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Great War Terms used by the British - Q

Q -  Quartermaster Branch of General Staff.

QM -  Quartermaster sergeant; NCO i/c Supplies, Accommodation etc.

 

Great War Terms used by the British - R

RAF -  Royal Air Force, replaced RFC in 1918.

Rainbow Division -  42nd Division, US Army; wore rainbow motif shoulder-flash.

RAMC -  Royal Army Medical Corps.

RAP -  Regimental Aid Post.

RB -  Rifle Brigade.

RDF -  Royal Dublin Fusiliers.

RE -  Royal Engineers.

Red Cap -  Military Policeman.

Red Hat -  Staff Officer; wore red cap band.

Redoubt -  Super-fortified strongpoint; much used by Central Powers.

Red Tab -  Staff Officer; wore red collar tabs.

Register -  Ranging of an artillery gun(s) on a target by successive shots so as to permit, subsequently, an accurate barrage.

Respirator -  Later model of gas mask using a chemical filled canister to filter air intake and an airtight rubber face mask with inset glass goggles.

Reveille -  Bugle wake-up call.

Revetment -  Strengthening of trench wall by earth and, where necessary, with other materials such as wood, sand-bags and steel sheeting.

RFA -  Royal Field Artillery.

RFC -  Royal Flying Corps, 1914 - 1917.

RGA -  Royal Garrison Artillery.

RMA -  Royal Marine Artillery.

RMLI -  Royal Marine Light Infantry.

RMO -  Regimental Medical Officer.

RNAS -  Royal Naval Air Service.

RND -  Royal Naval Division.

Rocade -  Light railway serving the front-lines with men, munitions and other supplies. Became critical for the movement of the tanks to the different sectors of the battlefield.

Rookie - A recruit or new man (from recruit).

Rondins -  Cut tree-trunks used in the construction of corduroy roads.

RSM -  Regimental Sergeant Major. Senior NCO in regiment.

RTO -  Railway Transport Officer.

RTU - Returned to unit. Fate of failures in specialist courses.

Runner -  Carrier of messages by hand when other means of communication was not available. Often had high casualty rate.

Russian Sap - Narrow trench dug like a mine-shaft so that the surface of the earth was not disturbed. A sap trench helped raiders to approach enemy lines without being detected.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 04 September 2008 09:28 )

Great War Terms used by the British - A

Armed Boarding Vessel - Civilian ship armed and taken into the navy.

Ack Ack - Anti-aircraft (artillery).

Ack Emma - a.m. (midnight to noon).

Adrian helmet - French army standard issue steel helmet post-1916. Named after the designer.

Advanced Dressing Station : The most advanced medical post behind the Regimental Aid Post.

AEF - American Expeditionary Force.

A-frame - Inverted A-shaped wooden frame to support duckboards.

ALH - Australian Light Horse.

Alleyman : British slang for a German soldier.

Alpini -  Italian Alpine troops specialising in mountain warfare.

Amiens Hut : Temporary structure of canvas on a frame used at British base camps.

Ammo-boot - Ammunition boot - British standard issue ankle boot.

ANZAC - Australian (and) New Zealand Army Corps.

AOC - Army Ordnance Corps.

AP -  Medical Aid Post.

Archie -  Anti-aircraft fire.

Armlet -  Armband signifying special function e.g. Instructor.

ASC -  Army Service Corps.

AVC -  Army Veterinary Corps.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 04 September 2008 09:27 )

Great War Terms used by the British - B

Bangalore torpedo -  Long explosive charge for clearing barbed-wire.

Bantam battalions -  British and Canadian units, principally manned by shorter statured men - 5'1" and 5'4"; formerly ineligible to serve.

Bantam - Term for members of battalions between 5ft 1in and 5ft 4in.

Banquette British - A raised way or fire-step along the inside of a trench . Allowed soldiers inside a trench to step up and fire their rifles then step back down to avoid return fire.

Barrage -  Bombardment by artillery.

Battery : A group of six guns or howitzers.

Battle bowler -  British steel helmet.

Battle order -  Reduced webbing and a haversack for action.

Battle Police : Military police deployed behind an attack to interpret stragglers.

BEF -  British Expeditionary Force - initially only 4 Divisions.

Bellied - A term used when a tank's underside was caught upon an obstacle so high that its tracks could not grip the earth.

Berm -  Storage place in the parapet of a trench.

BGRA and BGRE -  Brigadier Generals of Royal Artillery and Engineers.

Biff -  Bristol fighter aircraft.

Big Bertha -  German 42cm Morser heavy gun successfully used to bombard and reduce the French and Belgian forts in 1914. Later, any large calibre artillery.

