Queen's Royal Hussars

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The Queen's Royal Hussars
(Queen's Own and Royal Irish)
QRH cap badge.gif
Cap Badge of The Queen's Royal Hussars
Active 2 September 1993-
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type Line Cavalry
Role Armoured
Size One regiment
Part of Royal Armoured Corps
Garrison/HQ RHQ - London
Regiment - Athlone Barracks, Westfalen Garrison
Nickname(s) None currently used
Motto Mente et Manu, translated as "mind and hand"
March Quick - Regimental Quick March of The Queen's Royal Hussars
Slow - 3rd Hussars Slow March/ Litany of Loretto/The Garb of Old Gaul/March of the Scottish Archers
Mascot Drum Horse (Alamein)
Colonel-in-Chief HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, KG, KT, GBE
Colonel of
the Regiment
Brigadier Andrew Bellamy
Tactical Recognition Flash QRH TRF.svg
Arm Badge Maid of Warsaw
from 7th Hussars
Tartan Saffron (Pipers kilts and capes)
Abbreviation QRH

The Queen's Royal Hussars (The Queen's Own and Royal Irish) (QRH) is the senior United Kingdom light cavalry regiment. It was formed on 1 September 1993 from the amalgamation of The Queen's Own Hussars and The Queen's Royal Irish Hussars. The regiment traces its roots back to 1685 and during the past 320 years has been awarded 172 Battle Honours and 8 Victoria Crosses. The regiment is currently based in Sennelager, Germany, where it is the armoured regiment for 20th Armoured Brigade, part of British Forces Germany.


The Queen's Royal Hussars was formed in Fallingbostel on 1 September 1993 from the amalgamation of the Queen's Own Hussars and the Queen's Royal Irish Hussars.[1]

The Queen's Own Hussars, normally referred to by the abbreviation QOH, was a cavalry regiment of the British Army, formed from the amalgamation of 3rd The King's Own Hussars and the 7th Queen's Own Hussars at Candahar Barracks, Tidworth in 1958.[2]

The Queen's Royal Irish Hussars, abbreviated as QRIH, was a cavalry regiment of the British Army formed from the amalgamation of the 4th Queen's Own Hussars and the 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars in Hohne, West Germany in 1958.[3]

After moving to Catterick as part of 19 Mechanised Brigade, in June 1995, the regiment, in January 1996, became the first to be deployed in Challenger 1 tanks to Bosnia with NATO's British-led Implementation Force IFOR. It spent its time as part of 2nd Canadian Multi National Brigade, and was awarded The Canadian Forces Unit Commendation - the first time that this had been awarded to a foreign unit, and the first overseas commendation received by a British unit since the Korean War.[4] 1997 the regiment deployed to South Armagh Northern Ireland on Operation BANNER. On return in 1998 they conducted return to role training in preparation for its return to Germany.

The regiment returned to Athlone Barracks Sennelager Germany in 1998 as 20 Armoured Brigades armoured regiment. 1999 they converted to Challenger 2 tanks, in which an independent tank squadron deployed to Kosovo in 2001, with the rest of the regiment deploying later that year in the dismounted role.[5]

In 2002 the regiment were deployed to the UK to cover the emergency services due to the Fire Brigade union strikes. 2003 saw the regiment deploy once again, this time to Iraq on Operation Telic 3. B Squadron (light role) attached to 1st Battalion the Light Infantry Battle Group in Al Amarah, C (light role), D (on CR2) and HQ Squadrons in Basra. The regiment (as QRH) saw its first Military Cross awarded to LCpl Balmforth of B Squadron for his actions during an ambush in Al Jameat Basra.

April 2006 saw the regiment deploy once again to Iraq on Operation Telic 8. This time C Squadron deploying as part of QRH BG in Al Amarah, B Squadron attached to 1 PWRR BG and A Squadron in Basra. This tour saw the regiment deploy on Challenger 2, Land Rover WMIK, Snatch, Saxon and patrol boats in the marshes of Maysaan and the River Tigris. An eventful tour seeing the regiment close down Camp Abu Naji and concentrating operations on the Iranian border.

In 2008 the regiment deployed again to Iraq on Operation Telic 13 where it was engaged in various mentoring tasks with Iraqi forces in Basra City, Umm Qasr and Az Zubayr. As the final Operation Telic the Queen's Royal Hussars were intimately involved in the drawdown from the main British base and spent many hours escorting convoys to and from Kuwait.[5] Over the same period two troops deployed to Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK crewing the Viking ATV as part of the Royal Marine Armoured Support Group.

