Splice the Mainbrace


War Hero
Book Reviewer
Did we know that Pongoes used this bit of our language?

I've just found

'When 3Troop got into LISIEUX, the 11th Hussars were immediately ordered to “splice the Mainbraceâ€.'

in the 11th Hussars War Diary for 23.8.1944 (which someone has kindly put up on the internet).

It can't, surely, be some sort of hangover from embarked service as they're cavalry .. too much work with squegees and shovels if they came on board.

And now they've pinched this one as well:

'14.9.44, 15th, 16th Make & Mend. Leave parties to Brussels and Mechlin.'
I suspect it could be a leftover from the Crimean War. The Cavalry (and horse artillery) were shipped out there with their kit and neddies and it would be a long sea journey. I believe the Royal Welch Fusiliers gained some of their Naval like traditions in that campaign.


War Hero
Book Reviewer
Yes, 11th Hussars, Lord Cardigan's regiment, were in the Charge of the Light Brigade. Bet they needed both after that.
Not related to the above troops but to the above subject..

I learned the term "Splice the Mainbrace" from my Grandfather..

Grand Father was a "China Marine".. (age 15) 1916 - 1930.. then 1942. 1946.. then 1954 to 1960 (age 60)

Spent late 1916 to mid 1923 .. West Pac (Philippines & China)

But then.. USMC is a "Sea Service"

Term is not in wide use in USN, when I retired, I announced that we would "Splice the Mainbrace" after the ceremony.. most had to look up the term..

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