Grenadier Guards
Overview
 
The Grenadier Guards is an infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

 regiment
Regiment
A regiment is a major tactical military unit, composed of variable numbers of batteries, squadrons or battalions, commanded by a colonel or lieutenant colonel...

 of the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

. It is the most senior regiment of the Guards Division
Guards Division
The Guards Division is an administrative unit of the British Army responsible for the administration of the regiments of Foot Guards and the London Regiment.-Introduction:...

 and, as such, is the most senior regiment of infantry. It is not, however, the most senior regiment of the Army, this position being attributed to the Life Guards
Life Guards (British Army)
The Life Guards is the senior regiment of the British Army and with the Blues and Royals, they make up the Household Cavalry.They originated in the four troops of Horse Guards raised by Charles II around the time of his restoration, plus two troops of Horse Grenadier Guards which were raised some...

. Although the Coldstream Guards
Coldstream Guards
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....

 was formed before the Grenadier Guards, that regiment is ranked after the Grenadiers in seniority as it was a regiment of the New Model Army
New Model Army
The New Model Army of England was formed in 1645 by the Parliamentarians in the English Civil War, and was disbanded in 1660 after the Restoration...

.

The grouping of buttons on the tunic is a common way to distinguish between the regiments of Foot Guards.
Encyclopedia
The Grenadier Guards is an infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

 regiment
Regiment
A regiment is a major tactical military unit, composed of variable numbers of batteries, squadrons or battalions, commanded by a colonel or lieutenant colonel...

 of the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

. It is the most senior regiment of the Guards Division
Guards Division
The Guards Division is an administrative unit of the British Army responsible for the administration of the regiments of Foot Guards and the London Regiment.-Introduction:...

 and, as such, is the most senior regiment of infantry. It is not, however, the most senior regiment of the Army, this position being attributed to the Life Guards
Life Guards (British Army)
The Life Guards is the senior regiment of the British Army and with the Blues and Royals, they make up the Household Cavalry.They originated in the four troops of Horse Guards raised by Charles II around the time of his restoration, plus two troops of Horse Grenadier Guards which were raised some...

. Although the Coldstream Guards
Coldstream Guards
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....

 was formed before the Grenadier Guards, that regiment is ranked after the Grenadiers in seniority as it was a regiment of the New Model Army
New Model Army
The New Model Army of England was formed in 1645 by the Parliamentarians in the English Civil War, and was disbanded in 1660 after the Restoration...

.

The grouping of buttons on the tunic is a common way to distinguish between the regiments of Foot Guards. Grenadier Guards' buttons are equally spaced and embossed with the Royal Cypher
Royal Cypher
In modern heraldry, a royal cypher is a monogram-like device of a country's reigning sovereign, typically consisting of the initials of the monarch's name and title, sometimes interwoven and often surmounted by a crown. In the case where such a cypher is used by an emperor or empress, it is called...

 reversed and interlaced surrounded by the Royal Garter bearing Honi soit qui mal y pense
Honi soit qui mal y pense
"Honi soit qui mal y pense" is a French phrase meaning: "Shamed be he who thinks evil of it". The phrase is sometimes rendered as "Honi soit quy mal y pense", "Hony soyt qe mal y pense", "Hony soyt ke mal y pense", "Hony soyt qui mal pence" and various other phoneticizations. It is the motto of...

(Evil be to him who evil thinks ). Their "Buff Belt" brass clasped also carry the Royal Cypher, modern Grenadier Guardsmen wear a cap badge of a "grenade fired proper" with seventeen flames. This cap badge has to be cleaned twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon, as it is made from brass and a tarnished grenade is frowned upon by all in the regiment.

History

The Grenadier Guards traces its lineage back to 1656, when Lord Wentworth's Regiment
Lord Wentworth's Regiment
Lord Wentworth's Regiment was a regiment of infantry raised during the exile of King Charles II during the Interregnum. Formed as the Royal Regiment of Guards in 1656 at Bruges under the command of the Earl of Rochester, it was made up of men who remained loyal to the King and had followed him...

 was raised in Bruges
Bruges
Bruges is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium. It is located in the northwest of the country....

