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which part of the british army wears a black beret with a skull and crossbones on it?

i saw this uniform on the six oclock news the other day. the report was from iraq. i have never seen this insignia before and it got me wondering about who they are and what they do. the only uniform i have ever seen like it is the old ss hats which had the same insignia. surely the british army is not re starting the ss. i have heard the stuff the americans have with the bones but its not the sort of thing i expect to see on british troops as i know most british army insignia has crowns and stuff on it(how you know they are brits serving her majesty) and there was no sign of this on these hats.

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Previous answerers hinted at the right answer; it was probably the cap badge of the Queen's Royal Lancers (QRL) you saw. Contrary to other answers, the skull and crossbones has nothing to do with the SS, Totenkopf etc - its origins long pre-date the 20th Century!

    The QRL, created in 1993 following the post-Cold War reduction in the British Army, is the latest descedant of a number of former cavalry (tank) regiments.

    The skull and crossbones cap badge actually originally derives (and survives) from the 18th Regiment of (Light) Dragoons.

    The 18th Light Dragoons were formed in 1760 by a Colonel John Hale who had served alongside General Wolfe in the North American campaigns - Wolfe being mortally wounded whilst taking Quebec in 1759.

    Hence when it came to choosing the badge for his new regiment on return to England, he choose a concept of a skull (representing Death) and the motto Or Glory out of respect to his previous commanding officer.

    The 18th Dragoons were then renumbered the 17th Dragoons, being then called the 17th Lancers in 1822. The regiment took part in the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimea and also served in the Indian Mutiny 1857, the Zulu War 1879, the Boer War 1900 and the Great War 1914-18.

    In 1922 the 17th were merged with the 21st (Empress of India's) Lancers to become the 17/21st, until they became the QRL in 1993 when the 17/21st where themselves merged with the 16th/5th Queen's Royal Lancers.

    Simple!

    The regimental badge is one of the most recognisable in the British Army.

    The QRL are now a reconnaissance formation equipped with Scimitar light tanks.

    The below links will provide more in depth history and current information.

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  • 4 years ago

    I take it you have not seen sailors wearing the green beret with the navy anchor. The Riffles regiment also do the parachute training, and they to can wear the green beret but still wear their own badge. I was sent on joint exercise courses when I was in the Royal Navy and had to wear the same combats as every one else (only once did I wear the navy's action working dress which is blue) and I stood out from the rest of the people on the course it was soon changed for army green combats. During the second world war the Commandos could be formed from any regiment later the Royal Marines took over that title. Medics wear the red beret when they are attached to the parachute regiment any one could and is attached to a regiment that is not their own for Logistic purposes.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Not being british but after looking at the photo referenced, some folks may want to check on the Nazi symbology they are getting confused with other insignia. First off the sig runes worn by the SS look like a stylized S not a lightning bolt. The Deaths Head emblem was used by the Prussains long before there was ever a Nazi party. As was the swaztika used by many religions and races prior to the corruption by Hitler. Who in their right mind in this world today outside of some of ther extreme fanatics would ever dream of starting up another SS, least of all the British army?

    Source(s): historical references widely available on the internet
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Possibly not british troops, I've never seen or heard of that insignia. But if they were british its possible they were from a Scottish regiment as I don't think they have the crown on their uniforms. But i'm not sure.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    17/21ST Lancers used to have the Skull/Crossbone Insignia but they have been amalgamated a few years ago. Definately not Scots Regts.

    Tank Regt badge was a wwi tank surrounded by laurel sprig

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Itisn't worn anymore,that is the old badge of the 17/21 lancers,it hasn't been worn since they amalgamated;

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  • 1 decade ago

    Sounds like the SS Leibstandarte. Black berets with skull & crossbones.

    However, they were German and disbanded after WWII

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    17th/21st Lancers now merged with other regiments in to the Queens Royal Lancers.

    Source(s): Ex-British Army
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  • 808fl
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    the black beret was issuied to tank regiments and as the cavalry were armoured for fighting as horses are no good in the front line they adopted the black beret as well

    as for the cap badge not nsure

    Source(s): ex 8th tank regiment member
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    have never seen that but i recently saw a picture of one of our coppers with like a lightning bolt on there uniform like the SS , odviously he was just pointing to something in this picture not doing a seek hile heres the link http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/november2006/...

    id watch this as well :http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=78604845...

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