In 2011 the regiment deployed on Operation HERRICK 15 as a ground holding Battle Group to Afghanistan in the infantry role. C (Coy) Squadron where they worked with the Afghan National Police handing over control of checkpoints.[5] B Squadron with the Afghan National Army as mentors and D Squadron manning Warthog as Taskforce Helmands armoured shock troops.

On return from Afghanistan in 2012 the regiment was called on at very short notice to support the Security for the London Olympic Games. The remainder of the year was used to return to the armoured role. 2013 saw C Squadron training with 5 Rifles on Exercise Baverian Charger, mounted on Challenger 2.[6] The Queen's Royal Hussars Battlegroup, comprising sub-units from 5 Rifles and 1 PWRR deployed on Exercise Prairie Thunder 2 between July and August 2013.[7]

In June 2014, the regiment deployed C Squadron to Operation HERRICK 20 in Afghanistan, as the Warthog Group. This role involved crewing Warthog armoured tracked vehicles and operating with dismounted infantry from 5 RIFLES to disrupt insurgents in Helmand during the draw down of British troops from Camp Bastion. They were the last British combat units on the ground in Helmand.

The regiment will move to Tidworth with 20 Armoured Infantry Brigade, forming the senior of three Type 56 heavy armoured regiments of British Army's Reactive Force.[8]

Victoria Cross

Holders of the Victoria Cross included:


The regiment is equipped with 56 Challenger 2 tanks which are organised into three Sabre Squadrons (A, C & D).

In addition the Regiment also fields B (Command & RECCE) Squadron with a close reconnaissance troop mounted in eight FV107 Scimitars, and Command Troop equipped with CVR(T) Sultan and Panther CLV.

The Regiment is supported by a large Headquarters Squadron, which supplies ammunition, fuel, and rations and includes specialist technicians, mechanics and artisans, as well as clerical and medical detachments.


The regiment has three museums:[9]

The Regimental Crest & Cap Badge

The crest and cap badge are as follows:[9]

  • The Regimental Crest is made up from the Angel Harp of the 8th Hussars and the Queen's Royal Irish Hussars, which is placed above the White Horse of Hanover of the 3rd Hussars and the Queen's Own Hussars. These are encircled by the Garter Belt, above which is placed the Queen's Crown.
  • The Regimental Cap Badge is made up from the Angel Harp of the 8th Hussars and the Queen's Royal Irish Hussars, superimposed on the Regimental cypher of the Queen's Own Hussars, originally bestowed on the 7th Hussars in 1727; the whole is surmounted by the Queen's crown and a lion, with a scroll underneath giving the Regiment's title in blue and gold.

Privileges & traditions

In over 300 years of distinguished service the regiment has gained a number of unique privileges and traditions.

The Loyal Toast: After the Jacobite rebellion in 1745, all officers of the army were required to drink the health of the Sovereign in their mess after dinner as a token of loyalty to the King. The King, however, absolved the regiment from this duty, saying that their loyalty had always been beyond question, and gave the officers the privilege of never drinking the Loyal Toast in the Officers' Mess and of ignoring the National Anthem (they remain seated) when it is played by the band after dinner. This privilege was reaffirmed by the Sovereign prior to the formation of the regiment in 1993.[9]

Badges and Symbols

The White Horse of Hanover: Ranking second, after the Crown, among the regiment's military badges, it was bestowed by the first three King Georges to certain regiments for the their part in suppressing the Jacobites. It was first granted, as a special head-dress badge, by King George I to the 3rd King's Own Regiment of Dragoons in 1715 for their part in defeating James Francis Edward Stuart (The Old Pretender).[10]

Crossbelts: At the Battle of Almenar in 1710 the 8th Dragoons pursued the Spanish Cavalry Corps and, equipping themselves with the crossbelts of the enemy, cut down the Spaniards with their own swords. The crossbelts were worn with distinction for many years, and the nickname 'St Georges Crossbelts' was given to the regiment. Although the crossbelt worn today is based on the original 4th Hussar pattern, the continuing tradition of titling the Regimental Journal 'The Crossbelts' is in recognition of this famous action.[9]

The Maid of Warsaw

The Maid of Warsaw: Every member of the regiment wears the Maid of Warsaw, the crest of the City of Warsaw, on the left sleeve of his No. 2 (Service) Dress. This honour was awarded to the 7th Hussars by the Commander of the Second Polish Corps in recognition of their valour in support of the Polish Forces during the Italian Campaign in World War II. Traditionally the original crest presented to the regiment is placed in front of the Commanding Officer on Dinner Nights.[9]

