ORIGIN OF THE PHRASE 'MONKEY' AS A DEROGATORY TERM FOR RMP
A Suggested explantion by Bill Watkins
Corps Badge on a red background (29Kb)
 

Maybe some other members of the Old & Bold can already answer this question, but during my time with RMP I often wondered why we were called 'Monkeys' by other service personnel. I have heard all sorts of answers and the only reasonable one up to now has been that of the infamous Hartlepool monkey hanging during the Napoleonic Wars. It is claimed that the local Provost Marshal of the time ordered the hanging and from then on the Military Police were known as 'Monkey Hangers', which later was shortened to monkey. I am still not convinced this is true because during my time in the Merchant Navy anyone from Hartlepool was called a 'monkey hanger'.

However, during some recent research in the art world, I came across ....... a more plausible reason why the 'Red Cap' is called a monkey. I have sourced a colour image of the said painting. For info purposes the original painting was done by George Lance in 1847 and the original painting can be viewed in the Tate Britain.

I have raised this as a topic for debate on the Forum. First scroll down and have a look and see what you think. If you have an opinion and wish to take part, please continue it on the Forum.

W E Watkins
21st May 2011

The Redcap A painting entitled 'Redcap'. The original painting was done by George Lance in 1847. The painting can be viewed in the Tate Britain.
Description of the painting the 'Redcap': Description of the painting the 'Redcap'.
Description (continued) of the painting the 'Redcap': Description (continued) of the painting the 'Redcap'.
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