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British Army - Grenadier Guards

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Badges above from left Grenadier Guards Victorian Badge (Courtesy of British Military Badges); Cigarette Card - Courtesy of cigcardpics - flickr - 44841559@N03; Grenadier Guards uniform - WIKI.

Grenadier Guards

British Army - Guards Division

Foot Guards Regiments

(Reflecting historic name changes)

1st Regiment of Foot Guards

Col. John Russell's Regiment of Guards

Grenadier Regiment of Foot Guards

Honourable Artillery Company

Lord Wentworth's Regiment

Royal Regiment of Foot Guards

Royal Regiment of Guards

Please link profiles of those who served in the Grenadier Guards (including those in the "included" list above), to this project regardless of rank, conflict or nationality. People of note can be individually listed in Alphabetical Order below.

Regiments and Corps of the British Army


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Grenadier Guards

The Grenadier Guards (GREN GDS) is an infantry regiment of the British Army. It is the most senior regiment of the Guards Division 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. Although The Coldstream Guards were formed before The Grenadier Guards, the regiment is ranked after the Grenadiers in seniority as, having been a regiment of the New Model Army, the Coldstream served the Crown for four fewer years than the Grenadiers (the Grenadiers having formed as a Royalist regiment in exile in 1656 and the Coldstream having sworn allegiance to the Crown upon the Restoration in 1660).

The grouping of buttons on the tunic is a common way to distinguish among the regiments of Foot Guards. Grenadier Guards' buttons are equally spaced and embossed with the Royal Cypher reversed and interlaced surrounded by the Royal Garter bearing the royal motto Honi soit qui mal y pense (Evil be to him who evil thinks). Their "Buff Belt" brass clasps 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. A tarnished grenade is severely frowned upon and can be punished by disciplinary action within the Regiment.

Active 1656- present Motto - "Honi soit qui mal y pense" (French) - "Shame be to he who thinks evil"

Uniform -
White side plume in bearskin Cap, said to represent the white puff of smoke that used to come out of early grenades when primed; Blue cap has a scarlet band with the grenade badge.

Corps March -

  • Quick: The British Grenadiers
  • Slow: Scipio

Nick-name - The Bill Browns

Colonel in Chief - Elizabeth II

Colonel of the Regiment - Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh




// Artillery Company1656 - Raised in the Spanish Netherlands (present Flanders) by Thomas Wentworth, 5th Baron Wentworth as Lord Wentworth's Regiment. Known as The Royal Regiment of Guards. It was formed from gentlemen of the Honourable Artillery Company by the then heir to the throne, Prince Charles (later King Charles II) where it formed a part of exiled King's bodyguard
1660 - Col. John Russell's Regiment of Guards was formed on King Charles II's return to England.
1660 - Placed on the British Establishment.
1665 - Amalgamation of these two regiments forming the Royal Regiment of Foot Guards, consisting of 24 companies of men
By 1685 - Replaced by 1st Regiment of Foot Guards
1815 - Re-designated 1st (or Genadier) Regiment of Foot Guards
1877 - Re-designated Grenadier Guards

Battle honours

The 1st Foot Guards have received 79 battle honours, which they gained for their involvement in the following conflicts:

  • various actions near the Strait of Gibraltar
  • the War of the Spanish Succession, including Oudenarde
  • the War of the Austrian Succession
  • the Peninsular War
  • the Napoleonic Wars, including Waterloo
  • the Crimean War
  • the Urabi Revolt
  • the Sudan Campaign
  • the Boer Wars
  • the First World War (Western Front)
  • the Second World War (North Africa, Italy, Northwest Europe)
  • the Persian Gulf War
  • the Iraq war
  • the Afghanistan war


The following is a list of individuals who have served in the role of colonel of the regiment:

Notable Personnel

Names with Bold links are to Geni profiles. Other links take you to external biographical web pages.


  • James Thomas Duane Ashworth, VC (26 May 1989 – 13 June 2012) was a British soldier and posthumous recipient of the Victoria Cross


  • Edward Barber, one of 14 members of The Grenadier Guards who have received the Victoria Cross






















Sources, References and Further Reading

  • Brereton, J M A Guide to the regiments and Corps of the British Army on the Regular Establishment (Bodley Head) 1985
  • Griffin, P D Encyclopedia of Modern British Army Regiments (Sutton Publishers) 2006
  • Lumley, Goff Amalgamations in the British Army 1660-2008 (Partizan Press 2009)

// this project is in History Link