, in the Spanish Netherlands (current-day Belgium), where it formed a part of exiled King Charles II's
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

 bodyguard. A few years later, a similar regiment known as John Russell's Regiment of Guards
John Russell's Regiment of Guards
John Russell's Regiment of Guards was an English infantry regiment formed following the Restoration of King Charles II to the throne in 1660....

 was formed. In 1665, these two regiments were combined to form the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards, consisting of 24 companies
Company (military unit)
A company is a military unit, typically consisting of 80–225 soldiers and usually commanded by a Captain, Major or Commandant. Most companies are formed of three to five platoons although the exact number may vary by country, unit type, and structure...

 of men. Since then the Grenadier Guards have served ten Kings and three Queens, including currently Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

. Throughout the 18th century, the regiment took part in a number of campaigns including the War of Spanish Succession, the War of Austrian Succession and the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

. At the end of the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

, the regiment gained the name "Grenadier" in July 1815 following a Royal Proclamation, honouring their part in defeating Grenadiers of the French Imperial Guard at the Battle of Waterloo
Battle of Waterloo
The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday 18 June 1815 near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands...

.

During the Victorian era, the regiment took part in the Crimean War
Crimean War
The Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining...

, participating in the fighting at the Alma river, Inkerman
Battle of Inkerman
The Battle of Inkerman was fought during the Crimean War on November 5, 1854 between the allied armies of Britain and France against the Imperial Russian Army. The battle broke the will of the Russian Army to defeat the allies in the field, and was followed by the Siege of Sevastopol...

, and Sevastopol. For their involvement in the Crimean War, four members of the 3rd Battalion received the Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories....

. Following this they were involved in the fighting at Battle of Tel el-Kebir during the Anglo-Egyptian War in 1882, and then the Mahdist War
Mahdist War
The Mahdist War was a colonial war of the late 19th century. It was fought between the Mahdist Sudanese and the Egyptian and later British forces. It has also been called the Anglo-Sudan War or the Sudanese Mahdist Revolt. The British have called their part in the conflict the Sudan Campaign...

 in Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

, where its main involvement came at the Battle of Omdurman
Battle of Omdurman
At the Battle of Omdurman , an army commanded by the British Gen. Sir Herbert Kitchener defeated the army of Abdullah al-Taashi, the successor to the self-proclaimed Mahdi Muhammad Ahmad...

. During the Second Boer War
Second Boer War
The Second Boer War was fought from 11 October 1899 until 31 May 1902 between the British Empire and the Afrikaans-speaking Dutch settlers of two independent Boer republics, the South African Republic and the Orange Free State...

, the 2nd and 3rd Battalions were deployed to South Africa where they took part in a number of battles including the Battle of Modder River
Battle of Modder River
The Battle of Modder River was an engagement in the Boer War, fought at Modder River, on 28 November 1899...

 and the Battle of Belmont
Battle of Belmont (1899)
The Battle of Belmont is the name of an engagement of the Second Boer War near the town of Belmont, 23 November 1899, where the British under Lord Methuen assaulted a Boer position on a kopje....

, as well as a number of smaller actions. In 1900, 75 men from the regiment were used to raise a fourth Guards regiment, known as the Irish Guards
Irish Guards
The Irish Guards , part of the Guards Division, is a Foot Guards regiment of the British Army.Along with the Royal Irish Regiment, it is one of the two Irish regiments remaining in the British Army. The Irish Guards recruit in Northern Ireland and the Irish neighbourhoods of major British cities...

 in honour of the role that Irish regiments had played in the fighting in South Africa.

