This wiki has no edits or logs made within the last 45 days, therefore it is marked as inactive. If you would like to prevent this wiki from being closed, please start showing signs of activity here. If there are no signs of this wiki being used within the next 15 days, this wiki may be closed per the Dormancy Policy. This wiki will then be eligible for adoption by another user. If not adopted and still inactive 135 days from now, this wiki will become eligible for deletion. Please be sure to familiarize yourself with Miraheze's Dormancy Policy. If you are a bureaucrat, you can go to Special:ManageWiki and uncheck "inactive" yourself. If you have any other questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to ask at Stewards' noticeboard.

Tommy Atkins

The home of the Lonsdale Battalion 1914-1918

Tommy Atkins or simply Tommy is a generic name for, and has become synonymous with, that of a common soldier in the British Army, particularly during the First World War. From the 1925 edition of Soldier and Sailor Word and Phrases by Edward Fraser and John Gibbons, Tommy Atkins is:

The popular generic name for the British private soldier. In its origin the name dates from August 1815 (Waterloo year), when the War Office issued the first "Solider's Account Book," which every solider was provided with. The specimen form sent out with the book to show how details should be filled in, bore at the place where a man's signature was required the hypothetical name "Thomas Atkins" (or, alternatively, for illiterate men "Thomas Atkins X his mark"). "Thomas Atkins" continued to appear in later editions of the Soldier's Account Book until comparatively recent times. It has now disappeared. A more or less current Service slang name from about 1830, the general popularity of the name "Tommy" for a soldier dates from about fifty years ago[1] Mr. Kipling's verses finally familiarized it all over the English-speaking world. [2]

References / notes[edit | edit source]

  1. At the time the book was compiled this would suggest the name had become popular by 1875.
  2. Edward Fraser and John Gibbons (1925). Soldier and Sailor Words and Phrases. Routledge, London p.287.

Glossary of words and phrases[edit source]

The above term is listed in our glossary of words and phrases of the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain during the Great War, which also includes: technicalities, trench slang, expressions in everyday use, nicknames, sobriquets, the titles and origins of British and Commonwealth Regiments, and warfare in general. These words and phrases are contemporary to the war, which is reflected in the language used, and have been transcribed from three primary sources (see contents). Feel free to help improve this content.
Browse other terms: ContentsA B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z