Billy - Australian nickname for a cooking-pot or can.

Bivvy -  Bivouac: initially a tent, but later any shelter or dug-out.

Black Hand Gang : Slang for a raiding party on a difficult mission.

Blanco -  Paste used to whiten webbing - khaki blanco was also widely used.

Blighty -  Home - Britain. Hence - 'Blighty Wound'.

Blimp -  Airship or balloon. Later, officious senior officer.

Blue Cross I & II -  German toxic gas: diphenylchloroarsine - sternutator(sneezing/vomiting) type. Containers were marked withblue crosses.

Body-snatcher - a British - a stretcher bearer.  Also, a member of a raiding party (required to bring back prisoners for information)

Boche -  German Army; originally coined by French Army.

Bombardier - A Royal Artillery corporal.

Bomber  Infantry-man specialising in the use of hand-grenades.

Bombproof -  Protective against shrapnel and shell-fragments.

Box-barrage -  Intense bombardment of restricted area.

Bracket -  To fire shells around target to find exact range.

Brass(hat) -  High ranking staff officers. From the gold braid worn on the peak of their hats and other parts of their uniform.

Brassard -  Armband.

Brigade -  Next sized unit after the Battalion. Comprised of a variable number of Regiments and their support services - about 3,000 men.

British warm -  British officer's heavy woollen khaki, or brown, greatcoat.Usually just below knee-length.

Brodie helmet British - (1915) The famous "soup-bowl" helmet. Upgraded to the Mark I version in 1916. Used by US and Portuguese troops also. Named for its inventor, John L. Brodie.

Buckshee - Something for free or surplus to needs.

Bullring -  Behind-the-lines training camp for new arrivals. Also for convalescent soldiers to prepare for (and encourage) a speedy return to duty. Especially at Etaples, France.

Bully - Canned corned beef. Also known as bully beef.

Bundook - Rifle.

Button stick -  Slotted brass sheet used for polishing the brass buttons on serviceman's uniform without damaging the cloth.

Buzzer - A electric device used for Morse code.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 04 September 2008 09:27 )

Great War Terms used by the British - T

Taffy - Welsh soldier.

Tapes - Lines of cloth tape laid on the ground to indicate a starting line or the direction of advance.

Teddy bear - Shaggy goatskin winter coat.

Terps - Interpreter.

Terrier -Member of British Territorial Army.

Tickler's - Proprietary brand of jam issued to troops. Also all kinds of jam.

Tic-tac - Signaler.

Tin hat - Steel helmet of any kind.

TM - Trench mortar.

TMB - Trench mortar battery.

Toc Emma - Trench mortar.

Toc H - The Everyman's Club (serviceman's recreation club), located at Poperinghe, near Ypres, in Belgium.

Toffee apple - Stokes mortar bomb. Explosive/gas projectile about the size of a football mounted on a shaft containing the propellant.

Tommy - British soldier.

Tommy-bar - Metal spanner used to open up a Mills bombs for priming.

Tommy-cooker - Alcohol fueled portable cooker for use in Front Line.

Toot sweet - Corrupted form of French - toute suite - immediately.

Tot - Active service rum ration; theoretically about 65ml.

Tour - Time spent by a unit in the line. Usually 4 to 6 days followed by a variable period of rest behind the lines. However, this rest period often included training and fatigue duties such as trench digging, moving munitions and filling sandbags.

Tracer (bullet) - One in every five or so machine-gun bullets which had a phosphorescent insert. This glowed in flight facilitating the correction of the aiming of the gun. Particularly useful at night and for tracking moving targets such as aircraft. It could give away the position of the firer to the enemy.

Tractor - An aircraft with a front mounted propeller. Also a vehicle for moving artillery.

Traverse - Trenches were not straight ditches, since this would have made them far too vulnerable to enfilade fire. Instead, they had traverses built in. These were protrusions of earth or sandbags into the trench, giving a crenelated appearance when viewed from the air. They also reduced the effect of shells when they landed in the trench.

Traversor mat - A mat made of metal mesh used by the infantry for crossing barbed-wire entanglements.

Trench coat - Officer's, waterproofed cotton, knee-length, belted coat.

Trench foot - Pathological degeneration of the skin of the feet brought on by reduced circulation due to long-term immersion in cold water. Infection (wet gangrene) often followed if neglected.

Trooper - Private in cavalry. Also troop-ship.

T (Tappen)-stoff - German toxic gas: xylyl bromide - lacrimator (tear gas) type.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 12 August 2008 08:47 )


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