World War I
World War I, known as the First World War, the Great War, or the War to End All Wars, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. More than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, were mobilised in one of the largest wars in history and it was one of the deadliest conflicts in history, and paved the way for major political changes, including revolutions in many of the nations involved. The war drew in all the worlds great powers, assembled in two opposing alliances, the Allies versus the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary. These alliances were reorganised and expanded as more nations entered the war, Japan, the trigger for the war was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, by Yugoslav nationalist Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914. This set off a crisis when Austria-Hungary delivered an ultimatum to the Kingdom of Serbia. Within weeks, the powers were at war and the conflict soon spread around the world.
On 25 July Russia began mobilisation and on 28 July, the Austro-Hungarians declared war on Serbia, Germany presented an ultimatum to Russia to demobilise, and when this was refused, declared war on Russia on 1 August. Germany invaded neutral Belgium and Luxembourg before moving towards France, after the German march on Paris was halted, what became known as the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, with a trench line that changed little until 1917. On the Eastern Front, the Russian army was successful against the Austro-Hungarians, in November 1914, the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai. In 1915, Italy joined the Allies and Bulgaria joined the Central Powers, Romania joined the Allies in 1916, after a stunning German offensive along the Western Front in the spring of 1918, the Allies rallied and drove back the Germans in a series of successful offensives. By the end of the war or soon after, the German Empire, Russian Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, national borders were redrawn, with several independent nations restored or created, and Germanys colonies were parceled out among the victors.
During the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, the Big Four imposed their terms in a series of treaties, the League of Nations was formed with the aim of preventing any repetition of such a conflict. This effort failed, and economic depression, renewed nationalism, weakened successor states, and feelings of humiliation eventually contributed to World War II. From the time of its start until the approach of World War II, at the time, it was sometimes called the war to end war or the war to end all wars due to its then-unparalleled scale and devastation. In Canada, Macleans magazine in October 1914 wrote, Some wars name themselves, during the interwar period, the war was most often called the World War and the Great War in English-speaking countries. Will become the first world war in the sense of the word. These began in 1815, with the Holy Alliance between Prussia and Austria, when Germany was united in 1871, Prussia became part of the new German nation. Soon after, in October 1873, German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck negotiated the League of the Three Emperors between the monarchs of Austria-Hungary and Germany
Eton College /iːtən/ is an English independent boarding school for boys in Eton, near Windsor. It educates more than 1,300 pupils, aged 13 to 18 years and it was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as The Kings College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor, making it the 18th oldest Headmasters and Headmistresses Conference school. Eton is one of the seven public schools as defined by the Public Schools Act 1868. Eton has educated 19 British prime ministers and generations of the aristocracy and has referred to as the chief nurse of Englands statesmen. The school is headed by a Provost and Fellows, who appoint the Head Master and it contains 25 boys houses, each headed by a housemaster, selected from the more senior members of the teaching staff, which numbers some 155. Almost all of the pupils go on to universities, about a third of them to Oxford or Cambridge. The Head Master is a member of the Headmasters and Headmistresses Conference, Eton has a long list of distinguished former pupils. David Cameron was the 19th British prime minister to have attended the school, about 20% of pupils at Eton receive financial support, through a range of bursaries and scholarships.
In early 2014, this figure had risen to 263 pupils receiving the equivalent of around 60% of school fee assistance, Eton has been described as the most famous public school in the world, and been referred to as the chief nurse of Englands statesmen. The Good Schools Guide called the school the number one public school, adding that The teaching. The school is a member of the G20 Schools Group, Eton today is a larger school than it has been for much of its history. In 1678, there were 207 boys, in the late 18th century, there were about 300, while today, the total has risen to over 1,300. Eton College was founded by King Henry VI as a charity school to free education to 70 poor boys who would go on to Kings College, Cambridge. Henry took Winchester College as his model, visiting on many occasions, borrowing its Statutes and removing its Headmaster, when Henry VI founded the school, he granted it a large number of endowments, including much valuable land. He persuaded the Pope, Eugene IV, to grant him a privilege unparalleled anywhere in England, the school came into possession of one of Englands Apocalypse manuscripts.
