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32Bravo
09-28-2008, 02:24 PM
We all have an idea of what must be the quintessential Sergeant Major regardless of our nation and armed forces.

There have been hundreds of military films rolled out over the decades.

Whose portrayal do you consider the best fit, and from which film?

Here are a couple of contenders for the Brits:

Richard Attenborough - RSM Lauderdale

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=u23WcWVU3lA

Nigel Green - Colour Sergeant Bourne

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RCvdm8-vTM&feature=related

flamethrowerguy
09-28-2008, 02:37 PM
Not of WW2 but my fave is definitely Sam Elliot as "Sergeant Major Basil Plumley" in We Were Soldiers. Classic, gnarly performance.:evil:

http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=QZBbQm1avEY&feature=related

ptimms
09-28-2008, 02:53 PM
Windsor Davies in "it ain't half hot mum".

Seriously what about James Coburn as Sgt Steiner.

flamethrowerguy
09-28-2008, 02:58 PM
Seriously what about James Coburn as Sgt Steiner.

I thought of mentioning him but in "Cross of Iron" (part one) he was promoted to "Feldwebel" which means only "Warrant Officer" IIRC...

Nickdfresh
09-28-2008, 04:08 PM
Although he's the (acting) First Sergeant and not the Sergeant Major, I think Burt Lancaster's Milton Warden "From Here to Eternity" is one of the all time classic NCO portrayals.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tku9IPqebTs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1W6AGM-LxGY

And Senn Penn, quite far from his Spicole role :D, also is very good as 1SGT Welsh in the film adaption of James Jones' other WWII novel, "The Thin Red Line."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gm6ZgOBlzII

32Bravo
09-29-2008, 04:59 AM
I always rather liked this chap from The Bridge on the River Kwai:


The Physical Training Instuctor at the training camp is Mr Idwal Edwards from the little fishing village of Ferryside, Carmarthenshire, Wales. I believe he was a serving soldier possibly still so at the time of filming. I know this because he was a friend to my late father also of Ferryside. I am sad that Mr Edward's name does not appear in the credits, or have i missed it? He had two sons and a daughter, i went to school with his youngest son also at Ferryside. I feel he played a very important part in the film so again as previously said feel sad that he was not named in the credits. Thank you for allowing me to address this issue.

32Bravo
09-29-2008, 05:27 AM
there is one chap who remains legend in the British Army. To find an actor with the presence to portray him in a film would be quite an undertaking, as is so for many real-life Senior NCO's and Warrant Officers.

"He is the Lord up there...and I am the Lord down here!!"

RSM John Clifford 'JC' Lord MVO MBE of the 3rd Bn. Grenadier Guards and the 3rd Bn. Parachute Regiment.

http://www.pegasusarchive.org/arnhem/Biog1/John_Lord_5.htm

Captured at Arnhem:

When a party of officers paid the camp its first visit on the day of liberation they found a guard which was faultlessly turned out and which "could have gone on duty at Buckingham Palace and done credit to its corps."

Then a majestic figure appeared, the R.S.M. himself. Gleaming brass, immaculate webbing, razor-edge trouser creases, dazzling boots, a spectacular salute.



Fabulous shot of him in jump gear with Pace-stick, meeting the King. :)

http://www.pegasusarchive.org/arnhem/john_lord.htm

http://www.cthighlanders.co.za/cth/Pacestick.htm

RS might like this link - Worth scrolling down to the World Pace-Sticking Championships. :)

http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-equip/pace-stick.htm


The origin of the pace stick is claimed by the Royal Regiment of Artillery, who used a "gunner's stick" to measure the distance between guns in the field. It appeared more like a walking stick, with an ivory or silver knob on the end, and, unlike the modern pace stick, could only be opened a fixed distance. It was quickly adopted and adapted by the Infantry as an aid to drill.


By the way, does anyone know if Armies of non-British ancestary use any equivalent to the Pace-stick?

Rising Sun*
09-29-2008, 06:07 AM
Agree with 32B and FTG in posts #1 and #2.

Here's another great RSM in what should be regarded as a minor classic film: "The Hill" set in a military prison in WWII. Two RSMs are in it, Harry Andrews as SarMajor Wilson on the prison admin side and Sean Connery as a former SSM reduced to the ranks and sent to the prison for assaulting an officer.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=4Mgwm5o3Xqs

32Bravo
09-29-2008, 06:10 AM
Agree with 32B and FTG in posts #1 and #2.

