Welcome to the official website of the Queen’s Royal Hussars Regimental Association.
The last time I updated this introduction to our Regimental Association website we were dealing with the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic and the great variety of problems that went with it. Although Covid-19 remains a significant difficulty the immunisation programme has been very successful in saving many lives, and in many ways, life has returned or is returning, to normal.
The latest and greatest threat to European defence and security has been President Putin’s ill-conceived and illegal invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022. President Putin’s entirely unjustified attack on a sovereign state in Europe has shocked the free world, which has responded with very severe economic sanctions. As I write (5 Apr 22) more than 10 million Ukrainians have fled their homes and 3 – 4 million have fled from Ukraine. Many expected the Russians to have overwhelmed the far smaller Ukrainian Armed Forces within 2 -3 days and have taken Kyiv within 4 or 5 days. However, the Russians have failed to take any major cities so far and the Ukrainian armed forces, National Guard, reserves and volunteers have fought magnificently against the odds. The war has exposed the ineptitude, lack of professionalism, lack of discipline, and poor leadership in the Russian Army, which is largely a conscript force. Both sides have lost many people and Russia’s indirect fire strikes into populated towns and cities have been deemed war crimes; recent evidence of the execution and shooting of civilians by the Russian military is also considered to be a war crime. It is very difficult to assess Ukrainian casualties at the moment – certainly many hundreds and probably thousands. However, NATO estimates of Russian casualties indicate Russians Killed in Action (KIA) might be between 7,000 – 15,000 suggesting that Russian casualties could be as high as 30,000 – 40,000 in 6 weeks of fighting.
Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has now focused western leaders’ attention on defence matters and has highlighted the significant reduction in NATO capabilities caused by deep defence cuts over the last 20-30 years. Germany has already announced a 100 billion Euro injection of investment into their Armed Forces, and that it will meet 2% of GDP, at least for the short term. Achieving this would make Germany the third-largest defence spending nation in the world after the USA and China. The significance of this cannot be underplayed and it should be hoped that the UK will reassess decisions made in the ‘Integrated Review’ to consider if we spend enough on the right things. Based on the evidence from Ukraine, one can suggest that we do not.
Turning to more Regimental and Association business. The reduced Covid-19 restrictions have enabled our Association Troop functions to be held over the last few months, which have been well attended. On 23 Mar 2022 the Regimental Trustees, led by our Colonel, managed to visit the serving Regiment in Tidworth. A Trustees meeting was held in RHQ and we were very well looked after by all ranks involved. During the Trust meeting, the Trustees reflected on Ukraine and what the conflict and its outcome will mean for Europe. We noted the humanitarian impact inside Ukraine and the plight of refugees fleeing the fighting.
We decided that the Regimental Charity would donate £4000 to the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal organised by the Disasters Emergency Committee. I encourage all members to donate too at https://donation.dec.org.uk/ukraine-humanitarian-appealhttps://donation.dec.org.uk/ukraine-humanitarian-appeal.
On Mon 4 Apr 2022 the long-awaited opening of The Queen’s Royal Hussars Museum took place in Warwick. The Association was honoured by having The Princess Royal attend the event and conduct the formal opening. The opening was attended by about 80 – a mix of local dignitaries such as the Lord Lieutenant, the High Sheriff, and the Mayor of Warwick together with many members who have worked so hard over some years to bring the project to fruition. Also attending were some Regimental Association Trustees and Trustees from The Queen’s Royal Hussars Collection Trust, chaired by Brigadier (Retd) Nick Smith. A small contingent from the serving Regiment, led by the Commanding Officer and the RSM, also attended. The Princess Royal was most gracious and interested in all that she saw. HRH spoke with a great many members attending and remarked how much her Father had enjoyed and valued his association with the Regiment, and its antecedent Regiments, over almost 70 years. Brigadier Nick Smith thanked HRH most warmly for opening the museum and thanked all those who had worked so hard to produce such an impressive result; Brigadier Nick made special mention of the outstanding contribution of Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) Mike Mumford over many years. All members of the Association are encouraged to both visit and support our new and excellent museum.
After 2 years of absence due to Covid-19, the Cavalry Memorial Parade will take place this year in Hyde Park on Sunday 8 May. It would be great to have a strong QRH contingent so members are encouraged to attend if at all possible. There is also an all ranks lunch after the parade in the Lansdowne Club; members attending the parade are also encouraged to join the lunch afterwards – a great opportunity to catch up after so long. All details regarding the parade timings and the lunch in the Lansdowne Club are on the website – please do visit the website and book in so that Major Jim Austin can assess the numbers attending the parade and the numbers attending the lunch afterwards.
Finally, members may wish to know that our oldest veteran, Sgt Fred ‘Chippy’ Smith, was given a very special Birthday on 24 March. To help Chippy celebrate his 107th Birthday (yes, 107!!) he was visited by a small contingent from the serving Regiment, which included the Quartermaster, the Regimental Sergeant Major and a Piper. The RSM, WO1 Alastair Walker, presented Chippy with a Blackthorn as a birthday present. Chippy was very moved by the honour bestowed upon him by his Regimental family. Chippy joined the 7th Hussars in 1938 and fought in many theatres during the Second World War – a fine gentleman indeed, who still lives independently.
Col Andrew Cuthbert
Chairman of The Regimental Association
The Queen’s Royal Hussars (The Queen’s Own and Royal Irish)
Formed in September 1993 by merging The Queen’s Own Hussars and The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars, the senior light cavalry regiment in the British Army is The Queen’s Royal Hussars (The Queen’s Own and Royal Irish).
The amalgamation brought together the four senior Hussar Regiments of our forebears, 3rd The King’s Own Hussars, The 4th Queen’s Own Hussars, 7th Queen’s Own Hussars and The 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars, who had so often fought side by side in the campaigns of the past 337 years.
The Regiment can trace its roots back to 1685 and during the past 337 years has been awarded 173 Battle Honours.
Of these 44 are recorded on The Guidon which was presented to the Regiment by the then Colonel in Chief, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother on the 14th of June 1997.