Superstitions from WW1

Discussion in 'World War 1' started by Kyt, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    The one that I know is the third light about lighting 3 cigarettes from one match or lighter. The theory was that enemy snipers were drawn, at night time, to the flash of light of striking a match and lighting of the first cigarette, lighting the second cigarette allowed the sniper to get set and if a third was lit it gave time for the sniper to aim and to shoot. Even now, people far too young to have been around then still believe in the superstition even if they don't know what it means.

    Are there any other superstitions from WW1 that still get used/quoted?
  2. scrimnet

    scrimnet New Member

    I was always told that the first strike he saw, second took aim, third he fired....And that was from my "Old Contemptible"" Great Uncle!

    Still very much alive in the army today...
  3. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    I have to admit that I nicked that sentence explaining the sequence from another site, but yours sounds more like what I remember from when I was younger
  4. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    When loading a wounded soldier ..... always load him with his feet facing the lorry /train
  5. scrimnet

    scrimnet New Member

    There is nothing in the 1911 edition (reprinted 1915) of the RAMC Trg Manual that corroborates this!!

    The line drawings and instructions for "Ambulance Wagon Exercises" have the patients facing either direction...:D

    In fact the instructions for loading "Motor Omnibuses" has them facing in both directions as well!
  6. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    We're talking superstitions here ... not Army regs !!!!!!!!!! :D
  7. Dolphin

    Dolphin New Member

    I'm pretty sure that I read somewhere that the 'three on a match' superstition actually dates from the Second Boer War, and was well known among pre-Great War Regulars.

  8. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Don't mix red and white flowers in the same vase ........

    they are supposed to denote blood and bandages ! :(
  9. scrimnet

    scrimnet New Member

    For some reason this is still prevalent in hospitals today...We were always told it signified Death, and if a visitor tipped up with such a bouquet, a flower of a different hue was "liberated" from another bunch...Either that or Sister threw the lot out!

    You will find that no medically trained staff will allow them into the house...

    It seems to stem from both ancient Roman and Greek myths and legends...For the classical scholars amongst us...

    And of course the Romans scattered red and white flowers on graves...
  10. Dolphin

    Dolphin New Member

    Wasn't there a soldier's' superstition that it was unlucky to be killed on a Friday?

  11. scrimnet

    scrimnet New Member

    The soldiers tradition in todays army, is that it is unlucky to be killed on ANY day!!:rolleyes::rolleyes:
  12. Dolphin

    Dolphin New Member

    I suspect that there was just a touch of irony in the Great War version of the superstition.

  13. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

  14. scrimnet

    scrimnet New Member

    I don't think so as it is a very "colonial" entry, and the Match Tycoon is only "alleged" to have invented it...I take Wiki with a HUGE pinch of salt.

    There was a programme on a the murder of a black civil rights leader on TV the other night...They called the murder weapon a "303 Enfield" and a check on Wiki shows a SMLE 303 MK III*....

    This of course is utter tosh! The TV prog showed a pic of the Police with the actual murder weapon....A P17 REMINGTON!!! This was used by the Home Guard in WW2, and was of a British design, but bored to .300, but of course, it is now "fact" as it is x2 "factual sources" have the SMLE link...

    Of course, the pic shown on the TV could be misleading...!!

    Anyway...I had the match story "first hand" from an "Old Contemptible"!!!
  15. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Not superstition .... but bits ...... :D

    The saying when making the toast “Here’s mud in your eye” did in fact originate during the War to End All Wars. In of itself - it would seem to be meaningless unless you had spent literally years in the mud of the stagnated WWI trench warfare ... the toast was a bit of “graveyard humor” that is so common amongst frontline combat troops.

    That toast is closely akin to the old British Regimental Toast – “Here’s to the next one to die!”... Not very encouraging, but you’ve gotta’ have been there as the saying goes!

    The toast - “Here’s Mud in Your Eye” was an allusion to having mud shoveled in your face (similar to the saying of being patted in the face with a spade) when you “went west” - the WWI saying for “buying the farm”.

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