Here's another great RSM in what should be regarded as a minor classic film: "The Hill" set in a military prison in WWII. Two RSMs are in it, Harry Andrews as SarMajor Wilson on the prison admin side and Sean Connery as a former SSM reduced to the ranks and sent to the prison for assaulting an officer.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=4Mgwm5o3Xqs

Excellent film and portrayals RS. Considered them, but as I'd posted so much I thought I'd give someone else a chance. :)

Rising Sun*
09-29-2008, 06:22 AM
RS might like this link - Worth scrolling down to the World Pace-Sticking Championships. :)

Our RSM was the very model of a magnificent warrant officer.

Various decorations up to MM from Korea to Vietnam; crisp in every respect; shaved to 1/16" below the skin from eye socket to collar bone; and, as it was an armoured unit, the possessor of the most impressive ebony pace stick with chrome or maybe silver fittings.

When he marched onto the parade ground with that gleaming pace stick under his arm and perfectly parallel with the ground, he just inspired everyone to stand a bit straighter and taller by the way his bearing expressed his pride in his office and unit. A bloke who led by some mystical example and rarely needed to shout, and if he did he'd just as likely take you aside later on and explain how you'd stuffed up and how not to do it again.

Not bad for a bloke who'd had one of his balls blown off by a land mine in Vietnam a few years earlier.

Rising Sun*
09-29-2008, 06:28 AM
Excellent film and portrayals RS. Considered them, but as I'd posted so much I thought I'd give someone else a chance. :)

There's someone like Harry Andrews or Stanley Baker floating around in my mind as an RSM in a film based in ?Burma where a British ?fire or ?patrol ?base is just out of range of Japanese MG or rifle fire, but blokes have to go out at times. There's a scene in it where a bloke goes out to retrieve a canister or something similar from a parachute drop and is being cheered on by the blokes at base as he makes a heroic run to the object and ?almost makes it back when he's shot.

Ring any bells?

32Bravo
09-29-2008, 06:46 AM
I wonder if it's A Hill in Korea? I saw this film years ago and have barely any recollection of it. I believe it was the first film in which Michael Caine played a role.

Then, there's Richard Todd with 'The Long And The Short And The Tall'
Richard Todd (nacknamed 'Sweeney') was a Para, landed at the Orne River on D-Day. Saw him once relate a story of meeting up with a fellow Lieutenant in the Paras, named Sweeney, nicknamed 'Todd' - very British. :)

Rising Sun*
09-29-2008, 06:49 AM
I wonder if it's A Hill in Korea?

No, I think it was WWII, Asian jungle, so it's probably Burma as it's British.

A title something like "The Line" perhaps, but I googled that and nothing relevant came up.

32Bravo
09-29-2008, 07:08 AM
Will have to dig into the old grey archives on that one.

Meanwhile:
this classic British war film features a host of star names including George Baker, Stanley Baker, Harry Andrews, Michael Medwin and Robert Shaw - and introducing Michael Caine in his first film role.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hill-Korea-George-Baker/dp/B000065UG7



By the way. 32B is poorly today and not at work. :(

Rising Sun*
09-29-2008, 07:16 AM
Not an RSM, but still a good senior NCO character was Lee Marvin as the platoon sergeant in Big Red One.

This is a film which, while burdened with some of the usual Hollywood war film stereotypes, manages to rise above the trite and examines some of the complexities of war and soldiers' conduct in it.

Marvin has added authority as, unlike some Hollywood actors who played heroic military roles, he served and was wounded (unglamorously, as he liked to point out, in the arse, :D, although it was actually quite a serious wound which could have crippled him for life) in the Pacific as a Marine.

32Bravo
09-29-2008, 07:21 AM
Harry Andrews continued to play most officer types including the platoon sergeant Payne in A Hill in Korea (1956):

http://www.britmovie.co.uk/actors/a/007.html

Rising Sun*
09-29-2008, 07:25 AM
By the way. 32B is poorly today and not at work. :(

You'd like my job better. I only go in on the days I'm crook, because I have better things to do than work when I'm firing on all cylinders. :D

Anyway, let me be the first of your many mates here to extend our sympathy to you, courageously struggling to your keyboard to remain in contact with your cyber mates as the pall of death lingers over you on your bed of pain. [pretend sympathy emoticon inserted here as I can't find a suitable emoticon]

On a less sympathetic note, has it occurred to you that if you didn't go plunging naked around the Brecon Beacons or whatever form of pointless masochism you engage in in your spare time, you wouldn't have caught a cold? ;) :D

