Famous British Military Leaders

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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.
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 1 
Horatio Nelson
9
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.

 2 
T. E. Lawrence
(Archaeologist & Army Officer Known for His Legendary War Activities in the Middle East During World War I)
T. E. Lawrence
17
Birthdate: August 16, 1888
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Tremadog, Carnarvonshire, 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.
 3 
Richard I of England
(King of England)
Richard I of England
5
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.
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Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein
11
Birthdate: November 17, 1887
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London
Died: March 24, 1976

Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, was a British Army officer who played important roles in World War I, World War II, and the Irish War of Independence. He commanded the British Eighth Army during the Second World War and also oversaw the operations during the Battle of Normandy. Bernard Montgomery has a couple of statues dedicated to him.

 5 
Lord Mountbatten
(Last Viceroy of British India)
Lord Mountbatten
5
Birthdate: June 25, 1900
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Frogmore House, Windsor, England
Died: August 27, 1979

The last Viceroy of India and the first governor-general of independent India, Lord Mountbatten was a British Royal Navy officer and statesman. Born to a prominent aristocratic family in England, he had a successful military career and was made the NATO Commander Allied Forces Mediterranean in his later career. He was assassinated in 1979.

 6 
Robert Clive
(The First British Governor of the Bengal Presidency in British India)
Robert Clive
8
Birthdate: September 25, 1725
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Styche Hall, England
Died: November 22, 1774

Robert Clive was a military officer and the first British Governor of the Bengal Presidency in British India. Nicknamed Clive of India, Robert Clive is credited with laying the foundation of the East India Company rule in Bengal. He won the Battle of Plassey in 1757, which enabled him to establish Company rule in Bengal.

 7 
Jack Churchill
(Military Leader)
Jack Churchill
7
Birthdate: September 16, 1906
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Died: December 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.

 8 
Edward Smith
(Captain of the British Passenger Liner 'RMS Titanic', Which Sank on its Maiden Voyage)
Edward Smith
8
Birthdate: January 27, 1850
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, England
Died: April 15, 1912

Edward Smith was a British naval officer best remembered as the captain of the RMS Titanic, which sank on its maiden voyage. Smith, who went down with the ship, is often praised for his fortitude and stoicism in the face of adversity. Prior to his last journey, Edward Smith served as the commanding officer of many White Star Line vessels. 

 9 
John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough
(English Soldier and Statesman Who helped Defeat the 'Monmouth Rebellion' in 1685 )
John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough
8
Birthdate: May 26, 1650
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ash, Musbury
Died: June 16, 1722
Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener
4
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.

 11 
Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell
(First Chief Scout of the World-Renowned Scout Movement.)
Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell
7
Birthdate: February 22, 1857
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paddington, London, England
Died: January 8, 1941
Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell was a British Army officer and first Chief Scout of the world-renowned Scout Movement. He is also credited with co-founding the Guide Association, the national guiding organization of the UK. The recipient of the first Silver Buffalo Award, Robert Baden-Powell was also nominated for the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize on many occasions.
 12 
Timothy Laurence
(Retired Royal Navy Officer and Husband of the Princess Royal, Princess Anne)
Timothy Laurence
8
Birthdate: March 1, 1955
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Camberwell, London, United Kingdom
Timothy Laurence is a former officer of the British Royal Navy. He is married to Princess Anne since 1992. From 1986 to 1989, he was the equerry to Queen Elizabeth II, and met Anne during that time. He serves on the boards of various charitable and professional bodies.
 13 
Charles Edward Stuart
(Military Leader)
Charles Edward Stuart
14
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.
 14 
Rick Rescorla
(British American Private Security Specialist Who Saved Thousands of Lives During 9/11)
Rick Rescorla
7
Birthdate: May 27, 1939
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hayle, Cornwall, United Kingdom
Died: September 11, 2001

Rick Rescorla was a British American police officer, soldier, private security specialist, and educator. He is best remembered for saving thousands of lives by anticipating the 9/11 attacks and implementing evacuation procedures while serving as the director of security for the banking and financial services firm, Morgan Stanley, at the ill-fated WTC on September 11. Rescorla died during the attacks.

 15 
John of Gaunt
(Nobleman)
John of Gaunt
4
Birthdate: March 6, 1340
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ghent, Belgium
Died: February 3, 1399

John of Gaunt was an English prince, statesman, and military leader. An influential figure, John of Gaunt is credited with founding the royal House of Lancaster, which would later produce men to ascend the royal throne. Early in his career, John spent considerable time in Spain participating in the Hundred Years' War.

