Ward's Book of Days.

Pages of interesting anniversaries.

What happened on this day in history.

AUGUST 26th  

On this day in history in 1346, took place the Battle of Crecy

Crecy was the first English victory of the Hundred Years War.  Edward III of England had invaded France with only 4,000 men-at-arms but with 10,000 archers. He took up a strategic position threatening Paris and waited for the French to attack him. Phillip VI of France advanced towards the English camp with 12,000 men-at-arms and several thousand foot soldiers.  

Edward The Black Prince, Prince of Wales, conducted the English campaign. His positioned his knights on horseback in the centre surrounded by a crescent of archers. As the French attacked the centre, they were mowed down by the arrows of the English longbowmen. At the end of the day, the French retreated in disarray and Edward was victorious. 

After the battle, Edward rode through the battlefield and found a dead mercenary troop leader. This soldier was German who sold his services to whoever would pay and on his armour was emblazoned the motto Ich Dein, meaning 'I serve'. So that his men could see him properly in the heat of battle, the German had a helmet with three ostrich plumes. Edward picked up this unusual trophy and adopted it as his coat of arms. Since that day, the Prince of Wales’ emblem has been the three feathers with the legend Ich Dein.

Prince of Wales emblem

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