Nemo me impune lacessit

Nemo me impune lacessetone possible source
The motto of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, the Scottish chivalrous order, is also that of the British Army regiments The Royal Regiment of Scotland, Scots Guards and Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. It was also the motto of several former units of the British Army, including the Royal Scots, Royal Scots Greys, Royal Highland Fusiliers and Black Watch, some of which went on to be amalgamated to form the Royal Regiment of Scotland in 2006. The motto is also that of the Royal Company of Archers and has been displayed upon the unit's second standard since 1713, following the grant of a Royal charter by Queen Anne.

United Kingdom

Since the height of the British Empire in the late 19th century, Britannia has often been associated with British maritime dominance, as in the patriotic song "Rule, Britannia!". Up until 2008, the lion symbol was depicted behind Britannia on the British fifty pence coin and on the back of the British ten pence coin. It is also used as a symbol on the non-ceremonial flag of the British Army. A second, less used, personification of the nation is the character John Bull.

French Imperial Eagle

EaglesImperial EagleEagle
Two of the newer French regimental eagles were captured during the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The French I Corps under the command of the Comte d'Erlon was charged by the British heavy cavalry, commanded by the Earl of Uxbridge; the 1st The Royal Dragoons captured the eagle of the 105th Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne (now held at the National Army Museum, Chelsea) and the Royal Scots Greys captured the eagle of the 45th Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne (now held at the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Museum in Edinburgh Castle). Before the Duke of Wellington died in 1852, he had asked that all his battle trophies be carried at his funeral.

Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth IIthe QueenQueen
The following year brought two blows: one was the unmasking of Anthony Blunt, former Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures, as a communist spy; the other was the assassination of her relative and in-law Lord Mountbatten by the Provisional Irish Republican Army. According to Paul Martin, Sr., by the end of the 1970s the Queen was worried the Crown "had little meaning for" Pierre Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister. Tony Benn said the Queen found Trudeau "rather disappointing".


bearskin capbearskin capsbearskin hats
While this ceremonial unit is now provided by the civilian police, it was formerly part of the now defunct Belgian Gendarmerie and wears the pre-1914 full dress uniform of what was then part of the army. Following the Battle of Waterloo and the action in which they gained their name, the Grenadier Guards were permitted to wear the bearskin. In 1831, this practice was extended to the other two regiments of Foot Guards then in existence. The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, Honourable Artillery Company and officers of Fusilier regiments also wear the bearskin as part of their ceremonial uniform.


Although Scotland has a long military tradition predating its union with England, its armed forces now form part of the British Armed Forces. Scottish regiments in the British Army include the Royal Regiment of Scotland, the Scots Guards, the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and the 154 (Scottish) Regiment RLC, an Army Reserve Regiment of the Royal Logistic Corps. More than 4,000 Scots serve in the British Army around the world. A single front-line Royal Air Force base is located in Scotland. RAF Lossiemouth, located in Moray, is the most northerly air defence fighter base in the United Kingdom and is home to three fast-jet squadrons equipped with the Eurofighter Typhoon.


dragoonscavalryIndependence Dragoons
Emperor Napoleon often formed complete divisions out of his 30 dragoon regiments and used them as battle cavalry to break the enemy's main resistance. In 1809, French dragoons scored notable successes against Spanish armies at the Battle of Ocana and the Battle of Alba de Tormes. British heavy dragoons made devastating charges against French infantry at the Battle of Salamanca in 1812 and at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. 31 regiments were in existence at the height of the Napoleonic Wars: seven Dragoon Guards regiments and 24 cavalry of the line regiments.


The Life Guards (British Army who with The Blues and Royals form the Household Cavalry Regiment and the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment). Light Horse (Australian Army). Mamluks. Numidian cavalry. Panserbataljonen (Norwegian Army). Polish cavalry. Polish winged hussars. Queen's Own Yeomanry (a British Army Reserve Light Cavalry Regiment). Queen's Royal Hussars (British Army). Regulares (Spanish Morocco). Royal Dragoon Guards (British Army). Royal Lancers (British Army). Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers & Greys) (British Army). Royal Wessex Yeomanry (a British Army Reserve Armoured Regiment). Royal Yeomanry (a British Army Reserve Light Cavalry Regiment). Savage Division.

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

Duke of WellingtonWellingtonArthur Wellesley
British casualties were heavy: the British losses were counted as 409 soldiers being killed out of which 164 were Europeans and the remaining 245 were Indian; a further 1,622 British soldiers were wounded and 26 soldiers were reported missing (the British casualty figures were taken from Wellesley's own despatch). Wellesley was troubled by the loss of men and remarked that he hoped "I should not like to see again such loss as I sustained on 23 September, even if attended by such gain". Years later, however, he remarked that Assaye and not Waterloo, was the best battle he ever fought. Despite the damage done to the Maratha army, the battle did not end the war.

