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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

royalty in world war one


Edward
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I've been looking at some members of royalty killed during the war and I was curious as to the extent of the losses suffered by nobles and royalty as such. I know that in germany, Prince Heinrich of Bavaria, Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia and Prince Frederick John of Saxe-Meiningen as well as england's Prince Maurice of Battenberg and Sir Walter Balfour Barttelot, 3rd Baronet were killed during the war. Can any one include any other names, particulary to the royalty and nobles of places like russia and former royalty in france?

thanks

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Fergus Bowes-Lyon, son of the 14th Earl of Strathmore and brother of the future Queen. Killed at the battle of Loos 1915.

Also, at one of the CWGC in/near Ypres, there is a grave for a Belgian Prince - can't remember the details, may be a WW2 grave.

Andrew

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I do not understand the rules, as far as Germany is concerned, as to who is "royalty", "nobility", and who may be a "von", or not, and who is of a royal or noble family but are not "royalty" or "nobility" themselves, but certainly in Germany the number killed in WW I must have run into the thousands. It is a good question as to whom is "royalty"; there had been about 300 independent German states. My father had a friend whose family name was "Prinz" (later one of them ran Mercedes-Benz), he was sort of old-fashioned, a "Doktor", and he fancied himself "Prinz von Heimar" (the family seat), which was in a sense literally true, as he was amused to the reaction of people, and this deception and private joke went on for 50 years, long after he was dead.

Bob Lembke

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Captain The Hon. Arthur Edward Bruce O'Neill, 2nd Life Guards. Son of 2nd Baron O'Neill and Lady O'Neill, of Shanes Castle, Co. Antrim, Ireland; husband of Lady Annabel O'Neill (later Lady Annabel Dodds).

Arthur was killed near Ypres on 6th Nov 1914, was the Member of Parliament for Mid-Antrim and the first M.P. to be killed during the Great War. He is among the Missing recorded on the Memin Gate.

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for Belgium you can add prince Baudouin de Ligne kia 05/09/14, also serving in the Belgian army were the French Princes Sixtus and Xavier de Bourbon-Parme (their sister Zita was the last empress of Austria-Hungary

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WWI shreaded the nobility in the UK. Previously the armed forces had been the option for the 'spares;' the 'heirs' were too valuable. In WWI whilst the Prince of Wales was kept from the fighting services, that didn't hold true for other heirs and many were lost. Amongst the consequences of that was a loss of many stately homes: estates were hit by death duties and the loss of the vested interest in maintaining them.

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Hello all

I can't remember where I saw it, or what the exact figure was, but I believe that about 500 or so members of British noble families (i.e. where the head of the family, not necessarily the victim's father, was a duke, marquess, earl, viscount or baron) were killed or died of wounds. I think Prince Maurice of Battenberg was the only member of the Royal Family who was killed - that is, if you exclude the Russian royals.

In WW2, death duties were not levied on the estates of those killed in action or dying of wounds. I am not sure if this also applied in WW1: perhaps eviltaxman can tell us?

Ron

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There is a book " The Aristocracy and the Great War" by Gerald Gliddon. It covers some 600 out of 680 families. The coverage is light on Scotland and Ireland. This book lists a total of 270 aristocrats killed.

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King George V has 2 service records online:

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documen...mp;mediaarray=*

Prince Albert, Duke of York, served at Jutland; at the risk of straying off topic he was later known as King George VI. His service record is also online:

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documen...p;resultcount=1

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There is a book " The Aristocracy and the Great War" by Gerald Gliddon. It covers some 600 out of 680 families. The coverage is light on Scotland and Ireland. This book lists a total of 270 aristocrats killed.

Thanks Tom.

That is the source I had in mind, but I couldn't remember the details.

Ron

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In WW2, death duties were not levied on the estates of those killed in action or dying of wounds. I am not sure if this also applied in WW1: perhaps eviltaxman can tell us?

They certainly were levied in WW1, I can think of an estate in South Bedfordshire (near Caddington) where a father, eldest son and second son all died in action in that order (one winning the VC), death duties were applied three times in quick succession and the family lost the estate. It has been suggested that Lloyd George saw it as a means of breaking the landed gentry.

Edit: the family in question was Collings - Wells

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Another 4

GLAZEBROOK, PHILIP KIRKLAND - MP HERE

KAY-SHUTTLEWORTH, The Hon. EDWARD JAMES HERE

MILLS, The Hon. CHARLES THOMAS - HERE

DE RUTZEN, Baron ALAN FREDERICK JAMES - HERE

Andy

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Thanks for the responses. I have learned alot . As far as who is royalty or the nobility, I guess is in the eye of the beholder. I would assume that in the united kingdom most of the nobility would have served in a guard's unit. Would I be correct in thinking that?

Thanks

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I would assume that in the united kingdom most of the nobility would have served in a guard's unit. Would I be

No, As I posted above, from Kings downwards the Royal Navy also took its fair share of the nobility. The Duke of Westminster served with the Royal Naval Air Service Armoured Car Division.

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I would assume that in the united kingdom most of the nobility would have served in a guard's unit. Would I be correct in thinking that?

No. Quite a few of them did, but just a few examples:

Hon Fergus Bowes-Lyon, son of the Earl of Strathmore, and brother of the future Queen Elizabeth, served in the Black Watch.

Prince Maurice of Battenberg, a grandson of Queen Victoria, served in the King's Royal Rifle Corps.

Geveral the Hon. Sir Julian Byng, who I believe was the younger son of an Earl, served in 10th Hussars.

Many noble families, especially in Scotland, had long-standing connections with certain regiments (perhaps raised by an ancestor) and their kinfolk tended to serve with that regiment.

The rules on royalty in Britain were greatly simplified by King George V. Basically, to qualify for the title Royal Highness you have to be the child of a past or present Sovereign, or the child of one of the sons of a past or present Sovereign. There are exceptions: Prince Philip was created HRH on his marriage to the present Queen, and I think that her children have been HRH from birth, but she was the Heiress Presumptive to George VI.

Thus, the children of Princess Anne and the late Princess Margaret, though undoubtedly members of the Royal Family, are not Royal Highnesses.

Similar rules apply to the noble families.

Ron

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Thanks for the responses. I have learned alot . As far as who is royalty or the nobility, I guess is in the eye of the beholder. I would assume that in the united kingdom most of the nobility would have served in a guard's unit. Would I be correct in thinking that?

Thanks

I don't think so. Most upper class would have been officers and so spread through all army. There would have been a concentration in cavalry units as well as Guards. The late Queen Mother's brother was an officer in 8th Black Watch, a New Army battalion, when killed but had prewar service in India in 2nd B.W.

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Interesting topic, but very hard to judge !

- Some photos show the presence of the English King, behind the front, viewing ww1.

- A zeppelin raid has been forbidden above Arras (BE and GB kings had there a gathering) and has been redirected to the belgian coast.

Gilbert Deraedt

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Photo of Indian Royalty visiting the front. The Maharajah of somewhere. If we extend this topic beyond the original question we could go on endlessly - Royalty equals nobility Nobility does not equal Royalty. Ie most noble are not royalty

post-9885-1235771862.jpg

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They certainly were levied in WW1, I can think of an estate in South Bedfordshire (near Caddington) where a father, eldest son and second son all died in action in that order (one winning the VC), death duties were applied three times in quick succession and the family lost the estate. It has been suggested that Lloyd George saw it as a means of breaking the landed gentry.

Edit: the family in question was Collings - Wells

I recall reading about that case many years ago. The manner in which that familiy were bled both on the battlefield and by the government was absolutely criminal.

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