Legend has it that Edwards mistress, Jane Shore, intervened on the schools behalf and she was able to save a good part of the school, although the royal bequest and the number of staff were much reduced. Construction of the chapel, originally intended to be slightly over twice as long, only the Quire of the intended building was completed. Etons first Headmaster, William Waynflete, founder of Magdalen College and previously Head Master of Winchester College, as the school suffered reduced income while still under construction, the completion and further development of the school has since depended to some extent on wealthy benefactors
Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry was a light infantry regiment of the British Army that existed from 1881 until 1958, serving in the Second Boer War, World War I and World War II. The former numerical titles of the battalions remained in unofficial usage, 1st Battalion The 43rd Foot was based in Burma when it became the 1st Battalion. In 1882 the unit moved to Bangalore, India, in 1887 the battalion returned home, being based in Parkhurst, England. It moved to Kinsale, Ireland in 1893 and, having based in other parts of Ireland. In December 1899 the Second Boer War began and the 1st Battalion arrived in Southern Africa to take part in it. It saw extensive service in the conflict, including in the relief of the besieged British garrison at Kimberley, the war raged on for a further two years, the regiment saw extensive service for the duration of the conflict. The Oxfordshires returned to the UK in 1902 with the conclusion of the war and it moved to India the following year where it was based until the outbreak of World War I in 1914.
2nd Battalion The 52nd Light Infantry was based in Oxford and this was the 52nd of Waterloo fame who, under the command of Colonel Sir John Colborne, broke a battalion of the Chasseurs of the Imperial Guard. In 1886 it was based in India, where it would remain into the 20th century, in 1903 the battalion returned home and was initially based in Chatham and in 1907 moved to Tidworth, Wiltshire. The battalion was stationed at Albuhera barracks, when World War I commenced, during the war, the Ox and Bucks raised 12 battalions, six of which fought on the Western Front, two in Italy, two in Macedonia and one in Mesopotamia. The regiment won 59 battle honours and four theatre honours,5,878 officers and men of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry lost their lives during the First World War. The battalion took part in the first British battle of the war, at Mons, where the British defeated the German forces that they had encountered on 23 August. The 2nd Ox and Bucks took part in all the battles of the First Battle of Ypres that saw the heart ripped out of the old Regular Army.
In the First Battle of Ypres the 2nd Ox and Bucks first engagement with the enemy was on 20 October in an attack on the Passchendaele ridge, the battalion had heavy casualties,4 officers killed and 5 wounded and 143 other ranks killed or wounded. On 11 November the Germans made another attempt to capture Ypres, First Ypres was the last major battle of 1914. In 1915 trench warfare commenced with both sides developing impregnable defences, leading to casualties in return for minimal gains. The 2nd Ox and Bucks were involved in fighting at Richebourg lAvoue on 15–16 May. The 2nd Ox and Bucks and other battalions of the regiment saw action at the Battle of Loos, 2nd Ox, the 2nd Battalion took part in the subsequent attack against the Hohenzollern Redoubt
Major is a military rank of commissioned officer status, with corresponding ranks existing in many military forces throughout the world. When used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicators, major is one rank senior to that of an army captain and it is considered the most junior of the field officer ranks. Majors are typically assigned as specialised executive or operations officers for battalion-sized units of 300 to 1,200 soldiers, in some militaries, notably France and Ireland, the rank of major is referred to as commandant, while in others it is known as captain-major. The rank of major is used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures, such as the Pennsylvania State Police, New York State Police, New Jersey State Police. As a police rank, major roughly corresponds to the UK rank of superintendent, the term major can be used with a hyphen to denote the leader of a military band such as in pipe-major or drum-major. Historically, the rank designation develops in English in the 1640s, taken from French majeur, in turn a shortening of sergent-majeur, which at the time designated a higher rank than at present
Order of Merit
The Order of Merit is an order of merit recognising distinguished service in the armed forces, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture. While all members are awarded the right to use the post-nominal letters OM and a medallion for life, Sir Frederic Leighton, President of the Royal Academy, advised against the new order, primarily because of its selection process. From its inception, the order has been open to women, Florence Nightingale being the first woman to receive the honour, several individuals have refused admission into the Order of Merit, such as Rudyard Kipling, A. E. Housman, and George Bernard Shaw. To date, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, remains the youngest person inducted into the Order of Merit, having been admitted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1968. All citizens of the Commonwealth realms are eligible for appointment to the Order of Merit, since 1991, it has been required that the insignia be returned upon the recipients death. However, it has been claimed by Stanley Martin, in his book The Order of Merit 1902–2002, One Hundred Years of Matchless Honour, that the Order of Merit is the pinnacle of the British honours system.
