Ranks: Abbreviations, Explanations & Order (several merged threads)

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by pjs, Sep 18, 2006.

  1. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    And just to confuse you a liitle more.........

    In the Royal Artillery, the ranks of Private & Corporal were known as Gunner & Bombardier :)

  2. idler

    idler GeneralList

    I think I'm right in saying that Lance-Corporal (or equivalent) was merely an appointment, not a rank, until some time after the war.
    Appointments add a whole layer of complexity over ranks, particularly as the reflect regimental and corps peculiarities, e.g. a WOII (rank) might be appointed a CSM (Company Sergeant-Major) in the infantry, Squadron Sergeant-Major in the cavalry, Battery Sergeant-Major in the Royal Artillery, Squadron Corporal-Major in the Household Cavalry and so on.
  3. Joe Brown

    Joe Brown WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    An observation on rank: When I was Lance-Corporal it seemed I was always surrounded by Corporals; when a Corporal, surrounded by Sergeants . . . but never attained the rank of Sergeant, but would have liked to have been a member of the Sergeant's Mess!

    Same when I was a Second-Lieutenant, nearly all my mates were Lieutenants; when after six months I, too became a Lieutenant, Captains seemed everywhere; it didn't end there, because when I was a Captain, Majors loomed up all around you . . .

    As a Junior Lieutenant in my Scottish Regiment, the Senior Lieutenant had the responsibility of ensuring the Junior Lieutenants could dance the Eightsome Reel and the Foursome. It often took the form of early morning PT when the Pipe-Major and a Piper would instruct on the various dance steps and moves!

    Joe Brown
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  4. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    You've just reminded me of the problems arising from moving up in rank.

    I did my usual six weeks Primary Training back in October 1942 and was the posted to an RA Driver/Wireless Operator training unit.

    From then on until late 1945 I did relatively nothing but wireless work until 1946 when I found myself climbing the lower ranks until I reached the lofty heights of full corporal but in the role of Tech Corporal for a Tank Squadron.

    The point I am trying to make is that other than my brief stay in an Infantry Training unit I had no skills in coping with a marching group.

    Imagine my horror when in late 1946 I found myself as Guard Commander in Italy because of a shortage of NCOs at the time.

    I remember having to eat humble pie and ask one of the sergeants to brief me on the necessary orders of command !

    Happy days :)

  5. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Mapshooter, thank you for the helpful post - a lot learnt in a few lines.

    Joe Brown, it sounds as if it's a matter of the fish swimming up through progressively larger pools.

    And you've reminded me of Tunes of Glory with your talk of messes, pipe majors and reels.

    A slightly grim little film but a good one with one of my favourite actors:
  6. hendrix17

    hendrix17 Active Member

    Thank you everybody. There seems to be a lot of ranks. my Granddad was referred to as 'Dvr Furnie'. In his service record he duties were recorded as an admin' NCO and around the time he had take his L.I.A.P he was promoted to Corporal.
    The Army seems to have a lot of ranks ! I don't know much about their roles, but where they all really necessary and at which point where ranks taken from the battlefield.
  7. mapshooter

    mapshooter Senior Member

    I forgot that one, Driver (in RASC) was the same as Private/Sapper/Gunner etc (unless it was a post war creation with RCT or something)
  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    You and me both Joe :lol:
  9. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Private: Bombardier, Craftsman, Driver, Fusilier, Guardsman, Gunner, Highlander, Kingsman, Pioneer, Sapper, Rifleman, Signalman/Signaller, Trooper ...
    Any others?

    Bugler/Trumpeter/Drummer/Piper/Musician/Bandsman - are they appointments rather than ranks, or same ?
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  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Signalman...Signaller only came when they let gurls in :lol:

    Before anyone says owt Signaller was a trade not an equivalent to Private
  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Artillery was/is Gunner. Lance Bombardier and Bombardier are the same as Lance Corporal and Corporal
  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I'd query Driver. I'm sure RASC was a Private and Driver was an appointment/trade???
  13. Philip of Lee

    Philip of Lee Active Member

    In my father's unit's War Diaries, I have found the following abbreviation: Loc/Sjt.

    His rank was Serjeant, as it seems to be spelt in the Intelligence Corps, which he belonged to.

    My question is: why: Loc. I have found that LOC refers to 'Lines of Communication', but it does not seem to make sense.

    Would it be 'Locum', as in 'War Sergeant', but it sounds a bit odd.

    Insight welcome. Many thanks.
  14. idler

    idler GeneralList

    'Local', perhaps - acting as a serjeant within the unit but without the perks?
  15. Philip of Lee

    Philip of Lee Active Member

    OK, so it is a variation on the notion of a War Substantive rank, then, and indeed the idea of a 'locum', so to speak. Thanks!
  16. Philip of Lee

    Philip of Lee Active Member

    I have just found one more (and I think the last one for now!): AGIS. It is a reference to my father, who went "with AGIS" to village XYZ. All I have found is that AGIS could possibly mean "Armed Guard Inspection Service". I suppose it would make sense. He was in Greece in the IC at the time (1945/6).

    Confirmation would be great: thank you.
  17. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I am aware that I am risking the Mods dissaproval by placing this particular posting here but sod it...... at my age one is entitled to a bit of leeway !

    Whilst serving with the 4th Queen's Own Hussars the official rules were that as a Lance Corporal one wore 2 stripes and not the conventional 1 stripe used by other services.

    When you became a FULL corporal you wore a silver badge consisting, I seem to remember, of the letters 4QOH intertwined .

    I wore that emblem with much pride but despite much GOOGLE IMAGES I am unable to find the badge, so, if some kind person can locate it for me I would be much obliged

  18. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    There's this about the rank of Lance-Sergeant

  19. idler

    idler GeneralList

    L/Sgt Baskeyfield VC is one obvious exception to the rule. Davis' Uniforms and Equipment... Is the first place I'd look for clarification as there is much quoting of ACIs as background to badges of rank, e.g. the story of the short-lived WOIII PSM/TSM.

    AGIS - I'd bet the IS is Intelligence Section if he was Int Corps. Not sure about the AG.
  20. Philip of Lee

    Philip of Lee Active Member

    Very interesting on the issue of the rank of Lance Sergeant. Also, thanks for suggestions regarding AGIS. My father was in Greece (1945/6) and it has just occurred to me that AGIS could have meant Acting Greek Interpreter [of] Section, but that is just a wild guess!

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