The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces. It came into being with unification of the governments and armed forces of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in the Acts of Union 1707. The new British Army incorporated regiments that had already existed in England and Scotland and was controlled by the War Office from London. As of 2006, the British Army includes roughly 107,730 active members and 38,460 Territorial Army members. The professional British Army has also been referred to as the Regular Army since the creation of the Territorial Army. The British Army is deployed in many of the world's war zones as part of a fighting force and in United Nations peacekeeping forces.
In contrast to the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Royal Air Force, the British Army does not include "Royal" in its title, because of its roots as a collection of disparate units, many of which do bear the "Royal" prefix, such as the Royal Artillery and the Royal Engineers. Template:/box-footer
The Victoria Cross
) is the highest recognition for valour "in the face of the enemy" that can be awarded to members of the British
armed forces of any rank in any service, and civilians under military command. It is also the highest military award in the British honours system
. The decoration is a cross pattée
, 1.375 inches (35 mm) wide, bearing a crown surmounted by a lion, and the inscription "FOR VALOUR". This was originally to have been "FOR BRAVERY", until it was changed on the recommendation of Queen Victoria
, who thought some might erroneously consider that only the recipients of the VC were brave in battle. The decoration, suspension bar and link weigh about 0.87 troy ounces
The VC was introduced on 29 January 1856 by Queen Victoria to reward acts of valour during the Crimean War. Since then the medal has been awarded 1,356 times to 1,353 individual recipients. Only 13 medals, nine to the British Army and four to the Australian Army have been awarded since the start of the Korean War. The traditional explanation of the source of the gunmetal from which the medals are struck is that it derives from Russian cannon captured at the siege of Sevastopol. Recent research has thrown doubt on this story, suggesting a variety of origins. Due to its rarity, the VC is highly prized and the medal can reach over £400,000 at auction.
- Read More...
John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough KG
(26 May/24 June 1650 – 16 June 1722) (O.S
), was an English soldier and statesman whose career spanned the reigns of five monarchs throughout the late 17th and early 18th centuries. His rise to prominence began as a lowly page in the royal court of Stuart
England, but his natural courage on the field of battle soon ensured quick promotion and recognition from his master and mentor James, Duke of York
. When James became king in 1685, Churchill played a major role in crushing the Duke of Monmouth
's rebellion; but just three years later, Churchill abandoned his Catholic king for the Protestant William of Orange
Honoured at William's coronation, Churchill, now the Earl of Marlborough, served with distinction in Ireland and Flanders during the Nine Years' War. However, throughout the reign of William and Mary, their relationship with Marlborough and his influential wife Sarah, remained cool. After damaging allegations of collusion with the exiled court of King James, Marlborough was dismissed from all civil and military offices and temporarily imprisoned in the Tower of London. Only after the death of Mary, and the threat of another major European war, did Marlborough return to favour with William. Promoted to Captain-General of British forces, and later to a dukedom, Marlborough found international fame in the War of the Spanish Succession where his place in history as one of Europe's great generals was assured.
- Read More...
Her Majesty's Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards
, also known officially as the Coldstream Guards
, is a regiment
of the British Army
, part of the Guards Division
or Household Division.
It is the oldest regiment in the Regular Army in continuous active service, originating in Coldstream on the Scottish border in 1650 when General George Monck founded the regiment. It is one of two regiments of the Household Division that can trace its lineage to the New Model Army, the other being the Blues and Royals.
The regiment is ranked second in the order of precedence, behind the Grenadier Guards. This is because the Grenadier Guards have served the Crown for a longer period of time. However, the Coldstream Guards is an older regiment, and because of this, has the motto Nulli Secundus (Second to None). The regiment has never been termed the "Second Regiment of Foot Guards" and, when parading with the other four regiments, is always on the extreme left of the line, with the Grenadier Guards on the extreme right. This ensures that the regiment is indeed "Second to None".
- Read More...