At the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, the regiment consisted of three battalions. With the commencement of hostilities the regiment raised a service battalion, the 4th Battalion, and a reserve battalion known as the 5th (Reserve) Battalion, which was used to carry out ceremonial duties in London and Windsor during the war. The 1st and 2nd Battalions of the regiment were the first to be sent to France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, and took part in the early stages of the fighting during the period known as "Race to the Sea
Race to the Sea
The Race to the Sea is a name given to the period early in the First World War when the two sides were still engaged in mobile warfare on the Western Front. With the German advance stalled at the First Battle of the Marne, the opponents continually attempted to outflank each other through...

", during which time they were involved significantly at the First Battle of Ypres
First Battle of Ypres
The First Battle of Ypres, also called the First Battle of Flanders , was a First World War battle fought for the strategic town of Ypres in western Belgium...

. In February 1915, a fifth Guards regiment was raised, known as the Welsh Guards
Welsh Guards
The Welsh Guards is an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Guards Division.-Creation :The Welsh Guards came into existence on 26 February 1915 by Royal Warrant of His Majesty King George V in order to include Wales in the national component to the Foot Guards, "..though the order...

. In recognition of the significant contribution Welshmen had made to the Grenadier Guards, the regiment transferred five officers and 634 other ranks to the newly formed unit. A short time later, permission was received for the formation of the Guards Division
Guards Division
The Guards Division is an administrative unit of the British Army responsible for the administration of the regiments of Foot Guards and the London Regiment.-Introduction:...

, the brainchild of Lord Kitchener
Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener
Field Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener KG, KP, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, ADC, PC , was an Irish-born British Field Marshal and proconsul who won fame for his imperial campaigns and later played a central role in the early part of the First World War, although he died halfway...

, and on 18 August 1915, the division came into existence, consisting of three brigades, each with four battalions. Following this the four service battalions of the regiment fought in a number of significant battles including Loos
Battle of Loos
The Battle of Loos was one of the major British offensives mounted on the Western Front in 1915 during World War I. It marked the first time the British used poison gas during the war, and is also famous for the fact that it witnessed the first large-scale use of 'new' or Kitchener's Army...

, the Somme
Battle of the Somme (1916)
The Battle of the Somme , also known as the Somme Offensive, took place during the First World War between 1 July and 14 November 1916 in the Somme department of France, on both banks of the river of the same name...

, Cambrai, Arras and the Hindenburg Line
Hindenburg Line
The Hindenburg Line was a vast system of defences in northeastern France during World War I. It was constructed by the Germans during the winter of 1916–17. The line stretched from Lens to beyond Verdun...

. Seven members of the regiment received the Victoria Cross during the war.

Following the Armistice with Germany in November 1918, the regiment returned to just three battalions which were used in a variety of roles, serving at home in the United Kingdom, as well as in France, Turkey and Egypt.

During the Second World War the regiment was expanded to six service battalions, with the re-raising of the 4th Battalion, and the establishment of the 5th and 6th Battalions. The Grenadier Guards' first involvement in the war came in the early stages of the fighting when all three regular battalions were sent to France in late 1939 as part of the British Expeditionary Force
British Expeditionary Force (World War II)
The British Expeditionary Force was the British force in Europe from 1939–1940 during the Second World War. Commanded by General Lord Gort, the BEF constituted one-tenth of the defending Allied force....

. As the BEF was pushed back by the German blitzkrieg, these battalions played a considerable role in maintaining the British Army's reputation during the withdrawal phase of the campaign before being themselves evacuated from Dunkirk. After this they returned to the United Kingdom where they undertook defensive duties in anticipation of a possible invasion. Later, in 1941, there was a need to increase the number of armoured and motorised units in the British Army and as a result the 2nd and 4th Battalions were re-equipped with tanks, while the 1st Battalion was motorised. They subsequently served in the Guards Armoured Division in Western Europe in 1944–45. The 3rd, 5th and 6th Battalions also served in North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

, where they fought significant battles in the Medjez-el-Bab and along the Mareth Line
Mareth Line
The Mareth Line was a system of fortifications built by the French between the towns of Medenine and Gabès in southern Tunisia, prior to World War II...

