Ayo Gurkhali!

Seldom in the history of warfare has an enemy so won the admiration of its opponents that it gets invited to join them. The 19th century redcoats recognised a kindred spirit and the bond between the Gurkhas of Nepal and the British army has remained unbroken ever since. Here is one example of the Gurkha fighting spirit.

In 1815, the British East India Company sought to expand its rule and marched into the Kingdom of Gorkha (Nepal). The fierce fighting that followed with neither side gaining the upper hand resulted in a peace treaty being signed plus an agreement allowing Gurkha soldiers to serve in the Company's army. The agreement continued when this army was taken over by the British government.


Beyond Agincourt

The overwhelming success of the English at Agincourt had so demoralised the French that the invaders were considered invulnerable. Many Scots travelled to France to help fight the common enemy and did achieve a Franco Scottish victory at Bauge in 1421, raising hopes of a reversal. The English invaders would however continue to dominate militarily for a further eight years before another French victory at Beaugency and a further twenty five until the English defeat at Castillon marked the end of the 100 Years War.


Operation Barras

Sierra Leone is a former British colony in West Africa, about the size of Scotland and has been wracked by civil war since 1991, when rebels calling themselves the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) attempted to bring down the government. A militia calling itself “The West Side Niggaz”, later amended to “The West Side Boys”, originally fought on the rebel side but later changed allegiance to the government and were expected to assimilate into the newly reformed Sierra Leone Army, but they refused and began operating as bandits from the abandoned villages of Magbeni and Gberi Bana on opposite sides of Rokel Creek.


The Heights of Abraham

Portait of Wolfe at Quebec, a reproduction of one by Shaak at Quebec House, Westerham, Kent. In 1759, Britain was locked in a struggle with the French for control of Eastern Canada. The French had established a colony called Acadia in New France in north-eastern North America, centred on what is now the Canadian province of Quebec, plus Maine and areas of the North American coastline stretching to the Ohio River. The fighting lasted from 1754 to 1763 and became known as The Seven Years War, or by some as the French/Indian Wars.

In 1758, the British besieged and captured the port of Louisburg, gaining control of vast areas of Atlantic Canada and opening up the seaway to Quebec. In the same month, they also captured the French Fort Fronternac, situated where the St Lawrence River leaves Lake Ontario, an important French supply base for French outposts along the Ohio Valley. These victories persuaded some Indian allies of the French to defect to the British, forcing the French to draw back and consolidate their strength in major bases such as Quebec.


Ark Royal

HMS Ark Royal participating in an Amphibious Exercise off the Eastern coast of the United States in 2008. Photo: POA(Phot) Jonathan Hamlet/MOD On the 20th of May 2013, the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal began her final journey from her Portsmouth base to Turkey where she will be broken up for scrap.

This mighty ship, pride of the Royal Navy was decommissioned as part of the government’s defence review, leaving Britain without a single fleet carrier able to project airpower overseas in the event of future threats to our interests and dependences.


Losing Our Heads (Online) – Mary Queen of Scots and 16th Century Surveillance

The Execution of Mary Queen of Scots "The executioner then picked up the severed head and, showing it to those present, cried out: 'God save Queen Elizabeth! May all the enemies of the true Evangel thus perish!'"

Mary Stewart, Queen of Scots was beheaded about 8am on Wednesday, 8 February 1587 for plotting the assassination of her cousin Queen Elizabeth I of England (and Ireland).

Mary had not confessed to any crime. The evidence that led to her death came from her intercepted letters. Other letters implicating Mary in the murder of her second husband had led to a cold reception when she first arrived in England. Both cases give an insight into how insecure communication is by no means a modern worry - even if, hopefully, having your emails and Facebook posts read today doesn't lead to an executioner's axe.