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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
English statesman and soldier John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough was the second son of Sir Winston Churchill and is remembered for his contribution to wars such as the Monmouth Rebellion and the War of the Spanish Succession. He was once imprisoned in the Tower of London for Jacobitism.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
British army general Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis is best remembered for his stints as the governor-general of India and the viceroy of Ireland. Educated at Eton and Cambridge, he later started his army career with the Seven Years’ War. He was also part of the American War of Independence.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.