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Gunner's whistle

Gunnar

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Saw them offered for sale on a kit shop site.  Can someone tell me what a Gunner's whistle is (traditionally) used for?  Is it considered part of the uniform?  Some background on this would be appreciated.

Ubique
 

dimsum

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Gunnar said:
Saw them offered for sale on a kit shop site.  Can someone tell me what a Gunner's whistle is (traditionally) used for?  Is it considered part of the uniform?  Some background on this would be appreciated.

Ubique

Not a gunner, but I'd suspect that it was used for passing commands bc it can be heard over loud noises.  Like guns.
 

Gunnar

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That is my reasonable supposition as well.  However, I'm looking for a bit more detail...
 

Ralph

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Something has to go on the end of the lanyard if you've lost your compass...
 

OldSolduer

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Dimsum said:
Not a gunner, but I'd suspect that it was used for passing commands bc it can be heard over loud noises.  Like guns.

As a Rifleman, Sgts and above - at least in my Regiment - all had a lanyard with a whistle at one time.

Dimsum is correct in his assessment but I cannot speak for the Artillery.
 

dimsum

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Hamish Seggie said:
Dimsum is correct in his assessment but I cannot speak for the Artillery.

It's alright - they won't hear you anyway  ;)
 

PPCLI Guy

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In Shilo, they use a dog whistle, because they all seem to have one....
 

OldSolduer

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PPCLI Guy said:
In Shilo, they use a dog whistle, because they all seem to have one....

:facepalm: You just had to poke the dog.....  :rofl:
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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The Gunner's whistle was one of two types of whistle used in the various British commonwealth navies (still is outside of Canada, I think.). It was worn at the end of a white lanyard with he square rig by petty officers of the gunners trade as a symbol of authority over the guns. In action, it was used to signal check fire order as it could be heard over the noise of the guns.

Since the gunners were the trade that oversaw parade drills in the Navy, it was also the whistle used on parade grounds to call markers and then order the form up (for those who have never seen how naval parades were done on the parade deck in the old days, it was quite different from the long winded army method now in use  :nod:.

In the navy, all the ratings would stand around the three sides of the parade deck other than the front. The gunner's whistle would be blown to call to stop any chattering and the markers called. They would run (yeah! Run!) from their position to their prearranged spot (marker on the ground so in the navy, you never had to  call for dressing to line up the parade) then the gunner's whistle would blow the fall in and everybody else would run (yes, again. Run!) to their division and form up . divisional petty officers would casually, and without orders walk to their division, sort it out and put it at ease. At that point the parade officer (standing at the front but not yet on parade would order the officers to their division, where they would go and take over from their petty officers, then individually go and report to the parade officer and then come back to their own division.

The whole process from first whistle to the parade officer being ready to receive the reviewing officer took less than five minutes.
 

Colin Parkinson

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For naval use the Gunners Mate whistle, it makes a different sound to the Bosun's pipe

i_nuZzKp1cjLqnKC86yH6cy3N6FAJDaebqInnScLwZX0ALn-_Bb1LYyajanc4bKF2H_APnWHPOtayNyiI1Va7Gnexw0XSbhYByTlJfx025b86fanKcjlNPLeKbShbYi1I0pNiVZCNKKhD_TjeApNnI9kCQ
 

Gunnar

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Thank you Gentlemen, I was unable to find useful information on the 'net.  Is there any sort of historical/traditional use for it nowadays, say on a dress uniform or some such?  Or has it gone the way of the late, lamented dodo?
 

Old Sweat

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Oldgateboatdriver said:
The Gunner's whistle was one of two types of whistle used in the various British commonwealth navies (still is outside of Canada, I think.). It was worn at the end of a white lanyard with he square rig by petty officers of the gunners trade as a symbol of authority over the guns. In action, it was used to signal check fire order as it could be heard over the noise of the guns.

Since the gunners were the trade that oversaw parade drills in the Navy, it was also the whistle used on parade grounds to call markers and then order the form up (for those who have never seen how naval parades were done on the parade deck in the old days, it was quite different from the long winded army method now in use  :nod:.

In the navy, all the ratings would stand around the three sides of the parade deck other than the front. The gunner's whistle would be blown to call to stop any chattering and the markers called. They would run (yeah! Run!) from their position to their prearranged spot (marker on the ground so in the navy, you never had to  call for dressing to line up the parade) then the gunner's whistle would blow the fall in and everybody else would run (yes, again. Run!) to their division and form up . divisional petty officers would casually, and without orders walk to their division, sort it out and put it at ease. At that point the parade officer (standing at the front but not yet on parade would order the officers to their division, where they would go and take over from their petty officers, then individually go and report to the parade officer and then come back to their own division.

