Unique Features of the HAC
Coat of Arms
The Coat of Arms of the Company is a Shield of Arms, Helm, Mantling and Crest, with, as Supporters, a Pikeman and a Musketeer and the motto ‘Arma Pacis Fulcra’. Unlike other Regiments of the British Army, the HAC is incorporated and is therefore eligible to bear and use a Coat of Arms. The Grant of Arms, Crest and Supporters to the Company are believed to date from circa 1615 and the Coat of Arms appear as the frontispiece to a military manual published in 1629. In 1821 the Company received a formal grant to bear Arms from the King of Arms.
The motto of the HAC is ‘Arma Pacis Fulcra’, which can be loosely translated as ‘Armed Strength for Peace’. It has probably been in use for at least three hundred years and can be seen on the earliest known reproduction of the Coat of Arms of the Company, which dates from 1629.
The Company is known to have possessed Colours since the 17th Century. The Colours on display at Armoury House are those presented by HRH Alexandra, Princess of Wales, in 1864 and in 1894, together with the Colours presented by HRH The Prince of Wales, KG (afterwards King Edward VIII), in 1928. More recently, Colours were presented by HM The Queen in 1955, 1980 and on 18th May 2007. The Colours are the Colours of the Company as a whole and bear Battle Honours won in South Africa and the First and Second World Wars, not only by the Infantry Battalions but also by the Artillery Batteries.
The Company has been awarded the following battle honours:
* South Africa, 1900-02 * Ypres, 1915-17 * Somme, 1916-18 * Ancre Heights * Ancre, 1916 * Arras, 1917-18 * Scarpe, 1917-18 * Arleux * Bullecourt * Pilckem * Polygon Wood * Broodseinde * Poelcappelle * Passchendaele * Amiens * Albert, 1918 * Bapaume, 1918 * Drocourt-Quéant * Hindenburg Line * Épéhy * St Quentin Canal * Cambrai, 1918 * Selle * Sambre * France and Flanders, 1914-18 * Piave * Vittorio Veneto * Italy, 1917-18 * Rafah * Egypt, 1915-17 * Gaza * El Mughar * Jerusalem * Jordan * Megiddo * Sharon * Damascus * Palestine, 1917-18 * Aden * Bourguebus Ridge * Antwerp * Le Havre * Rhine * North West Europe, 1944-45 * Knightsbridge * El Alamein * El Hamma * Sbiba * Thala * Tunis * North Africa, 1941-43 * Sicily, 1943 * Cassino II * Coriano * Senio * Italy, 1944-45
King Edward VII bestowed on the Company the distinction of a special ribbon for the Volunteer Decoration and Volunteer Long Service Medal. The honour extends to the same medals under the Territorial designations. The ribbon is of red and blue, edged with narrow yellow stripes which were the household colours of King Edward VII.
Ancient Vellum Book
The Ancient Vellum Book is a folio volume of 165 parchment pages, inscribed with the names of those admitted to the Company between 1611 and 1682. Most names have been inscribed but the earliest pages include the autographs of Captains-General and Colonels of the Company, and of distinguished visitors and guests (up to 1796). Almost every monarch from King Charles II to King George IV signed the book. It includes the signatures of many other notable figures from the 17th Century. In 1890 a new Vellum Book was created to continue the roll of Captains-General and other distinguished members. Queen Victoria was an early signatory and the book is still in use.
Twice a year, at the end of February and the end of September, the members receive a copy of the Company’s “Journal”. This is an illustrated booklet of approximately 150 pages, containing news of events and activities (past and future), book reviews, obituaries and articles submitted by members. The Active Unit is a major contributor. The "Journal" is used to assist the recruiting effort, and is sent to outside bodies who have an interest in the Company’s activities, e.g. the affiliated schools; the Officers’ Mess, the Grenadier Guards. The February edition also contains the necessary notices for the Annual General Court, held in March.
A newsletter, known as “Regimental Fire”, is sent out in May and November to inform members of forthcoming events and specifically to encourage attendance at the St George’s Dinner and the Summer Lunches.