, and in Italy
Italian Campaign (World War II)
The Italian Campaign of World War II was the name of Allied operations in and around Italy, from 1943 to the end of the war in Europe. Joint Allied Forces Headquarters AFHQ was operationally responsible for all Allied land forces in the Mediterranean theatre, and it planned and commanded the...

 at Salerno, Monte Camino
Bernhardt Line
The Bernhardt Line was a German defensive line in Italy during World War II. Having reached the Bernhardt Line at the start of December 1943, it took until mid-January 1944 for U.S. 5th Army to fight their way to the next line of defenses, the Gustav Line. The line was defended by XIV Panzer Corps...

, Anzio, and along the Gothic Line
Gothic Line
The Gothic Line formed Field Marshal Albert Kesselring's last major line of defence in the final stages of World War II along the summits of the Apennines during the fighting retreat of German forces in Italy against the Allied Armies in Italy commanded by General Sir Harold Alexander.Adolf Hitler...

. Throughout the course of the conflict two Grenadiers received the Victoria Cross.

In June 1945, following the end of hostilities, the 2nd and 4th Battalions gave up their tanks and returned to the infantry role. The regiment returned to three battalions at this time, with the 4th and 5th Battalions being disbanded along with the 6th which had been removed from the order of battle before the end of the war. Initially, they were employed on occupation duties in Germany, however, the 3rd Battalion was deployed shortly aftwards to Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

 where they attempted to keep the peace until May 1948 when they were replaced by 1st Battalion. Further deployments came to Malaya
Federation of Malaya
The Federation of Malaya is the name given to a federation of 11 states that existed from 31 January 1948 until 16 September 1963. The Federation became independent on 31 August 1957...

 in 1949, Tripoli
Tripoli
Tripoli is the capital and largest city in Libya. It is also known as Western Tripoli , to distinguish it from Tripoli, Lebanon. It is affectionately called The Mermaid of the Mediterranean , describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings. Tripoli is a Greek name that means "Three...

 in 1951 and Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

 in 1956. In 1960, shortly after returning from Cyprus, the 3rd Battalion paraded for the last time and was subsequently placed in suspended animation. In order to maintain the battalion's customs and traditions, one of its companies, the Inkerman Company, was incorporated into the 1st Battalion.

Since the mid-1960s, the 1st and 2nd Battalions deployed to Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 and Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

 where they undertook peacekeeping duties. They also undertook duties as part of the NATO force stationed in Germany during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

. In 1991, the 1st Battalion, which had been serving in Germany at the time, was deployed to the Middle East where it took part in the Persian Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 mounted in Warrior armoured personnel carriers
Warrior Tracked Armoured Vehicle
The Warrior tracked vehicle family is a series of British armoured vehicles, originally developed to replace the older FV430 series of armoured vehicles. The Warrior started life as the MCV-80 project that was first broached in the 1970s, GKN Sankey/Defence winning the production contract in 1980....

, before returning for a six month tour of Northern Ireland.

In 1994, under the Options for Change
Options for Change
Options for Change was a restructuring of the British Armed Forces in 1990, aimed at cutting defence spending following the end of the Cold War....

reforms, the Grenadier Guards was reduced to a single battalion. The 2nd Battalion was put into 'suspended animation', and its colours passed for safekeeping to a newly formed independent company
Guards Incremental Companies
The Guards Division of the British Army contains a total of five battalions, one from each of the five regiments of Foot Guards. However, before the Options for Change defence review in 1992, there were eight battalions:*1st and 2nd Bn, Grenadier Guards...

, which was named "The Nijmegen Company"
Guards Incremental Companies
The Guards Division of the British Army contains a total of five battalions, one from each of the five regiments of Foot Guards. However, before the Options for Change defence review in 1992, there were eight battalions:*1st and 2nd Bn, Grenadier Guards...

