Encyclopedia > British army

  Article Content

British Army

Redirected from British army

The British Army is the land armed forces of the United Kingdom.

In contrast to the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force the British Army does not include royal in its title, because of its roots as a collection of disparate units.

Table of contents


The Founding of the Army

Before the English Civil War, the army was raised as required by the King, who would warrant gentlemen to raise companies, this being a direct throwback to the feudal concept of fief where a lord had to raise a certain quota of knights, men at arms[?] and yeomanry[?]. The only difference up to this point in time being that raising companies without a warrant could be considered treasonable (whereas feudal lords could raise their fief to fight each other).

After the civil war, parliament assumed control of the Army, and standing companies based on Cromwells New Model Army formed the concept of the first regiments. Cromwell's companies did not yet assume the unique names that came later to be associated with British Army Regiments, instead they would name their companies after psalms or biblical phrases, or were often identified with the gentleman who had raised the company, eg Monck's Regiment of Foot. This particular unit is notable because after the end of the civil war it was barracked in London, and was involved in defending parliment when it voted for the restoration, this unit is now known as the Coldstream Guards.

With the Restoration of Charles II the concept of standing regiments found favour with the King. As well as retaining some existing loyal standing units, he raised his own, one of the first being the First or Grenadier Regiment of Foot Guards, nowadays shortened to Grenadier Guards[?]. On Jan 26th 1661 Charles II issued the warrant that officially founded the British Army.

The oldest surviving regiment in the British Army is the Honourable Artillery Company (given a royal charter in 1537), now a Territorial Army[?] unit. It is not considered the most senior, however, because it fought on the side of Parliament in the Civil War and so didn't have unbroken service to the crown. This honour instead goes to the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers[?], which was founded in 1539. The oldest surviving regular unit is the Royal Scots[?], founded in 1633.

The Army in the 18th and 19th centuries

The Army and the First World War

The Army and the Second World War

Modern British Army

Since 1962, when the last period of conscription (National Service) ended, the army has been a wholly professional force of volunteers. About one quarter of the Army is provided by the part-time members of the Territorial Army.

The standard issue individual weapon is the SA80, with the variant LSW providing extra firepower.


Famous members of the British Army

Notable units of the British Army, past and present

Land units of the British Armed Forces which are not part of the British Army include;

Structure of the British Army See Structure of the British Army.

Captains-General of the British Army, 1660-1809

Commanders-in-Chief of the Forces, 1672-1904

  • James Scott, Duke of Monmouth[?] 1674-1679
  • office vacant 1679-1690
  • John Churchill, Earl of Marlborough 1690-1691
  • Meinhard Schomberg, Duke of Leinster 1691-1711
  • James Butler, 2nd Duke of Ormond 1711-1714
  • office vacant 1714-1744
  • John, Earl of Stair 1744
  • George Wade 1745-1748
  • office vacant 1748-1757
  • John Ligonier, Earl Ligonier 1757-1759
  • office vacant 1759-1766
  • John Manners, Marquess of Granby 1766-1769
  • office vacant 1769-1778
  • Jeffrey Amherst, Lord Amherst 1778-1782
  • Hon. Henry Seymour Conway[?] 1782-1793
  • Jeffrey Amherst, Lord Amherst 1793-1795
  • Prince Frederick, Duke of York 1795-1809
  • Sir David Dundas 1809-1811
  • The Duke of York 1811-1827
  • Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington 1827-1828
  • Rowland Hill, Viscount Hill 1828-1842
  • The Duke of Wellington 1842-1852
  • Henry Hardinge, 1st Viscount Hardinge 1852-1856
  • Prince George, 2nd Duke of Cambridge 1856-1895
  • Garnet Wolseley, 1st Viscount Wolseley 1895-1900
  • Frederick Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts 1900-1904

Chiefs of the General Staff, 1904-1908

  • Sir Neville Lyttleton 1904-1908

Chiefs of the Imperial General Staff, 1908-1964

Chiefs of the General Staff, 1964-present

  • Sir Richard Hull 1964-1965
  • Sir James Cassels 1965-1968
  • Sir Geoffrey Baker 1968-1971
  • Sir Michael Carver, 1971-1973
  • Sir Peter Hunt 1973-1976
  • Sir Roland Gibbs 1976-1979
  • Sir Edwin Bramall 1979-1982
  • Sir John Stamier 1982-1985
  • Sir Nigel Bagnall 1985-1989
  • Sir John Chapple 1989-1992
  • Sir Peter Inge 1992-1994
  • Sir Charles Guthrie 1994-1997
  • Sir Roger Wheeler 1997-2000
  • Sir Michael Walker 2000-2003
  • Sir Mike Jackson[?] 2003-present

See also

External links

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article
Kings Park, New York

... households, and 4,197 families residing in the town. The population density is 1,058.4/km² (2,740.4/mi²). There are 5,574 housing units at an averag ...

This page was created in 24.2 ms