7th Queen's Own Hussars
The 7th Queen's Own Hussars was a cavalry regiment in the British Army, first formed in 1689. It saw service including the First World War and the Second World War; the regiment survived the immediate post-war reduction in forces, but following the 1957 Defence White Paper, it was amalgamated with the 3rd The King's Own Hussars, forming the Queen's Own Hussars in 1958. In April 1689, several Independent Troops of Scots Horse were formed as a short-term response to the 1689-1691 Jacobite Rising in Scotland; these were re-organised in December 1690 as two regiments, one commanded by Colonel Richard Cunningham and in line with prevailing practice, it was known as Cunningham's Regiment of Scots Dragoons. In February 1694, it was transferred onto the English military establishment and shipped to Flanders, where it took part in operations associated with the 1695 Siege of Namur. All participants in the Nine Years War were financially exhausted, there was little military activity after the fall of Namur.
On 1 October 1696, Cunningham was promoted to Brigadier-General. The regiment spent most of the 1702-1714 War of the Spanish Succession based in Edinburgh. In 1711, Kerr's Dragoons joined the field army in Flanders but the war was winding down and the regiment disbanded in 1714, before being reconstituted in July 1715 by George I, as HRH the Princess of Wales's Own Royal Regiment of Dragoons, in honour of Princess Caroline. During the 1715 Jacobite rising, it fought at Sheriffmuir, but this was its only significant action until 1743. Renamed The Queen's Own Royal Regiment of Dragoons after the coronation of George II in 1727; the unit returned to Flanders in 1742 during the 1740-1748 War of the Austrian Succession, taking part in the battles of Dettingen, Fontenoy and Lauffeld in July 1747. The 1748 Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ended the regiment returned to England; when the Seven Years' War began in 1756, the regiment took part in the June 1758 Raid on St Malo, at which 100 enemy vessels were burned, the Raid on Cherbourg in August 1758 and the Battle of Warburg in July 1760.
In 1783, it was classed as'light dragoons,' light cavalry used for reconnaissance and retitled the 7th Regiment of Dragoons. During the French Revolutionary Wars, it fought at Beaumont in Willems in May. In 1807, the regiment was retitled 7th Regiment of Dragoons. Sent to Corunna in October 1808 to support Sir John Moore's retreat, they fought at the Battle of Sahagún on 21 December 1808 and Benavente on 29th. Part of the Queen's Own was shipped home in the Dispatch, wrecked just south of the Lizard on 22 January 1809; the unit returned to the Peninsula in August 1813 and made several charges at the February 1814 Battle of Orthes, Wellington reporting that the 7th Hussars distinguished themselves on this occasion and made many prisoners. In March 1814, the unit moved to Brighton, where it was used to put down rioting caused by the imposition of the Corn Laws; when Napoleon was restored in 1815, the regiment returned to the Netherlands. The following day, at the Battle of Waterloo, the regiment was held in reserve until the evening, but again undertook a series of charges.
Standish O'Grady a lieutenant in the 7th Hussars, wrote to his father: "We charged twelve or fourteen times, once cut off a squadron of cuirassiers, every man of whom we killed on the spot except the two officers and one Marshal de Logis, whom I sent to the rear". In May 1838 the regiment was deployed to Canada as part of the response to the Lower Canada Rebellion; the regiment was deployed to India in late 1857 as part of the response to the Indian Rebellion. Cornet William Bankes, died fighting off his attackers in an incident at Musa Bagh in March 1858 and Major Charles Fraser saved three non-swimmers from the regiment stranded in the middle of a sandbank on the River Rapti in December 1858; the regiment's title was simplified in 1861 as the 7th Hussars. The regiment provided a contingent for the Nile Expedition in autumn 1884; the regiment was deployed to South Africa in November 1901 and was stationed at Leeuwkop during the Second Boer War. The regiment, stationed in Bangalore at the start of the First World War landed in Mesopotamia as part of the 11th Indian Cavalry Brigade in November 1917.