. As a result of this the regiment was reduced to its current composition: one full battalion, the 1st Battalion, consisting of three rifle companies, a support company and a headquarters company, based at Wellington Barracks, London, and one independent company, The Nijmegen Company.

Role

The Grenadier Guards serves as a light infantry battalion – following the reforms
Delivering Security in a Changing World
The 2003 Defence White Paper, titled Delivering Security in a Changing World, set out the future structure of the British military, and was preceded by the 1998 Strategic Defence Review and the 2002 SDR New Chapter, which responded to the immediate challenges to security in the aftermath of the...

 of 2004, this will be fixed. The regiment will alternate with the Welsh Guards
Welsh Guards
The Welsh Guards is an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Guards Division.-Creation :The Welsh Guards came into existence on 26 February 1915 by Royal Warrant of His Majesty King George V in order to include Wales in the national component to the Foot Guards, "..though the order...

 in the public duties role. In recent years the 1st Battalion has deployed as part of Operation TELIC
Operation Telic
Operation TELIC was the codename under which all British military operations in Iraq were conducted between the start of the Invasion of Iraq on 19 March 2003 and the withdrawal of the last remaining British forces on 22 May 2011...

 in Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, and Op Herrick
Operation Herrick
Operation Herrick is the codename under which all British operations in the war in Afghanistan have been conducted since 2002. It consists of the British contribution to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force and support to the US-led Operation Enduring Freedom...

 in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

.

Battle honours

The 1st Foot Guards have received 79 battle honour
Battle honour
A battle honour is an award of a right by a government or sovereign to a military unit to emblazon the name of a battle or operation on its flags , uniforms or other accessories where ornamentation is possible....

s, which they gained for their involvement in the following conflicts:
  • various actions near the Strait of Gibraltar
    Strait of Gibraltar
    The Strait of Gibraltar is a narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates Spain in Europe from Morocco in Africa. The name comes from Gibraltar, which in turn originates from the Arabic Jebel Tariq , albeit the Arab name for the Strait is Bab el-Zakat or...

  • the War of the Spanish Succession
    War of the Spanish Succession
    The War of the Spanish Succession was fought among several European powers, including a divided Spain, over the possible unification of the Kingdoms of Spain and France under one Bourbon monarch. As France and Spain were among the most powerful states of Europe, such a unification would have...

    , including Oudenarde
    Battle of Oudenarde
    The Battle of Oudenaarde was a key battle in the War of the Spanish Succession fought on 11 July 1708 between the forces of Great Britain, the Dutch Republic and the Holy Roman Empire on the one side and the French on the other...

  • the War of the Austrian Succession
    War of the Austrian Succession
    The War of the Austrian Succession  – including King George's War in North America, the Anglo-Spanish War of Jenkins' Ear, and two of the three Silesian wars – involved most of the powers of Europe over the question of Maria Theresa's succession to the realms of the House of Habsburg.The...

  • the Peninsular War
    Peninsular War
    The Peninsular War was a war between France and the allied powers of Spain, the United Kingdom, and Portugal for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when French and Spanish armies crossed Spain and invaded Portugal in 1807. Then, in 1808, France turned on its...

  • the Napoleonic Wars
    Napoleonic Wars
    The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

    , including Waterloo
    Battle of Waterloo
    The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday 18 June 1815 near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands...

  • the Crimean War
    Crimean War
    The Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining...

  • the Urabi Revolt
    Urabi Revolt
    The Urabi Revolt or Orabi Revolt , also known as the Orabi Revolution, was an uprising in Egypt in 1879-82 against the Khedive and European influence in the country...

  • the Opium Wars
    Opium Wars
    The Opium Wars, also known as the Anglo-Chinese Wars, divided into the First Opium War from 1839 to 1842 and the Second Opium War from 1856 to 1860, were the climax of disputes over trade and diplomatic relations between China under the Qing Dynasty and the British Empire...