32Bravo
09-29-2008, 07:30 AM
I've never had a cold from immersing myself in recreational pursuits, unless, of course, it's been on account of exchanging oral fluids (and perhaps some nasal, but who cares when one is throbbing with pure sexual energy) with some sweet thing. :)

Rising Sun*
09-29-2008, 07:45 AM
I've never had a cold from immersing myself in recreational pursuits, unless, of course, it's been on account of exchanging oral fluids (and perhaps some nasal, but who cares when one is throbbing with pure sexual energy) with some sweet thing. :)

I wouldn't know from personal experience, but I believe that some of the best todger stiffeners are in nasal spray form. Beats me how a sniff makes you stiff, but that's modern science for you. :D

[No, I will not countenance the obvious retort about a sniff making you stiff. People of delicate sensibilities, like PK, might still be up past their bedtime. :D]

32Bravo
09-29-2008, 08:00 AM
I wouldn't know from personal experience, but I believe that some of the best todger stiffeners are in nasal spray form. Beats me how a sniff makes you stiff, but that's modern science for you. :D

Just a whiff usually does it for me. :D



[No, I will not countenance the obvious retort about a sniff making you stiff. People of delicate sensibilities, like PK, might still be up past their bedtime. :D]

You believe PK does get it up, then? :shock:

32Bravo
09-29-2008, 08:35 AM
Speaking of the Brecon Beacons.

http://www.wilderness-wales.co.uk/wm/bb/bb.html

One day, as a tiny little Junior Bleeder (as the grown ups used to refer to us) I was jogging up Pen y Fan (see picture in link) when this chap with a bloody great bergen on his back and carrying a Lee Enfield rifle went steaming on by. "All right kid?" says he, in what I considered a rather patronising tone and, so, replied "Sure mister!". Twat! I thought 'he's only got a .303, who does he think he is?...I'm trained on the SLR and, I'm only fifteen - have some respect!' :roll:

Being of a stroppy and competitive nature, I decided to give him a couple of hundred yards head start and take off after him, which I did, saying "Hello again, mister!" as I ran by (in me tracksuit and plimsoles). ;)

I waited for him for a chat, at the top (and to show off that I'd beaten him to the top), but no sooner did he arrive than he had a quick word with some other chap and galloped off back down the hill. Well, thinks I, he must have been a messenger. At which point I continued on to complete the Fan Dance.

Later at the ice-cream van which always seems to be at the car park at the bottom of the main route up Pen y Fan, I saw yon chap queing for an ice-cream as he sweated his cods off, and chatted with a couple of other sweaty, Bergen-carrying types.
"Allright kid!" again. "Yeah, thanks...what were you doing running up and down Peny Fan, don't you go over the other peaks?"
"I'm on selection!" Says he.
"Ugh?" :confused:

Nice ale: http://www.breconshirebrewery.com/Ales.asp?BeerID=7

Hey! look! ... must be "Mister's" grandson! :)

http://www.stuff.themutual.net/bbec1.htm

Rising Sun*
09-29-2008, 08:37 AM
You believe PK does get it up, then? :shock:

I don't know who then is, and without knowing that I wouldn't accuse PK of getting it up her. Or him. :D

32Bravo
09-29-2008, 08:39 AM
I don't know who then is, and without knowing that I wouldn't accuse PK of getting it up her. Or him. :D

Applause-icon! :D

Rising Sun*
09-29-2008, 08:55 AM
Speaking of the Brecon Beacons.

http://www.wilderness-wales.co.uk/wm/bb/bb.html

One day, as a tiny little Junior Bleeder (as the grown ups used to refer to us) I was jogging up Pen y Fan (see picture in link) when this chap with a bloody great bergen on his back and carrying a Lee Enfield rifle went steaming on by. "All right kid?" says he, in what I considered a rather patronising tone and, so, replied "Sure mister!". Twat! I thought 'he's only got a .303, who does he think he is?...I'm trained on the SLR and, I'm only fifteen - have some respect!' :roll:

Being of a stroppy and competitive nature, I decided to give him a couple of hundred yards head start and take off after him, which I did, saying "Hello again, mister!" as I ran by (in me tracksuit and plimsoles). ;)

I waited for him for a chat, at the top (and to show off that I'd beaten him to the top), but no sooner did he arrive than he had a quick word with some other chap and galloped off back down the hill. Well, thinks I, he must have been a messenger. At which point I continued on to complete the Fan Dance.

