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"A Moment In Time" The British Army 1 July 2007

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Ladies and Gentlemen,

Back in May, whilst at a professional conference, I was asked if I could prepare a paper that would give insight to professionals in Australia and New Zealand who are providing professional care to former recent members of the British Army. 

This worked out at some fifteen pages giving a general look at the structure of the Army, and various aspects relating to health care, subsequent care and facilitations for
returned soldiers.

This then metamorphosed into a much larger document purely relating to the Army structure.  Then having looked at many websites, discussion groups, I came to the conclusion that the vast majority of information relating to the British Army on the Internet, was terribly flawed (even official websites), and in the case of much correspondence upon discussion groups wandering off into flights of total fantasy.

So this electronic document of mine expanded greatly, copious notes, and a swag of information such as organisation, regimental custom etc.  In its preamble I have written :

"Sources : Ministry of Defence websites (the majority of which are dramatically out of date), websites put out by regimental associations or museums (which are usually not), current regimental journals, and non-restricted service publications, current regimental and corps handouts, Hansard – The record of events occurring within the British Houses of Parliament, Soldier Magazine (which is often as flawed as websites), and using the brains of those reliable and informed persons who can provide accurate current information. The vast majority of websites (except for those referenced previously) are flawed, some quite badly, whilst those of internet discussion groups have placed on their electronic pages in the main flights of fantasy!!! Nothing is placed on these electronic pages without sourcing at least two accurate references of the type shown above."

Below I have put up the contents list of the document.   The document is entitled "A Moment in Time", looking at the British Army in its entirety on 1 July 2007.  This chosen because it is the midi of the calendar year, and it was one month away from the end of "Operation Banner" the 38 year military commitment to maintaining the peace in Northern Ireland.   As a electronic document the individual can maintain the current situation by modifying the file themselves.  There also three sample entries, which may be of interest.

If anyone would like a copy of the document, please send a email DIRECT TO ME at my home email address of :


You will need TO TYPE THE ADDRESS into the message as my software protection will not allow cut and paste addresses.  If you do not do this YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE a copy when it is ready!

When the document is completed to my satisfiaction as to its competence (although of course as soon as it is sent out it is obsolescent, and I can guarantee that there will be mistakes and that I will have missed items out!!!!), I will send it out in bulk, in html format.  It will have no illustrations/maps etc, purely a document written in the English language with English spelling not American.  And it is in a format that will allow easy printing (I am producing some fifty copies in hard format for people in Australia/NZ).  It is in 12 point typescript.

Having found whilst looking at internet sources, a quite large number of items written by me and placed on discussion groups, being subsequently used by people under their own by-line, is somewhat annoying.  In regard to this document 'I AM HAPPY FOR THOSE WHO RECEIVE IT TO PASS IT ON TO OTHERS' I would ask that those who receive it, please acknowledge that it is MY WORK and intellectual property.  Whilst I have absolutely no way of ensuring this, I can only rely upon the ethical honesty of the recipients.

Abbreviations and Glossary
The Household Cavalry and Royal Armoured Corps
The Royal Regiment of Artillery
The Royal Corps of Engineers
The Royal Corps of Signals
The Infantry : Foot Guards, Infantry of the Line
Under Director Special Forces
The Army Air Corps
The Intelligence Corps
The Royal Logistics Corps
The Army Medical Service, of The Royal Army Medical Corps, The Royal Dental Corps, The
Royal Army Veterinary Corps, The Queen Alexanders Royal Army Nursing Corps.
The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
The Adjutant Generals Corps : The Corps of Royal Military Police, The Military Provost Service
Minor Corps
The Corps of Army Music
Officer Cadet Training Units of the Territorial Army
Training, Administrative and Support Establishments and Units of the Army

Annex A The Royal Marines - The Royal Navy's Soldiers.
Annex B The Royal Air Force Regiment - The RAF's Soldiers

APPENDIX One The Infantry Regiments in the Regular Army Pre-Future Army Structure.
APPENDIX Two The Infantry Battalions/Regiments in the Territorial Army Pre-Future Army .Structure                                                                                                        APPENDIX Three British Army Ceremonial.
APPENDIX Four Military Uniforms.
APPENDIX Five Quasi-Military Bodies related to the Army
APPENDIX Six Batteries of the Royal Regiment of Artillery
APPENDIX Seven Squadrons of the Royal Corps of Engineers
APPENDIX Eight Squadrons of the Royal Corps of Signals
APPENDIX Nine The Regiments of Yeomanry and their current successors
APPENDIX Ten The organisation of infantry battalions.
APPENDIX Eleven The 'Hardware', Individual Weapons, Weapons Systems, Logistical Vehicles..
APPENDIX Twelve Odd's and Sod's

THE FOOT GUARDS............................

