How many blokes have died for the Union Jack?

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by BaldricksBullet, Jun 23, 2007.

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  1. Reading Sharpe... someone has to. And on the cover there's a pile of dead frenchmen (hurrah!) and a smaller pile of dead redcoats (not hurrah)(no greenjackets - they appear to be bulletproof).

    So it got me thinking... the Brits ++ love a scrap, which has a downside. I couldn't even begin to think how many soldiers have been lost in the last 2 centuries. Anyone care to guess... or does anyone actually know?
  2. Fcukin Millions!
  3. Why 'last 2 centuries'? The British Armed Forces were as busy before Ireland joined the Union in 1801, you know. If your thesis is about the Union Flag; the original, in recognition of the joining of England and Scotland, dates back to 1606. However, the unification of the English and Scottish armies, and thereby the birth of 'the British Army', did not occur until alignment of government in 1707.

    There are several articles on Wikipedia that are worth a look (however, beware of quoting anything you read there (which, incidentally, is exactly what I have done)).

    Anyway, my point is: Decide on your target dates and then research the casualty figures for each campaign during the period identified. Any good encyclopaedia will likely have gross figures.
  4. Not sure about the Union Jack, but im sure plenty have died for the Union Flag!
  5. Actually, and at the risk of sounding like a complete bore, even if the term "Union Jack" does derive from its use as a naval jack flag, after three centuries of use, it is now sanctioned by that use, has appeared in official documentation numorous times as such, and, most importantly, is the popular term for our state flag. So, whilst you may well be technically correct it terms of its historical origins, the original poster is also right; the state flag of Great Britain is known as the Union Jack and it is IMO entirely appropriate to refer to it as such.
  6. Not forgetting all the Colonial wars
  7. Remaining off-topic but, I refer you to the following article, which supports my assertion (indeed, I paraphrased directly from it in my post above):

    'Even if the term "Union Jack" does derive from the jack flag (as perhaps seems most likely), after three centuries, it is now sanctioned by use, has appeared in official use, and remains the popular term.'
  8. And quoting from wikipedia makes it accurate you think??? :roll:

    The Union Flag is only referred to as the Union Jack when it is flying from the Jackstaff of HM Ships. At no other time is it referred to as the Union Jack.

    Plain ignorance has meant that over the years it is called the Union Jack ashore.
  9. back in the day when everyone brother and uncle was in the royal navy, when they where so used to calling it a 'Union Jack' on their big boats, when they came ashore they kept calling it Union Jack, so the mass population started to copy, mainly because half of them was in the navy...
  10. We are way down the list of war dead in each of the last three centuries. We barely make the top twenty let alone the top ten. This is in part due to the fact that Britain never had a policy of conscription whereas other world powers had substantial standing armies.

    During the period 1815 to 1914 the British Army had the lowest number of military deaths of any of the major powers of the time. France, the US, Austria, Germany, Russia, China, Japan, Russia, Turkey, Spain and even Mexico lost more men in war than the British.
  11. Thanks, P+. That illustrates my point nicely. That is to say, if enough people use a term in a particular way for a prolonged period of time, it becomes common useage and is therefore, by definition, correct. How else do we think languages are formed? One of the things that make language great (and arguably English in particular) is that it is constantly evolving. IMO, it is only 'ignorance' that prevents it from doing so.

  12. Still off topic, this is my understanding of the naming of the flag.
  13. Schaden

    Schaden LE Book Reviewer

    Couldn't say....lot died for their mates though....
  14. It is often stated that the Union Flag should only be described as the Union Jack when flown in the bows of a warship, but this is a relatively recent idea. From early in its life the Admiralty itself frequently referred to the flag as the Union Jack, whatever its use, and in 1902 an Admiralty Circular announced that Their Lordships had decided that either name could be used officially. Such use was given parliamentary approval in 1908 when it was stated that "the Union Jack should be regarded as the National flag".

    Graham Bartram, 29 May 1999

    from Source