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I couldn't find anything useful on Google, but I just KNOW somebody here will be able to help me. :D

Was a bushy moustache all the rage in the trenches, or did anyone still grow sideburns? I don't see the latter on any of the photos. Would it be almost impossible to find anyone with sideburns in let's say, 1915?
 

Zebedee

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Wiking said:
Compulsory?

That too. :eek:o

King's Regulations amended 1 Aug 1914. para.1696 (applies to all ranks):

The hair of the head will be kept short. The chin and under lip will be shaved, but not the upper lip. Whiskers, if worn, will be of moderate length.
 
Last edited:

Aetius

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The big era for facial hair was the 19th century, it hit its peak in the middle part of the century, just compare the US Civil War generals with the US Independence War generals.
 

Abdul Goatherd

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Aetius said:
The big era for facial hair was the 19th century, it hit its peak in the middle part of the century, just compare the US Civil War generals with the US Independence War generals.

Hm. Mid-century was largely sideburns-dominated. Beard peak was probably more like 1870s-80s. :)

Sidenote: the association between soldiers & moustaches is the reason Amish men are forbidden from growing one.
 

Sarmatia1871

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Abdul Goatherd said:
Hm. Mid-century was largely sideburns-dominated. Beard peak was probably more like 1870s-80s. :)

True, but a lot does depend on country, type of beard and subculture.

Carefully trimmed Napoleon III-esque beards for example were briefly highly fashionable in high society throughout Europe and parts of the Americas in the 1860s. However, the typical bushy Marx-esque beard tended to be associated with political radicalism prior to the mid-century, although did become more respectable later on.

Generally however, soldiers wouldn't have excessive facial hair, owing to the prevelance of lice.
 

Easy-Kill

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Zebedee said:
For officers in the British army it was compulsary to grow a moustache from 1860 until 1916. King's Regulations.

Some moustache trivia from British newspapers...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/new...pilot-refuses-US-order-to-trim-moustache.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-486942/How-moustache-won-empire.html

(I really should stop reading Flashman...)

Interesting read, you learn something new everyday. Did anyone catch the homoeroticism in that article

Moustaches were clipped and trimmed until they curved like sabres and bristled like bayonets. Their ends were waxed and given a soldierly erection.

And then they gave the bosch a jolly good whipping, all the way back to Berlin!
 

ComradeOm

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Sarmatia1871 said:
Generally however, soldiers wouldn't have excessive facial hair, owing to the prevelance of lice.
Although I recall reading recently that many British officers came back from the Crimea sporting beards. Which promptly ushered in a new fashion for them in London

Although I am disappointed that your post above didn't contain an obscure anecdote or period illustration ;)
 

Zebedee

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In the British army, pioneers are allowed to have beards (ie combat engineers of a regiment as opposed to members of Royal Engineer corps). I'm sure beards were against regulations from sometime in the late Victorian era for everyone but them.

---

@Easy-Kill - yeah, very public school with all kinds of hints of cold baths, fagging and 10 strokes of the cane.
 

Gil galad

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Zebedee said:
In the British army, pioneers are allowed to have beards (ie combat engineers of a regiment as opposed to members of Royal Engineer corps). I'm sure beards were against regulations from sometime in the late Victorian era for everyone but them.

---

@Easy-Kill - yeah, very public school with all kinds of hints of cold baths, fagging and 10 strokes of the cane.

After the Crimean war beards were abolished for all ranks except the pioneers as you mention. If I remember correctly
 

Exel

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Zebedee said:
For officers in the British army it was compulsary to grow a moustache from 1860 until 1916. King's Regulations.

Abdul Goatherd said:
Sidenote: the association between soldiers & moustaches is the reason Amish men are forbidden from growing one.

Wow. You learn something new every day. :eek:

How wacky is that?
 

Exel

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Another snippet from the Telegraph:
In 2007 the RAF relaxed its restrictions on facial hair for men serving in Afghanistan, because beards are thought to be a sign of status in the country.

Apparently the Coalition forces in Afghanistan are encouraged to grow beards so they'll be taken seriously by the local warlords. :eek:o
 

Zebedee

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Apparantly, growing a moustache and large sideburns was a fad of the pro-war with Russia people pre-Crimea. They also wore outlandishly coloured shirts with odd patterns. If you ever see a colourised picture from Punch of the time, you'll note an uncanny resemblance to pictures of your father/grandfather in the sixties... edit: The Bank of England banned moustaches at this time for employees. But only 'during working hours' ;)
 
Last edited:

Easy-Kill

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Wiking said:
Gonna answer myself, because Wikipedia actually managed to help me. :)
Sideburns were banned because it was believed that gas masks wouldn't seal properly. Kinda makes sense.

This still is the case. A respirator will not make an adequate seal unless your face is cleanly shaven.
 

dublish

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Zebedee said:
The Bank of England banned moustaches at this time for employees. But only 'during working hours' ;)
Geez, can't post a smilie in here? :rolleyes: ;)

Zeb, can you elaborate on this part? Were the Bank's directors being obtuse for a reason, or were they just idiots?
 

Zebedee

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dublish said:
Geez, can't post a smilie in here? :rolleyes: ;)

Zeb, can you elaborate on this part? Were the Bank's directors being obtuse for a reason, or were they just idiots?

The fashion was a political statement saying that the wearer wanted war with Russia, so the bank wanted to be apolitical. But growing a moustache is a personal liberty issue - and so they came up with this formulation to remain both apolitical but reassure people they weren't infringing on the personal liberties of their employees. It's a typically British solution - consider the current proposals for ID cards for British citizens. As the proposal stands, one must eventually have one. But one won't ever have to carry it. ;)