• Sep7Thu

    The Uniformed Doll

    Retrospective #4 September 7, 2017 Randy C. Hicks
    "What a doll!"
    "What a doll!"

    I’m told that the lady had a great admiration for the work of the Salvation Army so much so that she had a keepsake doll outfitted in a high-collar uniform along with bonnet (sorry, no bun!). (“High-collar” refers to the older military style high-necked (collar) uniform. While distinguished looking it did present certain extra challenges regarding wear and use. The collar closed just under the chin almost turtle-neck-like). When she passed her instructions were clear – it should be given to the Salvation Army for safe keeping. She’s here (the doll that is), standing on the cabinet just inside the entrance to the cool room (I’ll explain this in some future post) on your left.

    My wife and I were commissioned in high-collar uniforms. Eighteen months later we were married in brand new, made for the occasion, high-collar uniforms. That was in December. A month later the use of the “high-collar” officially ended. Enter the “low-collar” (I trust that this helps many of you youngsters who never quite got why we use the adjective “low” when describing a uniform).

    Picture collections held here at Howden depict a variety of uniforms utilized by Salvationists over the years. For the most part there was some “uniformity” in that the underlying design of each was much the same. However, when it came to the trim things got interesting and of course insofar as officers were concerned there were many “ranks.” More than we are familiar with today. The following is a list of those actually used (Please note that not all titles were used at all times as there was a fair bit of “adding” and “deleting” along the way):

    Cadet, Probationary Lieutenant, Second Lieutenant, First Lieutenant, Lieutenant, Captain, Senior-Captain, Ensign, Adjutant, Commandant, Field-Major, Staff Captain, Major, Senior Major, Brigadier, Lieutenant-Colonel, Colonel, Lieutenant-Commissioner, Commissioner, Chief of the Staff (not formally a rank, but a position held by a Commissioner) and finally – General.

    A total of nineteen!

    Methinks the list from which I gathered these was produced by our Australian friends in 2003.

    How many folk reading this can remember leaders with any of these “no-longer-in-use” titles?

    Is there anyone who may have at various times and in various locations encountered all nineteen?

    Of course the all time favourite from the general public’s perspective we are told is: “Captain.”

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