The regiment took part in the action of Khan Baghdadi in March 1918 and the Battle of Sharqat in October 1918. After service in the First World War, the regiment retitled as 7th Queen's Own Hussars in 1921; the regiment, re-equipped with Mark II tanks, transferred to the Royal Armoured Corps in 1939. The regiment had been converted to tanks in 1937 and subsequently been trained in Cairo giving them a reasonable advantage. Although they might have thought that they were misplaced in Egypt, when Italy entered the war on the 10th June 1940, that thought slipped their mind, they formed part of the 7th Armoured Brigade in the 7th Armoured Division and were joined by the 8th and the 11th Hussars. On the 14th June 1940 the 7th Hussars, with a company of the King's Royal Rifle Corps and a battery of 4th Royal Horse artillery captured Fort Capuzzo, while the 11th Hussars captured La Maddalena, they took part in the Battle of Sidi Barrani in December 1940 and at the Battle of Bardia i
Battle of Cambrai (1917)
The Battle of Cambrai was a British attack followed by the biggest German counter-attack against the British Expeditionary Force since 1914, in the First World War. The town of Cambrai, in the département of Nord, was an important supply point for the German Siegfriedstellung and capture of the town and the nearby Bourlon Ridge would threaten the rear of the German line to the north. Major General Henry Tudor, Royal Artillery of the 9th Division, advocated the use of new artillery-infantry techniques on his sector of the front. During preparations, J. F. C. Fuller, a staff officer with the Tank Corps, looked for places to use tanks for raids. General Julian Byng, commander of the British Third Army, decided to combine both plans; the French and British armies had used tanks in mass earlier in 1917, although to less effect. After a big British success on the first day, mechanical unreliability, German artillery and infantry defences exposed the frailties of the Mark IV tank. On the second day, only about half of the tanks were operational and British progress was limited.
In the History of the Great War, the British official historian, Wilfrid Miles, modern scholars do not place exclusive credit for the first day on tanks but discuss the concurrent evolution of artillery and tank methods. Numerous developments since 1915 matured at Cambrai, such as predicted artillery fire, sound ranging, infantry infiltration tactics, infantry-tank co-ordination and close air support; the techniques of industrial warfare continued to develop and played a vital part during the Hundred Days Offensive in 1918, along with replacement of the Mark IV tank with improved types. The rapid reinforcement and defence of Bourlon Ridge by the Germans, as well as the subsequent counter-stroke were notable achievements, which gave the Germans hope that an offensive strategy could end the war before American mobilisation became overwhelming. Proposals for an operation in the Cambrai area using a large number of tanks originated from Brigadier Hugh Elles of the Tank Corps, the reliance on the secret transfer of artillery reinforcements to be "silently registered" to gain surprise came from Henry Hugh Tudor, commander of the 9th infantry division artillery.
In August 1917, Tudor conceived the idea of a surprise attack in the IV Corps sector, he suggested a artillery-infantry attack, which would be supported by a small number of tanks, to secure a breakthrough of the German Hindenburg Line. The German defences were formidable. Tudor's plan sought to test new methods in combined arms, with emphasis on combined artillery and infantry techniques and see how effective they were against strong German fortifications. Tudor advocated using the new sound ranging and silent registration of guns to achieve instant suppression fire and surprise, he wanted to use tanks to clear paths through the deep barbed wire obstacles in front of German positions, while supporting the tank force with the No. 106 Fuze, designed to explode high explosive ammunition without cratering the ground to supplement the armour. Two weeks before the start of the battle, the Royal Flying Corps began to train its pilots in ground-attack tactics. Before the ground offensive, the RFC was assigned sets of targets to attack, including trenches, supply points and enemy airfields.
The battle began at dawn 06:30 on 20 November, with a predicted bombardment by 1,003 guns on German defences, followed by smoke and a creeping barrage at 300 yd ahead to cover the first advances. Despite efforts to preserve secrecy, the Germans had received sufficient intelligence to be on moderate alert: an attack on Havrincourt was anticipated, as was the use of tanks; the attacking force was six infantry divisions of the III Corps on the right and IV Corps on the left, supported by nine battalions of the Tank Corps with about 437 tanks. In reserve was one infantry division in IV Corps and the three divisions of the Cavalry Corps. There was considerable success in most areas and it seemed as if a great victory was within reach. On the right, the 12th Division advanced as far as Lateau Wood before being ordered to dig in; the 20th Division forced a way through La Vacquerie and advanced to capture a bridge across the Canal de Saint-Quentin at Masnières. The bridge collapsed under the weight of a tank halting the hopes for an advance across the canal.
