1943: The final surrender of German and Italian forces in north Africa. Some 250,000 prisoners were taken, including Axis commander General Hans von Arnim, who had surrendered on the previous day.
1861: Queen Victoria issued a proclamation of British neutrality in the American Civil War.
1912: The Royal Flying Corps was officially formed as part of the British army. Its first commander was Brigadier-General Sir David Henderson.
1730: Birth near Rotherham of Charles Watson-Wentworth, later the second Marquess of Rockingham. A descendent of Charles I’s doomed minister, Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, he was twice British prime minister.
1568: The forces of Mary, Queen of Scots are defeated at the battle of Langside (near Glasgow) by troops commanded by the Regent Moray. In the mistaken hope that Elizabeth would support her cause, Mary flees to England.
Compiled by Julian Humphrys – You can follow Julian on Twitter @GeneralJules