Later at the ice-cream van which always seems to be at the car park at the bottom of the main route up Pen y Fan, I saw yon chap queing for an ice-cream as he sweated his cods off, and chatted with a couple of other sweaty, Bergen-carrying types.
"Allright kid!" again. "Yeah, thanks...what were you doing running up and down Peny Fan, don't you go over the other peaks?"
"I'm on selection!" Says he.
"Ugh?" :confused:

Nice ale: http://www.breconshirebrewery.com/Ales.asp?BeerID=7

Hey! look! ... must be "Mister's" grandson! :)

http://www.stuff.themutual.net/bbec1.htm

How did you get to be doing that at 15?

Here full entry was 17 for real soldiering. 15 was only for apprentices who were trade trained for a few years while being carefully kept away from bang sticks, and most of the rest of the army.

32Bravo
09-29-2008, 09:03 AM
How did you get to be doing that at 15?

Here full entry was 17 for real soldiering. 15 was only for apprentices who were trade trained for a few years while being carefully kept away from bang sticks, and most of the rest of the army.

Infantry Junior Leaders Battalion functioned as a two year training unit for school leavers from 1952 - 1975

Found this:

http://www.centralcoastsports.com.au/j_leaders/index.htm

I'm not a member of the association nor am I in any of the pictures. :(


The first Commanding Officer
was Major Sir Christopher Nixon M.C. the Royal Ulster Rifles.
It took in boys from the age of 15 to 171/2 years of age.
The Battalion was organised like a normal military unit
with special attention being given to educational instruction
and the encouragement of sport ,hobbies and other outdoor pursuits
to promote a healthy body and mind. They would hopefully go on to become
the future Warrant Officers and Senior NCO'S of the British Army.

The first boy to arrive, did so some three weeks early due to a
mistake by the recruiting office.
He was Oswald Michael Beckett,
who had made himself at home
and was helping with the kitting out of the NEW boys.
Their daily routine was morning parade with either weapon training ,
PT or Drill, followed by half a days educational instruction.
The remainder of their time was devoted to other activities while
each evening was set aside for hobbies and other recreational pursuits

The number of boys soon out grew the camp at Tuxford
and 'A' Company under the command of
Major M Lemon of the Wiltshire Regiment moved to Harrogate in Yorkshire.
In 1954 the Battalion then moved to Crownhill in Plymouth and Plumer Barracks.

It Remained here until 1960 when it moved to Oswestry in Shropshire,
were it remained until 1975 when the camp closed.

Rising Sun*
09-29-2008, 09:12 AM
Infantry Junior Leaders Battalion functioned as a two year training unit for school leavers from 1952 - 1975

Found this:

http://www.centralcoastsports.com.au/j_leaders/index.htm

I'm not a member of the association nor am I in any of the pictures. :(

Was this a full time regular enlistment or more in the nature of part time cadets?

32Bravo
09-29-2008, 09:50 AM
Was this a full time regular enlistment or more in the nature of part time cadets?

It was full time, run on similar lines as a boarding school. The year was broken down into three terms, reflecting the state school system. After two years there was a passing out parade and one then joined one's chosen regiment. When I arrived there, there were ninety-five in my intake, but after about six months we were down to about twenty, and in the end there were fifteen of us. The instructors, all old hands, no one lower than sergeant, scared us fartless, at first. However, as we progressed and began to get enthusiastic, they treated us differently. It was very competitive and we, encouraged by our instructors, embraced it - as did they.

My actual service with the Colours didn't count until I reached my eighteenth birthday, even though I'd been running about with various lethal weapons for three years, the last year of which was with my regular unit, and ready for active service etc.

We were taught all the infantry soldier skills, weapons tactics, map reading etc. etc. to the extent that by the time we 'passed out' we could quite easily qualify at the Infantry Small Arms School, or the Sennybridge Battle School. We were taught how to prepare lesson plans etc. as instructors.

On the other hand, there was some resentment from the soldiers in the units we joined as we were usually fast-tracked for promotion and this could end up with the odd broken lip etc. But even they grudgingly gave their respect once we began to perform as soldiers and show our quality.

What surprised me when I joined my regiment, was that we handed our weapons into the arms cote at the end of the day. As a boy, we drew them out on Monday morning and kept them with us until Friday evening. This was good, as when we were bored some evenings we would practise weapon training skills or rifle drill in our barrack rooms. We became real 'tick-tock' soldiers, even petitioned for drill to be introduced as a hobby in the evenings. We were devastated, if not totally disillusioned, when none of the drill instructors wanted to take us up on it. :confused: :D

I have a couple of friends whom I first met there at the age of fifteen and we meet up regularly for one or two or even more. Next Friday being the date of our next foray into publand. :D