In the centre the 6th Division captured Ribécourt and Marcoing but when the cavalry passed through late, they were repulsed from Noyelles. On the IV Corps front, the 51st Division was held at Flesquières, its first objective, which left the attacking divisions on each flank exposed to enfilade fire; the commander of the 51st Division, George Montague Harper had used a local variation of the tank drill instead of the standard one laid down by the Tank Corps. Flesquières was one of the most fortified points in the German line and was flanked by other strong points, its defenders under Major Krebs acquitted themselves well against the tanks 40 being knocked out by the Flesquières artillery. The common explanation of the "mythical" German officer ignored the fact that the British tanks were opposed by the 54th Division, which had specialist training in anti-tank tactics and experience against French tanks in the Nivelle Offensive
British Expeditionary Force (World War I)
The British Expeditionary Force was the British Army sent to the Western Front during the First World War. Planning for a British Expeditionary Force began with the Haldane reforms of the British Army carried out by the Secretary of State for War Richard Haldane following the Second Boer War; the term "British Expeditionary Force" is used to refer only to the forces present in France prior to the end of the First Battle of Ypres on 22 November 1914. By the end of 1914—after the battles of Mons, Le Cateau, the Aisne and Ypres—the old Regular Army had been wiped out, although it managed to help stop the German advance. An alternative endpoint of the BEF was 26 December 1914, when it was divided into the First and Second Armies. B. E. F. remained the official name of the British armies in France and Flanders throughout the First World War. Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany, famously dismissive of the BEF issued an order on 19 August 1914 to "exterminate... the treacherous English and walk over General French's contemptible little army".
Hence, in years, the survivors of the regular army dubbed themselves "The Old Contemptibles". No evidence of any such order being issued by the Kaiser has been found. Under the terms of the Entente Cordiale the United Kingdom had a diplomatic "understanding" with France to counter military aggression from the German Empire in the European continent. Detailed plans had been drawn up in advance for the British Army in the event of war breaking out between those two countries to dispatch a "British Expeditionary Force" to France which consisted of six infantry divisions and five cavalry brigades under the command of General Sir John French to repel any German attack in the West; the BEF was arranged into I Corps, under the command of General Sir Douglas Haig, II Corps, under the command of General Sir James Grierson, which embarked for France on the 15 August 1914. In October 1914, 7th Division arrived in France, forming the basis of III Corps and the cavalry had grown to form the Cavalry Corps of three divisions.
By December 1914, the BEF had expanded to such an extent that the First Army and the Second Army were formed. By the end of 1914, after the battles of Mons, Le Cateau, the Aisne and Ypres, the old regular British Army had suffered massive casualties and lost most of its fighting strength but had managed to help stop the German advance; the force was commanded by Field Marshal Sir John French until December 1915, when he was replaced by General Sir Douglas Haig. The BEF's Chief of Staff on mobilisation was General Archibald Murray, he was replaced in January 1915 by General William Robertson. Lieutenant-General Launcelot Kiggell served as Chief of Staff from December 1915 to January 1917 when he was succeeded by Lieutenant-General Herbert Lawrence; the two initial Army Corps were commanded by Horace Smith-Dorrien. As the Regular Army's strength declined, the numbers were made up, first by the Territorial Force by volunteers from Field Marshal Kitchener's New Army. By the end of August 1914, he had raised six new divisions and by March 1915, the number of divisions had increased to 29.
The Territorial Force was expanded, raising second and third line battalions and forming eight new divisions, which supplemented its peacetime strength of 14 divisions. The Third Army was formed in July 1915 and with the influx of troops from Kitchener's volunteers and further reorganisation, the Fourth Army and the Reserve Army, became the Fifth Army in 1916; the BEF grew from six divisions of British regular army and reserves in 1914, to encompass the British Empire's war effort on the Western front in 1918 and some of its allies. Over the course of the war 5,399,563 men served with the BEF, the average strength being 2,046,901 men; the First Army was formed on 26 December 1914. Its first commander was Douglas Haig promoted from command of the I Corps; when Haig took over command of the BEF in 1915, the new commander was General Henry Horne. First Army remained in France until the end of the war; the Second Army was formed at the same time as the First Army on 26 December 1914. The first commander was Smith–Dorrien promoted from command of the II Corps.
