Tag - British Army

Foot Guards

Foot Guards

The Foot Guards are the Regular Infantry regiments of the Household Division of the British Army. There are five active regiments of the Foot Guards and one reserve regiment: Grenadier Guards Coldstream Guards Scots Guards Irish Guards Welsh Guards Royal Guards Reserve Regiment A simple method to help distinguish between different Guards is by looking at the spacing of the buttons on their tunics. Grenadier Guards – evenly spaced tunic buttons. Coldstream Guards – paired tunic buttons. Scots Guards – tunic buttons in groups of three. Irish Guards – tunic buttons in groups of fours. Welsh Guards – tunic buttons in groups of fives. The ascending number of buttons also indicates the order in which the regiments were formed. Various other features on the uniform help distinguish between regiments such as the plumes, the collar badge and the shoulder badge. When the regiments all parade together they form up in the order of: Grenadier Guards on the right flank, then Scots Guards, Welsh Guards, Irish Guards and the Coldstream Guards on the left flank. [...]

Duke of Wellington’s Regiment

Duke of Wellington’s Regiment

The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment was an infantry regiment in the King’s Division formed in 1702 by Colonel George Hastings, 8th Earl of Huntingdon. Originally the regiment was named Huntingdon’s Regiment, as was custom back then, but the name later changed as one Colonel succeeded another. In 1751 regiments were given numbers, so from that day forward it was called 33rd Regiment of Foot. It wasn’t until 1852, when the Duke of Wellington died, that Queen Victoria ordered the regiment’s title be changed to the 33rd (or The Duke of Wellington’s) Regiment. In 1881, the 33rd regiment was linked with the 76th Regiment of Foot who shared their depot in Halifax. It was after this that the two regiments respectively became the 1st and 2nd battalions of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment. By 1948 the two regiments were amalgamated into one battalion. Following further mergers in 2012, the battalion was renamed the new 1st Battalion (1 Yorks) of the regiment. Nine soldiers [...]

Royal Hospital Chelsea

Royal Hospital Chelsea

The Royal Hospital Chelsea is a nursing home and retirement facility for British Army veterans. The London-based Hospital is located on Royal Hospital Road in Chelsea. The charity relies on donations to help towards the day-to-day running of the accommodation. Any veteran who is over the age of 65 and has served as a regular soldier may apply to become a Chelsea Pensioner, or resident at the Hospital. They must also have found themselves in a time of need and must be ‘of good character’. Applicants must not have any dependant spouse or family and any former Officers must have served at least 12 years in the ranks before receiving a commission. King Charles II founded the Royal Hospital in 1682 as a retreat for veterans. Some of the first to be admitted were those injured at the Battle of Sedgemoor. It wasn’t until 2002 that the Sovereign’s Mace was presented to the hospital – up until that point the hospital had [...]

Royal Bermuda Regiment

Royal Bermuda Regiment

Formerly known as the Bermuda Regiment, the Royal Bermuda Regiment (RBR) is the home defence unit of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda. Originally two voluntary units: the Bermuda Militia Artillery (BMA) and the Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps (BVRC), in 1965 the two were amalgamated. The regiment’s original manpower was about 400. The regiment now stands at approximately 600, with three rifle companies. After a review in the 1990s, the regiment’s establishment reduced to its present format; A Company: Second and third year soldiers Training Company: First ye ar soldiers Support Company: Boat Troop, Regimental Police, Signals, Guns/Assault Pioneers, Medicals and Motor Transport section. Quartermasters Company: Logistics and stores. Band Company: Music and Ceremonial. Training Wing The 420 men and women in the Regiment are mostly reserves. The members of the Royal Bermuda Regiment take a month out every year to serve their country. The Bermuda militia originally existed from 1612 to 1815 but ceased to exist after the American War of 1812 as it was seen as an [...]

Invictus Games Medal Ribbon

The Invictus Games

The Invictus games are an international multi-sport event for Paralympic athletes. The first Invictus Games took place in 2014 in London. The event was created by Prince Harry so that wounded or injured armed service personnel or veterans can take part in sports. Sports at the event include sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball and indoor rowing. The event was inspired by the Warrior Games in the US and was given its name ‘Invictus’ from the Latin word meaning undefeated. The second games opened on 8th May 2016 in Orlando while year’s games are set to be held in Toronto in September. Unlike previous years which were held at a single site, this year’s venue is set to be at multiple locations around the city. The Air Canada Centre will hold the opening and closing ceremonies. Other locations include Nathan Phillips Square, Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre and York Lions Stadium. There are 17 countries invited to take part in the Games. Afghanistan Australia Canada Denmark Estonia France Georgia Germany Iraq Italy Jordan Netherlands New Zealand Romania Ukraine UK US Wyedean manufactures the medal [...]

