Famous British Military Leaders

Much of your good night sleep is not because of a swanky done-up bed or a scrumptious meal - hundreds of thousands of soldiers stay awake all night to assure that their countrymen sleep well. And least that they expect is some amount of respect and admiration from the people. Every country, today, boasts of a talented pool of military personnel, brave, courageous and valiant, who dauntlessly serve their country and give their lives for the same as well. And Britain is one such country. The country has been home to countless brave and courageous military leaders who have served the country tirelessly notwithstanding wars, conflicts, battles and so on. While Edmund Allenby, 1st Viscount was a popular military commander who gained prominence for his service in the First World War, the 17th century saw greats like Oliver Cromwell who served as the 1st Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland. Other eminent British military leaders include Bernard Montgomery, William Slim, Alan Brooke, Robert Clive, John Churchill, Arthur Wellesley and so on. Go through this write-up and get details about the life and works of British military leaders.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington.
5
Famous As: Former First Lord of the Treasury of the United Kingdom
Birthdate: May 1, 1769
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: September 14, 1852
Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, served as the British prime minister twice. He also served as the governor of Seringapatam and Mysore, and won the Battle of Assaye. He led the Hundred Days War and along with the Prussian army, won the Battle of Waterloo, defeating Napoleon.

 2 T. E. Lawrence

T. E. Lawrence.
4
Famous As: Archaeologist
Birthdate: August 16, 1888
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Tremadog, Wales
Died: May 19, 1935
T. E. Lawrence was a British army officer who participated in the Arab Revolt, against the Ottoman regime, during World War I. Nicknamed Lawrence of Arabia, he inspired a movie of the same name. His treatise of his war experiences was published as Seven Pillars of Wisdom, his best-known work.
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 3 Horatio Nelson

Horatio Nelson.
8
Famous As: Admiral
Birthdate: September 29, 1758
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Burnham Thorpe
Died: October 21, 1805

Horatio Nelson was a British flag officer whose inspirational leadership brought about several British naval victories, especially during the Napoleonic Wars. Regarded as one of Britain's heroic figures, Horatio Nelson's legacy remains influential and several monuments, including the Nelson Monument and Nelson's Column, have been created in his memory.

 4 Richard I of England

Richard I of England.
4
Famous As: King of England
Birthdate: September 8, 1157
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Beaumont Palace, Oxford, England
Died: April 6, 1199
Richard I of England, the king of England from 1189 to 1199, was known as Richard the Lionheart, for his military prowess. He also reigned over Normandy, Aquitaine, Gascony, Cyprus, Poitiers, Anjou, Maine, and Nantes. The third son of King Henry II, he fought actively in the Third Crusade.

 5 Edward I of England

Edward I of England.
4
Famous As: King of England
Birthdate: June 17, 1239
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Palace of Westminster, London, England
Died: July 7, 1307

Edward I of England ruled England as its king from 1272 to 1307. During his reign, Edward I reformed common law and royal administration. He is also credited with setting up Parliament as a permanent institution. He is also criticized for issuing the Edict of Expulsion, which expelled Jews from England. The Edict was not overturned for almost 350 years.

 6 Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein

Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein.
8
Famous As: Allied Commander in World War II
Birthdate: November 17, 1887
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kennington
Died: March 24, 1976

 7 Francis Drake

Francis Drake.
4
Famous As: Navigator
Birthdate: 1540 AD
Birthplace: Tavistock, Devon, England
Died: January 27, 1596

Francis Drake was an English explorer and naval officer. He is remembered for his Raiding Expedition, a prominent historical maritime event which unfolded between 1577 and 1580. Although Drake is considered a hero in the United Kingdom, his privateering led the Spanish to refer to him as a pirate. His expedition has also had a major cultural impact in Britain.

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 8 Robert Clive

Robert Clive.
6
Famous As: British Military Officer
Birthdate: September 25, 1725
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Styche Hall, England
Died: November 22, 1774

 9 Oliver Cromwell

Oliver Cromwell.
20
Famous As: English Statesman
Birthdate: April 25, 1599
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire, Kingdom of England
Died: September 3, 1658
The Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, Oliver Cromwell was a military leader and a devoted Puritan who belonged to an affluent landowning family. During the English Civil War, Cromwell fought against King Charles I and caused the deaths of at least 3,000 soldiers and civilians.

