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The Coldstream Guards
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The Coldstream GuardsThe Coldstream Guards were raised in 1650 on the orders of Oliver Cromwell to form Colonel Monck's Regiment of Foot. They took their place in the ranks of the 'New Model Army', Britain's first regular force.

For the next ten years the Regiment served with distinction and in 1660 they were still with Monck, and quartered in the small town of Coldstream on the English/ Scottish border. By 1660 Cromwell had been dead for two years, Parliamentary rule had become autocratic, and life had become marked by continual political upheavals. London was the centre of most of the unrest, and in January 1660 General Monck marched his troops to the capital and set about restoring order.

Although careful to avoid any direct involvement in politics, Monck and his Coldstreamers were largely responsible for securing the free elections for a new Parliament, which invited King Charles II to return to the Throne.

On his triumphal return to London the King inspected Monck's men and was most impressed with what he saw. After the Restoration, one of Parliament's first acts was to disband Cromwell's New Model Army. However, it was decreed that Monck's own Regiment of Foot and Horse should be retained to the last. By 1661 the disbandment process was well advanced; in fact Monck's Horse was actually being broken up when, together with their comrades in the Foot Regiment, they were ordered to put down a serious uprising. It was decided therefore to keep them in being, and on 14 February 1661 they were paraded on Tower Hill. They laid down their arms as soldiers of the New Model Army, taking them up as King's men of the Lord General's (Monck's new title) Regiment of Foot Guards, and the Lord General's Troop of Horse Guards. The mounted unit was later merged into The Life Guards. That historic moment dates the career of the Regiment as personal guards to the Sovereign. In 1670, after Monck's death, the Regiment was officially granted its already much used title - the Coldstream Guards.

Coldstreamers have fought many wars and kept the peace. They marched under the 1st Duke of Marlborough, and bear on their Colours, among many others, the names of Wellington's famous Peninsula battles and that of Waterloo. They have proved themselves on the South African Veldt; in Flanders; through the many campaigns of the Second World War; in Malaya; and in South Arabia. Always they have served with integrity.

The Uniforms
The Coldstream Guards wear red plumes on the right of their bearskin caps, and their buttons are spaced in pairs. A garter star is worn on the collar, while a rose appears on soldier's epaulettes.


The Coldstream Guards

Officers bearskins are taller than those of other ranks and slightly tapered in shape. The band on the Lance Corporal's forage cap is white, hence the Regiment's nickname 'The Lily-whites'.


The Coldstream Guards

General Monck's snuffbox.


The Coldstream Guards

The Dunbar Medal, the first campaign medal to be awarded. The medal bore the head of Cromwell.


The Coldstream Guards

After 'sounding the alarm' in Canada, the grateful Coldstream Guards brought Jacob the goose back to London as their regimental pet.


The Coldstream Guards

The Defence of Hougoumont, 1815.


The Coldstream Guards

Battle honours on display.


The Coldstream Guards

The Waterloo Medal.

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