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American War of Independence....

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Can anyone tell me whether any British Infantry Regiments, where awarded any Battle Honours for this campaign?

If so who? & Which ones.....

If not, does anyone know why? :unsure:

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Hello Mariner,

Here is a website that list the British Regiments with the battles of the American Revolution. It might help track down any battle honors.

British Battles

http://www.britishbattles.com

For the British establishment and people the American Revolutionary War was a humiliating disgrace to be forgotten as quickly as possible. The soldiers who fought hard for 6 years to maintain the British Crown returned home to find themselves ignored. Victories such as Long Island and Brandywine do not appear as battle honours on any regimental colours.

Wiki Battle Honours

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_honour

thanks,

barry

Edited by Bear

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If any Regiment, should have battle honours for this war then it should have been the RWF, I think I`m right in saying that this isn`t the case!

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Are there battle honours preserved for the 1640s Civil War? Perhaps it has always been the case that the enemies are preferably FOREIGN rather than DOMESTIC? :catjava: We were one people then, after all. (Hard to believe we are still a "country" today--and certainly no longer One Nation Under God! :banger: )

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wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_honour

For the British Army, the need to adopt a system to recognize military units' battlefield accomplishments was apparent since its formation as a standing army in the later part of the 17th century. Although the granting of battle honours had already been in place at the time, it was not until 1784 that infantry units were authorized to bear battle honours on their colours. Before then, a regiment's colours were practical tools for rallying troops in the battle field and not quite something for displaying the unit's past distinctions.

The first Battle Honour was granted to the 15th Hussars for the Battle of Emsdorf in 1760. Thereafter, other Regiments received battle honours for some of their previous engagements.

The earliest battle honour in the British Army, chronologically, is Tangier 1662-80, granted to the 2nd Regiment of Foot, or The Tangier Regiment, the senior English regiment in the Union (after the Royal Scots, the senior Scottish and British Regiment), for their protracted 23-year defence of the Tangier Garrison. The battle honour is still held by the successor regiment, the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment.[2] During these early years of the British standing army a regiment needed only to engage the enemy with musketry before it was eligible for a battle honour. However, older battle honours are carried on the standards of the Yeomen of the Guard and the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms, neither of which are part of the army, but are instead the Sovereign's Bodyguard, in the personal service of the Sovereign.

The need to develop a centralized system to oversee the selection and granting of battle honours arose in the 19th century following the increase of British military engagements during the expansion of the Empire. Thus in 1882, a committee was formed to adjudicate applications of battle honour claims. This committee, later called the Battles Nomenclature Committee, still maintains its function in the British Army today

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wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_honour

For the British Army, the need to adopt a system to recognize military units' battlefield accomplishments was apparent since its formation as a standing army in the later part of the 17th century. Although the granting of battle honours had already been in place at the time, it was not until 1784 that infantry units were authorized to bear battle honours on their colours. Before then, a regiment's colours were practical tools for rallying troops in the battle field and not quite something for displaying the unit's past distinctions.

The first Battle Honour was granted to the 15th Hussars for the Battle of Emsdorf in 1760. Thereafter, other Regiments received battle honours for some of their previous engagements.

The earliest battle honour in the British Army, chronologically, is Tangier 1662-80, granted to the 2nd Regiment of Foot, or The Tangier Regiment, the senior English regiment in the Union (after the Royal Scots, the senior Scottish and British Regiment), for their protracted 23-year defence of the Tangier Garrison. The battle honour is still held by the successor regiment, the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment.[2] During these early years of the British standing army a regiment needed only to engage the enemy with musketry before it was eligible for a battle honour. However, older battle honours are carried on the standards of the Yeomen of the Guard and the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms, neither of which are part of the army, but are instead the Sovereign's Bodyguard, in the personal service of the Sovereign.

The need to develop a centralized system to oversee the selection and granting of battle honours arose in the 19th century following the increase of British military engagements during the expansion of the Empire. Thus in 1882, a committee was formed to adjudicate applications of battle honour claims. This committee, later called the Battles Nomenclature Committee, still maintains its function in the British Army today

Now that is really interesting!!! What does a Regiment have to do these days then in order to get a Battle Honour? I know several Regiments got Iraq 2003, among others. Can we expect any for Afghanistan, in the near future?...

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Now that is really interesting!!! What does a Regiment have to do these days then in order to get a Battle Honour? I know several Regiments got Iraq 2003, among others. Can we expect any for Afghanistan, in the near future?...

There will probably be an issue of medals to individuals who serve there, but the award of Battle Honours to regiments would seem a little passe these days. Anyway, the British Army as ammalgamated units so much over the years that The Rifles must be home to a dozen older regiments, each with their own Honoured history. Quite a mix-up. Seems a little crazy to try to carry it on.

Ranker

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Can anyone tell me whether any British Infantry Regiments, where awarded any Battle Honours for this campaign?

If so who? & Which ones.....

If not, does anyone know why? :unsure:

The rules governing British Battle Honours have varied over the years. Some were not authorised until many years after the event, while other hard fought victories have never been recognised at all. Generally, in the past the British War Department never awarded Battle Honours to units involved in unsuccessful campaigns, and this would especially apply to the American War for Independence, since the loss of the colonies affected the often deranged George III badly and he would have to approve them.

On the other hand, some actions fought during that period did warrant them. The units engaged in the Defence of Gibraltar 1779-82, and the Lancashire Regiment serving in St Lucia in 1778 recieved Battle Honours. But the war had become a wider affair by then, and in the first instance they were pitted against Spain and in the second against France.

Ranker

Edited by ranker

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Generally, in the past the British War Department never awarded Battle Honours to units involved in unsuccessful campaigns, and this would especially apply to the American War for Independence, since the loss of the colonies affected the often deranged George III badly and he would have to approve them.

George III suffered from a blood desease, not from any effects of the loss of the former American colonies.

He greeted John Adams, the first US Envoy sent to open diplomatic relations with Great Britain, with a warm handshake and told him "I was the last man in England to consent to the Independence of America, I will be the last in the world to sanction any violation of it."

If those were the sentiments of a deranged mind, let us have more of them.

Cheers,

James

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(Hard to believe we are still a "country" today--and certainly no longer One Nation Under God! :banger: )

The "one nation under God" was never part of the verbage used prior to 1892, when the American Pledge of Alliegance was written and later authorized. The "under God" part was not part of the original pledge. It was added in the 1950's during Eisenhower's administration.

Some folks forget that the country began with church and state being tacitly separate without official "co-mingling.".

Les

Edited by Les

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The "one nation under God" was never part of the verbage used prior to 1892, when the American Pledge of Alliegance was written and later authorized. The "under God" part was not part of the original pledge. It was added in the 1950's during Eisenhower's administration.

Some folks forget that the country began with church and state being tacitly separate without official "co-mingling.".

Les

:off topic:

I don't know about the "under God" part, but the Nazi salute's give me a good many more shivers!

Cheers,

James

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:off topic:

I don't know about the "under God" part, but the Nazi salute's give me a good many more shivers!

Cheers,

James

Yeah... whats up with that? :speechless1:

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Yeah... whats up with that? :speechless1:

That's the "Bellamy" salute named after the Baptist minister that wrote the Pledge of Allegiance in the 1890's. He took the "Roman salute" and described how it could be applied to the Pledge. When the Pledge was adopted, so was the salute and used from the turn of the last century until 1942, when Franklin Roosevelt felt uncomfortable using that salute during WWII. The salute was dropped in favor of the hand over heart style currently in use in the US of A.

That's not taught in schools along with so many other things.....

Les

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That's the "Bellamy" salute named after the Baptist minister that wrote the Pledge of Allegiance in the 1890's. He took the "Roman salute" and described how it could be applied to the Pledge. When the Pledge was adopted, so was the salute and used from the turn of the last century until 1942, when Franklin Roosevelt felt uncomfortable using that salute during WWII. The salute was dropped in favor of the hand over heart style currently in use in the US of A.

That's not taught in schools along with so many other things.....

