Military Organisation

Pre-1922 Organization Tree - British Military Structure &
the Coldstream House Collection

This page is an outline of the British Military as it existed before 1922. Many regiments have since changed names, amalgamated, disbanded and changed seniority. Where possible & relevant, a very small number of these changes have been noted.

Other pages on this site relevant to understanding this page:
Meanings of Catalog Numbers
Category of Articles
Order of Dress
British Monarchs & Uniform Periods

British Military Branches

  1. 100s: Army
    1. 110 Staff
      1. 111 General Officers
        1. 111-1 Field Marshal (FM)
        2. 111-2 General (Gen.)
        3. 111-3 Lieutenant General (Lt. Gen.)
        4. 111-4 Major General (Maj. Gen.)
        5. 111-5 Brigadier General (before 1922) (Brig. Gen.)

      2. 112 Brigadiers & Colonels (after 1922) (On the staff, but NOT a General Officer)
        1. 112-1 Brigadiers (Brig.) Could be a staff officer or a commanding officer of a Brigade
        2. 112-2 Colonels (Col.) Army Rank - Could be a staff officer or a commanding officer.
        3. 112-3 Special uniforms for Staff Officers below the rank of Colonel were abolished after WWI - While they may be granted Staff status for performing "extra-regimental duties," they would not have had separate uniforms. Army officer ranks below Colonel are as follows:
          • Lieutenant Colonel (Lt. Col.)
          • Major (Maj.)
          • Captain (Capt.)
          • Lieutenant (Lt.)
          • 2nd Lieutenant (2Lt.)

      3. 113 ADCs (Aides-de-Camp) & Equerries
        1. Aide-de-Camp to the Queen
        2. Equerry to the Queen

    2. 120 Cavalry
      1. 121 Household Cavalry
        : 3 Regiments before 1922; 1st & 2nd Life Guards amalgamated into "The Life Guards."
        • 121-1LG - 1st Life Guards
        • 121-2LG - 2nd Life Guards (These two combined in 1922)
        • 121-3RHG - Royal Horse Guards ("The Blues")
      2. 122 Dragoon Guards("Regiments of Horse" ca. late 18th c.)- 7 Regiments:
        • 122-1DG - 1st (King's) Dragoon Guards
        • 122-2DG - 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queens Bays)
        • 122-3DG - 3rd (Prince of Wales's) Dragoon Guards
        • 122-4DG - 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards
        • 122-5DG - 5th (Princess Charlotte of Wales's) Dragoon Guards
        • 122-6DG - 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers)
        • 122-7DG - 7th (Princess Royal's) Dragoon Guards
      3. 123 Dragoons
        • 123-1D - 1st (Royal) Dragoons - also the "Royals"
        • 123-2D - 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) - "Greys"
        • 123-6D - 6th (Iniskilling) Dragoons - "Skins"
        (Only regiments 1, 2 & 6 are Dragoons. Some became "Light Dragoons," & some of them were converted into Hussars & some into Lancers. 3rd, 4th, 7th 8th, 10th, 11th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 18th, 19th, 20th are Hussars. 5th, 9th, 12th, 16th, 17th, 21st are Lancers)
      4. 124 Hussars (12 regiments - converted from "Light Dragoons" in 19th century)
        • 124-3H - 3rd (Kings Own) Hussars
        • 124-4H - 4th (Queen's Own) Hussars
        • 124-7H - 7th (Queen's Own) Hussars
        • 124-8H - 8th (King's Royal Irish) Hussars
        • 124-10H - 10th (Prince of Wales's Own) Hussars - "Chainy 10th" "Shiney 10th"
        • 124-11H - 11th (Prince Albert's Own) Hussars - "Cherrypickers"
        • 124-13H - 13th Husssars
        • 124-14H - 14th (King's) Hussars
        • 124-15H - 15th (The King's) Hussars
        • 124-18H - 18th (Queen Mary's Own) Hussars
        • 124-19H - 19th (Queen Alexandra's Own Royal) Hussars
        • 124-20H - 20th Hussars
      5. 125 Lancers
        • 125-5L - 5th (Royal Irish) Lancers
        • 125-9L - 9th (Queen's Royal) Lancers
        • 125-12L - 12th (Prince of Wales's Royal) Lancers
        • 125-16L - 16th (The Queen's) Lancers
        • 125-17L - 17th (Duke of Cambridge's Own) Lancers - "Death or Glory" skull & bones
        • 125-21L2 - 21st Lancers (Empress of India's)

