4th Queen's Own Hussars

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4th Queen's Own Hussars
Crest of the 4th Queen's Own Hussars
Active 1685 - 1958
Country  Kingdom of England (1685–1707)
 Kingdom of Great Britain (1707–1800)
 United Kingdom (1801–1958)
Branch  British Army
Type Cavalry of the Line [1]/Royal Armoured Corps
Role Light Cavalry
Size Regiment
Part of Royal Armoured Corps
Nickname(s) Paget's Irregular Horse
Motto Mente et Manu (With Mind and Hand)
March Quick: Berkeley's Dragoons
Slow: Litany of Loretto
Anniversaries Salamanca Day, Jul 22
Balaklava Day, Oct 25
St Patrick's Day, Mar 17
Colonel-in-Chief Sir Winston Churchill

The 4th Queen's Own Hussars was a cavalry regiment in the British Army, first raised in 1685. It saw service for three centuries, before being amalgamated into The Queen's Royal Irish Hussars in 1958.

The regiment was first raised as The Princess Anne of Denmark's Regiment of Dragoons in 1685, by the regimenting of various independent troops, and ranked as the 4th Dragoons. In 1751, it was formally titled as the 4th Regiment of Dragoons, and in 1788 named for Queen Charlotte as the 4th (Queen's Own) Regiment of Dragoons.

The regiment was designated light dragoons in 1818, becoming the 4th (The Queen's Own) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons, and as hussars in 1861 as the 4th (Queen's Own) Hussars. After service in the First World War, the regiment retitled as 4th Queen's Own Hussars in 1921.

The regiment mechanised in 1936 and was transferred to the Royal Armoured Corps in 1939, and fought in the Second World War. The regiment survived the immediate post-war reduction in forces, but was slated for reduction in the 1957 Defence White Paper, and was amalgamated with the 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars, to form The Queen's Royal Irish Hussars the following year.


Lieutenant-Colonel George Paget, 4th (Queen's Own) Light Dragoons, Dublin 1850 (Michael Angelo Hayes, 1850)

The 4th Hussars fought throughout Wellington's Peninsula Campaign and gained distinction in the Afghan War. They participated in one of the most glorious actions of the British Cavalry when they charged with the Light Brigade at Balaclava alongside the 8th Hussars. Private Samuel Parkes was awarded the Victoria Cross during the charge for saving the life of a Trumpeter, Hugh Crawford. The regiment served in France for the duration of the First World War, winning 21 battle honours and nearly 100 awards for gallantry. They mechanised in 1936, transferring from their traditional place as Cavalry of the Line to the Royal Armoured Corps and saw extensive action during the Second World War in Greece, the Western Desert (El Alamein) and Italy.

Second World War

The regiment was posted to The Middle East, arriving on 31 December 1940.[2] As part of the 1st Armoured Brigade they were attached to the 6th Australian Infantry Division and fought in the Greek Campaign. Fighting as the rearguard in the Corinth Canal Bridge action the regiment was overrun and surrendered losing all senior officers and over 400 men as prisoners of war. In June 1941 the regiment was reconstituted in Cairo and rejoined the 1st Armoured Brigade as part of the 8th Army. Badly mauled during the battles around Gazala and having lost almost an entire squadron – which was attached to the 3rd County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters)[3] – the regiment was temporarily amalgamated with one squadron from the (similarly depleted) 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars to form the 4th/8th Hussars.[4] A portent of things to come perhaps as this partnership, along with their previous association with the 8th in the Charge of the Light Brigade made them both ideal candidates for the amalgamation which would follow in 1958. The regiment fought with distinction in the Italian campaign during the allied advance into the Axis territories.

The postwar period

At the end of the Second World War, the 4th Hussars served in the Malayan Campaign before deploying to Germany and amalgamating with the 8th Hussars at Hohne to form The Queen's Royal Irish Hussars in 1958.

Winston Churchill

2nd Lt Winston Churchill in 1895

Sir Winston Churchill, was commissioned as a Cornet into the 4th Hussars in January 1895. He later became the Colonel-in-Chief of the Regiment from 1941 until amalgamation and was then Colonel-in-Chief of the Regiment of the new Queen's Royal Irish Hussars until his death in 1965.

See also


  1. List of British Army regiments (1881)
  2. "War Diary of the 4th Hussars in 1940". Archived from the original on 2012-10-21. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "War Diaries For 3rd County of London Yeomanry (3rd Sharpshooters) 1942". www.warlinks.com. Archived from the original on 2014-04-23. Retrieved 21 April 2014. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Armour Regiments Page". Archived from the original on 2009-12-13. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links