 16 
John Graves Simcoe
(British Army General Who Founded the City of Toronto and Abolished Slavery in Canada)
John Graves Simcoe
6
Birthdate: February 25, 1752
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cotterstock, Oundle, England
Died: October 26, 1806

John Graves Simcoe was a British Army general best remembered for founding York (present-day Toronto, Canada). Simcoe, who served as the first lieutenant governor of Upper Canada, was responsible for introducing institutions like trial by jury, courts of law, freehold land tenure, and English common law. John Graves Simcoe also played a key role in abolishing slavery in Canada.

 17 
Charles George Gordon
(British Army Officer Who Led The 'Ever Victorious Army' in China)
Charles George Gordon
4
Birthdate: January 28, 1833
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London
Died: January 26, 1885

Charles George Gordon was a British administrator and Army officer. He is best remembered for his work as the commander of the Ever Victorious Army in China, which played a key role in suppressing the Taiping Rebellion. The force, under Gordon's command, was also able to defeat much larger forces, earning him the nickname Chinese Gordon.

 18 
William Bligh
(Military Leader)
William Bligh
7
Birthdate: September 9, 1754
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Plymouth, United Kingdom
Died: September 7, 1817
 19 
David Stirling
3
Birthdate: November 15, 1915
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lecropt, Perthshire, Scotland
Died: November 4, 1990

Scottish-born British Army officer David Stirling was known for his exploits in World War II, during which he formed and led the British Special Air Service (SAS). Following the war, he focused on combating racism in colonial Africa and even formed a foundation for animal conservation. He was knighted for his achievements.

 20 
Oliver Cromwell
(English Statesman)
Oliver Cromwell
29
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.
 21 
Henry Morgan
(Privateer, Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica)
Henry Morgan
8
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.

 22 
Sir Henry Percy
(English rebel)
Sir Henry Percy
3
Birthdate: May 20, 1364
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Warkworth, United Kingdom
Died: July 21, 1403
 23 
Kenneth More
5
Birthdate: September 20, 1914
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, England
Died: July 12, 1982
 24 
Prince Rupert of the Rhine
(German-English Army Officer, Admiral, Scientist and Colonial Governor)
Prince Rupert of the Rhine
5
Birthdate: December 17, 1619
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Prague, Czechia
Died: November 29, 1682

Prince Rupert of the Rhine was a German-English admiral, army officer, colonial governor, and scientist. Renowned for his energy and quick-thinking, Rupert made long-lasting and impressive contributions to the doctrine and development of the Royal Navy. He is also credited with shaping modern Canada's political geography. 

 25 
James Wolfe
(Officer)
James Wolfe
5
Birthdate: January 2, 1727
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Westerham, United Kingdom
Died: September 13, 1759
Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn
9
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.

 27 
Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood
3
Birthdate: September 9, 1882
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: May 23, 1947
 28 
Banastre Tarleton
(Former lieutenant colonel at the end of the American Revolution)
Banastre Tarleton
4
Birthdate: August 21, 1754
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Died: January 15, 1833

Banastre Tarleton was a British politician and general. He served in the American Revolutionary War where he was a lieutenant colonel. An iconic figure, Tarleton has been portrayed in several films, such as Sweet Liberty, The Patriot, and Amazing Grace. He has also been depicted in many TV series and novels.   

 29 
Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig
(British Army Officer Who Commanded the 'British Expeditionary Force' During 'World War I')
Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig
5
Birthdate: June 19, 1861
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: January 29, 1928

Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig was a British Army officer best remembered for his service as the commander of the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front during the First World War. He also commanded forces during the Battle of Arras, the Battle of the Somme, the Third Battle of Ypres, the Hundred Days Offensive, and the German Spring Offensive.

 30 
John Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe
3
Birthdate: December 5, 1859
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Southampton, England
Died: November 20, 1935
 31 
William Slim, 1st Viscount Slim
3
Birthdate: August 6, 1891
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bishopston, England
Died: December 14, 1970
 32 
Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany
4
Birthdate: August 16, 1763
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: St James's Palace, London, England
Died: January 5, 1827
 33 
John French, 1st Earl of Ypres
(British Army Officer Best Remembered For His Heroics During 'The Second Boer War')
John French, 1st Earl of Ypres
5
Birthdate: September 28, 1852
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ripple, Kent
Died: May 22, 1925

John French, 1st Earl of Ypres was a British Army officer best remembered for his heroics during the Second Boer War, for which he is considered a national hero. John French also served as Commander-in-Chief of the British Expeditionary Force, which was perhaps his most important role. He also gained notoriety as a womanizer throughout his life.

