Question - Volunteer badge

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Question - Volunteer badge

Post  Sean on Thu 12 Jan 2012, 2:57 am

Need some help please.
I have seen a few photographs of senior NCOs from the Volunteer Rifles that have a four point star above their rank chevrons. What does it stand for?
Thanks in advance.

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Re: Question - Volunteer badge

Post  ChrisF202 on Thu 12 Jan 2012, 7:47 am

Perhaps something to do with length of service?

Ive never heard of British NCOs wearing a star above the chevrons, a crown though signifies Staff/Color Sergeant.

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Re: Question - Volunteer badge

Post  buistR on Thu 12 Jan 2012, 8:44 am

A colour plate in Book 2 of "Blandford's Infantry Uniforms" shows a an officer and privates of the London Rifle Volunteers 1891. One of the privates has three white stars above a white Austrian knot on the right hand sleeve of his tunic. The stars are identified in the text as denoting long-service. Proficiency badges such as crossed rifles are shown on the left hand sleeves of other figures - again above the white knot on the cuff. Although "Rifles" the volunteers are shown in scarlet rather than green. Seems they largely made their own rules.

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Territorial Star's

Post  wfrad on Thu 12 Jan 2012, 9:30 am

A star with four points is worn above the chevrons and badges of rank on the right upper arm by volunteer sergeants who were classed as proficient.
Men who were classed as proficient wore a five pointed star on the right forearm for every five years of service, continued or not.
In other words sergeant wore a single four pointed star regardless of years service, whereas ranks below sergeant wore a five pointed star for every five year period, two stars for ten years up to maybe six star's for thirty years service.
There are many pictures showing sergeant's wearing both sets of stars.

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Re: Question - Volunteer badge

Post  Sean on Thu 12 Jan 2012, 2:59 pm

Wrfad, guys, thanks

I think it does have something to do with proficiency but doesn't replace the 5-pt stars for five years efficiency which many SNCOs wear in the pictures I've seen. I wonder if its proficiency at being a SNCO, having passed the necessary courses or something like that?

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
http://i42.servimg.com/u/f42/12/22/09/10/5c_110.jpg

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Re: Question - Volunteer badge

Post  T1 on Sat 14 Jan 2012, 10:21 am

As Sean states, the five pointed stars worn on the cuff were for efficiency - one star awarded for every five years in which the man was returned as efficient. The four pointed star worn above the chevrons was a 'Sergeant's Proficiency Star'.

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Proficiency

Post  wfrad on Sat 14 Jan 2012, 11:43 am

Just to add a little more useless information,

The crossed carbines and crown was worn by the best marksman in the regiment or depot.

Efficiency an Proficiency badges in drill and rifle practice were special to the Volunteer Forces along with the Certificate of Proficiency in Ambulance and Stretcher Drill.

A Diamond traced according to regiment; black on scarlet, scarlet on blue and light green on dark was worn on the right forearm by rank and file returned as efficient in rifle practice and drill in the last annual return of their corps.

To be considered 'Efficient' volunteers, including officers had to be present at the yearly inspection and have attended drills of at least one hour each and varied for the five years.
In the first year:
Infantry 30 drills,
Cavalry 19 in the troop or squadron,
Artillery Gunners 21 at the gun and 9 on foot,
Artillery drivers 20 riding/driving and 10 on foot
Medical Corps 19 as stretcher bearer and 20 on foot,
Engineers 12 engineer duties and 24 on foot,

Officers were not required to pass in musketry.

The Cadre supplied by the regular infantry battalions was arount:
1 Captain as Adjutant,
1 Quarter Master,
1 Sergeant Major
1 Quarter Master Sergeant,
1 Sergeant Instructor,
1 Sergeant Drummer,
4-12 Colour Sergeants,
4-12 Sergeants,
4-12 Drummers,

At the turn of the last century Militia called up for drill would be paid;
Infantry private could expect around 1s per day, regular privates were paid 1s and could receive an additional 1p per day Good Conduct allowance.
An infantry sergeant would receive around 2s-9p per day compared to 3s for Household sergeants.
An infantry lieutenant would expect aroun5s-6p per day and the Lt Colonel 17s per day.

Those men whose Head Quarters was more than five miles from the regimental range received an allowance of 4s annually.

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Re: Question - Volunteer badge

Post  buistR on Sat 14 Jan 2012, 1:37 pm

Interesting to learn that militia and volunteers were paid for days served - even if it were essentially just to meet travel and other incidental expenses (return tram fare to the local drill hall?). I always thought that they did it for reasons of genuine patriotism (more common in Victorian times than now) plus the less admirable "peacock" motive of being able to walk-out in a red coat without enduring the hardships and low social status inherent in being a regular soldier.

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Re: Question - Volunteer badge

Post  Sean on Sat 14 Jan 2012, 2:36 pm

Gentlemen,
Thank you very much for the information it is very helpful.
Love the 'peacock' effect, what a great term. And thanks for it because it gives us a hobby to follow.

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Volunteers

Post  wfrad on Sat 14 Jan 2012, 10:03 pm

Here's something to think about...

Yeomanry, for injury to a horse during drill compensation not exceeding 30 could be allowed.
I wonder how many gentleman farmers managed to claim the 30 for an old nag reading for the glue factory.
The Volunteers for some could be a nice little earner,
Officers of the Volunteers general staff, who were mainly retired officers, received an annual pay of 100.

For every officer and volunteer who had become efficient by attending the prescribed drills and target practices 1.15.0 which works out at around 35 days pay for an infantryman, for submarine mining sections a sum of 5 but only 10s for 3rd class marksmen.

Add to this the 'peacock effect' when entering the pub, I suppose it was well worth the effort for many a young man....
I believe it would have been against the regulations at the time but probably considered worth the risk if they pulled.

Lt Colonel James Moncrieff Grieson's book Scarlet into Kharki is full of information regarding the organisation, equipment, training and administration of the British army at the end of the 19th century, reprinted by Grenhill Books.

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Re: Question - Volunteer badge

Post  buistR on Mon 16 Jan 2012, 12:59 pm

"I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."

"Tommy" - Rudyard Kipling

The rest of the poem is devoted to the unfairness of civilian discrimination against Queen Victoria's soldiers in time of peace. I don't think that there were any army regulations then against entering pubs in uniform when off duty but peacocking was clearly not always easy.

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;

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Volunteers

Post  wfrad on Tue 17 Jan 2012, 10:35 am

True, but it's the old chestnut of when is a soldier off duty.

Since most regulars didn't have much else but their uniform, it would have been difficult for them not to drink in uniform, volunteers may have had to only wear their uniform whilst on duty, going to and from drill.
I suppose each unit may have differed slightly in regards to the regimental standing orders.

Drunkenness on or off duty was against regulations, since it was up to the charging officer to determine if the man was drunk, by drunk unfit to carry out his duties, it all rested upon the nature or mood of the charging officer. Also there was no distinction made between a little drunk or plastered.

The "conduct to prejudice of good military discipline" could and was used to great effect for anything that wasn't in the regulations.

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