15th The King's Hussars

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15th The King's Hussars
Active 1759–1922
Country  Kingdom of Great Britain (1759–1800)
 United Kingdom (1801–1922)
Branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Type Line cavalry
Size Regiment
Motto Merebimur (We shall be Worthy) (Latin)
Colors Blue - Yellow - Red and Blue
Anniversaries Sahagún Day (21 December)
George Augustus Eliott, 1st Baron Heathfield
Lieutenant General James Thomas Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardigan, KCB
General Lord Robert Manners
NCOs - Royal Crest
Louis Nolan, an officer of the 15th who gained notoriety as the bearer of the ill-fated order precipitating the Charge of the Light Brigade

The 15th The King's Hussars was a cavalry regiment in the British Army. First raised in 1759, it saw service over two centuries, before being amalgamated with the 19th Royal Hussars into the 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars in 1922.



The regiment was raised as the first of the new regiments of light dragoons in 1759, and named Elliots Light Horse, after George Augustus Eliott, 1st Baron Heathfield who had raised the regiment. It was then renamed the 15th Regiment of (Light) Dragoons. In 1760 the 15th was the first unit in the British Army to be awarded a battle honour "Emsdorf" for the Battle of Emsdorf in the Seven Years' War. Other more senior units then applied to be awarded battle honours for previous campaigns and battles.

In 1766 they were renamed for George III as the 1st (or The King's Royal) Regiment of Light Dragoons, the number being an attempt to create a new numbering system for the light dragoon regiments. However, the old system was quickly reestablished, with the regiment returning as the 15th (The King's) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons in 1769. They became hussars in 1807, as the 15th (The King's) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons (Hussars).


In 1819, the 15th played a pivotal role in the notorious Peterloo Massacre, where a 60,000 strong crowd calling for democratic reform were charged by the Yeomanry. Panic from the crowd was interpreted as an attack on the Yeomanry and the Hussars (led by Lieutenant Colonel Guy L'Estrange) were ordered in. The charge resulted in 15 fatalities and as many as 600 injured.

The title was simplified in 1861 to the 15th (The King's) Hussars.

First World War

At the start of the First World War in August 1914, the 15th The King's Hussars was stationed at Longmoor. They moved to France on 18 August 1914, landing at Rouen. The squadrons were attached to different infantry divisions to form the divisional reconnaissance element:

On 14 April 1915, the squadrons returned to regimental control and the regiment was placed under the command of the 9th Cavalry Brigade in the 1st Cavalry Division.[1]

The regiment remained on the Western Front throughout the war. It participated in most of the major actions where cavalry were used as a mounted mobile force. They were also used as dismounted troops and served effectively as infantry.[2] On 11 November 1918, orders were received that the 1st Cavalry Division would lead the advance of the Second Army into Germany, by 6 December, having passed through Namur, the division secured the Rhine bridgehead at Cologne.[2]

Post war

After service in the First World War, the regiment, retitled as the 15th The King's Hussars in 1921, was amalgamated with the 19th Royal Hussars (Queen Alexandra's Own) to form the 15th/19th Hussars the following year.

Battle honours

The Regiment was awarded the following battle honours:

  • Emsdorf, Villers-en-Cauchies, Willems, Egmont-op-Zee, Sahagun, Vittoria, Peninsula, Waterloo, Afghanistan 1878-80
  • The Great War: Mons, Retreat from Mons, Marne 1914, Aisne 1914, Ypres 1914 '15, Langemarck 1914, Gheluvelt, Nonne Bosschen, Frezenberg, Bellewaarde, Somme 1916 '18, Flers-Courcelette, Cambrai 1917 '18, St. Quentin, Rosières, Amiens, Albert 1918, Bapaume 1918, Hindenburg Line, St. Quentin Canal, Beaurevoir, Pursuit to Mons, France and Flanders 1914-18

See also


  1. Baker, Chris. "The Hussars in 1914-18". The Long, Long Trail;The British Army of 1914-1918. Archived from the original on 24 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Baker, Chris. "The 1st Cavalry Division, Order of Battle". The Long Long Trail. The British Army in the Great War of 1914–1918 (website). Retrieved 2008-07-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links