Regimental Badge

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

Regimental Badge

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23. Pivot and Reverse Flanks

When a squad is formed in rank the flank towards which men are ordered to touch is called the Pivot Flank, the opposite flank is called the Reverse Flank.

24. Formation of the Squad in Single Rank

At this stage of the drill a few soldiers will be formed in single rank without intervals, that is, touching each other. The right-hand or left-hand man being first placed, the remainder will fall in in line one after the other, touching very lightly towards him. Soldiers must be carefully instructed in "The Touch," as it constitutes, in this formation, the principal guide and regulator when marching. Each man, when properly in line, should touch his right or left-hand man (towards the pivot flank) at the thick part of the arm, immediately below the elbow; the body must be preserved in the position described in Section 1, but the palms of the hands will be turned flat to the thighs; the elbows close to the sides, the thumbs as far back as the seams of the trousers, and close to the fore-finger.

25. Dressing when Halted

Soldiers will first be taught to dress man by man, then together.

In dressing, each soldier will:

1. Dressing man by man

Two men on the right and one on the left, a pace and a half to the front.


Preparatory to teaching a squad to dress by the right, the drill instructor must order the two men on the right, and one on the left, to take a pace and a half to the front; having completed his pace and a half, the right-hand man will take four side paces to his right; and the three points thus placed will raise their right arms from the elbow at right angles to their bodies.
Man by man, by the right - 

Dress up

The instructor having ascertained that the points are in line, will order his squad to dress up by man.
  • The third man from the right will take one pace to his front with the left foot, and shuffle up into line in the manner already decribed.
  • As soon as he is steady, the next man will proceed in like manner, and so on to the left

The faces of the men, and not their breasts or feet, are the line of dressing. Each man is to be able to distinguish the lower part of the face of the second man beyond him.

Eyes-Front When the instructor is satisfied that the line is correct, he will give the words Eyes-Front, on which the men will:
  • turn their heads and eyes to the front,
  • the three points will drop their right hands, and
  • the right-hand man will close on the squad.

2. Dressing Together

The men must next be taught to dress forward and backward, taking the pace together, but shuffling up and back in succession, the same points being given as in dressing man by man. The words of command will be, Squad, By the Right (or Left) - Dress Up, or By the Right (or Left) - Dress Back.

All dressing is performed on the foregoing priciples. When soldiers are on the alignment they have to occupy, and when their dressing is simply to be corrected, the words By the Right (or Left) - Dress, or after the word Halt, the word Dress only will be given, on which they will shuffle up or back to their places successively, commencing with the man on the flank from which they are dressed.

When no man is placed for that purpose, the officer or instructor should invariably fix upon some casual object on which to dress the line.

26. Marching to the Front and Rear

The soldier will next pactise in squad without intervals the different marches and varieties of step which he has learned singly, or in squad with invervals; the same general rules being observed.

Before a squad is ordered to march, the pivot flank must be indicated by the caution, By the Right, or By the Left.

During the march, care must be taken that neither the head nor eyes are ever turned towards either flank, that the dressing is kept by the touch only, and that the body and shoulders are kept perfectly square and the body steady.

The squad will first be taught to march straight to the front, both by the right and left, in slow and quick time; it will then be practised in all the varieties of step and in marking time, in both cadences; after which it will be exercised in double time.

The soldier must be practised in changing the pace, without halting, from slow to to quick, and from quick to slow time, as well as from quick to double, and from double to quick: in the case last mentioned, on the word Quick, the arms will be dropped and the fingers extended.

The instructor should occassionally remain halted in rear of the pivot man, and by fixing his eyes on some distant object ascertain if the squad is marching straight to its front.

When a soldier loses his touch, or finds himself a little behind or before the other men of his squad, he must be taught to recover his place in the rank gradually, and on no account to jump or rush to it, which would make him unsteady, and spoil the marching of the rest of the squad.

27. Wheeling of a Single Rank from the Halt

1. Wheeling Forwards

Right wheel from the halt - in quick time

  • The right-hand man, called the pivot man, will face to the right, and if armed with a long rifle, will raise his right arm from the elbow at right angles to his body.
Slow-March The squad will step off,
  • the whole turning their eyes to the left (the wheeling or outward flank),
  • except the left-hand man, who will look inwards and step the usual 30 inches
  • the other men regulating their length of pace according to their distance from the pivot flank round which they wheel
  • During the wheel, each man must touch lightly towards the pivot, or standing flank, keeping his shoulders square in line
  • crowding must be carefully avoided
  • to this end each man must yield to any pressure that may come from the pivot flank, and resist all pressure that comes from the outward flank.
  • The men will halt and turn their eyes to the front
  • The men will turn their heads and eyes to the front,
  • and the pivot man will drop his arm.

As squad will wheel to the left in like manner

2. Wheeling backwards

Wheeling backwards in slow time

On the Right, Backwards -Wheel.
  • The right-hand man, or pivot man, will face to his left.
Slow-March The squad will step back,
  • the whole turning their eyes to the left or wheeling flank
  • except the left-hand man, who will look inwards and step the usual 30 inches
  • the other men regulating their length of pace according to their distance from the pivot flank round which they wheel
  • and to which they keep a light touch, as in wheeling forward.
  • The men will halt and turn their eyes to the front
  • The men will turn their heads and eyes to the front.

A squad will wheel backwards on the left in like manner.

No rank of more than 12 men should be wheeled backwards; they should be faced about and then wheeled forwards, except when required to wheel a few paces only, which will be hereafter explained in Part II.

Wheeling must be practised in quick as well as slow time.

28. Changing Direction by the Wheel of a Single Rank on a Moveable Pivot

Right [Left] - Wheel

  • Pivot man short steps, cirling wheeling point
  • Rest normal step, look out, touch in.


  • Eyes and heads to front,
  • Step off at full 30" pace.

29. The Diagonal March

1. From the Halt

Diagonal march

Right half-
  • Each man makes a half face in the direction ordered
  • The men will step off and move correctly in the diagonal direction
  • the men will no longer keep the touch, but will march in echellon with each other.
  • Each man will give a glance of the eye towards the right flank of the squad, and will regulate his ace so as to keep his right shoulder always behind the left shoulder of his neighbour on that side, taking care that his neighbour's head hides from him the heads of the remainder of the rank.
Halt-Front Halt and face the original front.

2. On the March

Right half-
  • Each man will turn an eighth of a circle to the right and move diagonally in that direction as described from the halt
  • When it intended to resume the original direction, the word Front-Turn will be given, on which every man will turn to his front and move forward without checking the pace.

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Updated 12 June, 2001