In May 1915, Smith -- Dorrien was replaced by General Herbert Plumer. Second Army served in France notably in the Ypres Salient, served in Italy between November 1917 and March 1918 returned to France; the Third Army was formed in July 1915, the first commander being General Edmund Allenby promoted after commanding the Cavalry Corps and the V Corps. He was replaced after the battle of Arras by General Julian Byng; the Fourth Army was formed under the command of General Henry Rawlinson. Confusingly, when the Second Army was sent to Italy late in 1917, the Fourth Army was renumbered the Second Army whilst Rawlinson commanded the Ypres Salient. After Plumer's return from Italy Rawlinson spent a period as British Permanent Military Representative at the Supreme War Council at Versailles, but at the start of April he took over the remnants of Gough's Fifth Army after its recent defeat, it was renamed the Fourth Army. The Fifth or Reserve Army was formed under command of General Hubert Gough. At first known as the Reserve Army, it was renamed the Fifth Army in October 1916.
Fifth Army was destroyed during the German offensive in March 1918. It was reformed again in May 1918 under the command of General William Birdwood; the British Army first engaged the German Army in the Battle of Mons on 23 August 1914, part of the greater Battle of the Frontiers. The massed rifle fire of the professional British soldiers inflicted heavy casualties on the Germans who attacked en masse over terrain devo
3rd The King's Own Hussars
The 3rd Hussars was a cavalry regiment of the British Army, first raised in 1685. It saw service for three centuries, including the First World War and the Second World War, before being amalgamated with the 7th Queen's Own Hussars, to form the Queen's Own Hussars in November 1958; the origins of the King's Own Hussars lie in the 1685 Monmouth and Argyll rebellions which forced James II to borrow the Scots Brigade from his son-in-law William of Orange William III. On 16 June, three troops were detached from the Duke of Somerset's Royal Dragoons and their captains ordered to recruit additional volunteers from the London area, including Middlesex and Essex; the unit was based in Acton, West London to guard approaches to the City of London but the rebellion collapsed after defeat at Sedgemoor on 6 July without the regiment seeing action. Three new troops, one independent and two newly raised were now added to the original three to form The Queen Consort's Regiment of Dragoons. Alexander Cannon a Scot who served in the Dutch Scots Brigade was appointed Colonel in August 1687.
On 5 November 1688, William III landed at Torbay in the invasion known as the Glorious Revolution and James assembled his army on Salisbury Plain to block an advance on London. However, many now changed sides. On 31 December, Leveson replaced Cannon as Colonel and as was customary, the regiment now took his name and became Leveson's Dragoons. In August 1689, the regiment, numbering 400 officers and men organised into six troops, was transported to Ireland to take part in the Williamite War. James had fled from England to France in December 1688, but had returned with an army in March 1689 and landed at Cork, where he found that he had the support of a majority of the Catholic population. William's expeditionary force had landed south of Belfast on 13 August, encountering little resistance from the local Catholic forces, entered the city on 17 August. Early records of the activities of the regiment are scarce, but it appears that it advanced with the rest of the Williamite forces southwards on 2 September, advancing to the town of Newry, but failing to catch the garrison of the town as it retreated.
The Williamite army moved south to Dundalk. They did not advance any further, as a Catholic army, estimated 35,000 strong, was encamped nearby at Ardee; the regiment encountered a small Catholic force and killed five men on 20 September, but was forced to wait until October to take part in its first major action. On 27 October, 200 troopers from the regiment, along with a detachment from the 6th Dragoons, raided Ardee, killing a number of sentries and capturing a large number of cattle and horses. In November, the Williamite army moved northwards and the regiment saw action one last time before entering winter quarters at Lisburn; the regiment retired to its winter quarters to rest and took on 200 recruits shipped from England to replace losses from disease. The regiment emerged from winter quarters in mid-February 1690 and saw action; the next recorded action by the regiment took place on 22 June, when a squadron and a company of infantry from the Tangier Regiment encountered a fort garrisoned by a force of infantry and 500 cavalry.
