Regimental Historian YouTube channel

We’re thrilled to  share  with  you Household Cavalry Regimental Historian Christopher Joll’s new  YouTube channel. Adding visuals to his wildly popular podcast  Not a Lot of People Know This  as well as his new series  Spoils of War, this entertaining and fascinating channel is totally free and not to be missed.


Click here for the link and starting watching now.


VE Day 75

Victory in Europe Day

On 8 May 1945 church bells rang and people cheered to share their joy- a national day of celebration for the end of the Second World War.

In 2020 instead of commemorating this joyous day with street parties and parades as planned, the world is in lock-down due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

This important moment will not go unacknowledged however, and for many this time of reflection and gratitude will be all the more poignant due to our temporary seeming loss of liberty. A small price to pay for the safety of our loved ones and to protect the NHS.

No matter how we each choose to commemorate the moment, we all join the world in thanking those who came before us; those who made possible the freedoms we currently miss so much.
To them we say thank you. To each other we say We’ll Meet Again.

There are so many wonderful ways to enjoy and acknowledge commemorations today. Once you’ve finished all our activities (and the 50hrs+ of swashbuckling audio adventures from our Regimental Historian Christopher Joll!) why not make the most of:

The National Army Museum’s Virtual VE Day Festival with art activities, classic cooking and amazing music;

The  BBC’s live radio and television coverage of the day (schedule below) which follows last nights wonderful documentary on Dame Vera Lynn featuring testimony from veterans whose lives she touched.

BBC live events scheduled on Friday

10.50am: A service in Westminster

11.00am: A national moment of remembrance and a two-minute silence

2.45pm: Extracts from Churchill’s victory speech to the nation will be broadcast

2.55pm: Solo buglers, trumpeters and cornet players are invited to play the Last Post from their homes

3.00pm: The nation are asked to raise a glass in a national toast, saying: “To those who gave so much, we thank you”

8.00pm: Music special featuring Welsh soprano Katherine Jenkins and Beverley Knight, culminating with a national to sing along to wartime classic We’ll Meet Again

9.00pm: The Queen’s pre-recorded address will be broadcast on BBC One.

9.30pm: Spotlights will light up the sky in Portsmouth to recall the experience of blackouts during the war and to remind people “that lighter times will come again”

IMAGE SOURCES: BBC news website


Speedicut novels and Desert Island Disaster

It’s armchair adventure time thanks to our Regimental Historian, Christopher Joll.

Enjoy his a one-act play entitled ‘Desert Island Disaster’ and chapter-by-chapter recordings of his first two Speedicut novels: Flashman’s Secret and Love & Other Bloodsports. Over 50 hours of joyful listening entertainment.

Listen to the audio-books here.

History Hit with Dan Snow and Christopher Joll

History lovers will be well aware of the great work of Dan Snow, but did you know that as well as his hugely popular podcast series he also runs History Hit TV, the online video on demand service?


This positive Aladdin’s Cave of exciting content has now added a fantastic new episode- with our very own Regimental Historian Christopher Joll:

Loot? Spoils? Artefacts? What to Do with Our Museums

Our museums are full of stuff taken, bought, stolen and gifted from foreign countries. It feels like we face a reckoning. What shall we do with it? I talked to two authors of new books that wrestle with this. Christopher Joll is a former soldier who deals specifically with the spoils of war, while Alice Proctor thinks more generally about all objects and where they are best placed and how best to interpret them.

Watch the TV show  here  or listen to the podcast   here.

Leaders Council of Great Britain and Northern Ireland interview

Museum Director, Alice Pearson appears in Leaders Council podcast alongside Geoff Hurst.

You can listen to the podcast in full here.

The Leaders Council of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is currently in the process of talking to leadership figures from across the nation in an attempt to understand this universal trait and what it means in Britain and Northern Ireland today.

Alice Pearson, Director of The Household Cavalry Museum was invited onto an episode of the podcast, which also included an interview with Geoff Hurst. Host Matthew O’Neill asked both guests a series of questions about leadership and the role it has played in their careers to date.
Matthew O’Neill commented, ‘Hosting a show like this, where you speak to genuine leaders who have been there and done it, either on a national stage or within a crucial industry sector, is an absolute honour.’

