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Soldiers of The 3rd (East Kent) Regiment of Foot (The Buffs) defending the Colours at Albuera, 1811
Soldiers of The 3rd (East Kent) Regiment of Foot (The Buffs) defending the Colours at Albuera, 1811
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Save the Colours!

Colours have been the focus of some of the most bitter fighting and magnificent acts of heroism in British Army history. Soldiers often fought to the last to preserve them in battle, and they continue to hold totemic significance for regiments today.

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The Royal Artillery Memorial, Hyde Park Corner, London, 1925

Honouring the fallen

After the First World War, British society had to come to terms with the loss of huge numbers of its service personnel. Across the country, people found ways to commemorate the fallen at a local and national level.

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The 3rd Light Dragoons at Ferozeshah, 21 December 1845

First Sikh War

In 1845-46, the British fought a war against the Sikh Empire in the Punjab. After several bitterly fought battles, the conflict ended with the British taking partial control of the Sikh territories.

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The Battle of Chillianwala, 13 January 1849

Second Sikh War

In 1848-49, British-Indian forces were once again at war with the Sikh Empire. The campaign that raged across the Punjab eventually led to the region's full annexation by the British and the removal of one of the last Indian powers able to challenge British control of the subcontinent.

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3rd County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters) keeping fit on board HMT 'Orion' en route to Egypt, 1941

The Sale Collection: Voyaging to war

In the third instalment of this series, we explore the exploits of the 3rd County of London Yeomanry in 1941 as they travel around Africa en route to the desert war in Egypt and Libya.

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The coffin of the Unknown Warrior borne in a wagon with a guard of Allied soldiers, 10 November 1920

The Unknown Warrior: A mystery solved

The grave of the Unknown Warrior contains the remains of an unidentified British serviceman, interred in 1920 to honour the fallen of the First World War. The selection of the Warrior was a secretive event and remains shrouded in mystery.

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Lieutenant-General John Manners, Marquess of Granby, c1763

Marquess of Granby: The benevolent soldier

Lieutenant-General John Manners, Marquess of Granby, acquired his reputation for courage and leadership during the Seven Years War. His popularity was also founded upon his well-known generosity and concern for the welfare of his men.

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British troops taking part in NATO's Exercise Lionheart in Germany, 1984

Active Edge: The Army, Germany and the Cold War

In 1945, British troops occupied Germany alongside their wartime Soviet allies. But growing East-West tensions soon evolved into the Cold War. For the next four decades, soldiers in Germany prepared to face an attack by the Warsaw Pact.

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Civilians gathered around British tanks, Hamburg, May 1945

The Army and the occupation of Germany

Following their victory over Nazi Germany in 1945, the Allies were faced with administering a country in ruins. British soldiers had a leading role in this, helping to hunt war criminals, rebuild industry and help displaced persons.

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Operation Barras, September 2000

Operation Barras

In September 2000, British troops undertook a daring hostage rescue operation in the war-torn West African country of Sierra Leone. They successfully freed five British soldiers who had recently been captured and around 20 civilian prisoners.

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Mapping the Far East Campaign

Mapping the Far East campaign

This video provides a brief summary of the battles fought in the air, on sea and on land during the Far East campaign of the Second World War. It also examines how we remember these events today.

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Japanese flag captured by 6th Battalion, 5th Mahratta Light Infantry, 1945

Japanese good luck flags

A collection of flags captured during the Second World War sheds light on the tough close-quarter combat of the Burma campaign and provides some rare insights about soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army.

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2nd Battalion 5th Gurkha Rifles at Ahnai Tangi in Waziristan, 14 January 1920

The North-West Frontier

Between 1849 and 1947, British and Indian soldiers undertook a series of punitive expeditions against the fiercely independent tribesmen of this wild and mountainous region.

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