384: 10th & 11th Hussars to: The Kings Royal Hussars (1715)

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The King’s Royal Hussars
1992-present
The Royal Hussars (Prince of Wales’s Own)
1969-1992
14th/20th King’s Hussars
1922-1992
10th Royal Hussars (Prince of Wales’s Own)
1715-1969
11th Hussars (Prince Albert’s Own)
1715-1969
14th King’s Hussars
1715-1922
20th Hussars
1858-1922

 

10th Royal Hussars (Prince of Wales’s Own)

 Introduction

The regiment was raised in Hertfordshire in 1715, in the midst of the First Jacobite Rebellion, but remained in England until it was sent to Scotland to face the second such rebellion 30 years later. It then returned to England, where it remained until deploying to Germany in 1759 for the Seven Years War.

It fought at Warburg in 1760, but then returned to England for another long period. However, this era included several important events in the regiment’s history. In 1783 King George III ordered it to switch from dragoons to light dragoons and renamed it after his eldest son the Prince of Wales, who became its colonel in 1796. Impressed by the colourful uniforms of the French and Allied cavalry, the Prince of Wales renamed, re-clothed and re-equipped the regiment as Britain’s first ever hussar unit in 1806 and remained its colonel until his coronation as King George IV in 1820.

In 1808 the regiment sailed for the Peninsula, where it was used to screen Sir John Moore’s retreat to Corunna (1809). During that operation it captured 100 French cavalry on Christmas Day, as well as fighting at Benavente, where Private Grisdall of the regiment captured General Lefebvre-Desnoettes, the French cavalry’s commander-in-chief. It was evacuated with the rest of the army in January 1809 and only returned to the Peninsula in 1813, fighting its way into France.

It fought in the Waterloo campaign of 1815, where one of its patrols brought Wellington news of the Prussian retreat at Wavre, and then joined the Army of Occupation in Paris for a year. It then spent 30 years in England, with the exception of two squadrons which were sent to Portugal in 1826.

From 1846 to 1855 the regiment was in India, from which it was shipped to the Crimean War (1854-56). It then returned to Britain, introducing the Indian sport polo there and winning the first ever inter-regimental polo match in 1871.

Like most regiments, the rest of its 19th century was spent alternating between Britain and India. In the latter it fought in the Second Afghan War and the 1909 North-West Frontier campaign. On one voyage back from India to England, in 1884, it was diverted to fight in the Sudan.

This period also saw the regiment gain another Prince of Wales as its colonel, this time the 22-year-old future King Edward VII in 1863. He remained its colonel until his coronation. Edward also later became the regiment’s colonel-in-chief in 1898, a role later filled by his son George V in 1910.

In 1897 the regiment took part in Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee parade and two years later deployed to South Africa for five years. It then deployed from India to the Western Front in 1914, remaining there throughout the First World War. The regiment then served in Ireland in 1919 on peacekeeping duties.

A brief spell in Egypt and India came from 1929 to 1936, after which it returned to England to mechanise. It lost all its vehicles during the evacuation from France in June 1940, but was re-equipped with Crusader tanks in time to redeploy to North Africa in November 1941. There it captured General Rommel’s deputy von Thoma at El Alamein in 1942.

It spent the last two years of the war on the Italian front and spent much of the post-war period on occupation duties in Trieste, Austria and Germany. This was interrupted by brief deployments to Aqaba in Jordan in 1956 and Aden in 1964.

The regiment made its final return to Britain in 1965, where four years later it was amalgamated with the 11th Hussars to form The Royal Hussars (Prince of Wales’s Own).

Key facts

Motto:

  • ‘Ich Dien’ (meaning ‘I Serve’)

Nicknames:

  • Baker’s Light Bobs (after its light cavalry role and after Valentine Baker, its field commander from 1860 to 1873)
  • The Chainy 10th (from the pattern on its pouch belt or its officers’ chain mail epaulettes)
  • The Shiny 10th

Titles to date:

  • Humphrey Gore’s Regiment of Dragoons
  • 10th Dragoons
  • 10th Regiment of Dragoons
  • 10th (Prince of Wales’s Own) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons
  • 10th (Prince of Wales’s Own) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons (Hussars)
  • 10th (The Prince of Wales’s Own Royal) Hussars
  • 10th (Prince of Wales’s Own Royal) Hussars
  • 10th Royal Hussars (Prince of Wales’s Own)
  • The Royal Hussars (Prince of Wales’s Own)
  • ‘D’ Squadron, The King’s Royal Hussars

 

11th Hussars (Prince Albert’s Own)

Other ranks’ cap badge, 11th Hussars (Prince Albert’s Own), c1900.Other ranks’ cap badge, 11th Hussars (Prince Albert’s Own), c1900
NAM. 1964-04-85-16

Introduction

In July 1715 Jacobite discontent was already approaching crisis point in Scotland, so the new monarch ordered that nine dragoon regiments be raised. One of these was the unit that would in 1751 be numbered the 11th Dragoons. The rebellion broke out two months later and 50 of the regiment stormed the barricades at Preston as dismounted infantry.

