P.D. GRIFFIN
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MODERN BRITISH ARMY REGIMENTS

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The 11th Hussars' quick march, Moses in Egypt, celebrated the services of C Squadron in the Egyptian campaign of 1801, which gave the regiment its Sphinx battle honour, a rarity in cavalry circles. For this contribution to regimental honours C Squadron has always enjoyed senior squadron status in the regiment.

King's Royal Hussars corporals in green coveralls and the regimental brown beret

King's Royal Hussars corporals in green coveralls and the regimental brown beret, 1995

The march, Royal Sussex, long played unofficially in the 14th, was authorised in 1961 after permission was sought from the colonel of the Royal Sussex Regiment. The march had spread from the one regiment to the other in 1798, when the band of the 35th (Royal Sussex) Regiment stepped in to cover for the band of the 14th Light Dragoons, who were found unfit to play for their regiment after time spent in a Kent tavern.

A corporal of the 14th Hussars in the mounted review order of 1880-1900

A corporal of the 14th Hussars in the mounted review order of 1880-1900

Other marches in the regiment's repertoire are Up Light Loo (regimental trot 14/20), Light of Foot (quick march, RH, until 1976), Merry Month of May and God Bless the Prince of Wales.

The band of the Royal Hussars would play the regimental hymns of 'The Don't Dance Tenth' on Tuesdays and Thursdays when in barracks. These were introduced to the 10th by Lt-Col Baker in 1866, to be played between first and last post: Thy Will Be Done, As Pants the Hart and Trent's Chant No. 1.

TRADITIONS

On guest nights in the officers' mess a toasting cup called 'The Emperor' is used in the tradition of the 14/20, and the 14th Hussars before them. This silver travelling chamber pot was taken by men of the 14th Light Dragoons from the coach of Joseph Bonaparte in the French Army's rout at the Battle of Vittoria in 1813. Subalterns of the 'Emperor's Chambermaids' were not required to drain 'The Emperor' of its liquor after 1929, but officers drank from it for the loyal toast and, after 1969, a special toast to their Colonel-in-Chief, Princess Anne.

The regiment's affiliation with the Royal Gurkha Rifles originated with the 14/20H in 1942. In 1945 they came together with the 6th Gurkha Rifles again for the push through Italy and attacked a German Panzer division at Medicina. The KRH keep 16 April as Medicina Day in the way of the 14/20.

Other important regimental anniversaries are Ramnuggur Day (22 November), commemorating 'The Ramnuggur Boys' of the 14th and their death or glory charge against the Sikh cavalry in 1848; Ramadi Day (28 September), traditionally celebrated in the corporals' mess of the 14th Hussars in honour of their action against the Turks in 1916; El Alamein Day (23 October); and Balaklava Day (25 October), when the 11th Hussars charged with the Light Brigade in 1854.

The custom of sounding the Last Post at 2150 hr, instead of the regulation 2200, began with the 11th Hussars. It was their way of honouring their famous leader, Lord Cardigan, who died at this hour.

THE LIGHT DRAGOONS

Unlike other armoured reconnaissance regiments created in the 'Options for Change' mergers of 1992, the Light Dragoons (LD) opted to change from the obvious hussar titles of their recent history and reached further back, to a time when their antecedents were light dragoons. The original four were linked tip in 1922 as the 13th/18th Hussars and the 15th/19th Hussars.

In No. 1s for the Guidon Parade

In No. 1s for the Guidon Parade, Germany, 1995. (Light Dragoons)

The Light Dragoons' headquarters are at Newcastle upon Tyne, the former home of 15/19H - The Geordie Hussars'. The 13/18H were 'Yorkys' and the LD still recruit in Yorkshire and the north-east. Diana, Princess of Wales, was the first Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment, and in 2003 King Abdullah II of Jordan was appointed to the post.

DRESS DISTINCTIONS

18th Hussars with a 'captured' French eagle during a Napoleonic encounter

18th Hussars with a 'captured' French eagle during a Napoleonic encounter, 2004

The scarlet peaked cap (15/19H) is mounted with the Maltese Cross which distinguished shakos of the light dragoon regiments from 1832, a bold departure from normal badging practice. The cross is superimposed with the lion and crown (15H) above a wreathed circle encompassing the monogram LD and inscribed with the mottoes Viret in aeturnum (Forever green - 13H) and Merebimur (Worthy of our deeds - 15H). The badge is mounted on a scarlet backing, a 15/19H custom that is noticeable on the blue beret.

The 13/18H were recognisable by their unique white caps (with blue band), which inspired nicknames like 'The Milkmen' and 'The Sailors'.

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