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Scaley Backs

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Lovable regimental nickname given to The Royal Signals. The modern variant is simply 'Scaleys'.

The name allegedly comes from WW2 radio operators who would have a scale-like skin on their backs due to the leaking battery acid from the primitive radio battery packs of the day.

Not much has changed due to funding but soldiers can now gain a second income working down the local Blandford freak show: "Roll up roll up, see the human snake, he can even use a radio (that alone is worth seeing!)."

However, the real reason for the term comes from 'Scale E', which was the pay band that sigs were originally given, to differentiate from ordinary cannon fodder pay levels.

The term was also used in the RAF to describe individuals living in MQs, though quite why had never been ascertained.