In the Second Jacobite Rebellion, 30 years later, one troop from the regiment fought in the Hanoverian defeat at Clifton Muir, the last battle on English soil, as well as pursuing the fleeing Highlanders at Culloden (1746). In 1758 a light troop from the regiment took part in raids on the French ports of St Malo and Cherbourg and in 1759 the whole regiment served in Germany.

In 1783 the regiment was converted into light dragoons and ten years later it sent two squadrons to fight in the Low Countries, charging at Le Cateau and Tournai. It returned to northern Europe in 1799 and the following year sent 79 men from its ‘C’ Squadron to Egypt to join General Ralph Abercrombie, a former commander of the regiment. Abercrombie was so impressed by their conduct that he requested that that squadron be allowed to parade in the place of honour to the right of the line, a tradition still perpetuated by its successor regiment. This engagement also won the regiment the sphinx on its cap badge.

It then fought in the Peninsula from 1811 to 1813 and in Belgium in 1815, capturing the last French guns still firing at Waterloo. It then joined the Army of Occupation in Paris, before returning to a few years on home service.

In 1819 the regiment set off for its first Indian posting. It lasted until 1838, left all but 224 men of the regiment unfit for service and included service at the Siege of Bhurtpore during the Jat War. It was then given a base in Kent to bring itself back up to strength. Thus when Prince Albert landed at Dover in 1840 it provided his escort as far as Canterbury and part of the escort at his ensuing wedding to Queen Victoria. Albert thus adopted it, becoming its colonel, converting it to hussars and granting it his name, title, motto, crest and crimson livery trousers.

The regiment then sent 250 men to the Crimean War (1854-56), where they took part in the charge of the Light Brigade, before spending much of the rest of century in England and Ireland. This was interrupted by two more Indian deployments from 1866 to 1878 and 1890 to 1899.

A corporal of the 11th Hussars at home, c1890A corporal of the 11th Hussars at home, c1890
NAM. 1975-08-25

The regiment served in South Africa from 1890 to 1892, yet during the Boer War it remained in Egypt, sending only 108 men to the conflict. It returned from Egypt to Ireland in 1903 and in 1911 it gained a German colonel-in-chief – Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, eldest son of Kaiser Wilhelm II. In 1914 it joined the British Expeditionary Force and remained on the Western Front throughout the First World War, mostly in a dismounted role.

In 1920 the future George VI became the regiment’s colonel-in-chief and eight years later it became one of the first British cavalry units to mechanise. The regiment then deployed to Egypt and Palestine for much of the 1930s, manning the border with Italian Cyrenaica during the Abyssinian crisis and suppressing the Arab Revolt.

It fought in the Western Desert during the early years of the Second World War, before moving on to Italy in 1943 and northwest Europe from June 1944 to the war’s end. It remained on occupation duty in Germany until 1953, when it deployed to Malaya. It served in Northern Ireland in 1959 and sent two troops to Aden in 1960. The last full-unit deployment for the regiment was seven years in Germany from 1962 onwards, at the end of which it returned to England to amalgamate with the 10th Royal Hussars to form The Royal Hussars (Prince of Wales’s Own).

Key facts

Motto:

  • ‘Treu und Fest’ (meaning ‘Loyal and Sure’ – Prince Albert’s motto)

Nicknames:

  • The Cherry Pickers (during the Peninsular War the regiment was surprised by the French in a cherry orchard)
  • The Cherrybums (from its crimson trousers, part of Prince Albert’s livery)
  • The Cherubims
  • Lord Cardigan’s Bloodhounds (infamous for his role in the Charge of the Light Brigade, Lord Cardigan was the regiment’s field commander from 1837 to 1853 and colonel from 1860 to 1868)

Titles to date:

  • Philip Honeywood’s Regiment of Dragoons
  • 11th Dragoons
  • 11th Regiment of Dragoons
  • 11th Regiment of (Light) Dragoons
  • 11th (Prince Albert’s Own) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons (Hussars)
  • 11th (or Prince Albert’s Own) Hussars
  • 11th Hussars (Prince Albert’s Own)
  • The Royal Hussars (Prince of Wales’s Own)
  • ‘C’ Squadron, The King’s Royal Hussars

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