Welcome to the official website of the Queen’s Royal Hussars Regimental Association.
The last six to nine months have been marked by a number of significant events for the Regiment and the Regimental Association. On 6 May 2023, we witnessed the Coronation of King Charles III; the country has a new Monarch and the Armed Forces have a new Commander-in-Chief. On the 11th of August 2023 our Colonel, Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Beckett KCB CBE, announced that His Royal Highness Prince Edward, Duke of Edinburgh, would follow in his father’s footsteps to become the next Colonel-in-Chief of The Queen’s Royal Hussars (Queen’s Own and Royal Irish). This is a great honour and we welcome our new Colonel-in-Chief very warmly. On 3 April it was announced that Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Beckett KCB CBE would hand over as Colonel of the Regiment to Brigadier Nick Cowley OBE, who has recently handed over command of 16 Air Assault Brigade. Brigadier Nick took over from General Tom on 1 December 2023 and is now in the chair as our new Colonel. On behalf of the Regimental Trustees, the Regimental Association and the serving Regiment, I would like to take this opportunity to thank, most warmly, Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Beckett KCB CBE for his outstanding contribution to the Regiment over the last 9 years whilst he has been our Colonel.
Unfortunately, there is a great deal of crisis and conflict continuing to play out across the world. The Ukraine –Russia war continues unabated across a 1,000 km front and in the north of the Black Sea. Despite almost continuous fighting along the front in Ukraine, the media’s attention has been drawn to the vicious and bloody results of the latest Israeli – Hamas conflagration in Israel and the Gaza Strip since Hamas’ wanton blood-letting, hostage-taking, murder and rape of Israeli civilians on 7 October 2023; more than 1,200 Israelis died that day. For those who have studied the Arab-Israeli conflicts since 1948, the Israeli response to the Hamas attack has been both brutal and entirely predictable; it has resulted in truly terrible suffering among the Palestinians in Gaza. It is reported that more than 80% of the people have been displaced and over 17,000 killed; a significant percentage of those killed or badly maimed have been women and children.
10 to 15 years ago there was a lively conceptual debate within the British Armed Forces about the character of future conflict. This was when we were mired in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan when the Army was over-committed and under-resourced. A number of rather misguided but influential officers argued that ‘industrial war’ was dead and in future, it would all be ‘war amongst the people’ [examples being Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan (after the invasions)]. By the term ‘industrial war’ they referred to inter-state war using massed armies fighting combined arms operations against each other with tanks, armoured infantry, and heavy artillery, together with airpower and seapower. Wiser heads counselled against this view arguing that we had to maintain a properly resourced all arms and joint force capability. Since then defence cuts have reduced our ‘industrial war’ capability very severely. The Ukraine war has proven that the ‘industrial war’ is very much alive and kicking as the ‘wiser heads’ had predicted. The Ukraine war has also provided a great example of how the character of conflict changes quickly with new technology. The use of drones, of many different varieties, has changed the battlefield forever.
The Ukraine war has witnessed an unprecedented loss of blood and treasure since WW2.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) found that more Russian soldiers died in the first year of the war in Ukraine than in all its other wars since World War II combined, an average of 5,000 to 5,800 soldiers a month, vs 13,000 to 25,000 in Chechnya over 15 years and 14,000 to 16,000 in Afghanistan. Thus, the first year of the Ukraine war was 25 times deadlier than Chechnya and 35 times more so than Afghanistan. [Casualties of the Russo-Ukrainian War – Wikipedia]
As of 6 Dec 23 the Ukrainian defence staff claim that Russia has lost 335,110 personnel since 24 Feb 22, and: 5,600 tanks, 10,456 AFVs, 8,024 artillery systems, 919 MLRS, 605 AD systems, 10,532 vehicles & tankers, 324 aircraft, 324 helicopters, 6,083 UAVs. If the Ukrainian figures are exaggerated (which is likely) we might judge that the true figures might be only 70% of those claimed; 70% of the personnel casualties still provides a staggering casualty figure of almost 235,000 Russian casualties in 22 months (1 yr, 10mnths). This figure is more than 3 times the size of the Regular British Army today.
Whilst both Ukrainian and Russian families grieve for their lost sons, daughters, fathers, mothers and other family members today, we have taken the opportunity to remember our own fallen comrades from our Regiment, and our antecedent Regiments, over the last 300+ years of service to the Crown.
The Association and the serving Regiment have been involved in a range of remembrance events in recent months. A wreath-laying ceremony was held at our Regimental Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum on 5 November.
On Remembrance Day another group of Association members formed a contingent marching past the Cenotaph in London, whilst the main Association and Regimental Remembrance event took place in Coleraine in Northern Ireland this year. Many Association members living in Ireland or Northern Ireland were joined by a group of veterans who travelled over from Great Britain to attend the Remembrance Parade and Service in Coleraine. The visitors, including the Chairman and 2 former Colonels of the Regiment, were looked after wonderfully well by our Northern Ireland contingent with a supper on the Saturday night and a lunch after the parade and service on Remembrance Day itself. The event was made all the more special because the serving Regiment sent a contingent of 34 to lead the parade in Coleraine. Smart and well turned out in No.2 Dress, our marching contingent made a fine sight marching through Coleraine, together with saffron kilted pipers playing our favourite tunes. It was a fine day.
The last year has witnessed a full programme of Association Troop functions, mainly dinners or lunches; on behalf of all our members I wish to thank the Troop Secretaries and Troop Presidents for organising and hosting the Troop functions, which have been enjoyed by so many.
Our regional troops each hold at least one reunion event each year. Details can be found on the website or via HHQ. Please support these events, remember our fallen comrades-in-arms, and catch up with old friends.
There has been much in the press about the cost of living crisis this year with increasing utility bills, rents going up, inflation, and increased food and petrol prices. Most of our veterans can weather this storm but some may not be able to; therefore, please keep an eye out for Association members that might be in distress. If someone is in need of support they can be directed to our Home Headquarters via The Royal British Legion (TRBL) or the Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Airmen’s Family Association (SSAFA).
Their respective websites are:
2024 marks the 100th Anniversary of the Cavalry Memorial Parade in Hyde Park in London. The Parade will be on Sunday 12 May. Please save the date and make an effort to attend the parade and the service. There will be a lunch afterwards for those that wish and it is a great opportunity to catch up with old friends whilst paying our respects to those Cavalrymen who have fallen in the line of duty.
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, the 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 339 years.
The Regiment can trace its roots back to 1685 and during the past 339 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.