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History

The Royal Lancers were formed in 2015 by the amalgamation of two regiments; the 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales’s) and Queen’s Royal Lancers.

The Royal Lancers were formed in 2015 by the amalgamation of two regiments; the 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales’s) and Queen’s Royal Lancers.

From the first day of the Regiment’s formation, the Royal Lancers will be on readiness and prepared as the Lead Cavalry Battlegroup, ready to act as the Brigade’s primary ears and eyes on the ground.

The regiment's nickname, the ‘Flag and Boneheads’, comes from their famous cap badge which is known as 'the motto'. This is the combined cap badges of the two antecedent regiments, featuring the crossed lances with pennants of the 9th/12th Royal Lancers and the Skulls Head of the Queen’s Royal Lancers. The Skulls Head is originally a motif from General Wolfe’s family crest granted to the regiment which was raised in his honour following his successful battle at Quebec and death. The ‘Flags’ stem from the pennants placed upon the end of the lances of the Cavalry regiment. If the Regiment was charged by enemy cavalry the lances would be presented and at the last moment, waved furiously to cause a visual and audible disturbance to the charging horses causing them to veer off course and break the charge.

The Regiment is honoured to have Her Majesty the Queen continue in her role as Colonel of the Regiment with HRH Princess Alexandra and the Duke of York as her joint deputy.

9th Queen's Royal Lancers

The 9th Lancers first arrived in India some 15 years before the Indian Mutiny where they were awarded a number of battle honours and served in the Second Punjab War. They went on to serve in the Afghan Campaign 1878-80 including the famous march from Kabul to Kandahar.

They took part in the last lance on lance charge of the First World War at Moncel on 7th September 1914 against German Guard Dragoons having already won one of the first VCs of that war.

12th Royal Lancers

The 12th Lancers won their first battle honour in Egypt in 1801, having previously had a young Duke of Wellington serve with them as a subaltern between 1789-91.

In 1855 they reinforced the Light Cavalry Brigade in the Crimea after the infamous charge at Balaclava.

They also charged with the lance during the Great War, at Moy on 28th August 1914, against German Guard Dragoons.

16th Queen's Lancers (A Squadron)

The 16th Lancers were first raised in 1759 and have seen service in the American War of Independence, the revolutionary wars in France, the Peninsular Wars in Spain and at the Battle of Waterloo.

It was also the first Regiment to use the lance in battle at Bhurtpore in 1822. Known as the ‘Scarlet Lancers’, the 16th have fought in every campaign with the exception of the Crimea and gained more Battle Honours than any other Cavalry Regiment.

Battle Honours

Beaumont, Willems, Talavera, Fuentes d'Onor, Salamanca, Vittoria, Nive, Peninsula, Waterloo, Bhurtpore, Ghuznee 1839, Afghanistan 1839, Maharajpore, Aliwal, Sobraon, Relief of Kimberley, Paardeberg, South Africa 1900-02.

The Great War: Mons, Le Cateau, Retreat from Mons, Marne 1914, Aisne 1914, Messines 1914, Armentières 1914, Ypres 1914 '15, Gheluvelt, St. Julien, Bellewaarde, Arras 1917, Scarpe 1917, Cambrai 1917, Somme 1918, Amiens, Hindenburg Line, Canal du Nord, Pursuit to Mons, France and Flanders 1914-18.

The 17th (Duke of Cambridge’s Own) Lancers (B Squadron)

This Regiment is notable for its participation in the Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War. In 1922 the 17th was amalgamated with the 21st (Empress of India's) Lancers to form the 17th/21st Lancers.

The Motto

In 1759, Colonel John Hale of the 47th Foot was ordered back to Britain with General James Wolfe's final dispatches and news of his victory in the Battle of Quebec. After his return, he was rewarded with land in Canada and granted permission to raise a regiment of light dragoons.

He formed the regiment in Hertfordshire on 7 November 1759 as the 17th Regiment of (Light) Dragoons, which also went by the name of Hale's Light Horse. Colonel Hale was still in mourning due to the death of General Wolfe and chose the badge of the Death’s Head with the Motto ‘Or Glory’ in commemoration of him.

Battle honours

Alma, Balaklava, Inkerman, Sevastopol, Central India, South Africa 1879, South Africa 1900–1902.

The Great War: Festubert, Somme 1918, Morval, Cambrai 1917 , St. Quentin, Avre, Lys, Hazebrouck, Amiens, Hindenburg Line, St. Quentin Canal, Beaurevoir, Pursuit to Mons, France and Flanders 1914–18.

The 21st (Empress of India’s) Lancers (C Squadron)

Raised in 1760 as the 21st Light Dragoons by The Marquis of Granby, the Regiment was disbanded and raised twice more as war with France required. Raised for the fourth time in 1858 it served in India and Egypt.

Perhaps its most famous engagement was the Battle of Omdurman, where Winston Churchill (then an officer of the 4th Hussars), rode with the unit. It was here that members of the Regiment won three Victoria Crosses and was given the title 21st (Empress of India's) Lancers, taking the name from Queen Victoria who was the Empress of India.

Battle Honours

Sudan - Khartoum
Mahdist War
Battle of Omdurman 1898
The Great War
North-West Frontier India 1915 - 1916

The 5th (Royal Irish) Lancers (D Squadron)

Raised in 1689 at Enniskillen as Wynne’s Regiment of Dragoons, the Regiment saw action in Marlborough’s great victories at Oudenaarde, Blenheim, Ramilies and Malplaquet. After long service in Ireland as the Royal Dragoons of Ireland, the Regiment was controversially disbanded in 1799.

However, it was re-raised in 1858 as the 5th Royal Irish Lancers, seeing subsequent service in The Sudan and Boer War. During the Great War, the Regiment was the last to leave Mons in the retreat of 1914, and the first to re-enter the town in the advance of 1918. On amalgamation in 1922 the Regiment was considered junior to the 16th Lancers due to its interrupted service; hence the 16th/5th Lancers.

Battle Honours

Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde, Malplaquet, Suakin 1885, Defence of Ladysmith, South Africa 1899-1902.

The Great War: Mons, Le Cateau, Retreat from Mons, Marne 1914, Aisne 1914, Messines 1914, Ypres 1914 -15, Gheluvelt, St. Julien, Bellewaarde, Arras 1917, Scarpe 1917, Cambrai 1917, Somme 1918, St. Quentin, Amiens, Hindenburg Line, Canal du Nord, Pursuit to Mons, France and Flanders 1914-18.

16th/5th The Queen’s Royal Lancers

The 16th/5th Queen’s Royal Lancers were formed in 1922 by the amalgamation of the 16th and 5th Lancers; it was mechanized in 1939 and saw action in North Africa and Italy during the Second World War.

Between 1945 and 1993 the Regiment served in Germany, Aden, Northern Ireland, Hong Kong, Cyprus, Lebanon and the first Gulf War (Operation GRANBY), where it was the first regiment to enter both Kuwait and Iraq.

The 17th/21st Lancers

Formed by the amalgamation of the 17th and 21st Lancers in 1922, and mechanized in 1938, it saw service in North Africa and Italy during the Second World War.

At the Battle of Fondouk in North Africa, the Regiment cleared through a heavily defended gap, sustaining heavy losses in a pivotal manoeuvre that helped win the battle.

Between 1945 and 1993 the Regiment served in Palestine, Germany, Hong Kong, Aden, Northern Ireland, Cyprus and the Gulf War.

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