The regiment was present for the Battle of the Boyne on 1 July, forming part of the 36,000-strong Williamite army that engaged the 25,000-strong Catholic army commanded by James II. During the closing stages of the battle, a large portion of James' cavalry charged the advancing Williamite infantry to provide protection for the retreating Catholic infantry, were able to reach the village of Donore; the village was sited on an area of high ground from which the dismounted cavalrymen were able to fire down on the advancing Williamite troops. To counter this move, a squadron from the regiment charged up the hill and engaged the dismounted cavalry whilst the remainder of the regiment outflanked the village and attacked the Catholic force from the rear, inflicting a large number of casualties. After routing this force, the regiment advanced. Sighting another Catholic cavalry force, the Dutch cavalry attacked, but were repelled with heavy losses and retreated down a narrow lane; as the Dutch regrouped, Leveson's men dismounted and took up position amongst the hedgerows lining the lane, as well as a nearby house.
The battle was a decisive victory for the Williamite forces, with James forced to retire first to Dublin and to France as the Williamite army advanced south and captured Dublin on 4 July. The regiment did not take part
A carbine, from French carabine, is a long gun firearm but with a shorter barrel than a rifle or musket. Many carbines are shortened versions of full-length rifles, shooting the same ammunition, while others fire lower-powered ammunition, including types designed for pistols; the smaller size and lighter weight of carbines make them easier to handle. They are issued to high-mobility troops such as special-operations soldiers and paratroopers, as well as to mounted, logistics, or other non-infantry personnel whose roles do not require full-sized rifles, although there is a growing tendency for carbines to be issued to front-line soldiers to offset the increasing weight of other issued equipment. An example of this is the US Army's M4 carbine, standard-issue; the name comes from its first users — cavalry troopers called "carabiniers", from the French carabine, from Old French carabin, whose origin is unclear. One theory connects it to an "ancient engine of war" called a calabre; the carbine was a lighter, shortened weapon developed for the cavalry.
Carbines were short enough to be loaded and fired from horseback, but this was done – a moving horse is a unsteady platform, once halted, a soldier can load and fire more if dismounted, which makes him a smaller target. After the Napoleonic Wars, cavalry began fighting dismounted, using the horses only for greater mobility, an early form of what is today known as motorized infantry. By the American Civil War, dismounted cavalry were the rule; the principal advantage of the carbine was that its length made it portable. Troops could carry full-length muskets comfortably enough on horseback if just riding from A to B. Cavalry proper had to ride with some agility and engage in sword-wielding melées with opposing cavalry or pursue running infantry, so carrying anything long would be a dangerous encumbrance. A carbine was no longer than a sheathed sabre, like a sheathed sabre was carried arranged to hang clear of the rider's elbows and horse's legs. Carbines were less accurate and less powerful than the longer muskets of the infantry, due to a shorter sight plane and lower velocity of bullets fired from the shortened barrel.
With the advent of fast-burning smokeless powder, the velocity disadvantages of a shorter barrel became less of an issue. The use of horse-mounted cavalry would decline, but carbines continued to be issued and used by many who preferred a lighter, more compact weapon at the cost of reduced long-range accuracy and power, such as artillery troops, who might need to defend themselves from attack but would be hindered by keeping full-sized rifles around. During the early 19th century, carbines were developed separately from the infantry rifles and, in many cases, did not use the same ammunition, which made for supply difficulties. A notable weapon developed towards the end of the American Civil War by the Union was the Spencer carbine, one of the first breechloading, repeating weapons, it had a spring-powered, removable tube magazine in the buttstock which held seven rounds and could be reloaded by inserting spare tubes. It was intended to give the cavalry a replacement weapon which could be fired from horseback without the need for awkward reloading after each shot.
In the late 19th century, it became common for a number of nations to make bolt-action rifles in both full-length and carbine versions. One of the most popular and recognizable carbines were the lever-action Winchester carbines, with several versions available firing revolver cartridges; this made it an ideal choice for cowboys and explorers, as well as other inhabitants of the American West, who could carry a revolver and a carbine, both using the same ammunition. The Lee Enfield Cavalry Carbine a shortened version of the standard British Army infantry rifle was introduced in 1896, although it did not become the standard British cavalry weapon until 1903. In the decades following World War I, the standard battle rifle used by armies around the world had been growing shorter, either by redesign or by the general issue of carbine versions instead of full-length rifles; this move was initiated by the US Model 1903 Springfield, produced in 1907 with a short 24-inch barrel, providing a short rifle, longer than a carbine but shorter than a typical rifle, so it could be issued to all troops without need for separate versions.
