Author Topic: "Seagull" - ?  (Read 1129 times)

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Offline RDJP

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"Seagull" - ?
« on: October 04, 2020, 13:27:21 »
Question for the wise elders.....where did the GPO callsign "Seagull" come from?

(actually looking for the real answer, but eagerly awaiting the funny comments  :D)

Offline Michael O'Leary

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Re: "Seagull" - ?
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2020, 13:37:32 »
It dates from at least the Second World War:

The earliest mentions I can find in the War Diary of The RCR is December 1943 referencing an appointment in The RCR and in the Hasty Ps. It is also detailed as a nickname for the unit Adjutant in a "Revised Jargon Code" attached to the Regiment's War Diary for March 1945 .


Offline Old Sweat

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Re: "Seagull" - ?
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2020, 13:43:17 »
In British voice procedure there were a number of appointment titles to be used to refer to or call someone by line or radio. For example, the commander was Sunray; the chief operations staff officer was Seagull - perhaps because the individual was always either squawking or sh....ng; Holdfast stood for Engineers; Sheldrake for gunners, Watchdog for military police; etc

In the bad, old days in a two troop battery with a separate battery command post, the command post officer (CPO), as opposed to the gun position officers in each troop, was Seagull. It was a fairly prestigious title, and one had to have one's act together to get the job. Okay, I'm prejudiced as I was the CPO C Battery in my second and third years of commissioned service.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2020, 13:55:30 by Old Sweat »

Online Hamish Seggie

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Re: "Seagull" - ?
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2020, 13:48:28 »
“Seagull” at least when I was in was the Ops O.
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Re: "Seagull" - ?
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2020, 13:56:33 »
“Seagull” at least when I was in was the Ops O.

Wikipedia seems to align with my memory: Seagull = Adjutant (flying around and sh*tting on subbies :) )

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_call_sign
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Offline RDJP

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Re: "Seagull" - ?
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2020, 13:57:17 »
“Seagull” at least when I was in was the Ops O.

I've seen that as well, but in the artillery it is the Gun Position Officer - or at least it is now in present day.

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Re: "Seagull" - ?
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2020, 14:47:58 »
Wikipedia seems to align with my memory: Seagull = Adjutant (flying around and sh*tting on subbies :) )

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_call_sign

I remember Adjt being Manhole....and Chief Clerk as Seashell
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Offline Infanteer

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Re: "Seagull" - ?
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2020, 15:39:24 »
The unit Ops O is relatively new - created in the 1970s.  Prior to this position being created in units, it was covered off by the Adjutant, who after become responsible for administration.

Probably the source of the confusion.
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Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: "Seagull" - ?
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2020, 17:06:55 »
I remember Adjt being Manhole....

Just don't have a Freudian slip and use "Fetch Arsehole" . . . not that I did that . . .
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Re: "Seagull" - ?
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2020, 21:04:26 »
Wikipedia seems to align with my memory: Seagull = Adjutant (flying around and sh*tting on subbies :) )

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_call_sign

I think that there is a bit of flexibility here varying with the functions each appointment fulfills in the battalion/regiment.

In the artillery there was an Adjutant (basically paper pusher who rarely if ever went into the field and whom we didn't trust with a radio); an Operations Officer (who accompanied the CO and ran the FSCC at brigade level); and a Regimental Command Post Officer (RCPO - who basically coordinated the regiment's fire and anything having to do with the gun lines).

In all units I was ever in, the RCPO was "Seagull" (as were the battery Command Post Officer and later when we went to a single six gun unit, the Gun Position Officer - we flipped things, in the two troop system the CPO ran the battery gun line and the GPO a troop gun line; subsequently in the single six-gun battery the GPO became the senior gun line officer and the battery CPO and battery Recce Officer the two juniors)

My recollection was that the Arty Rgt'l Ops O went by the appointment title "Acorn" as he was the nearest thing we had to an intelligence officer.

All kidding aside, the Adjutant was "Manhole" and the RSM was "Manhole Minor". All this is set out at Figure 7-7 of B-GL-371-004/FP-001, Field Artillery Vol 4 Duties at Regimental Headquarters and at the Gun Position.

For bonus points, does anyone know who the appointment title "Conrod" refers to.  :whistle:

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Offline RDJP

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Re: "Seagull" - ?
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2020, 21:30:29 »
Thanks for all the replies, but I think some of you have missed my meaning in the original question.

I'm not looking for WHO was referred to as Seagull....I'm wondering WHY Seagull was chosen

(and the comment about flying around and sh**ing on everyone is the closest I have seen to)

Thanks!

Offline Michael O'Leary

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Re: "Seagull" - ?
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2020, 22:04:16 »
I suspect the answer you're looking for is that it was a randomly selected word for jargon code that became entrenched.

Revised Jargon Code, RCR War Diary, Apr 1944:

Offline RDJP

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Re: "Seagull" - ?
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2020, 22:27:38 »
Well, I was hoping for something more than randomly selected, but I guess that seems the most likely, doesn't it?

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Re: "Seagull" - ?
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2020, 22:48:49 »
Well, I was hoping for something more than randomly selected, but I guess that seems the most likely, doesn't it?

Okay. Here's one story:

http://regimentalstories.blogspot.com/2008/06/watch-out-seagulls-about.html

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Offline Old Sweat

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Re: "Seagull" - ?
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2020, 07:21:03 »
I think there is more to it than random selection. Some seem to have a relationship to the appointment - Sunray, Foxhound, Ironside for example - while others such as Seagull display a hint of British humour.

Offline 211RadOp

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Re: "Seagull" - ?
« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2020, 07:49:59 »
For bonus points, does anyone know who the appointment title "Conrod" refers to.  :whistle:

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Conrod is the Air Defence rep at a unit (Source ACP 125(G))
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Re: "Seagull" - ?
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2020, 10:32:18 »

Interesting - Pioneers = Beards


I agree, there seems to have been some thought that went into this rather than just random association of words.

I do observe that I now know why troops liked Bully Beef.
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Re: "Seagull" - ?
« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2020, 22:05:58 »
Thanks to all, much appreciated.  :)