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Author Topic: Royal West Kent Regiment between the wars - glossary.  (Read 5299 times)

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Offline peterchall

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Re: Royal West Kent Regiment between the wars - glossary.
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2011, 12:55:31 »
Line-of-Communication troops were allocated guard and administration duties in the rear areas and were often 2nd class units. They would not be expected to have to fight unless the enemy broke through the front lines or, in WW2, landed parachute troops.
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Offline peterchall

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Re: Royal West Kent Regiment between the wars - glossary.
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2011, 18:06:05 »
Queen's Army Schoolmistresses were teachers who taught the children of British soldiers in garrison schools at home and abroad. They were formed in 1848 and received the 'Queen's' prefix in 1928. They were disbanded in 1970

Vickers- gun: A belt-fed medium machine gun. It was tripod mounted and water cooled, thus much less portable than the Bren gun, but was capable of sustained fire from 250 round ammunition boxes. It was in service with the British army from 1912 to 1968. In 1937 the Vickers-guns were taken from each infantry battalion and grouped into specialist machine-gun battalions.
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Offline peterchall

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Royal West Kent Regiment between the wars - glossary.
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2011, 13:19:48 »
As per the practice started elsewhere on the forum, here is a brief explanation of some of the terms used in my posts on RWK between the wars.

A Battalion was commanded by a Lieutenant-Colonel (Lt.Col), with a Major as Adjutant (equivalent to a civilian company secretary); the senior NCO was the Regimental Sergeant-Major (RSM) – or GOD! The battalion was divided into a HQ Company and 4 Rifle Companies, designated A to D. Its peacetime strength was about 35 officers and 650 men.

A Company was commanded by a Major or Captain, depending on seniority, and the senior NCO was the Company Sergeant Major (CSM). The HQ Company had specialist Platoons, such as Admin, Signals, Carrier (equipped with Bren-gun Carriers), Anti-Aircraft (Bren-guns on AA mountings), Mortar (3in mortars). A Rifle Company was divided into 3 Platoons and had a strength of about 5 officers and 120 men.

A Rifle Platoon was commanded a Lieutenant or Second-Lieutenant (‘one pipper’) with a Sergeant as 2nd in command although, especially in the case of a one pipper freshly graduated from Sandhurst and a Sergeant with 20 years of service behind him, it was usually questionable who was actually ‘the boss’. The Platoon had a HQ Section, equipped with a 15cwt truck, a 2in mortar, an anti-tank rifle, and a radio. It had 3 Rifle Sections and a total strength of an officer and about 30 men.

A Rifle Section was commanded by a Corporal, with 4 Privates and a sub-section commanded by a Lance-Corporal and 2 Privates operating a Bren-gun.

The main weapon was the superb Lee-Enfield rifle, although officers and Bren-gunners were armed with revolvers. The Bren-gun was a light machine gun with a 32 round magazine.

An infantry battalion was usually part of a Brigade of 3 Battalions, and in India a Brigade consisted of a British Battalion and 2 Indian Battalions. The smallest “all-arms” unit was the Division - an Infantry Division having 3 Brigades + artillery, engineers, transport, medical services etc.

The Colonel of the Regiment was appointed to oversee the ‘welfare’ of the regiment as a whole, and was usually a retired general. It was the RWK’s Colonel who fought its battle over the change of name in 1921.

When a regiment considered itself sufficiently prestigious it would invite a high dignitary to become its Colonel-in-Chief, which would need the approval of the King. The Colonel-in-Chief was the ceremonial figurehead of the Regiment, and the RWK considered itself special in that it not only had a Colonel-in-Chief, but he was the son of the King!

As an aside, the Colonel-in-Chief of our present ‘local’ regiment – the Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment (several generations descended from the RWK) – is the Queen of Denmark.
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful

 

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