Some orders of precedence are as follows, Stanley, The Order of Merit, One Hundred Years of Matchless Honour, New York City, I. B
Distinguished Service Order
Instituted on 6 September 1886 by Queen Victoria in a Royal Warrant published in the The London Gazette on 9 November, the first DSOs awarded were dated 25 November 1886. It is typically awarded to officers ranked major or higher, during the First World War,8,981 DSOs were awarded, each award being announced in The London Gazette. The order was established for rewarding individual instances of meritorious or distinguished service in war, after 1 January 1917, commanders in the field were instructed to recommend this award only for those serving under fire. Prior to 1943, the order could be only to someone mentioned in despatches. The order is given to officers in command, above the rank of captain. A number of junior officers were awarded the DSO. In 1942, the award of the DSO was extended to officers of the Merchant Navy who had performed acts of gallantry while under enemy attack. Since 1993, its award has been restricted solely to distinguished service and it has, despite some very fierce campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, remained an officers-only award and it has yet to be awarded to a non-commissioned rank.
Recipients of the order are known as Companions of the Distinguished Service Order. They are entitled to use the post-nominal letters DSO, one or more gold medal bars ornamented by the Crown may be issued to DSO holders performing further acts of such leadership which would have merited award of the DSO. The bars are worn as clasps on the ribbon of the original award. The medal signifying its award is a cross, enamelled white. In the centre, within a wreath of laurel, enamelled green, is the crown in gold upon a red enamelled background. On the reverse is the royal cypher in gold upon a red enamelled ground, within a wreath of laurel, a ring at the top of the medal attaches to a ring at the bottom of a gold suspension bar, ornamented with laurel. At the top of the ribbon is a gold bar ornamented with laurel. The red ribbon is 1.125 in wide with blue edges. The medals are issued unnamed but some recipients have had their names engraved on the reverse of the suspension bar, the bar for an additional award is plain gold with an Imperial Crown in the centre.
The back of the bar is engraved with the year of the award, a rosette is worn on the ribbon in undress uniform to signify the award of a bar
Order of St Michael and St George
It is named in honour of two military saints, St Michael and St George. People are appointed to the Order rather than awarded it, British Ambassadors to foreign nations are regularly appointed as KCMGs or CMGs. It is the award for members of the FCO. The Orders motto is Auspicium melioris ævi and its patron saints, as the name suggests, are St. Michael the Archangel, and St. George, patron saint of England. One of its symbols is that of St Michael trampling over. The third of the aforementioned Orders—which relates to Ireland, no longer fully a part of the United Kingdom—still exists but is in disuse, the last of the Orders on the list, related to India, has been in disuse since that countrys independence in 1947. In 1864, the protectorate ended and the Ionian Islands became a part of Greece, numerous Governors-General and Governors feature as recipients of awards in the order. In 1965, the order was open for women, with Evelyn Bark becoming the first CMG, the British Sovereign is the Sovereign of the Order and appoints all other members of the Order.
