In military organizations, the practice of carrying colours or standards
, to act both as a rallying point for troops, and to mark the location of the commander, is thought to have originated in Ancient Egypt
some 5,000 years ago. It was formalised in the armies of medieval Europe
, with standards being emblazoned with the commander's coat of arms
As armies became trained and adopted set formations, each regiment's ability to keep its formation was potentially critical to its, and therefore its army's, success. In the chaos of battle, not least due to the amount of dust and smoke on a battlefield, soldiers needed to be able to determine where their regiment was.
In the British Army the medieval standards developed into the Colours of the Infantry, the Standards of the Heavy Cavalry, and the Guidons of the Light Cavalry.
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Arthur Edward Jeune (James) Collins (18 August 1885–11 November 1914), typically known by his initials AEJ Collins, was an English cricketer and soldier. He is most famous for achieving the highest-ever recorded score in cricket: as a 13-year-old schoolboy, he scored 628 not out over four afternoons in June 1899. Collins' record-making innings drew a large crowd and increasing media interest; spectators at the Old Cliftonian match being played nearby were drawn away to watch the junior school house cricket match in which Collins was playing.
Collins chose to follow an army career, passing his entrance exams to the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich in September 1901 and representing the Royal Military Academy at both football and rugby as well as cricket, scoring a century in a match against Sandhurst. He joined the British Army the following year, being commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers in 1904. He played at Lord's in 1913 for Royal Engineers against Royal Artillery, scoring 58 and 36 runs in the two innings, but he never played first-class cricket. He also joined Clifton Rugby Football Club in February 1905, but never rose above the 2nd XV. of Clifton RFC. He served with the 2nd Sappers and Miners in India, and was promoted to Lieutenant in 1907. He married Ethel Slater in the spring of 1914, and was sent to France when World War I broke out later that year.
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