 10 John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough

John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough.
5
Famous As: Military Leader
Birthdate: May 26, 1650
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ash, Musbury
Died: June 16, 1722

 11 Jack Churchill

Jack Churchill.
5
Famous As: Military Leader
Birthdate: September 16, 1906
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Died: March 8, 1996

Better known as Mad Jack or Fighting Jack, British Army officer Jack Churchill was an iconic example of a person fighting wars on his own terms. He popularized carrying swords and bagpipes to battles and killed his enemies with his longbow. He inspired a comic strip and several books, too.

 12 Edward Smith

Edward Smith
5
Famous As: Naval officer
Birthdate: January 27, 1850
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, England
Died: April 15, 1912

 13 Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn
8
Famous As: Military officer
Birthdate: November 2, 1767
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Buckingham Palace, England
Died: January 23, 1820

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn was the father of Queen Victoria. His army career took him to Canada and the West Indies, making him the first royal family member to stay in North America. He was also the governor of Gibraltar and played a major role in Canada’s development.

 14 Enoch Powell

Enoch Powell.
4
Birthdate: June 16, 1912
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Birmingham
Died: February 8, 1998

Enoch Powell was a British politician, linguist, classical scholar, philologist, and poet. Also a soldier, Powell served in World War II, reaching the rank of brigadier. His political career is remembered for his iconic and infamous Rivers of Blood speech, which was interpreted as a demonstration of racism. The speech became the subject of a play titled What Shadows.

 15 Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell

Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell.
6
Famous As: Founder of the Scout Movement
Birthdate: February 22, 1857
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paddington
Died: January 8, 1941

 16 Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener

Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener.
4
Famous As: Field Marshal
Birthdate: June 24, 1850
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ballylongford, Ireland
Died: June 5, 1916

Horatio Herbert Kitchener is remembered for his military acumen and for his large-scale organization of troops during World War I. He had served the Egyptian army and the British army in South Africa, and was the commander-in-chief in India. He died aboard the HMS Hampshire when the cruiser drowned.

 17 Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig

Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig.
4
Famous As: Military Leader
Birthdate: June 19, 1861
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Edinburgh
Died: January 29, 1928

 18 Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis

Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis.
4
Famous As: Former Governor-General of India
Birthdate: December 31, 1738
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Grosvenor Square, London, United Kingdom
Died: October 5, 1805

 19 John French, 1st Earl of Ypres

John French, 1st Earl of Ypres.
4
Famous As: British Army Officer
Birthdate: September 28, 1852
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ripple, Kent
Died: May 22, 1925

 20 Rick Rescorla

Rick Rescorla.
6
Famous As: Army Officer
Birthdate: May 27, 1939
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hayle, Cornwall, United Kingdom
Died: September 11, 2001

 21 Charles Edward Stuart

Charles Edward Stuart.
12
Famous As: Military Leader
Birthdate: December 31, 1720
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Palazzo Muti, Rome
Died: January 31, 1788
Charles Edward Stuart, also known as "The Young Pretender” and “Bonnie Prince Charlie,” was the son of Prince James, and the grandson of James II. He is best remembered for his role in the 1745 Jacobite Uprising, and his subsequent failure, which became the subject of many folk songs.

 22 John Graves Simcoe

John Graves Simcoe.
4
Famous As: First Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada
Birthdate: February 25, 1752
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cotterstock, Oundle, England
Died: October 26, 1806

 23 Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn

Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
4
Famous As: Military officer
Birthdate: May 1, 1850
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Buckingham Palace, England
Died: January 16, 1942

 24 Jan Smuts

Jan Smuts
4
Famous As: Botanist, Officer, Lawyer
Birthdate: May 24, 1870
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Malmesbury, Western Cape
Died: September 11, 1950

Jan Smuts was a South African military leader, statesman, and philosopher. He played a key role in the formation of the Union of South Africa and helped shape its constitution. From 1919 to 1924 and again from 1939 to 1948, he served as the Union of South Africa's prime minister. He played a major role in establishing the United Nations.

 25 Charles George Gordon

Charles George Gordon.
4
Famous As: British soldier and Administrator
Birthdate: January 28, 1833
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London
Died: January 26, 1885

 26 William Bligh

William Bligh.
4
Famous As: Military Leader
Birthdate: September 9, 1754
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Plymouth, United Kingdom
Died: September 7, 1817

 27 Sir Arthur Harris, 1st Baronet

Sir Arthur Harris, 1st Baronet
3
Famous As: Military officer
Birthdate: April 13, 1892
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cheltenham, England
Died: April 5, 1984

 28 Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick

Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick
4
Famous As: Nobleman
Birthdate: November 22, 1428
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Norwich, England
Died: April 14, 1471

 29 Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan.
8
Famous As: Privateer, Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica
Birthdate: January 24, 1635
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Llanrumney, Glamorgan
Died: August 25, 1688

Henry Morgan was a Welsh privateer who later served as lieutenant governor of Jamaica. He is best remembered for raiding settlements on the Spanish Main. From the wealth acquired through his raids, Morgan became a plantation owner, buying three large sugar plantations in the Caribbean. His life and career inspired several films, such as Captain Blood and Morgan, the Pirate.

