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History

Oldschool Warriors

Victorian era 1st Battalion Pioneer Platoon

The Regiment was raised in June 1650 when Oliver Cromwell appointed George Monck to command a New Model Army Regiment.

For three weeks in late 1659, Monck’s Regiment stayed in Coldstream on the Scottish border. Prompted by widespread anarchy, Monck set out on 1st January 1660 to march his Regiment to London.

Monck and his Regiment played a crucial part in restoring law and order, and supporting the elections that led to the restoration of the Monarchy and the return of King Charles II.

Monck was richly rewarded by Charles II, who made him a Knight of the Garter, and the Regiment has used the Garter Star as its capstar ever since.

However, it wasn't until Monck died in 1670 that the Regiment became known as the Coldstream Guards.

The Regiment has served in every major conflict (and many minor ones) since its beginnings; including: 

  • Tangier (1680)
  • The 1695 Siege of Namur during the War of the League of Augsburg
  • Dettingen (1743) 

statue British Army monument erected at Hougoumont Farm, June 2015

During the American Revolutionary War a Composite Footguards Battalion, with Coldstream Companies, was dispatched across the Atlantic where they (again) captured New York and fought at Harlem in 1776.

Two years later the Composite Guards Brigade was ordered to join General Cornwallis in the Carolinas, and Coldstreamers fought at the Catawba River and Guildford Court House in 1781; some of the remnants were forced to surrender at Yorktown in October 1781.

During the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, Coldstreamers served in Flanders, Egypt, at Copenhagen (1807) and in the Peninsula. 

In the 19th Century Coldstreamers served in Canada, the Crimea, and in Egypt (Tel-El-Kebir 1882).  In 1885 Coldstreamers saw action with the Guards Camel Regiment in the attempt to relieve General Gordon at Khartoum.

Then, in August 1914, three Coldstream Battalions were deployed to France, and saw action at Mons, the Marne, and the Aisne before being committed to the defence of Ypres where the 1st Battalion almost ceased to exist at the Battle of Gheluvelt. 

Later, the 1st and 2nd Battalions served in the BEF in 1939-40 while the 3rd Battalion was in Egypt.  From 1941, the Regiment maintained five Service Battalions, with the 1st (Armoured) and 5th Battalions in the Guards Armoured Division, and the 4th (Tank) Battalion in Churchill Tanks:  the three Battalions fought across Normandy, the Rhineland, the Netherlands and on to Lubeck. 

Since 1945 the Regiment has served in:

  • Palestine
  • Malaya
  • Kenya
  • British Guiana
  • Aden
  • Northern Ireland
  • Germany
  • Iraq
  • Afghanistan 

The Regiment has been awarded 113 Battle Honours.  Thirteen Coldstreamers have been awarded the Victoria Cross, and one the George Cross.  The Regiment, still predominantly recruits from North-East England, and the South-West of England.

A BBC Magazine item on the mystery of a 1799 Coldstream Guards' soldier can be seen here.

 

Histories of the Coldstream Guards

All fourteen volumes of the Coldstream Guards official histories dating back to 1650 are freely available online and can be seen on the following links: