Regimental Nicknames

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by Gerry Chester, Oct 31, 2004.

  1. Pat Atkins

    Pat Atkins Well-Known Member

    An appreciative nod to the Old Contemptibles (in itself a fine nickname): in WW1 2nd Bn Royal Sussex became known as the 'Iron Regiment'. Apparently, German POWs called them this after 1st Ypres in (presumably rueful) recognition of the battalion's fighting character. Better than 'The Haddocks', anyway (no idea why the Royal Sussex were called that)!

    Cheers, Pat
  2. jf42

    jf42 Junior Member

    Not Korea. The 28th North Gloucestershire Regiment adopted the 'Back Number' on their caps following the battle of Alexandria in 1801, when in a pre-dawn attack the French infiltrated the British line at several points and several battalions were forced to engage the enemy to front and rear. Tradition records that the 28th were given the order "28th, rear rank only, right about face." Hence the " emblem of the double front" (as described by an officer c 1805), a non-regulation 'ornament' that was permitted as a 'badge of honour' by the Adjutant General Dept in 1823. The Duke of York as C-in-C was evidently sympathetic, as was the case with other, well-known unofficlal distinctions around that time. I don't believe the 28th ever had a nickname associated with the back badge.

    As Gerry posted earlier, the nickname 'The Slashers' is believed to date from the years after the Seven Years War in Montreal when a group of officers and men from the 28th took justice into their hands to chastize a local official who made life difficult for soldiers' families. In the ensuing brawl the official lost his ear. No-one ws ever brought to book. The nickname endured, celebrated in the jig 'Kinnegad Slashers', adopted as the regiment's Quick March. I believe the name 'Glorious Glosters,' however, might date from the Korean war. The 1st Bn Gloucestershire Regiment's stand at the Imjn river in 1951 doubtless recalled the beleaguered men of the 28th at Alexandria.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017
  3. Tolbooth

    Tolbooth Patron Patron

    I remember my Dad calling the Army Catering Corp the "Royal Corps of Poisoners" - or was that one he made up himself?

    The 79th Armoured Div were of course "Hobarts Funnies", The Fife and Forfars "The Knife and Forkers", but I don't think his regiment, The Lothian and Border Yeomanry, ever had a nickname
  4. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    If I may wander on a tangent, I've read of 4th & 5th Indian Division being dubbed the Shite-Hawks and the Flaming Arseholes, respectively. The former has been attached to other formations and units with avian insignia, but the latter is distinctively graphic.
  5. jf42

    jf42 Junior Member

    The latter was also used, in the singular, to refer to the scarlet circular emblem on the shoulder flash of the Berlin brigade, BAOR. images.jpg
  6. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    A Canadian regiment - the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry are the "Fighting Rileys" from their acronym (RHLI).

    The 48th Highlanders (Toronto) were nicknamed the "Glamour Boys" by other Canadians because during an inspection by King George VI they were wearing dark blue puttees because there was a shortage of khaki. After asking about this, he said he liked it and they should keep them.
    17thDYRCH likes this.

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