The British Army is the largest force within the British Armed Forces; the RAF and the Royal Navy
being of similar size. The Royal Marines is a branch of the Naval Service and is known as the UK’s
amphibious light infantry force.
It interesting to compare the size of the military fighting force today, and in the two world wars
in 1914 and 1939 respectively. The first year of World War One saw an incredible 1,186,337
sign up as part of the war effort, this is compared to half a million who volunteered at
the start of World War Two - soon after compulsory conscription was introduced.
There are 485 horses serving in the UK Armed Forces
and are split between in the
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, the Household Division
and at the Defence Animal Centre. They serve a purely ceremonial role. The 1st Military
Working Dog Regiment
has the ability to surge to a maximum capacity of 384
. These dogs can be involved in anything from counter insurgency operations, the
detection of Improvised Explosive Devices, assistance in the searching of routes, buildings and
vehicles, enhancing security and patrolling key installations. Lance Corporal Derby
was recently promoted to the rank of Private
, which might not sound so
strange, until you realise LCpl Derby XXIX is actually a pedigree Swaledale ram
He’s actually the Mercian Regimental Mascot
; many regiments have been known to
have animal mascots - the Royal Welsh Regiment have a goat called Fusilier Llywelyn!