Horse Guards with Spurs

What is a Spur?

Spurs are usually worn in pairs on the heels of riding boots. Their purpose is to help direct the horse to move forward or laterally while riding. They help to refine commands but to also backup more natural riding aids such as the legs, hands and voice. The spur was first used by the Celts during the La Tène period which began in the 5th century BC. A medieval knight was said to have ‘earned his spurs’ and this phrase has continued in to the modern era as an honour given to individuals in organisations with military heritage. Members of the British Order of the Garter receive spurs from the Monarchy. Spur styles differ between disciplines. For instance, spurs used for western riding tend to be more decorated and heavier. Spurs used in English riding tend to be of a more conservative design and are very slim and sleek with a rounded or blunt end. When used in sports riding such as dressage, [...]

1940s weekend 2017

Haworth 1940s Weekend 2017

The annual Haworth 1940s weekend this year took place between Friday the 19th of May and Sunday the 21st of May. This famous annual event sees Haworth transformed into a traditional World War II version of itself with locals and visitors dressing in 1940s attire to celebrate and commemorate the war, but to also help raise money for Armed Forces and local charities. This year’s chosen charity was the Pilgrim Bandits Charity, which was formed by veterans of the Special Forces in order to inspire wounded soldiers to live life to its fullest, in spite of often dreadful injuries. To date, the 1940s weekend has raised almost £100,000 for charities. 2016’s focus was on the strategic importance of the airborne forces, while 2017’s theme was on the contribution made by Special Forces. The 1940s weekend attracts over 25,000 visitors a day but this year, however, due to the wet weather, the footfall on Saturday was significantly reduced. 2017 is the final year that [...]

Scots Grey Eagle

Flag of the 45th Line

Ensign Charles Ewart was a Scottish soldier of the Royal North British Dragoons and is most famous for capturing the regimental eagle of the 45th Regiment of the Line flag at the Battle of Waterloo. The French Imperial Eagle was gilded bronze and fixed to the top of a staff carrying the standard of the French 45th Infantry Regiment. The imperial eagle is one of the most iconic objects from the Napoleonic period and was a symbol of pride and loyalty among French troops who would form the backbone of Napoleon’s newly-formed regime. On June 10th 1815, the 45eme de la Ligne received its new eagle which was carried into the Battle of Waterloo by Pierre Guillot, where it would, after a bloody and brutal battle, be famously captured by Ewart. This symbolic victory made Ewart a hero and this captured eagle is now kept in Edinburgh Castle as one of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards most prized honours. So famous was this [...]

Tropping of the Colour 2016

Military Parade

A military parade is an organised formation of soldiers who restricted by close-order manoeuvring marching or ‘drilling’. Up until the late 19th century soldiers fought in formation, but in modern times the military parade is now entirely ceremonial. Sometimes a parade is performed to exhibit the military strength of a nation. The oldest and largest military parade in Europe is the Bastille Day Military Parade on the 14th of July in Paris during France’s national day celebrations. The terminology comes from close order formation combat where soldiers were held in strict formations to maximise their combat effectiveness. Military drills are performed to memorise certain actions, formations and movements. Recruits in modern armies are taught drills to show them how to work as a team while formations are also still used in riot control. There are four directions used in a parade: the Advance, the Retire, the Left and the Right. The Advance is the primary direction of movement and on a [...]

Women in the Military

International Women’s Day and the Military

International Women’s Day started in 1910 when Clara Zetkin (a famous German advocate for Women’s rights) suggested the day become an international day of celebration. America already celebrated a National Women’s Day in 1908 after 15,000 women marched through New York City in demanding the right to vote and better pay and this sowed the seeds for what later became International Women’s day. Every year on the 8th of March women celebrate how far women have come in society, politics and economics. In countries like Russia, the day is a national holiday, where the sales of flowers double. Women currently make up about 10% of British Army personnel. They are, for the first time ever, working alongside their male counterparts in such roles as engineers, mechanics, lawyers and educators. Today, International Women’s Day, celebrates the achievements of women all over the world. The British Army now seeks to promote equality throughout all ranks and trades. Although women have served alongside men on [...]