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Tom Neal

Scaleybacks

Hi Folks. Things seem quiet so for something to get the brain cells working can anyone tell me why Royal Signals are called scaleybacks ?

Cheers,
Tom
ken vipond

Well Tom,i have just spent a couple of hours trawling through various sites searching for a answer to the Royal Signals scaleyback,there are plenty of references to scaleyback but no explanation as to why or where the title originated,there is no doubt that someone will turn up with a answer,so till then i will oberve with baited breath,hope you and Helen are keeping well.regards from Ken Mad
bob allum

Hi guys. I haven't got an answer but you might like to have a look at this little gem.
http://www.biscuitsbrown.com/general_slang_dictionary/dictionary.php
There are plenty of references to scaley in there and the same number of explanations. Pretty amusing stuff and offensive doesn't even begin to describe it.....
bob allum

Got one!! Idea
Nickname for The Royal Signals, comes from WW2 radio operators who had scaley backs from leaking battery acid in their back backs.

Sounds pretty good to me.
Tom Neal

Scaleybacks

Hi Bob and Ken,
Thanks for the comments and I think the acid one may be the right answer unless someone else can come up with another one.

Cheers,
Tom
shorep

The SAS call all signals people 'scalies',and if one thinks about it,what does one twiddle to find the ditty dah dits and the screaming arab voice nets.
That was the explanation given to me many many years ago,seemed just like yesterday,that's the affect working shifts with M.Hudson esq,bfo and squelch has on one.!!
Mike Hudson

Tom, I think I have to agree with Sir Peter Shorleand VD & Scar, WC & Chain, that Scayleybacks goes back to WW1 and the lead acid batteries that were carried. Having trawled other sites for confirmation or otherwise I submit hte following cuts, whilst not agreeing with the first that it was a nickname for the Paras, it does crop up several times on SAS sites. This may be, however, still be referring to Royal Signals personnel.
Old Fat Grey & Grumpy - Mick Hudson

Paras have more nicknames than I care to remember, how about the scaleybacks or planks?). Interesting view on Greece, though the reasons for....

Posted by: adouglasmhor

Ad to your above options, Gurkah's best highland rain forest troops ever Aussie SAS best at lowland jungle and swampland, GSG9, Ognas. To me any one that gets the job done is worthy of my respect. I supported SAS and SBS ops in the province 15 years ago and you would be surprised how ordinary and down to earth the guys were. I met a US marine gunny sgt in Germany before that and I can say the same about him. I know a coupkle o Ranger graduates online and a couple of veteran US marines and again I have a lot of respect for them. Training wise P company was harder than Royal Corps of Signals and thats all I can say with any authority (but I am a scaleyback to the corps, your cap badge not your beret is your family).

It would be a trooper or JNCO not an officer and a lot of sneaky beakies are fluent Arabic or Parsi speakers. So are a lot of scaleybacks and muppets though and not all SAS qualified are regiment you have 264 sqn RSigs for a start a unit about a third of the size of the regt with SAS qualified personell but not badged as members of the Regt. I think there is a smaller med unit as well permanetly attached.

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