Regimental Badge

65th (2nd Yorkshire North Riding) Regiment of Foot

Regimental Badge

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Drill on this page [ Drum, Plummet, & Pace Stick | Position of Marching | Slow Step | Halt | Stepping out | Stepping short | Marking time | Stepping back | Changing Feet | Quick Step | Double March | Side or Closing Step | Turning on the March ]


7. & 8. Length of Step & Cadence


Paces per minute

Distance per minute

Length of pace

Slow 75 62 yds 18 ins 30"
Quick 110 91 yds 24 ins 30"
Double 150 150 yds 36"
Side Quick time - 10"
Stepping out Slow or Quick time - 33"
Stepping short Slow or Quick time - 10"
Side pace to clear or cover another (as in forming four deep) - - 21"

9. The Drum, Plummet and Pace Stick

The proper cadence in marching must be impressed on the mind of the recruit by beating the time for him on a drum. The length of his pace is to be corrected by means of a pace stick; no recruit or squad of recruits must be taught to march without the constant use of the drum and pace stick; the drum to beat the time only when the squad is halted, never when it is in motion. Whenever the superintendent of the drill considers it necesary to give the time, every squad will be halted, and while the drum is beating the men will give their whole attention to the cadence; when it ceases, the instructors will then at once put their squads in motion, without further cautions or instructions, which would tend to distract the attention of the soldier from the time given.

In order to beat the time correctly on a drum the "Plummet" must be used. A variety of pendulums or plummets have been constructed for this purpose. When none of these can be procured, the following simple method can be adopted. Suspend a spherical ball of metal by a string that is not liable to stretch; the length of the string measured from the point of suspension to the centre of the ball, must be as follows for the different degrees of march. Thus arranged, the plummet will swing the exact time required.

Inches Hundreths
Slow time 24 96
Quick 11 66
Double 6 26

The correctness of the plummet should be frequently be tested by reference to a watch.

The length of the pace in marching will be measured with the pace stick, which is simply a large pair of wooden compasses, with legs about three feet long, and furnished with an iron rod or wing and screw to fix it open at the different lengths of pace. The correctness of the pace stick should occassionally be tested; for this purpose the length of the several paces should be cut on a board or a stone, to which the points of the pace stick may be applied.

10. Position in Marching

In marching, the soldier must maintain the position of the body as described in [Position of the Soldier]. 


Although several men may be drilled together in a squad with intervals, they must act independently and in every way as if they were being instructed singly; each soldier must be taught to march in a straight line, and to take a correct pace, both as regards time and length, without being in the slightest degree influenced by the other men of the squad.

Before the squad is put in motion the instructor will take care that the men are not only square in their persons, but in correct line with each other. Each soldier must be taught to take up a straight line to his front by looking down the centre of his body between his feet, then lifting his eyes and fixing them upon some object on the ground straight to his front at a distance of about 150 yards; he will then observe some nearer point in the same straight line, such as a stone, tuft of grass, or other casual object, about 70 yards distant.

12. Slow Step

The instructor must bear in mind that the three most important objects in this part of the drill are, cadence, length of pace, and direction.

  • The time having been given on the drum,
  • the left foot will be carried 30 inches to the front, and without being drawn back, will be placed softly on the ground so as not to jerk or shake the body
  • the right foot will be carried forward in like manner, and so on.

13. The Halt

  • The moving foot will complete its pace,
  • and the rear foot be brought up in line with it.

After the word Halt, men will stand perfectly steady, in whatever position they may be, unless ordered to Dress.

14. Stepping Out

  • When marching in slow time, the soldier must be taught to lengthen his pace to 33 inches by leaning forward a little, but without altering the cadence.

This step is necessary when a temporary exertion to the front is required, and is applied in both slow and quick time; at the words Slow (or Quick) the pace of 30 inches will be resumed.

15. Stepping Short

  • The foot advancing will finish its pace
  • and afterwards each soldier will take paces of ten inches unitl the word Forward is given, when the usual pace of 30 inches will be remused

This step is useful when a slight check is required.

