. Those who could not grow moustaches had them painted on with blacking, which proved very unpleasant in hot weather, when the scorching sun in drying the blacking drew the skin up in a painful manner.

In The Times of the 21st of September, 1837, will be found the account of a young man who complained to a magistrate that he had been treated roughly by his workmates because he grew a moustache. Asked why he did so, he replied: "The reason vy I vears it is 'cos it's fashionable and makes me look like a man of some courage." (sic)

The practice of wearing moustaches in the British Army was fairly general after the Waterloo campaign, but in 1830 an order was issued prohibiting the wearing of moustaches in the cavalry, except the Household Cavalry and Hussar regiments. With the coming of the Crimean War another change took place, which was notified in a Memorandum from the Horse Guards dated the 21st of July, 1854, part of which ran:—"A large part of the Army being employed in Turkey, where it has been found beneficial to keep the upper lip unshaven and allow the moustache to grow, the General Commanding in Chief is pleased to authorize the practice in the army generally" subject to certain regulations; "the wearing of the moustache is to be optional with all ranks." After the Crimean War moustaches were no longer optional, but were ordered to be worn.

During the Great War the wearing of moustaches was optional, as it is at present. [British Army 1939/40]

The 1918 Standing Orders (for Officers) published by "A" Company, The Royal Canadian Regiment, included this insruction regarding moustaches:—

"R.C.R. Officers will not shave the upper lip."

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 20 May 2013

Customs: Trooping the Colour (1925)
Topic: Tradition

Trooping of the Queen's and Regimental Colours of the 4th Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment; Harris Park, London, Ontario, 4 October 2008. Photo by Bryan Nelson.

Old Military Customs Still Extant

By: Major C..T. Tomes, D.S.O., M.C.
Published in the Journal of the Royal United Service Institution, Vol. LXX, February to November, 1925

Trooping the Colour

The Practice of Trooping the Colour was originally an old guard-mounting ceremony, in which the King's Colour is the symbol of the Sovereign and the Regimental Colour the emblem of the soul of the regiment. For this reason it is right that they are marched round the battalion from time to time, so that every man may pay them all due honour. Colours are never usually touched or carried except by an officer, but this ceremony starts with the emblem in charge of a sergeant with two sentries. Similarity, each "guard" is formed into line without its officers. The sergeants commanding the guards then assemble together with the officers on the saluting base, a relic of the days when they were so collected in order to draw lots for their guard, receive the "parole" and such orders as might be given them. the drums beat the "Assembly," meaning that it is time for officers and N.C.Os. to take up their posts. They recover arms and move by the stately slow march to take over their command.

The first honour is next paid to the Colour by the slow and quick marches played by the band and drums. This is only a preliminary to the reception of the Colour into the ranks of the Battalion. In the old days the grenadier company always found the escort and invariably took the right of the parade; nowadays the right guard still performs this duty, the right having been the post of honour from the time of the Roman Legionaries, since they carried the shield on the left arm.

The "Drummer's Call" is the signal for the captain of the escort to hand over hos command to the lieutenant; a curious bit of symbolism. the band and drums then play "The British grenadiers" and the escort moves across the front of the parade to the Colour. The Sergeant-Major, representing the men, takes it from the sergeant in whose charge it is, and hands it to an officer. the Colour is next received by the escort with full honours. Arms are presented and the band plays the salute, if it is the King's Colour, this is "God Save the King"; if it be the Regimental Colour, the Regimental Slow March is played. The Sergeant-Major salutes with his sword, the only occasion on which he does so. The escort stands with its arms at the "present," while the sergeants on the flanks of each rank face outward and port their arms as if to repel any intruder who may attempt to disturb this solemn moment. The escort with the Colour moves back in slow time to the music of the "Grenadiers' Slow March" to the right of the line; they file through the ranks of the battalion, arms are presented and every man can see the Colour and show it honour. The ceremony finishes with a march past in quick and slow time.

Coldstream Guards Trooping Their Colour; The Queen's Diamond Jubilee. (Youtube)

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT

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