The Fern Leaf: All vehicles in the regiment display the emblem of New Zealand, the Fern Leaf, to commemorate the association of the 3rd Hussars with the 2nd New Zealand Division at the Battle of El Alamein where the regiment lost all but five tanks breaching the German line. This honour was granted by General Lord Freyberg VC.[9]

Kettle Drums: By command of King George II the silver kettle drums captured by The King's Own Regiment of Dragoons, later the 3rd Hussars, at Dettingen are borne by a drum horse ridden by a Sergeant Kettledrummer - both being additional to the regimental establishment. The drums are always carried at the head of the regiment on ceremonial parades and are, uniquely amongst cavalry regiments, never covered by drum banners, the battle honours being engraved directly onto the sides of the drums. In 1772 when Lord Southampton commanded the regiment, his wife gave a silver collar to be worn by the Kettledrummer, which is still worn today when parading in full dress with the drums. The present drum horse is named Alamein and its nickname is Dudley.[9]

Other traditions
Winston Churchill 1895

Winston Churchill: Winston Churchill, who has been described as 'the greatest Hussar of them all', was commissioned into the 4th Hussars in 1895, and later became the Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment from 1941, until the 4th Queen's Own Hussars was amalgamated with the 8th Hussars in 1958, after which he became Colonel-in-Chief of the new regiment, Queen's Own Royal Irish Hussars remaining so until his death in 1965. In recognition of this, The Churchill Cup is awarded to the top-scoring troop in the regiment's annual gunnery competition. The Commanding Officer's tank is also named 'Churchill'.[9]

Regimental Colours

The colours are as follows:[9]

  • Garter Blue: The primary colour of the regiment is garter blue. This dates from 1685 when The Queen Consort's Regiment of Dragoons, later the 3rd Hussars, wore the Queen's livery with Garter Blue feathered hats. It has been in continuous use ever since.
  • Green: The use of green dates from 1748 when it was the facing colour of Princess Anne of Denmark's Regiment of Dragoons, later the 4th Hussars. It has an association with Ireland, which remains a recruiting area for the regiment. Officers and Senior Ranks wear green jumpers and all ranks wear berets. Officers can be distinguished by their distinctive tent hats (the only item of army headress worn without a cap badge other than with combat uniforms).
  • Yellow: The traditional Light Cavalry colour is yellow, which has been used by all of the regiment's predecessors.
Regimental song

The lyrics of the song go:[5]
I'm a soldier in the Queen's Army.
I'm a galloping Queen's Hussar.
I've sailed the ocean wide and blue.
I'm a chap who knows a thing or two.
Been in many a tight corner.
Shown the enemy who we are.
I can ride a horse.
Go on a spree, or sing a comic song.
And that denotes a Queen's Hussar.

File:Tpr Paul J Ashfield.jpg
Tpr Paul J Ashfield, 1999 Royal Tournament
The Eastbourne Redoubt South Seaward facade

The Regimental Pipes and Drums

The Pipes and Drums were inherited from the Queen's Royal Irish Hussars. There has been no formal adoption of pipe music by the regiment, but the pipe tunes have become very much a part of Regimental Parades, the following tunes have become part of the Regiment's Music.[11]

  • Killaloe Composed by Robert Martin in 1887 as part of the show "Miss Esmeralda".
  • The Minstrel Boy The original words were composed by Thomas Moore, set to an old traditional Irish air originally named "The Moreen".
  • Highland Cathedral A modern slow melody composed by M Korb for bagpipes, it is a haunting tune used as a slow march.
  • St Patrick's Day Played by the Irish Pipes at the battle of Fontenoy in 1745, though it has long been a popular patriotic Irish song.

Regimental days

The following are celebrated as battle honour days:[9]

St Patrick's Day is also celebrated.




Affiliated Yeomanry

Order of precedence

Preceded by
Royal Dragoon Guards
Cavalry Order of Precedence Succeeded by
The Royal Lancers


  1. "Queen's Royal Hussars". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 3 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "The Queen's Own Hussars". Retrieved 3 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Queen's Royal Irish Hussars". Retrieved 3 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "King's Royal Hussars". British Army units 1945 on. Retrieved 3 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "Queen's Royal Hussars". British Empire. Retrieved 3 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Ministry of Defence (2013-03-13). "Riflemen train for post-Afghanistan deployments - News stories". GOV.UK. Retrieved 2014-05-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Canada hosts Exercise Prairie Thunder". Archived from the original on August 17, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Regular army basing plan" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-05-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 9.9 "Regimental traditions". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 3 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "The White Horse of Hanover". Queen's Own Hussars Museum. Retrieved 3 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "The Pipes and Drums". Crossbeslts. Retrieved 3 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links