Regimental Nicknames

Liverpool Mercury, March 8th, 1913

Regimental nicknames

Their romance and origin

Clive HOLLAND, in the “Boy’s Own paper” for March, gives us nicknames borne by various regiments.

The Welsh Regiment, have been known variously as the “1st Invalids” from the fact of the regiment being raised in 1719 as a regiment of invalids; as the “Old Agamemnons” a title given it by Lord NELSON at the battle of St Vincent from the name of his old ship; and as the, “Ups and Downs” from the fact that their number [the 69th foot] can be read either way up.

The Essex is known as the “Two Fours” from its number, the “Little Fighting Fairs” from the generally small stature of the men fighting in it and its desperate fighting at Kabul in 1841, when Sir A.BURNES and other English residents were treacherously murdered.

The men are also known as the “Pompadours” from the colour of its facing when the regiment was raised, which was puce, a colour named after the inventor of it – the notorious Madame de Pompadour.

Its 4th nickname the “Saucy Pompeys” a shortening of the 3rd with the addition of the adjective to describe the bearing of the men.

The Royal Berkshire Regiment is known as the “Green Howards”.

The Shropshire have three nicknames – “Brickdusts” from the aforetime hue of their facings, and the, “Old Five and Threepennies” from their number and the daily pay of their ensigns at that particular time, the third, the same as the Royal Fusiliers [Elegant Extracts] and given from a similar cause.

Amongst other troops with many honourable events to their credit are the Manchester Regiment, one time known as the “Bloodsuckers” though why, history does not tell.

The Royal Irish Fusiliers, nicknamed at various times “Old Fogs” from their war cry “Fag-an-Bealach” [clear the way] the, “Eagle Takers” from the fact that at Barossa they captured a French eagle and wreath; “Blayney’s Bloodhounds” from their then Colonel’s name and their skill at tracking the Irish Rebels; lastly the “Rollickers” from the fun and jolliment, a special feature of the men in the regiment.

The 5th Dragoon Guards, have been known as “Coy’s Boys” from the name of their Colonel commanding at the Battle of the Boyne, and the “Green Horse” from the colour of its facings. Its motto is that of the famous John HAMPDEN of Civil War memory, “No footsteps backward” – a sentiment never applicable to the regiment.

The 19th Hussars were, with the 20th and 21st, known at the time they were taken over from the East Indian Company’s service, as the “Dumpies” owing to the men at the time being of diminished size. The nickname is scarcely applicable nowadays.

The men of the Medical Staff Corps are known as the “Linseed Lancers” and the “Poultice Whollopers” whilst the Army Service Corps has been a different times somewhat unflatteringly referred to as “London Thieving Corps” from its initials at the time, L.T.C.

[Land Transport Corps] “Murdering Thieves”, when it was known as the Military Train, and “Moke Train” when mules were first used for transport.

The Ordinance Store Corps, have been known as “My Sister Sells Cabbage” from its initials of “Military Store Staff Corps”, which it was called at one time, and “Sugar Stick Brigade” on account of the shape of the trimmings on the uniform.

The Dorsetshire Regiment has been known at various times as “Sankey’s Horse” from the Colonel’s name at the time and the fact that the men were mounted on mules at the Battle of Almanaza, in order that they might reach the army in time to take part in the fighting. The other nickname “Green Linnets” on account of the dull green facings of the uniform.

The 14th Hussars are called the “Ramnugger Boys” in memory of the battle of that name. This regiment is that of Charles O’MALLEY and the famous Nickey Free.

The Royal Warwicks are distinguished by the appelation of “Guise’s Geese” from the name of their Colonel being pronounced, GEES, and also from their green grass facings at that time; also known as the “Saucy Sixth” and the, “Warwickshire Lads”.

The Lancashire Fusiliers, get the name of “Two Tens” from their number that of the “Minden Boys”, from the battle of that name, and that of “Kingley’s Stand” from the conspicuous bravery the men deployed under the command of Capt KINGSLEY at the Battle of Minden. The men since then have celebrated the fight by wearing Minden roses in their caps on the anniversary of the battle.

The South Lancashires have two nicknames the “Excellers” a pun on its number, XL, and the “Fighting Fortieth” from its long distinguished record.


Murray, in the guest book, is suprised there is no mention of the Black Watch, "The ladies from Hell."


The Loyal Warrington Volunteers formed 1798, disbanded 1801 [then Home Guard of its day], reformed again in 1803 as the Warrington Local Militia, known as the "Blue Backs" their uniform having a tunic with a scarlet front and blue back,

Anymore nicknames welcome

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