Ever wonder what it is about the month of October? So many battles: 1942: The Second Battle of El Alamein. 1899: Battle at Rietfontein, South Africa. 1854: Charge of the light brigade Crimean War. 1805: Trafalgar. 1781: The American War of Independence ends with the surrender of Lord Cornwallis to George Washington. 1066: Battle of Hastings and 25th October 1415: the battle of Agincourt. (St Crispins Day) .

On that day an exhausted sick and starving English army, are faced by a confident foe outnumbering them four to one, led not by Charles V1 but Charles d’Albret. Forced into battle and against all odds, they annihilate the French and slaughtered the flower of French nobility.

‘King Henry 5’ :

 “If we are mark’d to die, we are enow To do our country loss; and if to live, The fewer men, the greater share of honour. God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more. By Jove, I am not covetous for gold, Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost; It yearns me not if men my garments wear; Such outward things dwell not in my desires. But if it be a sin to covet honour, I am the most offending soul alive. No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England. God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour As one man more methinks would share from me For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more! Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host, That he which hath no stomach to this fight, Let him depart; his passport shall be made, And crowns for convoy put into his purse; We would not die in that man’s company That fears his fellowship to die with us. This day is call’d the feast of Crispian. He that outlives this day, and comes safe home, Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d, And rouse him at the name of Crispian. He that shall live this day, and see old age, Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours, And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian.’ Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars, And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispian’s day.’ Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot, But he’ll remember, with advantages, What feats he did that day. Then shall our names, Familiar in his mouth as household words- Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter, Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester- Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red. This story shall the good man teach his son; And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by, From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remembered- We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition; And gentlemen in England now-a-bed Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.”

Wm. Shakespeare [1564 – 1616]



    • lol – this country can keep me going for a while – maybe November will be about revolutions or attempted ones – starting on 05.11.2010 !! 🙂

  1. A good post. Shakespeare brings back memories of school – we studied Henry V.
    But is there a month of the year in which there were no notable battles? Perhaps December? I have no idea – history is not my strong point.

  2. My father was massively into British naval history and had i been born a day earlier I would have had the good fortune to be named Trafalgar Emma Victoria (TREV for short) so Trafalgar day is always gratefully observed!

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