The 1st Battalion, Scots Guards 1 SG (ARMD INF) (BHQ, Right Flank, C Company, Left Flank, rifle companys, B Support Company (Anti-Tank, Mortar, Recce, Signal and Sniper Platoons) HQ Company (Quartermaster, Technical Quartermaster, Transport, Catering Platoons, RAO, LAD, and Intelligence Cell)) Has both a Corps of Drums and a Pipes and Drums. 4th Mech Bde Oxford Barracks, Munster, Germany, to return to the UK in spring 2009, location unsure.
F COMPANY is the incremental public duties company.
(1) The status of 1 SG in regard to future Public Duties in the UK is unclear.
(2) One company deployed to Afghanistan 1 July 2007.

Royal Army Veterinary Corps......................................Notes :
(3) The RAVC also has responsibility for the health of the official Regimental Goats, and Official Army Mascots :                                                                                                                 One Regimental Drum horse, Regimental Mascot of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards
Two Irish Wolf Hounds, Regimental Mascots of The Irish Guards, and The Royal Irish Regiment.
One Black Indian Buck, Regimental Mascot of The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
Two Kashmir Goats, the Regimental Goat held by 1st and 2nd Battalions, The Royal Welsh.
One Swaledale Sheep Ram, Regimental Mascot of The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters, becoming that of The Mercian Regiment..
Two Shetland Ponies, Regimental Mascots of The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland, and The Parachute Regiment.
Two Ferrets, Regimental Mascots of The Yorkshire Regiment.
Mascots held by the Territorial Army, OCTUs, Army Cadet Force are all unofficial and have no legitimate status in the eyes of MoD. On the internet it is universally stated incorrectly that there are only 'five' official mascots, this is the correct breakdown.

Corps of Army Music................................................................Notes :
(3) The Corps of Drums of the Coldstream Gds, and the 1st and 3rd Bns RRF, normally try to have one or two Northumberland Pipers in their strengths, these frequently seen as part of the relevent Bands.
Whilst not of the CAMUS, for convenience and to follow the flow, the following Regular Army Schools are of relevence:

The Royal Military School of Music      RMSM   This the depot and training establishment for the Corps. (Kneller Hall, Twickenham)

Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming ASBM & HD Is now believed to come under the The Scottish Division in a technical supervisory role.. Originally founded as 'The Army School of Piping' October 1959, changed to 'The Army School of Bagpipe Music' 1968. Merged on April 1, 1999, with Army Piping and Drumming Wing Milton Bridge taking the present title, commonly known as 'The School of Piping'.

Commanded by a major holding the appointment of Director of Army Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming. A WOI Pipe Major, holds the appointment of The Senior Pipe Major of the British Army, and is the Army's chief instructor in piping. Now trains Regular and TA (short courses only) soldiers of all units having Scottish or Irish military music. Six month course for a battalion piper/drummer (includes the teaching of the bugle and Highland/Irish Dancing). See NOTE on Black Watch Pipes and Drums in Part One. Inchdrewer House, Edinburgh

The Army School of Ceremonial Drumming Wing (Was under command the former 4th Bn Infantry Training Centre in Catterick until the ASC arrived there), it includes a Bugles Platoon for the training of men of The Rifles and other regts of a similar background.

(1) Regular Army Pipes and Drums :
Scots Dragoon Guards, Queen's Royal Hussars, 1st Royal Tank Regiment.                                                            
19th 'The Highland Gunners' Regt RA, 40th 'The Lowland Gunners' Regt RA.                                                                                                                     The Royal Corps of Signals Pipes and Drums (see NOTE ( ) in Royal Signals entry.                                                                                                                The Scots Guards, The Irish Guards (called Drums and Pipes).                                                                                                                  1st to 5th Battalions The Royal Regiment of Scotland, 1st Bn The Royal Irish Regiment.                                                                                                               1st and 2nd Bns Royal Gurkha Rifles, The Royal Gurkha Signals.
Total : 16 (RSigs not included) .
A regimental/battalion (be they Scots or Irish) Pipes and Drums consist of; a drum major, pipe major or sergeant, and varying numbers of pipers, side and tenor drummers and 1 bass drummer (a 'norm'(!) would be 1, 1, 11, 2, 4 and 1 for infantry with 1,1, 8, 2, 4, 1 for other pipes and drums)
Territorial Army Pipes and Drums (these being the Official ones) :                                                                                                            105th Regiment Royal Artillery (a number of sources say also 103 Regt, no official confirmation)                                                                                                      71st Regiment Royal Engineers.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           32 Signal Regiment (see entry under Royal ignals).                                                                                                                 A (London Scottish) Company, and D (London Irish Rifles) Company, The London Regiment each have Pipes and Drums. 6th and 7th Bns The Royal Regiment of Scotland. The Royal Irish Rangers.                                                                                      Pipe Band The Scottish Transport Regiment. 152nd (Northern Ireland) Transport Regiment                                                                                                         Tyne Electrical Engineers Pipe Band REME.                                                                                                                 Total : 10                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Corps of Drums of the Coldstream Guards, the 1st and 3rd Bns RRF, all try and maintain the tradition of having Northumberland Pipers in their ranks.  The Band of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment is authorised a Piper (not in Scottish dress).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              (2) Regular Army Corps of Drums                                                                                                                        Each Battalion of Foot Guards or Infantry is authorised a Corps of Drums, unless they have a Pipes and Drums (the Scots Gds and the Irish Gds have both), or Bugles Platoon, these have a combat role as either a machine gun (Lt, Air Asslt or Mech Bns) or a assault pioneer platoon (Armd Inf Bns).                                                                                                             Total : 22                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   The Royal Logistical Corps (see under RLC Band above).                                                                                                           Grand total : 23
Territorial Army Corps of Drums
The HAC; and ten TA infantry battalions are authorised Corps of Drums (the other four having Pipes and Drums, or Bugles) including the London Regiment which also has two Pipes and Drums (for the companies representing The London Scottish, and London Irish). It would appear that 4PARA has not raised theirs due to the far flung location of the Bn's sub-units. .                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              (3) Regular Army Bugles Platoons                                                                                                                   1st to 5th Battalions The Rifles (the 1st Bn situation is not certain at the moment, see regiments entry). 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment, has a Bugles Section of Sgt and six Buglers, independent of the Pipes and Drums.                                                                                                                  Territorial Army Bugles Platoons                                                                                                                  The 6th and 7th Battalions, The Rifles each have a Bugles Platoon. The Rangers as with the regular battalion has a identical Bugles Section.                                                                                                                   ( 4) The private soldiers so appointed to the above sub-units, will hold the regimental.rank(s) of Piper, Drummer, Bugler, and they unlike muscians of the CAMUS are 'fighting' Soldiers .                                                                                                                 (5) A Pipe Major of a regular battalion is appointed as Her Majesty The Queen's Piper, as a WOI, one of the two WOI Pipers in the Army, the other at ASBM & HD.
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Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have been asked to amplify the notice somewhat.  In the Appendices there is a great deal of information.  Examples being :
Carbine SA80A2    After a wait of some 15 years, the MoD  placed in 2005 a £1 million contract with Heckler& Koch to convert 1,400 standard weapons into a new, shorter, carbine design. This to  replace the combination of SA-80 rifles and Browning 9mm pistols used by AFV crews.

