Commemorating the US prisoners of 1812-14 at the American cemetery at Dartmoor Prison. (Photo acknowledgement: Royal Navy.)
Most Colonels will know that the Kentucky Colonels owe their origin to the creation of the first military Aide de Camp to the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky during the 1812-14 with the British.
In June 2013 a much more sombre event was commemorated - the 200th anniversary of American prisoners of war marching from Plymouth to Dartmoor Prison.
Over 6,500 American servicemen, mostly sailors passed though the prison gates of Dartmoor and 271 of these veterans subsequently died there. They are buried in the American cemetery at Dartmoor Prison.
Marking the day with a church service and other events were women from the National Society United States Daughters of 1812, a woman's organisation for descendants of those who served on the US side during the war. The service was attended by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Devon, the Lord Mayor of Plymouth, re-enactors in period uniform, and representatives from the US Navy and Royal Navy.
About the Kentucky Colonels
A list of Kentucky Colonels is a Who's Who of outstanding men and women around the world. A Kentucky Colonel’s certificate, signed by the Governor and the Secretary of State and bearing the Great Seal of Kentucky, has hung on the walls of such distinguished leaders as Sir Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, and Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Ronald Reagan. Certificates are also proudly displayed by outstanding citizens in all walks of life.
The tradition began in 1813 when Governor Isaac Shelby named one of his officers, Charles Todd, as an “Aide-de-Camp” on the Governor’s staff with the rank and grade of Colonel. Later Governors commissioned Colonels to act as their protective guard; they wore uniforms and were present at most official functions. Other Governors continued this practice and by 1920s their numbers had grown considerably.
In 1932, The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels was formally established as “a great non-political brotherhood for the advancement of Kentucky and Kentuckians.” Over the years, the Colonels have contributed millions of dollars to worthy causes. In addition to their collective charitable efforts, the Governor's order creating each individual’s commission states that the Colonelcy carries with it a responsibility to be "Kentucky's ambassadors of good will and fellowship around the world."
The United Kingdom Brigade of Kentucky Colonels
The United Kingdom Brigade of Kentucky Colonels was formed in March 2010 to continue this great tradition as a voluntary association for commissioned Kentucky Colonels living in, or having connections with, the United Kingdom.
As a voluntary association, we aim to support the goodwill objectives of the Kentucky Colonels by supporting worthwhile causes in the UK. We interpret our role as supporting the ‘three goods’ - spreading good will; supporting good causes; and having a good time!
Two more great Colonels...
The Mother Country Chapter
of the Kentucky Colonels