      6. 126 Yeomanry (55 regiments)

      7. 127 Royal Armoured Corps
        Armored cars and tanks. Includes recon, etc. Cavalry became Royal Armour Corps during WWII, adding tank regiments, which came from Tank Corps, which became Royal Tank Corps, and then became Royal Tank Regiment

    3. 130 Arms
      1. 131 Royal Horse Artillery - RHA (fire salute at tower of london for queen's bday)
      2. 132 Royal Artillery - RA
      3. 133 Royal Engineers - RE
      4. 134 Royal Signals - RSig (sometimes RCS) (branched off from engineers - had motorcycles & would perform demonstrations)

    4. 140 Infantry
      1. 141 Foot Guards - 5 regiments
        1. 141-1.GG Grenadier Guards - GG
        2. 141-2.CG Coldstream Guards - CG
        3. 141-3.SG Scots Guards - SG
        4. 141-4.IG Irish Guards - IG
        5. 141-5.WG Welsh Guards - WG
      2. 142 Line Infantry - 42 County Regiments +26 specialty regiments (Fusiliers, Rifles, etc.)
      3. 143 Fusiliers - Bearskin or racoon skin caps
      4. 144 Light Infantry - green helmets
      5. 145 Scottish Infantry dress v. different
      6. 146 Rifles
      7. 147 Gurkha Rifles
      8. 148 Army Air Corps - Part of Army (as opposed to RAF): glider parachute, special air service - now includes attack & transport helicopters
      9. 149 Volunteers & London Regiments (not regular Army)

    5. 150 Services (9 departments & corps)
      1. 151-RAChD - Royal Army Chaplain's Department (later first rank)
      2. 152-RASC - Royal Army Service Corps
      3. 153-RAMC - Royal Army Medical Corps
      4. 154-RAOC - Royal Army Ordnance Corps
      5. 155-RMP - Royal Military Police & Military Mounted Police
      6. 156-RAPC - Royal Army Pay Corps
      7. 157-RAVC - Royal Army Veterinary Department (dress similar to cavalry)
      8. 158-RAEC - Royal Army Education Corps
      9. 159-RADC - Royal Army Dental Corps

    6. 160 Services (After WWII)
      1. 161 REME - Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineering (formed out of RAOC)
      2. 162 RPC - Royal Pioneer Corps
      3. 163 Intelligence Corps (Intel Corps)
      4. 164 APTC - Army Physical Training Corps
      5. 165 ACC - Army Catering Corps
    7. 170 Women's (1902-1992)
      1. (171) QARANC - Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps
      2. (172) WRAC - Women's Royal Army Corps
    8. 180 Schools & Colleges
      1. (181) Royal Military College Sandhurst - Cavalry & Infantry Officers
      2. (182) Royal Military Academy Woolwich - Artillery & Engineering Officers
      3. (183) After WW2 they combined to form "Royal Military Academy Sandhurst"

  2. (200) Navy (incl. Marines)
  3. (300) Airforce
  4. (400) Civil
  5. (court/diplomatic/colonial non-military, but wore uniforms)

Other Countries (most no longer represented in the Coldstream House collection.)

  • G - Germany
    German states:
    • GP - Prussia
    • GB - Bavaria
    • GW - Wurttenberg
    • GS - Saxony
    • GBd - Baden
    • GH - Hesson
  • F - France
  • R - Russia
  • US- United States
  • A - Austria (no longer own any)

Sources:
- Swinson, Arthur, ed. A Register of the Regiments and Corps of the British Army: The ancestry of the regiments and corps of the Regular Establishment. London: The Archive Press, 1972. Print.
- H.M. Stationary Office, The Monthly Army List, November 1913. London: J.J. Keliher & Co. Ltd., 1913.

Copyright 2009 M.C. Tsen
Coldstream House - PO Box 374 - Stoddard, NH 03464 USA 603.446.7100 - fax 603.446.7400

Updated, written & maintained by Kelly Taylor | kellybrietaylor{at}gmail{dot}com