 34 
James Hewitt
(Former Cavalry Officer in the British Army, Known for His Affair With Princess Diana)
James Hewitt
7
Birthdate: April 30, 1958
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Derry, Northern Ireland

James Hewitt is a British retired cavalry officer who served in the British Army. He achieved international recognition in the mid-1990s when he claimed that he had an affair with Diana, Princess of Wales. The affair was confirmed by Diana in an interview in 1995. The relationship inspired a book titled Princess in Love, which was adapted into a film.

 35 
Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
(The Only British Prince to Serve as the Governor General Of Canada)
Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
4
Birthdate: May 1, 1850
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Buckingham Palace, England
Died: January 16, 1942

Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn was the third son of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria. He was the only British prince to serve as the Governor General of Canada. Prince Arthur is also remembered for performing various royal duties in the United Kingdom and India.

Prince Louis of Battenberg
8
Birthdate: May 24, 1854
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Graz, Austria
Died: September 11, 1921
George Mountbatten, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven
3
Birthdate: December 6, 1892
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New Palace, Darmstadt, Grand Duchy of Hesse, Germany
Died: April 8, 1938
Enoch Powell
6
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.

 39 
Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis
(One of the Leading British Generals in the American War of Independence)
Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis
4
Birthdate: December 31, 1738
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Grosvenor Square, London, England
Died: October 5, 1805
 40 
Edmund the Martyr
3
Birthdate: 0841 AD
Birthplace: Nuremberg, Germany
Died: November 28, 0869
 41 
James Oglethorpe
(Founder of the colony of Georgia)
James Oglethorpe
4
Birthdate: December 22, 1696
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Surrey
Died: June 30, 1785

Remembered as the founder of the British colony of Georgia in the US, James Oglethorpe was a renowned British soldier, MP, and social reformer. Educated at Oxford, he initially fought for the Austrian army against the Turks. As an MP, he brought in prison reforms. He was also the governor of Georgia.

 42 
Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald
(British Naval Flag Officer of the Royal Navy Who was a Successful Captain of the Napoleonic Wars)
Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald
3
Birthdate: December 14, 1775
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Died: October 31, 1860

One of the best-known seamen from Britain, Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald had also been an MP. He is also remembered for his conflict with Admiral James Gambier. Though expelled from the Parliament for spreading a death hoax about Napoleon I along with his uncle, he was later proved to be innocent.

 43 
Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick
(English Military Commander Best Known for his Role in the 'Wars of the Roses')
Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick
4
Birthdate: November 22, 1428
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Norwich, England
Died: April 14, 1471

Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick was an English administrator, nobleman, and military commander. Nicknamed Warwick the Kingmaker, Warwick played an important role in the Wars of the Roses; he originally supported the House of York only to switch his allegiance to the House of Lancaster. His actions resulted in the downfall of two kings which earned him his nickname.

 44 
Thomas Gage
(Military Officer)
Thomas Gage
4
Birthdate: 1721 AD
Birthplace: Firle, England
Died: April 2, 1787
 45 
Sir Arthur Harris, 1st Baronet
3
Birthdate: April 13, 1892
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cheltenham, England
Died: April 5, 1984
 46 
Lawrence Oates
(British Officer)
Lawrence Oates
3
Birthdate: March 17, 1880
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Putney, London, United Kingdom
Died: March 17, 1912
 47 
Reginald Dyer
(British Military Leader Responsible for the 'Jallianwala Bagh massacre' in Amritsar, iIndia)
Reginald Dyer
3
Birthdate: October 9, 1864
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Murree, Punjab, British India (present-day Pakistan)
Died: July 24, 1927

Reginald Dyer was a British military leader who served as an officer of the Bengal Army. He then went on to serve in the newly founded British Indian Army. Nicknamed the Butcher of Amritsar, Dyer was responsible for the infamous Jallianwala Bagh massacre on 13 April 1919 in Amritsar. The episode was fictionalized in Salman Rushdie's 1981 novel Midnight's Children

 48 
Æthelwold of Wessex
3
Birthplace: Great Britain
Died: December 13, 0902
 49 
Archibald Wavell, 1st Earl Wavell
3
Birthdate: May 5, 1883
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Colchester
Died: May 24, 1950
 50 
Adrian Carton de Wiart
(British Army officer)
Adrian Carton de Wiart
4
Birthdate: May 5, 1880
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: June 5, 1963

Adrian Carton de Wiart was a British Army officer who served in the Boer War, World War I, and World War II. He suffered several injuries during his service; he was shot in the face, ankle, leg, stomach, head, hip, and ear. He also lost vision in his left eye. He was honored with many awards, including the Victoria Cross.