Lord Blunkett, chairman of The Leaders Council of Great Britain and Northern Ireland said, ‘I think the most informative element of each episode is the first part, where Matthew O’Neill is able to sit down with someone who really gets how their industry works and knows how to make their organisation tick. Someone who’s there day in day out working hard and inspiring others. That’s what leadership is all about.’

Not a Lot of People Know This… podcast

A weekly series of podcasts about the Regiments of the Household Cavalry
written and recorded by the Regimental Historian, Christopher Joll, formerly of The Life Guards.

These anecdotes are drawn from Christopher Joll’s recently published books:

The Drum Horse in the Fountain: Tales of the Heroes; Rogues in the Guards


Spoils of War: The Treasures, Trophies & Trivia of the British Army

Both books are published by Nine Elms Books and are obtainable from or

Downloads here (text PDF and audio MP3):

Not a Lot of People Know This – Podcast 1 – text

Not a Lot of People Know This – Podcast 1 – audio

Not a Lot of People Know This – Podcast 2 – text

Not a Lot of People Know This – Podcast 2 – audio

Not a Lot of People Know This – Podcast 3 – audio 

Not a Lot of People Know This – Podcast 3 – text

Not a Lot of People Know This – Podcast 4 – audio 

Not a Lot of People Know This – Podcast 4 – text

Not a Lot of People Know This – Podcast 5 – audio 

Not a Lot of People Know This – Podcast 5 – text

Not a Lot of People Know This – Podcast 6 – audio 

Not a Lot of People Know This – Podcast 6 – text

Not a Lot of People Know This – Podcast 7 – audio 

Not a Lot of People Know This – Podcast 7 – text

Not a Lot of People Know This – Podcast 8 – audio

Not a Lot of People Know This – Podcast 8 – text

Not a Lot of People Know This – Podcast 9 – audio

Not a Lot of People Know This – Podcast 9 – text

Not a Lot of People Know This – Podcast 10 – audio

Not a Lot of People Know This – Podcast 10 – text



CastleTrek Challenge raises £20,000 for charities

CastleTrek have completed their mammoth 480 mile challenge from Windsor Castle to Edinburgh Castle in only 10 days and raised £20,000 for the Household Cavalry Foundation and the Royal British Legion in the process.

See them cross the (rather wet) finishing line here.

Find out more about their epic journey here.

and once you’re rightly impressed, HELP THEM RAISE MORE by donating here.

Thank you.


Castle Trek

The Household Cavalry Museum support the Castle Trek challenge!

We’re hugely excited to be supporting the Regiment’s Castle Trek team as they undertake a 446 mile walk from Windsor Castle to Edinburgh Castle over 10 days to raise funds for the Household Cavalry Foundation and the Royal British Legion.


From 31 March we will be displaying kit, rations and planning information to help visitors understand what it takes to accomplish such a great achievement.


From July we’ll be following their progress from start to finish with an on-site map and on-line social media posts.


On 7 August this epic journey will end with the lads crossing the finishing line as part of the Edinburgh Tattoo.
Tickets are available now at

For further information please see their website through which offers of help and support are also much appreciated.


29th July – Windsor to Bletchley (starting at Windsor Castle)


30th July – Bletchley to Coleshill


31st July – Coleshill to Derby


1st August – Derby to Doncaster


2nd August – Doncaster to York


3rd August – York to Catterick


4th August – Catterick to Sunderland


5th August – Sunderland to Otterburn


6th August – Otterburn to Kelso to Peebles


7th August – Peebles to Edinburgh (being at Edinburgh castle for the tattoo)


The Marquis of Granby

On this day, July 31st, a great military tradition attached to our regiment was born… and the heritage of a great many pubs founded.

The Battle of Warburg, July 31st 1760: Fighting in the Seven Years War rages on between an allied coalition of British and Hanoverian forces against a French army.