Les

Wow!! That is a piece of history I never knew! Thanks for that. I would have never guessed.

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What does a Regiment have to do these days then in order to get a Battle Honour? I know several Regiments got Iraq 2003, among others. Can we expect any for Afghanistan, in the near future?...

Sadly, the short answer is probably "take some serious casualties", that too often being used as the benchmark against which to measure the collective valour of military units. And, of course, being perceived as having 'won' the relevant action(s), a fairly slippery conclusion in modern 'low intensity' warfare. :mad:

OTOH, I'm fairly sure I remember two unique 'honours' to a British regiment, earned in the American Revolution and jealously guarded since. Someone smarter than I can doubtless fill in the details.

The first: a regiment was attacked by American 'patriots'/'rebels' while the officers were at dinner and were forced to defend themselves, at least temporarily, with snatched-up improvised weapons. Subsequently they earned the signale distinction of being permitted to wear swords in the mess. I want to say that was the Royal Welch but I'm not certain.

The second: British infantry attacked an American camp at night and bayopnetted some of the enemy as they lay sleeping or while they struggled to rise and arm themselves. The Americans later threatened "No Quarter" for members of that regiment, who responded by adding red hackles to their caps as a taunting identifier: "Here wew are! Come and get us!".

As I said, I'm trusting someone with a younger brain or a better bookshelf than mine to fill in the names, ranks and serial numbers here. :cheeky:

Peter

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The second: British infantry attacked an American camp at night and bayopnetted some of the enemy as they lay sleeping or while they struggled to rise and arm themselves. The Americans later threatened "No Quarter" for members of that regiment, who responded by adding red hackles to their caps as a taunting identifier: "Here wew are! Come and get us!".

Peter

Peter,

I'm not sure of the first one. The second if memory serves me correctly was the Tappan Massacre ("No Flint" Grey commanding) when 30 Americans got stuck. That was 28 September 1779.

Les

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Peter,

I'm not sure of the first one. The second if memory serves me correctly was the Tappan Massacre ("No Flint" Grey commanding) when 30 Americans got stuck. That was 28 September 1779.

Les

added: There was an earlier episode at Paoli, Pa. Grey ordered his troops to remove the flints from their muskets to prevent an accidental discharge that would ruin the element of surprise in the attack he planned there. His men bayoneted a few Americans before they could respond. Almost a year later, the "Tappan" Massacre took place on a slightly larger scale and a large number of Americans ran away.

Les

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Peter, if memory serves (a rather dubious assumption) it was the 46th Regiment.

http://www.vintageviews.org/vv-ny/Pt/cards/t021.html

I remember reading that in "Regiments at a Glance" which is quite possibly the oldest book I have left from my childhood. The British Army was still in its "Brigade" organization when it was written. I believe the illustrations still show Lee-Enfield No. IVs.

Edited by Michael Johnson

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To answer the question of this thread, the answer is a flat No. The British Regiments that fought from 1776-81 all refused to take their victories and emblonzon them on their colours because they considered the rebellion to be fighting against their own people and thought it a very distasteful war. Its forgotten in the United States today but the American colonists were Englishmen and revolted against their King. Indeed, if you look at the Regimental histories of the (29th) Worcestershire Regiment (The vein openers) or the (23rd) Royal Welch Fusiliers, one will note they refused 'Bunker's Hill', 'Boston' and so on.

Edited by Sudanese

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A good point, Sudanese. It's not my strongest period, but I think the sore point with the colonists was that their rights as Englishmen (Scotsmen, etc.) were not being respected.

It was a fratricidal war, and although the histories (other than the Canadian ones) downplay it, there were many Americans who remained loyal to the Crown, and many suffered greatly because of it.

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Ironically however, "The vein openers" refers to the Boston Massacre.

The regiment still guards against imminent Micmac Indian attack with its special sword during officers' mess special dinners.

