Tommy

Most people know that British soldiers are known informally as tommies, but few people know why.  It’s been in use since the 19th century when a name was needed for a specimen paybook being prepared for official approval.

Adjutant General Harry Calvert chose Thomas Atkins, Private, from the 23rd Royal Welch Fusiliers.  And since then every soldier’s been known as Tommy!

* The photo is a bench seat at the front of Winchester Castle.