Whilst leading the Blues in battle, the regiment’s beloved Colonel John Manners, Marquis of Granby, loses his hat and wig in a gallant charge and carries on until the battle is won. As the dust settles the hero is forced to salute his commanding officer bareheaded...

Though unheard of at the time, this moment gave birth to a tradition that continues to this day: still now, non-commissioned officers and troopers of the Blues and Royals are the only soldiers in the British Army allowed to salute without headdress.

John Manners, Marquis of Granby

One of the many notable figures in the Household Cavalry’s history, John Manners, Marquis of Granby was a prominent figure, known not just in the regiment, but throughout the whole British Army.

Born 2nd January 1721, eldest son of the 3rd Duke of Rutland, by the tender age of 20 he was serving as an MP for the borough of Grantham, and aged just 25 received a military commission as Colonel of a regiment raised by his father to fight the Jacobite uprising under Bonnie Prince Charlie. Whilst the regiment remained at Newcastle, Granby volunteered to accompany the Duke of Cumberland on the final stages of a campaign into Scotland and was present at the Battle of Culloden, 16th April 1746.

When Manners’s regiment mutinied due to lack of payment, he paid them out of his own pocket before they were disbanded. He retained his rank and campaigned in Flanders in 1747, serving as an Intelligence Officer for Cumberland and gaining an even greater reputation as a soldier and a leader of men.

By 1752, Manners was suggested for the position of Colonel of the Royal Horse Guards (the Blues) but it took a further 6 years of parliamentary advancement before he gained the Royal support required for such a position. On 18th March 1755 he was promoted to Major-General and finally appointed Colonel of the Blues on 27th May 1758.

Granby was one of the first officers to not only recognise the importance of welfare and morale amongst troops, but to address the issue. The impact of his leadership changed the character of British soldiering and thus so improved, the properly led army proved unbeatable in war. As a sign of respect, nearly all portraits of Granby depict him mounting a horse, or helping the wounded.

To this day, Granby is particularly remembered in the military for his custom of helping old soldiers from his regiment retire into sustainable work, ensuring they were able to support both themselves and their families. Subsequently, and perhaps more widely appreciated, he is believed to have more public houses in Britain named after him than any other person!

The Household Battalion: Passchendaele

An excerpt from the Household Cavalry Regiment Battlefield Tour of the Salient: the Household Battalion.

By mid 1917 The Russian army had disintegrated in Revolution and gone home, the French battered by unreasonable calls on their courage and endurance had mutinied and effectively removed themselves from the fight, or at least from any thoughts of further attacks for the time being and the Americans, although now in the war, had not yet arrived in any numbers. The weight of the 1917 offensives fell, disproportionately, on the shoulders of the British Expeditionary Force and Imperial troops.

Passchendaele, the 3rd Battle of Ypres began on 31st July 1917 with the initial aim, rapidly proved to be impossible, of breaking through the German lines and heading in strength towards the channel coast. It is depressing but needs to be said at this stage, that 3rd Battle of Ypres, although neither as long nor as bloody as the Somme in 1916, killed and wounded more British soldiers per mile of territory gained: 8,200 as opposed to 5,000 on the Somme.

The Household Battalion was not involved in the early part of the battle as they were still recovering from their mauling at Arras. On 12th October they went back into action at Poelcappelle against a few pillboxes and blockhouse marked on the maps as Requette farm where fighting had been going on since 9th October. The battle, if it can be called such, was a shambles and men were lost by drowning in mud and flooded shell holes. The farm was taken by part of a company, held briefly and lost again as the remnants of the Battalion fell back under its last three remaining officers all of whom had started the day in the Support companies. The Battalion was utterly exhausted and not a single NCO above the rank of Corporal remained unwounded.
The Battalion was relieved that night by their own reserve under the command of the CO, the Adjutant and the Battalion Corporal Major.

The reckoning was the loss of over 400 casualties for a temporary advance of 600 yards of shell shattered swamp. The Battalion went back into rest at Arras where it received its final draft of 400 reinforcements from Windsor.

Read more about the Household Cavalry Regimental Associations’ Battlefield Tour to Ypres here.