  • the Sudan Campaign
    Mahdist War
    The Mahdist War was a colonial war of the late 19th century. It was fought between the Mahdist Sudanese and the Egyptian and later British forces. It has also been called the Anglo-Sudan War or the Sudanese Mahdist Revolt. The British have called their part in the conflict the Sudan Campaign...

  • the Boer Wars
  • First World War (Western Front) and Second World War (North Africa, Italy, Northwest Europe)
  • the Persian Gulf War
    Gulf War
    The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...


Training

Recruits to the Grenadier Guards go through a twenty-eight week training course at the Infantry Training Centre
Infantry Training Centre
The Infantry Training Centre is a unit of the British Army administered by HQ School of Infantry responsible for both basic and advanced training of Soldiers and Officers joining the infantry...

 (ITC). This is two weeks more than the training for line infantry
Line infantry
Line infantry is a type of infantry which composed the basis of European land armies from the middle of the 17th century to the middle of the 19th century....

 regiments of the British Army; the extra training, carried out throughout the course, is devoted to drill and ceremonies.

Following graduation from the ITC, guardsmen are assigned to Nijmegen Company for additional training and orientation before being posted to the 1st Battalion.

Colonels-in-Chief

The Grenadier Guards' various colonels-in-chief have generally been the British monarchs, including Edward VII
Edward VII of the United Kingdom
Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910...

, George V
George V of the United Kingdom
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War until his death in 1936....

, Edward VIII
Edward VIII of the United Kingdom
Edward VIII was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth, and Emperor of India, from 20 January to 11 December 1936.Before his accession to the throne, Edward was Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay...

, George VI
George VI of the United Kingdom
George VI was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death...

, and currently Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

. The Colonel-in-Chief is always the reigning Sovereign. This applies to all regiments of the Household Division
Household Division
Household Division is a term used principally in the Commonwealth of Nations to describe a country’s most elite or historically senior military units, or those military units that provide ceremonial or protective functions associated directly with the head of state.-Historical Development:In...

. Other Sovereigns have served in the regiment.

Colonels

The following is a list of individuals who have served in the role of colonel of the regiment:
  • Thomas Wentworth, 5th Baron Wentworth
    Thomas Wentworth, 5th Baron Wentworth
    Thomas Wentworth, 5th Baron Wentworth, KB, PC was an English soldier and politician who supported King Charles I in the English Civil War....

     (1656);
  • Hon. John Russell
    John Russell (royalist)
    John Russell was an English soldier and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1641 to 1644. He fought in the Royalist army in the English Civil War....

     (1660);
  • Henry Fitzroy, 1st Duke of Grafton
    Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton
    Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton KG was the illegitimate son of King Charles II by Barbara Villiers, Countess of Castlemaine....

     (1681);
  • Edward Lee, 1st Earl of Lichfield
    Edward Lee, 1st Earl of Lichfield
    Sir Edward Henry Lee, 5th Baronet, of Ditchley and of Quarendon, created 1st Earl of Lichfield was an English peer. He was a staunch tory and followed James II to Rochester, Kent after the king's escape from Whitehall in December 1688...

     (1688);
  • Henry Fitzroy, 1st Duke of Grafton
    Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton
    Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton KG was the illegitimate son of King Charles II by Barbara Villiers, Countess of Castlemaine....

     (1688);
  • Henry Sydney, 1st Earl of Romney
    Henry Sydney, 1st Earl of Romney
    Henry Sydney , 1st Earl of Romney was born in Paris, a son of Robert Sidney, 2nd Earl of Leicester, of Penshurst Place in Kent, England, by Lady Dorothy Percy, a daughter of Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland and sister of Algernon Percy, 10th Earl of Northumberland.Henry was a brother of...

     (1689);
  • Charles Schomberg, 2nd Duke of Schomberg
    Charles Schomberg, 2nd Duke of Schomberg
    Charles Schomberg, 2nd Duke of Schomberg was a General in the British Army, the second person to be Duke of Schomberg, a title in the Peerage of England...

