Page last updated at 11:27 GMT, Wednesday, 21 October 2009 12:27 UK

7 questions on British battles

Battle quiz

It's Trafalgar Day, which commemorates Admiral Lord Nelson's victory over the French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October, 1805. Test yourself on British battles.

Statue of Nelson

1.) Multiple Choice Question

Which order did the Battle of Trafalgar, Battle of Copenhagen and Battle of the Nile happen in?

Re-enactment of Battle of Trafalgar
  1. Copenhagen, Nile, Trafalgar
  2. Trafalgar, Nile, Copenhagen
  3. Nile, Copenhagen, Trafalgar


In the Battle of the Nile in 1798, Nelson destroyed Napoleon's fleet and his bid for a direct trade route to India. In the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801 he triumphed over the Danish and Norwegians, who supported free trade with France. In 1805 Nelson was victorious over the French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar.

Statue of Nelson

2.) Multiple Choice Question

Of what British conflict did William Gladstone say: "A war more unjust in its origin, a war more calculated in its progress to cover this country with permanent disgrace, I do not know and have not read of."

William Gladstone
  1. First Opium war 1839-1842
  2. Second Anglo-Afghan War 1878-1880
  3. Third Anglo-Dutch War 1672-1674

3.) Multiple Choice Question

The Anglo-Zanzibar War is thought to have been the shortest in the history of warfare. How long did it last?

  1. One minute
  2. 40 minutes
  3. Four hours
  4. One day


The Anglo-Zanzibar War was sparked by a dispute over who should be the new sultan. The renegade Sultan Khalid bin Barghash was bombarded in his palace by British ships from shortly after 9am on 27 August, 1896, to 9.40am, according to the dispatch. Click NEXT to continue.

Bombed Zanzibar Palace

4.) Multiple Choice Question

One of the more unusually named British conflicts, the War of Jenkins' Ear, was fought from 1739-1748 with which European power?

An ear
  1. France
  2. Spain
  3. Dutch Republic
  4. Prussia

5.) Multiple Choice Question

Winston Churchill was present at a number of famous conflicts during his youth. But which one of these battles was he NOT at?

A young Winston Churchill
  1. The Battle of Omdurman
  2. The Siege of Ladysmith
  3. The Battle of the Marne


In 1898 Churchill took part in one of the last major British cavalry charges against the forces of the Mahdi in the Sudan. In 1900 he was with the relief force that broke the Boer War's Siege of Ladysmith. In 1916, he spent a brief period on the Western Front. But in 1914, he was First Lord of the Admiralty.

Winston Churchill

6.) Multiple Choice Question

Which was the last major battle of the English Civil War?

English Civil War re-enactment
  1. The Battle of Worcester
  2. The Battle of Preston
  3. The Battle of Langport
  4. The Battle of Edgehill


The Battle of Worcester marked the end of the last phase of the English Civil War. The Battle of Preston in 1648 was the last major battle in the second phase, and 1645's Battle of Langport was the last in the first phase. The Battle of Edgehill in 1642 was the first pitched battle of the civil war.

English Civil War re-enactment

7.) Multiple Choice Question

What was the last pitched battle fought on British soil?

Battle re-enactment
  1. The Preston Fight
  2. The Battle of Culloden
  3. The Battle of Prestonpans


It marked the ignominious end of the Jacobite rising to restore the Stuarts to the throne. The Battle of Prestonpans was the first major battle of that rising, and was a victory for the Jacobites. The Preston Fight was a defeat in 1715 for an earlier Jacobite rising.

Battle of Culloden re-enactment


  1. It's Nile, Copenhagen, Trafalgar. The Battle of the Nile was in 1798, Copenhagen in 1801 and Trafalgar in 1805.
  2. It's the First Opium War, fought with China to secure British trade rights. These were under threat due to the Qing empire's efforts to stop the flow of British opium from India into China.
  3. It lasted a mere 40 minutes, according to a dispatch from Admiral Sir Harry Rawson, commander of the British forces.
  4. It was Spain. The motivation was purportedly to guarantee the British the right to sell slaves in Spain's South American colonies. The ear in question belonged to merchant captain Robert Jenkins, and was cut off in 1731.
  5. Churchill was NOT at the Battle of the Marne in 1914.
  6. It was the Battle of Worcester in 1651.
  7. It was the Battle of Culloden in 1746.

Battle quiz

0 - 3 : Beaten

4 - 6 : Fighting chance

7 - 7 : Victory is yours

For a complete archive of past quizzes, including the Curriculum tests and our weekly news quiz 7 days 7 questions, visit the Magazine index and scroll down the page.

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