 30 Kenneth More

Kenneth More
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 20, 1914
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, England
Died: July 12, 1982

 31 Benedict Arnold

Benedict Arnold.
22
Famous As: American Revolutionary War General
Birthdate: January 14, 1741
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Norwich
Died: June 14, 1801

Benedict Arnold was an American military officer who betrayed his country when he joined the British forces in 1780. Because of his betrayal, his name became synonymous with traitory in the United States. His story of betrayal has been depicted in popular culture and he has been portrayed by actors like Owain Yeoman and Ciarán Owens.

 32 Sir Henry Percy

Sir Henry Percy
3
Famous As: English rebel
Birthdate: May 20, 1364
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Warkworth, United Kingdom
Died: July 21, 1403

 33 David Stirling

David Stirling
3
Famous As: Officer
Birthdate: November 15, 1915
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lecropt, Perthshire, Scotland
Died: November 4, 1990

 34 Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood

Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood
3
Famous As: Military personnel
Birthdate: September 9, 1882
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: May 23, 1947

 35 Edmund Allenby, 1st Viscount Allenby

Edmund Allenby, 1st Viscount Allenby
3
Famous As: Soldier
Birthdate: April 23, 1861
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nottinghamshire, England
Died: May 14, 1936

 36 John Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe

John Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe
3
Famous As: Royal Navy officer
Birthdate: December 5, 1859
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Southampton, England
Died: November 20, 1935

 37 James Wolfe

James Wolfe
3
Famous As: Officer
Birthdate: January 2, 1727
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Westerham, United Kingdom
Died: September 13, 1759

 38 Thomas Gage

Thomas Gage
3
Famous As: Military Officer
Birthdate: 1721 AD
Birthplace: Firle, England
Died: April 2, 1787

 39 Prince Aly Khan

Prince Aly Khan.
5
Famous As: Father of Aga Khan IV
Birthdate: June 13, 1911
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Turin, Italy
Died: May 12, 1960

Son of All-India Muslim League president Aga Khan III, Aly Khan was known for his numerous affairs and his marriage to Hollywood star Rita Hayworth. The socialite and race-horse owner was stripped of his inheritance, as Aga Khan’s will mentioned Aly’s son Karim as his successor.

 40 George Mountbatten, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven

George Mountbatten, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven
3
Famous As: Military Leader
Birthdate: December 6, 1892
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New Palace, Darmstadt, Grand Duchy of Hesse, Germany
Died: April 8, 1938

 41 Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge

Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge
3
Famous As: Marshal
Birthdate: February 24, 1774
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Buckingham Palace, London, England
Died: July 8, 1850

 42 Lawrence Oates

Lawrence Oates.
3
Famous As: British Officer
Birthdate: March 17, 1880
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Putney, London, United Kingdom
Died: March 17, 1912

 43 James Oglethorpe

James Oglethorpe.
3
Famous As: Founder of the colony of Georgia
Birthdate: December 22, 1696
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Surrey
Died: June 30, 1785

 44 Myles Standish

Myles Standish
3
Famous As: Colonist
Birthdate: 1584 AD
Birthplace: Lancashire, United Kingdom
Died: October 3, 1656

 45 Prince Louis of Battenberg

Prince Louis of Battenberg
8
Famous As: Admiral
Birthdate: May 24, 1854
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Graz, Austria
Died: September 11, 1921

 46 Edmund the Martyr

Edmund the Martyr
3
Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0841 AD
Birthplace: Nuremberg, Germany
Died: November 28, 0869

 47 Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald

Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: December 14, 1775
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Died: October 31, 1860

 48 Bruce Shand

Bruce Shand
3
Famous As: Officer
Birthdate: January 22, 1917
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London
Died: June 11, 2006

 49 Archibald Wavell, 1st Earl Wavell

Archibald Wavell, 1st Earl Wavell
3
Famous As: Politician, Officer
Birthdate: May 5, 1883
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Colchester
Died: May 24, 1950

 50 Æthelwold of Wessex

Æthelwold of Wessex
3
Famous As: Monarch
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Great Britain
Died: December 13, 0902