In most communities across Britain, at the beginning of both World War 1 and World War 2, there were some men already serving in the Armed Forces, either Regular, Reserve or Territorial; some who volunteered at the earliest opportunity, and others who were ‘called up’ following conscription.
It is not surprising, therefore, that most Ruskington men served as a “Private” (also known as “Gunner“, “Sapper“, “Trooper” or “Fusilier“, according to Regiment). The Royal Navy equivalent was “AB” (Able Seaman). Later in World War 2 the RAF ranks were added to the list.
Some of these men gained promotions to “Non-commissioned Officers“. The NCO corps usually includes many grades of the enlisted, such as “Corporal” and “Sergeant“.
The Ruskington Memorial contains only three WW1 men of “Officer” Rank – 1 Captain, 1 2nd Lieutenant and 1 Lieutenant. There is also 1 “Flying Officer” named from WW2.
The relevant areas of responsibility and command for each rank is:
- Private None
- (Lance) Corporal Section (12 men)
- Sergeant 2nd i/c of a Platoon
- (2nd) Lieutenant Platoon (50 men)
- Captain Company (200 men)
- Major 2nd i/c of a Battalion
- Lieutenant Colonel C.O. Battalion (1000 men)