Royal Armoured Corps

RACTank CorpsThe Heavy Cavalry and Cambrai Band
This unit is allied with the following: *Structure of the British Army Regular Army. Household Cavalry Regiment 1 (HCR) - Armoured Cavalry. 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards (QDG) - Light Cavalry. The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys) (SCOTS DG) - Light Cavalry. The Royal Dragoon Guards (RDG) - Armoured Cavalry. The Queen's Royal Hussars (The Queen's Own and Royal Irish) (QRH) - Armour. The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeths' Own) (RL) - Armoured Cavalry. The King's Royal Hussars (KRH) - Armour. The Light Dragoons (LD) - Light Cavalry. Royal Tank Regiment 2 (RTR) - Armour. Army Reserve - Yeomanry. The Royal Yeomanry (RY) - Light Cavalry.

Cavalry regiments of the British Army

cavalry regimentcavalry regiment of the British Armycavalry
Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. Light Dragoons. Royal Yeomanry. Queen's Own Yeomanry. Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry.

3rd Carabiniers

3rd Carabiniers (Prince of Wales's Dragoon Guards)3rd/6th Dragoon Guards3rd Carabinier
William Charles Walker Sloan, CBE. 1971: Regiment amalgamated with The Royal Scots Greys (2nd Dragoons) to form the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys).

6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons

6th DragoonsInniskilling DragoonsInniskillings
The 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons was a cavalry regiment in the British Army, first raised in 1689 as Sir Albert Cunningham's Regiment of Dragoons. One of the regiment's most notable battles was the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690. It became the 6th (Inniskilling) Regiment of Dragoons in 1751. The regiment also fought with distinction in the Charge of the Union Brigade at the Battle of Waterloo and again as part of the successful Charge of the Heavy Brigade against superior numbers at the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War.

Royal Scots

1st Regiment of Foot1st Foot1st Royals
It returned to Portugal in 1810 with the 5th Division, fighting at the Battle of Buçaco (1810), the Battle of Fuentes de Onoro (1811), the battles of Badajoz, Salamanca and Burgos (1812), the Battle of Vitoria, capture of San Sebastián, Battle of Nivelle, and the Battle of Nive (1813), before advancing into France in 1814. It was sent to Belgium during the Hundred Days, and fought in Picton's Division (the 5th) at the Battle of Waterloo (1815). After two years in the Army of Occupation, it was disbanded at Canterbury in 1817. The 4th was deployed to the Baltic in 1813, being involved with the recapture of Stralsund, and fought in the Netherlands in 1814, where it was captured and exchanged.

William Ponsonby (British Army officer)

William PonsonbySir William PonsonbyPonsonby
Major-General Sir William Ponsonby (13 October 177218 June 1815), styled The Honourable from 1806, was an Irish politician and British Army officer who served in the Peninsula War and was killed at the Battle of Waterloo. He was the second son of William Ponsonby, 1st Baron Ponsonby of Imokilly and Hon. Louisa Molesworth. Educated at Kilkenny and Eton, he married Hon. Georgiana FitzRoy, youngest daughter of Charles FitzRoy, 1st Baron Southampton. Between 1796 and 1798, Ponsonby sat as a Member of Parliament (MP) in the Irish House of Commons and represented Bandonbridge. Subsequently, he stood for Fethard (County Tipperary) and held this seat until the Act of Union in 1801.

Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Museum

The exhibits include uniforms, medals, weapons, regalia and music of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. A highlight of the museum is the French Imperial Eagle that was captured by Sergeant Charles Ewart of the Royal Scots Greys from the French 45th Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne at the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815. It also includes military and personal memorabilia loaned by the explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who served with the regiment, and the Victoria Cross awarded to Sergeant Henry Ramage of the Royal Scots Greys during the Crimean War.

92nd (Gordon Highlanders) Regiment of Foot

92nd Regiment of Foot92nd Highlanders92nd Foot
It then pursued the French Army into France and fought at the Battle of the Pyrenees in July 1813, the Battle of Nivelle in November 1813 and the Battle of the Nive in December 1813 as well as the Battle of Orthez in February 1814 and the Battle of Toulouse in April 1814. The regiment embarked for the continent again in May 1815 for service in the Hundred Days campaign. The regiment had a key role in the Battle of Quatre Bras on 16 June 1815 as one of the regiments defending the disputed crossroads and which later halted a French attack with a bayonet charge. Two days later the regiment was in action again at the Battle of Waterloo.