The next-most senior member is the Grand Master, the office was formerly filled by the Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands, however, Grand Masters are chosen by the Sovereign. Members of the Royal Family who are appointed to the Order do not count towards the limit, the Orders King of Arms is not a member of the College of Arms, like many other heraldic officers. The Usher of the Order is known as the Gentleman Usher of the Blue Rod, he not, unlike his Order of the Garter equivalent. On the left side is a representation of the star, the mantle is bound with two large tassels. The collar, worn only by Knights and Dames Grand Cross, is made of gold and it consists of depictions of crowned lions, Maltese Crosses, and the cyphers SM and SG, all alternately. In the centre are two winged lions, each holding a book and seven arrows, at less important occasions, simpler insignia are used, The star is an insignia used only by Knights and Dames Grand Cross and Knights and Dames Commanders. It is worn pinned to the left breast, the Knight and Dame Grand Cross star includes seven-armed, silver-rayed Maltese Asterisk, with a gold ray in between each pair of arms.
The Knight and Dame Commanders star is a slightly smaller eight-pointed silver figure formed by two Maltese Crosses, it does not include any gold rays, in each case, the star bears a red cross of St George. In the centre of the star is a blue ring bearing the motto of the Order. Within the ring is a representation of St Michael trampling on Satan, the badge is the only insignia used by all members of the Order, it is suspended on a blue-crimson-blue ribbon
Field marshal (United Kingdom)
Field marshal has been the highest rank in the British Army since 1736. A five-star rank with NATO code OF-10, it is equivalent to an admiral of the fleet in the Royal Navy or a marshal of the Royal Air Force in the Royal Air Force. A field marshals insignia consists of two crossed batons surrounded by yellow leaves below St Edwards Crown. As with marshals of the RAF and admirals of the fleet in their services, field marshals remain officers of the British Army for life. The rank has been used throughout its history and was vacant through parts of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. After the Second World War, it became practice to appoint the Chief of the Imperial General Staff to the rank on his last day in the post. Army officers occupying the post of Chief of the Defence Staff, in total,141 men have held the rank of field marshal. The majority led careers in the British Army or the British Indian Army, some members of the British Royal Family—most recently Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, and Charles, Prince of Wales—were promoted to the rank after shorter periods of service.
Other ceremonial appointments were made as diplomatic gestures, twelve foreign monarchs held the honour, though three were stripped of it when their countries became enemies of Britain and her allies in the two world wars. Also awarded the rank were two distinguished foreign military officers, honoured for their contributions to World War I and World War II respectively, and one foreign statesman. A report commissioned by the Ministry of Defence in 1995 made a number of recommendations for financial savings in the forces budget. The recommendation was not taken up in full, but the convention of promoting service chiefs to five-star ranks was stopped, Sir Peter Inge was, in 1994, the last active officer to be promoted to the rank. Inge relinquished the post of Chief of the Defence Staff in 1997 and his successor, at the same time, who relinquished the post of CDS and retired from active service in 2001, was promoted to honorary field marshal. In June 2014 former Chief of the Defence Staff Lord Walker of Aldringham was promoted to field marshal.
The rank insignia of a marshal in the British Army comprises two crossed batons in a wreath of oak leaves, with a crown above. On appointment, British field marshals are awarded a gold-tipped baton which they may carry on formal occasions, the vast majority of officers to hold the rank of field marshal were professional soldiers in the British Army, though eleven served as officers in the British Indian Army. At least fifty-seven field marshals were wounded in battle earlier in their careers, of whom 24 were wounded more than once, and eight had been prisoners of war. Fifteen future field marshals were present at the Battle of Vitoria, where the Duke of Wellington earned the rank, and ten others served under Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo
Order of the Star of India
The article is about the order of chivalry known as Star of India. For other items of the name, please see disambiguation at Star of India. The Most Exalted Order of the Star of India is an order of chivalry founded by Queen Victoria in 1861, with the death of the last surviving knight, the Maharaja of Alwar, the order became dormant in 2009. The motto of the order is Heavens light our guide, the Star of India, the emblem of the order, appeared on the flag of the Viceroy of India and other flags used to represent British India. The last appointments to the orders relating to the British Empire in India were made in the 1948 New Year Honours, the orders have never been formally abolished, and Elizabeth II succeeded her father George VI as Sovereign of the Orders when she ascended the throne in 1952. She remains Sovereign of the Order to this day, there are no living members of the order. The last Grand Master of the Order, Admiral of the Fleet The Earl Mountbatten of Burma, was assassinated by the Provisional IRA on 27 August 1979.