The whole process from first whistle to the parade officer being ready to receive the reviewing officer took less than five minutes.

This would require a modified "Greatcoats On! Greatcoats off!" drill.
 

Blackadder1916

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Oldgateboatdriver said:
The Gunner's whistle was one of two types of whistle used in the various British commonwealth navies (still is outside of Canada, I think.). It was worn at the end of a white lanyard with he square rig by petty officers of the gunners trade as a symbol of authority over the guns. In action, it was used to signal check fire order as it could be heard over the noise of the guns.

Since the gunners were the trade that oversaw parade drills in the Navy, it was also the whistle used on parade grounds to call markers and then order the form up (for those who have never seen how naval parades were done on the parade deck in the old days, it was quite different from the long winded army method now in use  :nod:.

. . .

There was no mention of "whistles" in the Royal Canadian Navy Manual of Drill and Ceremonial - BRCN 3058, save for brief mention of bos'un's pipes.  The use of a bugle call for "markers" seems to have have been the 1960s method to fall in for parades.  However the current day Royal Navy Ceremonial And Drill BRd 1834 has this to say about whistles and drill.

. . . The correct dress for a drill instructor is No 3A/3C for Senior
Rates and 3B/3C for Junior Rates, (if instructing in tropical climates then dress maybe relaxed
down to 3B for Senior Rates), cap, pace stick (Stained Dark Rose Wood for instructors and
Black for the SCTO), and parade whistle (see note 1 and note 2). The whistle is to be worn with
the chain of the whistle secured around the right hand front belt loop of the uniform trousers with
the whistle itself in the right hand pocket.

Notes:
1. Senior Rates - When wearing a uniform jacket the whistle is to be worn
with the chain underneath the collar and pulled taught across the chest (not
hanging in a loop) with the whistle itself retained in the breast pocket of the
uniform jacket.
2. Junior Rates - When wearing class II uniform jumper the whistle is to be
worn with the chain pinned on the left side and underneath the blue collar
(hanging in a loop) with the whistle itself retained in the inner left pocket of the
uniform jumper. Lanyards are still to be worn.

Their procedures for falling in parades/divisions include a whistle blast to call for "markers".

The item listed on the William Scully site as a "Gunner Whistle" appears to be the same as the bog standard "Metropolitan" (as in Police) whistle that we were issued for phase training, though ours had the leather fob that could be buttoned to the pocket.

https://www.williamscully.ca/shop/index.php/shop/whistles.html#page=0&top=1&
 

quadrapiper

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Blackadder1916 said:
There was no mention of "whistles" in the Royal Canadian Navy Manual of Drill and Ceremonial - BRCN 3058, save for brief mention of bos'un's pipes.
Looking through BRCN 3058: it appears (13-2 4a) that the RCN (and presumably the RN) of the period acted as if it held the Freedom of the City anywhere in the Commonwealth.

On the gunner's call/whistle side of things, Naden drill shed's script for IIRC Ceremonial Divisions had reference to using what was referred to as a "thunder whistle" until fairly recently, I think for calling for markers.
 

OldSolduer

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quadrapiper said:
Looking through BRCN 3058: it appears (13-2 4a) that the RCN (and presumably the RN) of the period acted as if it held the Freedom of the City anywhere in the Commonwealth.

On the gunner's call/whistle side of things, Naden drill shed's script for IIRC Ceremonial Divisions had reference to using what was referred to as a "thunder whistle" until fairly recently, I think for calling for markers.

Section commanders in the infantry were issued "Whistle, Thunder" at one time.
 

daftandbarmy

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Hamish Seggie said:
Section commanders in the infantry were issued "Whistle, Thunder" at one time.

FWIW, I still carry the one I was issued, and also use it during various back country adventures. It's nowhere near as effective as some of the newer safety whistles, like the Fox 40, but it's solid steel so will not break, and works when soaking wet - like the Infantry ;)
 

OldSolduer

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daftandbarmy said:
FWIW, I still carry the one I was issued, and also use it during various back country adventures. It's nowhere near as effective as some of the newer safety whistles, like the Fox 40, but it's solid steel so will not break, and works when soaking wet - like the Infantry ;)

Come to think of it I may have one somewhere.
 
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