Other nations followed suit after World War I, when they learned that their traditional long-barreled rifles provided little benefit in the trenches and proved a hindrance to the soldiers. Examples include the Russian Model 1891 rifle with an 800 mm barrel shortened to 730 mm in 1930, to 510 mm in 1938, the German Mauser Gewehr 98 rifles went from 740 mm in 1898 to 600 mm in 1935 as the Karabiner 98k, or "short carbine"; the barrel lengths in rifles used by the United States did not change between the bolt-action M1903 rifl
British cavalry during the First World War
The British cavalry were the first British Army units to see action during the First World War. Captain Hornby of the 4th Dragoon Guards is reputed to have been the first British soldier to kill a German soldier, using his sword, Drummer Edward Thomas of the same regiment is reputed to have fired the first British shot shortly after 06:30 on 22 August 1914, near the Belgian village of Casteau; the following Battle of Mons was the first engagement fought by British soldiers in Western Europe since the Battle of Waterloo, ninety-nine years earlier. In the first year of the war in France nine cavalry brigades were formed for three British cavalry divisions. Other regiments served in six brigades of the two British Indian Army cavalry divisions that were formed for service on the Western Front. Three regiments fought in the campaign in Mesopotamia, the only other theatre of the First World War where British cavalry served; the doctrine of the British cavalry had been influenced by their experiences in the Second Boer War fifteen years earlier, during which one commander had preferred using irregular units to the professional cavalry regiments.
By necessity, cavalry doctrine had changed since with emphasis being placed on dismounted firepower and covering fire from the flanks, using machine guns and attached artillery, to support cavalry charges. Cavalrymen dominated the higher command positions within the British Army during the war; the only officers to command the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front were both cavalrymen, while the original commander of the British Cavalry Division went on to command the Egyptian Expeditionary Force during the Palestine Campaign, another cavalryman became the Chief of the Imperial General Staff. Altogether on the Western Front, five of the ten officers who commanded the five British armies were provided by the cavalry, while another ten commanded corps, twenty-seven served as divisional commanders. Among other decorations for their valour, eight cavalrymen were awarded the Victoria Cross, Britain's highest award for bravery in the face of the enemy. Three of the awards came in the first month of the war.
All but one of the thirty-two British regular army cavalry regiments fought in a recognised theatre of war, either on the Western Front or in the Mesopotamia Campaign, during which over 5,600 cavalrymen were killed, including several senior officers. The traditional role of cavalry in war is scouting—gathering information about the enemy's location and movements—while denying the enemy the same information about one's own forces. Other tasks include raiding into enemy territory and damaging their infrastructure and economy while avoiding conflict with enemy forces. On the field of battle, cavalry were expected to charge into and break up enemy infantry and cavalry formations; the prestige gained by participating in a cavalry charge was such that additional officers would attempt to join one whenever possible. Notable examples of this include Louis Nolan of the 15th Hussars joining the Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War and Winston Churchill of the 4th Hussars joining the 21st Lancers for their charge during the Battle of Omdurman.
Since 1880 British cavalrymen had been armed with only carbines and swords, although some carried a lance. The normal peacetime British Army cavalry formation was the brigade, but twice a cavalry division had been formed; the first time was during the Anglo-Egyptian War in 1882. The second time was during the Second Boer War in South Africa, the last major conflict fought by the British Army before the First World War. During the fighting in South Africa, it was the 7,000-strong colonial mounted contingents, not the 5,000-strong regular cavalry, that led the way in tactical development, they were better trained, better armed, more efficient, if only because they had been trained to use the right weapons and tactics for the conflict. The regular cavalry regiments were considered so poor in quality that General Sir Redvers Henry Buller, commanding the advance into Northern Natal, left his six cavalry regiments behind at Ladysmith, trusting in the irregular mounted forces to carry out patrols in their stead.