16. Marking Time in Slow Cadence

  • The foot advancing will finish its pace
  • after which the cadence will be continued, without gaining ground, by alternately throwing out each foot and bringing it back with the other,
  • keeping the body steady
  • at the Forward, the usual pace of 30 inches will be resumed.

17. Stepping Back in Slow Time

Step Back
  • The pace will be 30 inches, and the cadence the same as in the slow march.
  •  Soldiers must be taught to move straight to the rear, preserving their shoulders square to the front and their bodies erect.
  • The foot in front must be brought back square with the other.

A few paces of the step back can be necessary at a time.

18. Changing Feet

  • To change feet in marching, the advancing foot will complete its pace,
  • and the ball of the rear foot will be brought up quickly to the heel of the advanced one
  • which will instantly make another step forwards, so the cadence will not be lost,
  • in fact two successive steps will be taken with the same foot.

This may be required when any part of a battalion or a single soldier is stepping with a different foot from the rest.

19. The Quick Step

  • The time having been given on the drum,
  • the squad will move off, conforming to the directions given in [Position in Marching]

Marking Time
In marking time at the quick cadence the feet will not be thrown out and brought back as in slow time, but will simply be raised alternately about three inches from the ground

From the halt the word of command will be Mark Time - Quick.

20. The Double March

  • The time having been given on the drum,
  • the men will step off together with the left feet
  • at the same time raising the hands as high as the waist, carrying back the elbows and clenching the fists, the flat part of the arm to the side
  • the head to be kept erect
  • and the shoulders square to the front
  • the knees a little bent
  • the body being more advanced than in the other marches.
  • The step to be the full 36 inches, otherwise he will get into the habit of a short trot, which will obviously defeat the advantages of the double march.

Halting from the Double
as in [The Halt] at the same time dropping the hands and extending the fingers.

Marking Time
The soldier will be taught to mark time in the double cadence in the same manner as the quick time; except that the feet must be raised higher, the knees being more bent; and the toes must be depressed whie the foot is off the ground.

From the halt the word of command wil be Mark Time - Double.

21. The Side or Closing Step

Caution - Right close (by Numbers, or judging your own time)

Right Close
  • The right foot will be carried ten inches to the right, the shoulders and face being kept perfectly square to the front,
  • and the knees straight.
  • The left foot will be closed smartly to the right foot, heels touching
  • Repeat One above, and so on
  • The left foot will be closed to the right as on the word Two.
  • The men will remain steady.

Soldiers must also be practised in taking any given number of paces to either flank, and then halting without word of command; the command to be given thus, Three paces right close, Quick-March.

Time is of great importance in the side step; each pace should be completed in the same time that a pace is taken to the front in the quick march.

22. Turning when on the March

Soldiers must be practised in turning to the right and to the left, in turning a half turn to the right and left, and in turning to the right and left about on the march.

Turning to the Right and then to the Front

To the Right-
  • On the word Turn, which should be given as the left foot is coming to the ground,
  • each soldier will turn his body at right angles to the direction in which he has been moving,
  • and move on at once, without checking his pace, in the new direction.
  • On the word Turn, which should be given as the right foot is coming to the ground,
  • each soldier will turn again to the front,
  • and move on without checking the pace.

Turning to the Left and then to the Front

To the Left-
  • as above, but as the right foot is coming to the ground
  • as above, but as the left foot is coming to the ground

A soldier will always turn to the right on the left foot, and the left on the right foot. If the Word Turn is not given as the proper foot is coming to the ground, the soldier will move on one pace more and then turn.

Turning a Half turn to the Right and Left
Soldiers must also be practised in making a half turn to the right and left, and then moving on (without checking the pace) in a diagonal direction, taking up fresh points, at once, to march on.

Turning to the Right and Left about
Soldiers will also be taught to turn to the right and left about on the march, which must be done in three short paces, without losing the cadence. Having completed the turn, the soldier will at once move off in the opposite diection to that in which he was previously marching, the fourth pace being a full pace of 30 inches.

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Updated 12 June, 2001