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To answer the question of this thread, the answer is a flat No. The British Regiments that fought from 1776-81 all refused to take their victories and emblonzon them on their colours because they considered the rebellion to be fighting against their own people and thought it a very distasteful war. Its forgotten in the United States today but the American colonists were Englishmen and revolted against their King. Indeed, if you look at the Regimental histories of the (29th) Worcestershire Regiment (The vein openers) or the (23rd) Royal Welch Fusiliers, one will note they refused 'Bunker's Hill', 'Boston' and so on.

Well, if they were "Englishmen" the RWF would never have refused!

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A good point, Sudanese. It's not my strongest period, but I think the sore point with the colonists was that their rights as Englishmen (Scotsmen, etc.) were not being respected.

It was a fratricidal war, and although the histories (other than the Canadian ones) downplay it, there were many Americans who remained loyal to the Crown, and many suffered greatly because of it.

Not everyone thought of themselves as "Englishmen" or came from Britain or Ireland. Germans settling in Pennsyvlania came from several parts of what was then the Holy Roman Empire, and part of the Austrian Empire (remember the Amish, Moravians, Hutterites, and Mennonites) that maintained the culture and language they brought with them and continued in the colonies. During the Revolution, many of the "Pennsylvania Dutch" tried to take a neutral position without siding openly for or against the revolution.

New York aka, "New Amsterdam" (the Hudson Valley) and New Jersey "aka New Netherland" was originally settled by the Dutch. Well into the 18th century, Dutch was commonly heard and arguably more people spoke Dutch (circa 1740) than English. Additionally, there were Swedish settlements in and around the Hudson Valley. In 1664, after a sea-saw period of wars when possession alternated between Dutch and English, Dutch title and claims were finally ended by Britain.

Despite Britain's assuming title through military conquest and occupation, that did not end Dutch language and culture as the dominant form. In the minds of the Dutch, a treaty didn't make them English at all. Massive immigration from Europe and elsewhere that began after the Revolution was over, submerged the local Dutch and they became a small minority of a much larger culture in which English was the dominant language in the new United States.

The numbers of New York/Jersey Dutch and Pennsylvania Dutch were a minority compared to the overall population of the colonies, but large enough that their political positions affected the war in the central Atlantic region. The votes, support or non-support of New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania (then the second, if not largest state in size population) were always factors in the events leading up to the Revolution, it's conduct, etc.

The Pennsylvania Dutch and Quakers were not opposed to non-violent opposition of British control of the colonies. They did not think of themselves as "Englishmen." They were opposed to war on religious, not political grounds.

So let's not rely on the conventional wisdom of calling all of the colonist "Englishmen" by virtue of birth, governance at the time, or assumed cultural affiliation. Even in Britain, not long ago, Irishmen (whether it be north or south of the current lines), Scots, and those south of where Hadrian's Wall once stood, would have had ruffled feathers if someone called them "Englishmen."

Estimating the political allegiances of colonists is no easy thing. I've read one source that estimated roughly one third for for independence, one third against it, and the other third wanted nothing to do with the other two and preferred to be left alone if possible.

Those numbers could be exaggerated. A counter-insurgency and guerrilla warfare manual suggested that as little as "six percent" of a population is all that might be needed to start and sustain an armed rebellion, and even win. Somehow, that figure seems on the low side. During the revolution, the colonists did not rely solely on guerrilla warfare, and was able to field enough troops in the field to fight the British using conventional European style tactics. That suggests the "six percent" solution was higher, although how much higher is retrospective guesswork.

Other than my whatever people thought of themselves as, yes it was bloody, fratricidal, and politically complex at times.

Les

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The 1/3 Tory, 1/3 Revolutionary and 1/3 neutral is actually based on some serious scholarship. It changed dramatically depending upon local too: New England was certainly more radical before 1776 than the rest of the colonies.

The six percent is based upon the numbers in Ulster. It infers a civil government not willing to take Cromwellian measures to suppress an insurrection. If the government takes the "Pinochet option", you'd need a LOT more. General Sir Frank Kitson lectured on this " terror statistic" in the 1980s.

As an aside, my Patroon ancestors came to new York in the 1640s. My Great-Grandmother still spoke "aldtey Duutch" as a first language-and she was born in 1870.

Edited by Ulsterman

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