The barrel has been shortened by almost a foot to half of its original length, a new 20-round magazine has been developed,  and a forward hand grip replaces the hand guard, making it lighter and easier to store and manoeuvre from inside the tight confines of a tank. Called the "Shorty".

L9A1 51mm Mortar    This excellent little platoon level, indirect fire weapon was to have been phased out with the introduction of the  SA80 mounted 40mm Underslung Grenade Launcher, and the 40mm Automatic Lightweight Grenade Launcher, but, its effectiveness has again been proven in operations.  Whilst its HE bomb is extremely effective, the ability to provide instant fire support out to 800 metres also with smoke and illumination to the rifle platoon  has proven once more a life saver (the UGL can only shoot out to 350 metres, and the 40mm round in all its variants is nowhere as effective.  Originally used a Short Range Insert (SRI) that increased chamber volume so the minimum range is reduced from 150m to 50m,  this became unnecessary with the adoption of bombs with two charges. For short range fire the secondary charge is easily removed. (2004 stock held 2093)

Armoured Patrol Vehicles
With the heavy casualties suffered in Iraq and Afganistan by roadside Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in the standard British Army road patrol vehicle, the Snatch Land Rover (designed for (successful) use in Northern Ireland) being used inappropriately.  After three years of such casualties the Labour Government decided to purchased off the shelf :
Mastiff Armoured Troop Carrier; based on the Cougar, the six wheeled Mastiff is being obtained though the United States Marine Corps.  Just over 100 being purchased for operations in Iraq.
Vector Armoured Troop Carrier, based on a armoured version of the six wheeled variant of the Pinzgauer used by the Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps.  62 in initial order, then purchased for use in Afghanisan.
There is widespread reports that the British Army had, but would not use  RG-31 Mamba Mine Protected Vehicles in Iraq, this was/is totally incorrect.  A small number were procured in the mid-late 1990s to meet Urgent Operational Requirements (UOR) for  vehicles for the needs of the EOD teams in the Balkans. The Mamba suffered from safety and reliability problems caused by the additional weight of the appliqué armour affecting the steering and braking systems, These  were exacerbated by a lack of commonality between the vehicles, which were bought in three separate batches, and poor availability of spare parts.  Replaced in service in 2001-02.

Tank Transporters    A fleet of 92 Heavy Equipment Transporters (HET), consisting of the Oshkosh 1070F (a Europeanised version of the US Army M1070 HET), with a seven bogie King Trailer, with a payload capacity of 72,000Kg and a Gross Train Weight of 118,050Kgs.  Capable of carrying every equipment in the Army's holding.  A commercilised project financed and owned by FTX Logistics (owned by the American multi-national Halliburton), all their drivers are Sponsored Reservist of the RLC (and former RLC regulars), and subject to the same call up provisions of the TA.  When not in military use, the HET are used for civil contracting with Best Connections (a certain percentage of the revenue generated goes into Consolidated Revenue).  Whilst a superb equipment, the contract has a number of problems, and a number of HET are now being operated by Regular RLC personnel.