Adjutant A military rank, usually a Captain, appointed as the Staff Officer for the Commanding Officer.
Commanding Officer The officer in command of a military unit. The Commanding Officer (CO) has ultimate authority over a unit within the bounds of military law.
Corporal of Horse The equivalent rank is Sergeant in the rest of the Army. The title Corporal of Horse is unique to the Household Cavalry.
Cuirass Armour formed by single or multiple pieces of metal or other rigid material. Household Cavalry cuirasses protect the front and back of the torso.
Dobbin Horse in rural slang.
Donkey Walloper British Army slang for Cavalrymen.
The Forge 14 soldiers specialise in farriery, shoeing and caring for the veterinary welfare of up to 300 horses. Using both ready-made and hand-made horse-shoes, these soldiers become Certified Military Farriers (or blacksmiths), and hold Diplomas from the Worshipful Company of Farriers.
Gold Stick and Silver Stick are bodyguard positions in the British Royal Household as personal attendants to The Sovereign on ceremonial occasions.
Although this protocol is now only used for ceremonial events, the Office of Gold Stick dates from Tudor times when two Officers stayed close to The Sovereign to protect him or her from danger. This Office is held jointly by the Colonels of The Life Guards (LG) and The Blues and Royals (RHG/D); these are the two Regiments of the Household Cavalry who as senior in the Household Division and British Army, are The Sovereign’s personal bodyguard. One of the Gold Sticks is always on duty as Gold Stick-in-Waiting. The name derives from their staff-of-office which has a gold head. Since Queen Victoria’s reign these duties have been mainly ceremonial. The Gold Stick-in-Waiting attends all State Ceremonial events. On these occasions Gold Stick conveys The Sovereign’s orders to The Household Cavalry. Their deputy is Silver Stick-in-Waiting who is also Commander Household Cavalry.
The current Colonel of The Blues and Royals is Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal.
The current Colonel of The Life Guards is Lieutenant General Sir Edward Smyth-Osbourne, KCVO, CBE.
Household Division This is formed by the seven Guards regiments. These are the British Army’s most senior regiments: The Household Cavalry – The Life Guards and The Blues & Royals – and the five regiments of Foot Guards: Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots, Irish and Welsh.
“Septem Juncta In Uno” (Seven Joined In One) is the motto of the Household Division.
London District (LONDIST) is the name given by the British Army to the Greater London area of operations. Established in 1870 as Home District, it was re-formed in 1905 as London District to be an independent district within the larger command structure of the army, and has remained so ever since.
Headquarters London District is at Horse Guards in central London.
Long Guard When The Sovereign is in London her Life Guard consists of 1 Officer, 1 Corporal-Major (who carries the Standard), 2 Non-Commissioned Officers, 1 Trumpeter and 10 Troopers. This is known as a Long Guard.
Mess A Mess is a place where military personnel socialise, eat, and (in some cases) live.
Officers, Warrant Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers are required by Ministry of Defence (MOD) Regulations to be a member of a Mess, and unmarried members usually live there. Members are required to pay a subscription fee for supplies and upkeep. The amount is decided by the Commanding Officer within the limits stipulated by Ministry of Defence Regulations.
The Commanding Officer (CO) of the unit has right of veto over the mess, and any changes or events must have his approval. The CO is allowed into any Mess (because they are legally all his), but it is often considered an abuse of power, or unbecoming conduct for a CO to drink in a lower ranks’ mess, except when invited there on special occasions.
Ministry of Defence (MOD) is the British government department responsible for implementing national defence policy, and is the headquarters of the British Armed Forces.
Musical Ride The Household Cavalry Musical Ride was first performed at the Royal Tournament in 1882. Mounted Dutymen carrying lances parade with Trumpeters and Drumhorses. Trumpeters are traditionally mounted on grey horses to contrast with the black horses used by other Household Cavalrymen; this is so they could be seen on battlefields where they would ride near their officers relaying relaying their commands via trumpet calls.
NAAFI The Navy, Army and Air Force Institute (NAAFI) was created by the British government in 1921 to run recreational establishments for the British Armed Forces, and to sell goods to servicemen and their families. It runs clubs, bars, shops, supermarkets, launderettes, restaurants and other facilities on most British military bases and also canteens on board Royal Navy ships.
NCO A Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) is a military officer who has not been given a commission. Non-Commissioned Officersusually obtain their position of authority by promotion through the enlisted ranks.
Warrant Officers (WOs) are senior to NCOs and are appointed by Royal Warrant.
Plumes The current Household Cavalry helmet has been worn since 1842 with a white, red or black plume. This helmet was designed by Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert, The Prince Consort, and replaced a bearskin-crested helmet that had been used since 1832. The Life Guards wear a white plume; The Blues And Royals and Trumpeters of The Life Guards wear a red plume; Farriers wear a black plume as did the 1st (Royal) Dragoons.
Quartermaster A Quartermaster in the British Army is a specialist supply officer, and is usually a former senior soldier who has risen up through the ranks.
RCM Regimental Corporal Major (known as the Regimental Sergeant Major in other Regiments) as the Household Cavalry do not have sergeants because Queen Victoria thought Sergeant sounded too like servant. An appointment held by a Warrant Officer Class 1 (WO1) in the British Army as the senior Warrant Officer; in a unit with more than one WO1, the RCM is considered to be “first amongst equals”.
Scimitar An Armoured Reconnaissance vehicle (sometimes classed as a light tank) used by the British Army. Made by Alvis in Coventry, it mounts a high velocity 30 mm RARDEN cannon.
Second-in-Command (2IC) is the deputy commander of any military unit, from battalion or regiment downwards. He is thus the equivalent of an executive officer.
Short Guard When The Sovereign is not resident in London, her Life Guard at Horse Guards is reduced to 2 Non-Commissioned Officers and 10 Troopers.
Summer Camp This is the annual opportunity for the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment to leave London for about a month in the country. The aim is to train without the distraction of Public (ceremonial) Duties.
Tent-pegging is a cavalry sport of ancient origin, and one of only ten equestrian disciplines officially recognised by the International Equestrian Federation. Used narrowly the term refers to a specific mounted game with ground targets. More broadly it refers to the entire class of mounted cavalry games for which the term “equestrian skill-at-arms” is also used. These include “Sword, Lance and Revolver”.
The Household Cavalry Foundation (HCF) cares for the soldiers, casualties, veterans, horses and heritage of the British Army’s most senior regiments.
Whether caring for soldiers injured on operations… Read more
Household Cavalry Foundation
HQ Household Cavalry
Horse Guards, Whitehall
London SW1A 2AX
Telephone: 020 7839 4858
To report a death please telephone: 01753 755 061
Membership is FREE to all serving members of the Household Cavalry and Life Guards and Blues and Royals Association members.