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent

Duke of KentThe Duke of KentHRH The Duke of Kent
Lord Patrick Windsor, stillborn 5 October 1977. 9 October 1935 – 25 August 1942: His Royal Highness Prince Edward of Kent. 25 August 1942 – : His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent. 29 July 1955: Second Lieutenant, Royal Scots Greys. 29 July 1957: Lieutenant, Royal Scots Greys. 29 July 1961: Captain, Royal Scots Greys. 31 December 1967: Major, Royal Scots Greys. 30 June 1973: Lieutenant-Colonel, Royal Scots Greys. Retired on 15 April 1976. 11 June 1983: Major General. 11 June 1993: Field Marshal. 1960: Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO).

Napoleonic Wars

Napoleonicwar with FranceNapoleonic War
On land the major battles included Battle of Raszyn, Battle of Aspern-Essling, and Battle of Wagram. On land, the Fifth Coalition attempted few extensive military endeavours. One, the Walcheren Expedition of 1809, involved a dual effort by the British Army and the Royal Navy to relieve Austrian forces under intense French pressure. It ended in disaster after the Army commander, John Pitt, 2nd Earl of Chatham, failed to capture the objective, the naval base of French-controlled Antwerp.


Napoleon BonaparteNapoleon INapoleonic
A lengthy military campaign culminated in a large Allied army defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813, but his tactical victory at the minor Battle of Hanau allowed retreat onto French soil. The Allies then invaded France and captured Paris in the spring of 1814, forcing Napoleon to abdicate in April. He was exiled to the island of Elba off the coast of Tuscany, and the Bourbon dynasty was restored to power. However, Napoleon escaped from Elba in February 1815 and took control of France once again. The Allies responded by forming a Seventh Coalition which defeated him at the Battle of Waterloo in June.

Second Boer War

Boer WarAnglo-Boer WarSouth African War
Such views were far from those of the British government and from those in the army. To most sensible observers, army reform had been a matter of pressing concern from the 1870s, constantly put off because the British public did not want the expense of a larger, more professional army and because a large home army was not politically welcome. Lord Salisbury, the Prime Minister, then had to explain to a surprised Queen Victoria that 'We have no army capable of meeting even a second-class Continental Power'. When war with the Boer Republics was imminent in September 1899, a Field Force, referred to as the Army Corps (sometimes 1st Army Corps) was mobilised and sent to Cape Town.

World War I

First World WarGreat WarFirst
Protracted action at Verdun throughout 1916, combined with the bloodletting at the Somme, brought the exhausted French army to the brink of collapse. Futile attempts using frontal assault came at a high price for both the British and the French and led to the widespread French Army Mutinies, after the failure of the costly Nivelle Offensive of April–May 1917. The concurrent British Battle of Arras was more limited in scope, and more successful, although ultimately of little strategic value.

Crimean War

CrimeaCrimeanCrimean campaign
The shortage of men led to the failure of the British and French to follow up on the Battle of Balaclava, which led directly to a much bloodier battle—the Battle of Inkerman. On 5 November 1854, the Russians attempted to raise the siege at Sevastopol with an attack against the allies, which resulted in another allied victory. Winter weather and a deteriorating supply of troops and materiel on both sides led to a halt in ground operations. Sevastopol remained invested by the allies, while the allied armies were hemmed in by the Russian Army in the interior. On 14 November the "Balaklava Storm" sank thirty allied transport ships, including, which was carrying a cargo of winter clothing.

Cap badge

badgecap badgesbadges
In the British Army (as well as Commonwealth armies) each regiment and corps has its own cap badge. The cap badge of the Queen's Royal Lancers is called a motto by those within the regiment, that of the Royal Horse Artillery is known as a cypher and that of the Coldstream Guards, Scots Guards and Irish Guards is known as a Capstar. That of the Grenadier Guards is known as The Grenade Fired Proper The concept of regimental badges appears to have originated with the British Army. The Encyclopædia Britannica's 1911 Edition notes that although branch badges for infantry, cavalry and so on were common to other armies of the time, only the British Army wore distinctive regimental devices.

Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey

Lord PagetLord UxbridgeThe Marquess of Anglesey
He fought at the Battle of Quatre Bras on 16 June 1815 and at the Battle of Waterloo two days later, when he led the spectacular charge of the British heavy cavalry against Comte d'Erlon's column which checked and in part routed the French Army. One of the last cannon shots fired that day hit Paget in the right leg, necessitating its amputation. According to anecdote, he was close to Wellington when his leg was hit, and exclaimed, "By God, sir, I've lost my leg!" — to which Wellington replied, "By God, sir, so you have!" According to his aide-de-camp, Thomas Wildman, during the amputation Paget smiled and said, "I have had a pretty long run.