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Baton, carried by Sir Hugh Rose, Lord Strathnairn

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Baton, carried by Sir Hugh Rose, Lord Strathnairn
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This baton was carried by Sir Hugh Rose in the late 19th century. The baton is a symbol of Field Marshal, the highest rank in the British Army.

On top of the crimson velvet-covered baton is a gold figure of St George slaying the Dragon. Beneath this figure is a gold circlet of roses, thistles and shamrocks. These represent the Union of England, Scotland and Ireland. There are further circlets of roses, thistles and shamrocks at the bottom of the baton. The length of the baton is decorated with gold lions wearing crowns, the Royal Crest of England.

Batons have been a symbol of military command since classical times. The British army began using them as symbols for their Field Marshals after the wars against Napoleonic France. They took the idea from the French, who modelled some elements of their armies on those of ancient Rome.

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