     (1690);
  • Henry Sydney, 1st Earl of Romney
    Henry Sydney, 1st Earl of Romney
    Henry Sydney , 1st Earl of Romney was born in Paris, a son of Robert Sidney, 2nd Earl of Leicester, of Penshurst Place in Kent, England, by Lady Dorothy Percy, a daughter of Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland and sister of Algernon Percy, 10th Earl of Northumberland.Henry was a brother of...

     (1693);
  • John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough
    John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough
    John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, Prince of Mindelheim, KG, PC , was an English soldier and statesman whose career spanned the reigns of five monarchs through the late 17th and early 18th centuries...

     (1704);
  • James Butler, 2nd Duke of Ormonde
    James Butler, 2nd Duke of Ormonde
    James Butler, 2nd Duke of Ormonde KG KT was an Irish statesman and soldier. He was the third of the Kilcash branch of the family to inherit the earldom of Ormonde...

     (1712);
  • John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough
    John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough
    John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, Prince of Mindelheim, KG, PC , was an English soldier and statesman whose career spanned the reigns of five monarchs through the late 17th and early 18th centuries...

     (1714);
  • William Cadogan, 1st Earl Cadogan
    William Cadogan, 1st Earl Cadogan
    William Cadogan, 1st Earl Cadogan KT PC was a noted military officer in the army of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough during the War of the Spanish Succession...

     (1722);
  • Sir Charles Wills
    Charles Wills
    Sir Charles Wills KB was a British general in the 18th century.He won the Battle of Preston against the Jacobites. He was later appointed to the Privy Council and was member of parliament for Totnes.-References:...

     (1726);

  • Prince William, Duke of Cumberland (1742);
  • John Ligonier, 1st Earl Ligonier
    John Ligonier, 1st Earl Ligonier
    Field Marshal John Ligonier, 1st Earl Ligonier, KB, PC was a French-born British soldier.He was born to a Huguenot family of Castres in the south of France, and who emigrated to England at the close of the 17th century...

     (1757);
  • Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh
    Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh
    Prince William, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh was a member of the British Royal Family, a grandson of George II and a younger brother of George III.-Early life:...

     (1770);
  • Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany
    Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany
    The Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany was a member of the Hanoverian and British Royal Family, the second eldest child, and second son, of King George III...

     (1805);
  • Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
    Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
    Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS , was an Irish-born British soldier and statesman, and one of the leading military and political figures of the 19th century...

     (1827);
  • Albert, Prince Consort (1852);
  • Prince George, Duke of Cambridge
    Prince George, Duke of Cambridge
    Prince George, Duke of Cambridge was a member of the British Royal Family, a male-line grandson of King George III. The Duke was an army officer and served as commander-in-chief of the British Army from 1856 to 1895...

     (1861);
  • Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
    Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
    Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn was a member of the shared British and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha royal family who served as the Governor General of Canada, the 10th since Canadian Confederation.Born the seventh child and third son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and...

     (1904);
  • Princess Elizabeth
    Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
    Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

     (1942);
  • George Jeffreys, 1st Baron Jeffreys (1952);
  • Sir Allan Henry Shafto Adair
    Allan Henry Shafto Adair
    Major General Sir Allan Henry Shafto Adair, 6th Baronet GCVO, CB, DSO, MC & Bar JP DL was a British Army general who served in both World Wars; as a company commander in the Grenadier Guards in the First, and as Commanding Officer the Guards Armoured Division in the Second.-Military career:Adair...

     (1960);
  • Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
    Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
    Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is the husband of Elizabeth II. He is the United Kingdom's longest-serving consort and the oldest serving spouse of a reigning British monarch....

     (1975).