The last surviving Knight Grand Commander, HH Maharaja Sree Padmanabhadasa Sir Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma GCSI, GCIE, Maharajah of Travancore, the last surviving Knight Commander, HH Maharaja Sir Tej Singh Prabhakar Bahadur KCSI, Maharaja of Alwar, died on 15 February 2009 in New Delhi. The last surviving Companion of the Order, Vice-Admiral Sir Ronald Brockman CSI, the British Sovereign was, and still is, Sovereign of the Order. The next-most senior member was the Grand Master, the position was held, ex officio, when the order was established in 1861, there was only one class of Knights Companions, who bore the postnominals KSI. In 1866, however, it was expanded to three classes, members of the first class were known as Knights Grand Commanders, rather than Knights Grand Cross, so as not to offend the non-Christian Indians appointed to the Order. All those surviving members who had already been made Knights Companions of the Order were retroactively Known as Knights Grand Commanders.
Former viceroys and other officials, as well as those who served in the Department of the Secretary of State for India for at least thirty years were eligible for appointment. Rulers of Indian Princely States were eligible for appointment, like some rulers of princely states, some rulers of particular prestige, for example the Maharajas of the Rana dynasty or the Sultans of Oman, were usually appointed Knights Grand Commanders. Women, save the princely rulers, were ineligible for appointment to the order and they were, unlike the habit of many other orders, admitted as Knights, rather than as Dames or Ladies. The first woman to be admitted to the order was HH Nawab Sikandar Begum Sahiba, Nawab Begum of Bhopal, the orders statutes were specially amended to permit the admission of Queen Mary as a Knight Grand Commander in 1911. Members of the Order wore elaborate costumes on important ceremonial occasions, The mantle, on the left side was a representation of the star. The collar, only by Knights Grand Commanders, was made of gold
First Battle of Gaza
Fighting took place in and around the town of Gaza on the Mediterranean coast when infantry and mounted infantry from the Desert Column, a component of the Eastern Force, attacked the town. Late in the afternoon, on the verge of capturing Gaza and this British defeat was followed a few weeks by the even more emphatic defeat of the Eastern Force at the Second Battle of Gaza in April 1917. In August 1916 the EEF victory at Romani ended the possibility of land-based attacks on the Suez Canal, in January 1917 the victory of the Desert Column at the Battle of Rafa completed the capture of the Sinai Peninsula and brought the EEF within striking distance of Gaza. In March 1917, two later, Gaza was attacked by Eastern Force infantry from the 52nd Division reinforced by an infantry brigade. This attack was protected from the threat of Ottoman reinforcements by the Anzac Mounted Division, the infantry attack from the south and southeast on the Ottoman garrison in and around Gaza was strongly resisted.
While the Imperial Mounted Division continued to hold off threatening Ottoman reinforcements and they succeeded in entering the town from the north, while a joint infantry and mounted infantry attack on Ali Muntar captured the position. It has been suggested this move snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, one week later, Murray received a request for the first infantry division and dispatched the 42nd Division. He was assured that none of his mounted units would be transferred from the EEF, Murray repeated his estimate that five infantry divisions, in addition to the mounted units, were needed for offensive operations. After 26 February 1917, when an Anglo-French Congress at Calais decided on a spring offensive, the decision by the Supreme War Council was given increased impetus for Allied activity on 8 March when the Russian Revolution began. By 11 March Baghdad in Mesopotamia had been occupied by British Empire forces, in April the Battle of Arras was launched by the British, and the French launched the Nivelle offensive.