Their Boer opponents taught not only the whole army some lessons. In one engagement at Dronfield, 150 Boers held off the British cavalry division, supported by several artillery batteries, at Bergendal seventy-four men held up the entire British Army. So effective were their tactics that they forced the British cavalry, if only for a short time, to leave their swords and lances behind and concentrate on their firepower; this proved to the British Army the value of a full size rifle over a carbine. Soon the cavalry were practising advancing in open order, their change in tactics was evidenced during the charge at Klip Drift. On their way to relieve the siege of Kimberley, the cavalry used their horses and rifles instead of swords and lances to get behind the defending Boers; the charge was described as "an ideal cavalry operation, but not a cavalry charge as the term is understood." It would prove to be the last time that a full British cavalry division conducted a mounted charge. Following the Boer War there were calls for the disbandment of the cavalry by such notable persons as the Commander-in-Chief of the Forces Lord Roberts and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Between 1900 and 1903 the cavalry's share of the army budget was cut from six to under 4.5 per cent, recruiting for the cavalry was suspe
19th Royal Hussars
The 19th Royal Hussars was a cavalry regiment of the British Army, created in 1858. After serving in the First World War, it was amalgamated with the 15th The King's Hussars to form the 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars in 1922; the regiment was raised in Bengal by the East India Company as the 1st Bengal European Light Cavalry in 1858, for service in the response to the Indian Rebellion. During the rebellion, a lieutenant of the regiment, Hugh Henry Gough, received the Victoria Cross; as with all other "European" units of the Company, they were placed under the command of the Crown in 1858, subsequently formally moved into the British Army in 1862 when they were designated as hussars as the 19th Hussars. At this time, the regiment was authorised to inherit the battle honours of the disbanded 19th Light Dragoons. John French, who became a field marshal, joined the regiment as a junior officer in March 1874; the regiment saw action at Battle of Tel el-Kebir in September 1882 during the Anglo-Egyptian War and the regiment took possession of the wells, which were a vital resource in desert warfare, at the Battle of Abu Klea in January 1885 during the Mahdist War.
It fought at the Siege of Ladysmith in winter 1899 during the Second Boer War. The regiment was titled the 19th Hussars after Alexandra, Princess of Wales in 1902 and, when Alexandra became Queen Consort in 1908, the name changed to the 19th Hussars. With the outbreak of the First World War, the regiment was split up, with squadrons attached to the 4th, 5th and 6th Infantry Divisions as divisional cavalry squadrons; the regiment was brought together again in April 1915, attached to the 9th Cavalry Brigade in the 1st Cavalry Division, with whom it served for the remainder of the war. It saw action at the Second Battle of Ypres in spring 1915, gaining battle honours for the Battle of St Julien in April 1915 and the Battle of Frezenberg in May 1915; the regiment went on to fight at the Battle of Flers–Courcelette in September 1916, part of the Battle of the Somme. It served at the Battle of Cambrai in November 1917, at the Battle of Amiens in August 1918 and at the Pursuit to Mons in autumn 1918.
The regiment was retitled 19th Royal Hussars in 1921 and shortly thereafter disbanded as part of the post-War reduction in forces: a cadre was resurrected in 1922 in order to amalgamate with the 15th The King's Hussars, to form the 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars. The regimental collection is held by the Discovery Museum in Newcastle upon Tyne; the regiment’s battle honours were as follows: Early wars: Mysore, Assaye, Tel-el-Kebir, Egypt 1882'84, Abu Klea, Nile 1884-85, Defence of Ladysmith, South Africa 1899-1902 The Great War: Le Cateau, Retreat from Mons, Marne 1914, Aisne 1914, Armentières 1914, Ypres 1915, Bellewaarde, Somme 1916'18, Flers-Courcelette, Cambrai 1917'18, St Quentin, Rosières, Albert 1918, Bapaume 1918, Hindenburg Line, St Quentin Canal, Pursuit to Mons and Flanders 1914-18 William Thomas Marshall, Quartermaster Sergeant in the Sudan campaign, 29 February 1884 1914: Queen Alexandra Colonels of the regiment were: 1st Bengal European Light Cavalry 1858 Maj-Gen. Thomas Mathew Taylor19th Hussars 1862–1865: Gen. William Pattle 1865–1872: Gen. John Hall 1872–1889: Gen. John Yorke, CB 1889–1902: Lt-Gen.
Coote Synge-Hutchinson19th Hussars, 1902 1902–1921: F. M. Sir John Denton Pinkstone French, 1st Earl of Ypres, KP, GCB, OM, GCVO, KCMG 1921 regiment disbanded one squadron re-formed and amalgamated with 15th The King's Hussars to form the 15th/19th Hussars British cavalry during the First World War White mutiny