Royal Navy Epaulettes 1794 to 1843

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Royal Navy Epaulettes 1794 to 1843

Post  wfrad on Mon 24 Nov 2008, 11:39 am

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It appears to have lost something in the colour department during exporting,
The strips for showing didn’t really have a uniformed system until 1856 although they were used on uniforms from 1748.
1748 to 1767 Full Dress:
Captain of 3 years service/seniority had a ¾ inch above two 1½ inch.
Captain of under 3 years service/seniority had two 1½ inch.
Commander had one 1½ inch.
1783 to 1786 Full Dress
Admiral three rows of 2 inch.
Vice Admiral two rows of 2 inch.
Rear Admiral one row of 2 inch.
1787 to 1795 Full Dress
Admiral one ⅝ above two 1 inch.
Vice Admiral one ⅝ above one 1 inch.
Rear Admiral one ⅝.
Captain over 3 years seniority two ¾ with white cuff.
Captain under 3 years seniority one ¾ with white cuff.
Commander one ¾ with blue cuff.
1795 to 1827
Admiral Full Dress one 1 inch above three ¾.
Admiral Undress three ¾.
Vice Admiral Full Dress 1 inch above two ¾.
Vice Admiral Undress two ¾.
Rear Admiral Full Dress 1 inch above one ¾.
Rear Admiral Undress one ¾.
Captain and Commander Full Dress two ¾.
1812 to 1827
Admiral of the Fleet Full Dress 1 inch above four ¾.
Admiral of the Fleet Undress four ¾.
Until 1812 the Admiral of the Fleet and Admiral were alike.
1827 to 1833
Captain frock coat three ¼.
Commander frock coat two ¼.
Lieutenant frock coat one ¼.
Mate and midshipman frock coat one line of gold twist.
1827 to 1843
Flag Officers Full Dress one 2 inch.
1843 to 1856
Admiral of the Fleet Full Dress four ⅝ above one 2 inch.
Admiral Full Dress three ⅝ above one 2inch.
Vice Admiral Full dress two ⅝ above one 2 inch.
Rear Admiral and Commodore 1st class one ⅝ above one 2inch.
1827 to 1856
Captain and Commander Full Dress one 1½ inch.
Lieutenant Full Dress 1 inch.

That about takes it up to cover the chart.
As usual there seems to have been a couple of varients of the anchor, I have used the one with the ring but there's examples of with and without rings.
Regards
wf

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Re: Royal Navy Epaulettes 1794 to 1843

Post  buistR on Mon 24 Nov 2008, 6:25 pm

High quality representations as always wf! Promotion must have been an expensive business in the 19th century Royal Navy if it meant acquiring a new pattern of gold-bullion fringed epaulettes at each level. Perhaps second hand epaulettes of the right rank could be discreetly purchased from retired or previously promoted officers; or perhaps new stars, anchors, crowns etc could be stitched on to the embroidery of existing shoulder straps.

Off on another tangent - French Army officers wore gold or silver fringed epaulettes in full dress until 1914 which varied in even greater detail according to rank. Thus a colonel had two epaulettes with thick bullion fringes, a sous-lieutenant one with a thin fringe on the right shoulder only and so on ad infinitum. It was all a bit unnecessary since ranks were clearly shown by multiple bands of braid displayed on the tunic cuffs and kepis. When grande tenue was reintroduced for the officer corps in 1931 a universal model of epaulette was sensibly adopted regardless of rank - although still silver for the cavalry and gold for everyone else.

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Promotion

Post  wfrad on Tue 25 Nov 2008, 5:58 am

Thanks BuistR
Promotion in both the navy and the army could be very slow or very expensive, the wealthy families jumped the queue and gained more power and influence whilst the poor officers, and generally the most capable one’s did the donkey work. This didn't really change until the 1880's. Even then you can imagine someone coming from ‘The Trade’ in front of the promotion board alongside a gentleman of Oxford, who do you think would get the promotion nine times out of ten in Victorian Britain. Only the good and the great managed, men like Field Marshal Robertson the son of a village taylor.
I wouldn’t have put it past a few officers cutting of the desired items of dress from the dear departed before pushing them overboard.
You mentioned the French, for a nation with one of the most straight forward ranking system they still manage to confuse.
Take the French armies corps and services say during WWII, administration, ammunitions, armaments and production to name but a few all had different insignia [types of lace and colour sequence for bars to go with collars] starting as low as captain.
Another thing about the French army was the use of the anchor for colonial troops, which could have people mistaken for naval infantry by assuming the anchor meant sea, not happy with that, the different coloured insignia for Europeans and Natives such as red for European infantry and yellow for Native infantry for example.
I wonder who thought of an anchor for land based troops, or does it have some deep symbolic meaning? The German palm tree you can understand but an anchor! Give me what he was smoking.
It all makes life interesting does it not?
I was intending to continue with another chart but I’m living on borrowed time with this computer. The skinflint part of me [a very big part] is too mean to spend the cash on a new machine until the new year.

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Re: Royal Navy Epaulettes 1794 to 1843

Post  buistR on Tue 25 Nov 2008, 3:00 pm

Yes "Wully" Robertson must have been an extraordinary individual to make it up through the ranks of the Victorian/Edwardian Army from cavalry trooper to Field Marshal. Without too much family support it seems - didn't his mother tell him that she would rather seen him dead than in a red coat?

The choice of an anchor as insignia for the French colonial troops certainly seems a quaint one. My understanding is that it dates from their history as Troupes de la Marine (1822-1900), through their time as Troupes coloniales (1900-1958) and their return to Infanterie de Marine (1958 - present). I have a heavily illustrated French book "Les Troupes de Marine" which includes a colour photograph of turbaned meharistes (camel corps) perched on their camels somewhere in the Mauritanian desert, in the late 1950s. About as far from the sea as one could get but they proudly display the fouled anchor badge on their flowing robes.

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Re: Royal Navy Epaulettes 1794 to 1843

Post  sbintayab on Sat 22 Jan 2011, 1:28 am

Dear wfrad
Your collection is excellent in a word.Thanks a lot.
Regards
Shams

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