The latter could be secured by an advance into Palestine and the capture of Jerusalem, a further advance would ultimately cut off the Ottoman forces in Mesopotamia from those on the Arabian Peninsula and secure the region. By 5 February the water pipeline from the Egyptian Sweet Water Canal, the creation of this infrastructure enabled a strong defensive position and a forward base to be established at El Arish. There were now two possible directions for an advance towards Jerusalem by Eastern Force to take, through Rafa on the coast, or inland through Hafir El Auja, on the Ottoman railway. He proposed keeping two divisions at El Arish, moving his headquarters there, while his mounted division would advance to reoccupy Rafa. With the 11 January War Cabinet decision reversed by the 26 February Congress, the town was one of the most ancient cities in the world, being one of five cities of the Palestine Alliance, which had been fought over many times during its 4, 000-year history. By 1917 Gaza had an important depot for cereals with a German steam mill, in the area barley, olives, orange groves, and wood for fuel were grown, as well as the grazing of many goats.
Barley was exported to England for brewing into beer, millet and watermelon were cultivated in most of the surrounding localities, and harvested in early autumn. A pause in the EEFs advance was necessary to enable the lines of communication to be lengthened and strengthened, while this work was being carried out, the mounted brigades were reorganised into two mounted divisions
Second Boer War
The Second Boer War, usually known as the Boer War and at the time as the South African War, started on 11 October 1899 and ended on 31 May 1902. Great Britain defeated two Boer states in South Africa, the South African Republic and the Orange Free State, Britain was aided by its Cape Colony, Colony of Natal and some native African allies. The British war effort was supported by volunteers from the British Empire, including Southern Africa, the Australian colonies, India. All other nations were neutral, but public opinion in them was largely hostile to Britain, inside Britain and its Empire there was significant opposition to the Second Boer War. The British were overconfident and under-prepared, the Boers were very well armed and struck first, besieging Ladysmith and Mafeking in early 1900, and winning important battles at Colenso and Stormberg. Staggered, the British brought in numbers of soldiers and fought back. General Redvers Buller was replaced by Lord Roberts and Lord Kitchener and they relieved the three besieged cities, and invaded the two Boer republics in late 1900.
The onward marches of the British Army were so overwhelming that the Boers did not fight staged battles in defense of their homeland, the British quickly seized control of all of the Orange Free State and Transvaal, as the civilian leadership went into hiding or exile. In conventional terms, the war was over, Britain officially annexed the two countries in 1900, and called a khaki election to give the government another six years of power in London. However, the Boers refused to surrender and they reverted to guerrilla warfare under new generals Louis Botha, Jan Smuts, Christiaan de Wet and Koos de la Rey. Two more years of attacks and quick escapes followed. As guerrillas without uniforms, the Boer fighters easily blended into the farmlands, which provided hiding places, the British solution was to set up complex nets of block houses, strong points, and barbed wire fences, partitioning off the entire conquered territory. The civilian farmers were relocated into concentration camps, where very large proportions died of disease, especially the children, the British mounted infantry units systematically tracked down the highly mobile Boer guerrilla units.
The battles at this stage were small operations with few combat casualties The war ended in surrender, the British successfully won over the Boer leaders, who now gave full support to the new political system. Both former republics were incorporated into the Union of South Africa in 1910, the conflict is commonly referred to as simply the Boer War, since the First Boer War is much less well known. Boer was the term for Afrikaans-speaking white South Africans descended from the Dutch East India Companys original settlers at the Cape of Good Hope. It is officially called the South African War and it is known as the Anglo-Boer War among some South Africans. In Afrikaans it may be called the Anglo-Boereoorlog, Tweede Boereoorlog, in South Africa it is officially called the South African War