Marches

The Regimental Slow March is the march
March (music)
A march, as a musical genre, is a piece of music with a strong regular rhythm which in origin was expressly written for marching to and most frequently performed by a military band. In mood, marches range from the moving death march in Wagner's Götterdämmerung to the brisk military marches of John...

 Scipio, from the opera of the same name by George Frideric Handel
George Frideric Handel
George Frideric Handel was a German-British Baroque composer, famous for his operas, oratorios, anthems and organ concertos. Handel was born in 1685, in a family indifferent to music...

, inspired by the exploits of the Roman
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

 General Scipio Africanus
Scipio Africanus
Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus , also known as Scipio Africanus and Scipio the Elder, was a general in the Second Punic War and statesman of the Roman Republic...

. The first performance of Scipio was in 1726. Handel actually composed the eponymous slow march for the First Guards, presenting it to the regiment before he added it to the score of the opera. The Quick March is The British Grenadiers
The British Grenadiers
The British Grenadiers is a marching song for the grenadier units of the British and Commonwealth militaries, the tune of which dates from the 17th century. It is the Regimental Quick March of the Grenadier Guards, Corps of Royal Engineers, the Honourable Artillery Company and the Royal Regiment of...

.

Football

Both the 2nd Grenadier Guards F.C.
2nd Grenadier Guards F.C.
2nd Grenadier Guards F.C. were an English football team that played in the London League Division One during the 1897-98 season, finishing ninth of nine. In that season champions Thames Ironworks F.C...

 and the 3rd Grenadier Guards F.C.
3rd Grenadier Guards F.C.
3rd Grenadier Guards F.C. were an English football team that played in the London League from as early as 1896 until 1898. During the 1896-97 season they were champions and during the 1897-98 season they finished 4th....

 enjoyed considerable success in the London League, playing against the likes of West Ham United.

Alliances

 – The Canadian Grenadier Guards
The Canadian Grenadier Guards
The Canadian Grenadier Guards is the second most senior and oldest infantry regiment in the Reserve Force of the Canadian Forces. Located in Montreal, its primary role is the provision of combat-ready troops in support of Canadian regular infantry...

 – 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment
1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment
1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment is a regular light infantry battalion of the Australian Army. 1 RAR was first formed as the 65th Australian Infantry Battalion in 1945 and since then has been deployed on active service during the Korean War, the Malayan Emergency and the Vietnam War...

 – HMS Illustrious
HMS Illustrious (R06)
HMS Illustrious is the second of three Invincible-class light aircraft carriers built for the Royal Navy in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She is the fifth warship and second aircraft carrier to bear the name Illustrious, and is affectionately known as "Lusty" to her crew...


Order of precedence

The Grenadier Guards is the most senior regiment of the Infantry in the British Army, and thus would parade at the extreme right of the line. However, since 2008, the Royal Marines
Royal Marines
The Corps of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, commonly just referred to as the Royal Marines , are the marine corps and amphibious infantry of the United Kingdom and, along with the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, form the Naval Service...

, which formerly paraded on its own after the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment
Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment
The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire was an infantry regiment of the British Army.It was formed in 1994 by the amalgamation of two English regiments.*The Gloucestershire Regiment...

, has been fully integrated into the Naval Service, and thus will take the position of precedence of the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 as the Senior Service on parade.

See also

  • George Higginson
    George Higginson
    General Sir George Wentworth Alexander Higginson, GCB, GCVO was a British general and Crimean War hero who served more than 30 years in the Grenadier Guards.-Military career:...

  • Grenadier Guards Band
    Grenadier Guards Band
    The Band of the Grenadier Guards is the oldest of all of the bands in the British Army, with a history dating back over three hundred & twenty five years.- History :In 1685 Charles II allowed the band to maintain 12 Hautbois players...

  • Military history of the United Kingdom
    Military history of the United Kingdom
    The military history of the United Kingdom covers the period from the creation of the united Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707, with the political union of England and Scotland, to the present day....

  • British Army
    British Army
    The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

  • Canadian Grenadier Guards

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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