why 'HAWK'

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Bill Bentley
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why 'HAWK'

Post by Bill Bentley » Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:57 am

Chatting to one of our comrades recently we became aware that there seems to be a discrepancy about our nickname The 'HAWKS'.
Our motto is the 'Preußen Adler' which translated from modern German means 'Prussian Eagle'.
An eagle is not a hawk !
Hawk translated, from modern German, is 'Falke'.
Falke translated backwards can be either a Hawk or a Falcon.

According to wiki-birds these are three very different birds of prey:

Eagles - Adler:
Eagles are differentiated from other broad-winged birds of prey mainly by their larger size, more powerful build, and heavier head and bill. Most eagles are larger than any other raptors apart from the vultures.

Hawks - Falke:
They are mainly woodland birds that hunt by sudden dashes from a concealed perch. They usually have long tails and high visual acuity. Hawks are named among the most intelligent birds.

Falcons - Falke:
These birds have thin, pointed wings, which allow them to dive at extremely high speeds. Peregrine Falcons, the fastest birds on Earth, are said to have reached stoop speeds of up to 200 mph.

It must be important to make this distinction because the eagle as a symbol dates back to pre Roman and Greek times and it is this legendary image of the eagle which the Preußen sought to capture in their heraldic symbol.
Below a short text from Preußen Heraldry followed by my own translation: Open for correction:

Der Adler symbolisiert Unsterblichkeit, Mut, Weitblick und Kraft, gilt aber auch als König der Lüfte und Bote der höchsten Götter. Nach altem Glauben blickt er beim Auffliegen direkt in die Sonne, weshalb er auch ein Sinnbild für den Aufstieg in den Himmel und die Erlösung der Seele ist.
Mythologisch wird der Adler bei den Griechen mit dem Gott Zeus, bei den Römern mit Jupiter und bei den Germanen mit Odin verbunden.
Der Adler ist als Symbol für die Himmelfahrt Christi, und auch das Heiligenattribut des Evangelisten Johannes.

The Eagle symbolizes immortality, courage, far sightedness and strength, it is also known as the 'king of the air' and messenger of the highest gods. According to ancient belief the eagle looks directly into the sun when climbing and that is why it represents the freeing of souls and the journey into heaven.
According to Greek mythology the eagle is connected to Zeus, by the Romans with Jupiter and by the Germanic tribes with Odin.
The Eagle is a symbol for the resurrection of Christ and the the evangelist Johannes.

So, who can throw light upon why we are called 'Hawks' and not 'Eagles' ?

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Brian Moulton
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Re: why 'HAWK'

Post by Brian Moulton » Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:28 pm

Interesting one Bill. It is of course the Prussian Eagle and apparently bestowed on the 14th Dragoons for services rendered in , I believe, The Peninsular Wars. Not being much of an historian, I would be interested to know how it became a hawk.

Probably in one of the regiment's biographical tomes.
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Brian "Solly" Moulton

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king hussar
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Re: why 'HAWK'

Post by king hussar » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:51 pm

The Hawk was first used in1812 because the eagle on the shako plate resembled a hawk,the sh?te bit could have been added in 1813 when they captured the Emperor, thus becoming the Emperor`s chambermaids.

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kevman
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Re: why 'HAWK'

Post by kevman » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:28 pm

Hi Brian,

The regiment became entitled to wear the 'Prussian Eagle' cap badge in 1798 when it was conferred on the regiment by King George III. This was in recognition of the regiment acting as escorts to HRH Princess Frederica Charlotte Ulrica Catherina, Princess of Prussian, who married the King's son, The Duke of York in 1791. At the same time, the uniform facings were changed from lemon-yellow to orange, the livery of the Royal House of Brandenburg. The regiment was alos re-titled the 14th (or Duchess or Yorks' Own) Light Dragoons. This lemon-yellow colour was revived in 1861 for the busby-bags when the regiment became 'Hussars'. It became the backing patch we wore on our berets behind the Prussian Eagle cap badge. (I still have mine)

As for the name' Hawk's', this might be because of General Sir Samuel Hawker G.C.H., who commanded the regiment on 3 occasions, 1800, 1803 - 1816 and saw the regiment through most of its battles during the Peninsula Wars. It was at the battle of Talavera in 1808, that the regiment became referred to as 'Hawkers Hawks' by some of the 'grunts' and other line regiments (not knowing the difference between a Hawk and an Eagle?)...so this may have stuck. Members of the Hawker family have served with the regiment over the years since and may again have carried on the tradition of 'Hawker's Hawks'.....

Keep 'em Sharp'

Kev

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kevman
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Re: why 'HAWK'

Post by kevman » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:35 pm

Just as an addendum to my earlier missive..you might like to know that the 20th Light Dragoons, who later formed 'A' Squadron in the regiment, during the Peninsula War's, they were known as 'Nobody's Own' as the regiment was never adopted by a Royal Patron...even when the regiments amalgamated in 1922, the 20th were still referred to as 'Nobody's Own'.

Kev

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Brian Moulton
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Re: why 'HAWK'

Post by Brian Moulton » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:27 am

Kev

Knew you could be relied on to come up with the answers. Thanks for filling in some of the queries. Have a Merry Christmas.

Probably see you next year at some function or funeral. Larry Hamblin and I are still running a competition on who goes first. We decided the other day that we must be twins, seeing as how we both have the same complaints, same aches and pains in the same parts of our bodies. Larry had a go at the surgeon in Liverpool the other month when it looks as if he might have been given "White man's" blood in a transfusion he had there. He really feels contaminated. I told him it could have been worse, it could have come from one of our asian friends. Apparently, the doctor didn't know how to deal with Larry's (tongue in cheek) protests.

Civvies and squaddies ... no contest !!
Regards

Brian "Solly" Moulton

If it's not broke ........ Mess about with it, until it is !!

Believe it or not. I'm not Jewish.
Just a very careful Christian with short arms and deep pockets !!

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trooper186
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Re: why 'HAWK'

Post by trooper186 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:44 pm

i always understood it as a prussian eagle i think over the years we,v just been lazy with all the grog and the beer
ha ha we have excepted hawk but i will draw the line the othe day when someone stated nicknames for regt 14th/20th burnt turkeys insult
im 5ft 2 and im 6ft tall
i fight with missles and with spears
im all of 31 but only 17 and iv
been a soldier for a thousand years

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Bulldog
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Re: why 'HAWK'

Post by Bulldog » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:24 pm

That's a new one on me Ric Skipping Chicken was the one I did not like

Dave
Enjoy Life

Phil(Quassie)Baldwin

Re: why 'HAWK'

Post by Phil(Quassie)Baldwin » Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:10 am

Hi Dave
When Superdrug had its own drivers before going over to agency one of them was a nut strangler in Badger Sqn 2.RTR in Gosford Castle when B. Sqn was there in 73. He always called me skipping Chicken. one of my duties was searching the drivers cabs and checking their paperwork. I photocopied the Hawk and would leave one in his cab or paperwork. Some may remember the lead being striped from the roof and our ops room getting flooded, he was involved.
Phil

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kevman
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Re: why 'HAWK'

Post by kevman » Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:39 pm

Mandy and I went to Jersey for Xmas..whilst in the main street in St Helier on Boxing Day, a chap strode up and said 'Bloody hell..a 'Skipping Chicken'!!!' (I wear a Prussian Eagle lapel badge) This guy was ex 3rd Carabiners and from Chester...small world in'it!

Kev

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