13th Hussars

The 13th Hussars (previously the 13th Light Dragoons) was a cavalry regiment of the British Army established in 1715. It saw service for three centuries including the Napoleonic Wars, the Crimean War and the First World War but then amalgamated with the 18th Royal Hussars, to form the 13th/18th Royal Hussars in 1922.

13th Hussars
13th Hussars Cap Badge
Badge of the 13th Hussars
Country Kingdom of Great Britain (1715–1800)
 United Kingdom (1801–1922)
BranchFlag of the British Army.svg British Army
TypeLine Cavalry
Size1 Regiment
Motto(s)Viret in aeternum (It Flourishes Forever)
Field Marshal Sir Robert Rich

Major-General William Stanhope, 1st Earl of Harrington
Lieutenant-General Henry Hawley
Lieutenant-General Humphrey Bland
Colonel James Gardiner
Major General Sir Charles Powlett
Field Marshal Henry Seymour Conway
General Sir Baker Russell

Lieutenant-General Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell


13th Light Dragoons uniform
Uniform of the 13th Light Dragoons

Early wars

The regiment was raised in the Midlands by Richard Munden as Richard Munden’s Regiment of Dragoons in 1715 as part of the response to the Jacobite rebellion.[1] It took part in the Battle of Preston in November 1715 after which it escorted the rebels to the nearest prisons.[2] The regiment was sent to Ireland in 1718 and remained there until 1742.[3]

During the 1745 Jacobite Rising, it was commanded by James Gardiner; largely composed of recruits, on 16 September the regiment was routed by a small party of Highlanders in the so-called 'Coltbridge Canter.'[4] Demoralised by this, it did the same at the Battle of Prestonpans on 21 September, which lasted 15 minutes and where Gardiner was killed and the equally disastrous Battle of Falkirk Muir in January 1746. Shortly after this, Gardiner's replacement Francis Ligonier died of sickness and was replaced by Philip Naison.[5]

The regiment returned to Ireland in 1749[6] and was re-titled the 13th Regiment of Dragoons in 1751.[1] It was involved in putting down a minor rebellion by George Robert FitzGerald in 1781[7] and it converted to the light role in 1783.[1] A detachment from the regiment was sent to Jamaica in September 1795[8] and returned in July 1798.[9]

Peninsular War

The 13th at Albuera
Members of the 13th attack French horse artillery at Albueara (from a book published in 1895)

In February 1810 the regiment sailed for Lisbon for service in the Peninsular War.[10] It took part in the Battle of Campo Maior on the Spanish-Portuguese border on 25 March 1811 in a clash that occurred between British and Portuguese cavalry, under Robert Ballard Long, and a force of French infantry and cavalry under General Latour-Maubourg. The regiment, two and a half squadrons strong, led by Colonel Michael Head, charged and routed a superior French cavalry force of no less than six squadrons.[11] The regiment, with two Portuguese squadrons, then went on to pursue the French for seven miles to the outskirts of Badajoz.[12] The report reaching Lord Wellington seems to have glossed over the epic quality of the charge and emphasised the overlong pursuit. After receiving Marshal Beresford's report, Wellington issued a particularly harsh reprimand to the regiment calling them "a rabble" and threatening to remove their horses from them and send the regiment to do duty at Lisbon. The officers of the regiment then wrote a collective letter to Wellington detailing the particulars of the action. Wellington is reported as saying that had he known the full facts he would never have issued the reprimand.[13] The historian Sir John Fortescue wrote, "Of the performance of Thirteenth, who did not exceed two hundred men, in defeating twice or thrice their numbers single-handed, it is difficult to speak too highly."[14]

The regiment formed part of Beresford's Allied-Spanish Army at the Battle of Albuera on 16 May 1811.[15] The French army, commanded by Marshal Jean-de-Dieu Soult, Duc de Dalmatie, was attempting to relieve the French garrison of the border fortress of Badajoz. Only after bloody and fierce fighting, and the steadfastness of the British infantry, did the allies carry the day. The regiment, which was unbrigaded, formed part of the cavalry force commanded initially by Brigadier Robert Ballard Long and, later in the battle, by Major General Sir William Lumley.[16]

The regiment also saw action at the Battle of Arroyo dos Molinos in October 1811,[17] at the Siege of Badajoz in March 1812[18] and, as part of the 2nd Brigade under Colonel Colquohon Grant, at the Battle of Vitoria in June 1813.[19] The regiment advanced into France and fought at the Battle of the Nive in December 1813,[20] at the Battle of Orthez in February 1814[21] and at the Battle of Toulouse in April 1814.[22]


13th Light Dragoons Waterloo
The 13th Light Dragoons at Waterloo 1815. Lord Hill - "Drive them back 13th"

The regiment, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Shapland Boyse and forming part of the 7th Cavalry Brigade, but operationally attached to the 5th Cavalry Brigade, next took part in the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815.[23][24] The regiment charged repeatedly during the day and completely routed a square of French infantry.[25] An officer of the 13th wrote:

Our last and most brilliant charge, was at the moment that Lord Hill, perceiving the movement of the Prussian army, and finding the French Imperial Guard on the point of forcing a part of the British position, cried out, - "Drive them back, 13th!" such an order from such a man, could not be misconstrued, and it was punctually obeyed.[26]

At that battle the armies of Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington and Generalfeldmarschall Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher decisively defeated the armies of the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.[27]

The Crimean War

William Simpson - Charge of the light cavalry brigade, 25th Oct. 1854, under Major General the Earl of Cardigan
The charge of the Light Brigade, October 1854; The 13th Hussars were in the first line of cavalry (on the left of the picture) on the right flank (towards the back of the picture)
Officers and men of the 13th Hussars-survivors of the Charge of the Light Brigade by Roger Fenton 1855

The regiment next saw action, as part of the light brigade under the command of Major General the Earl of Cardigan, at the Battle of Alma in September 1854.[28] The regiment was in the first line of cavalry on the right flank during the Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava in October 1854.[29] The brigade drove through the Russian artillery before smashing straight into the Russian cavalry and pushing them back; it was unable to consolidate its position, however, having insufficient forces and had to withdraw to its starting position, coming under further attack as it did so.[29] The regiment lost three officers and 38 men in the debacle.[29] Lance-Sergeant Joseph Malone of the E Troop was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the battle.[30] The regiment also took part in the Battle of Inkerman in November 1854: the regiment played a minor role, although Captain Jenyns complained:

They put us under a very heavy fire at Inkerman, but luckily for us - and no thanks to any General - we had a slight rise on our flank, which ricocheted the balls just over our heads. Some ship's shells bowled over a few men and horses though. It was useless, as we could not act.[31]

Colonel Baden-Powell; the white collar and busby-bag were distinctive features of the uniform of the 13th Hussars

The regiment went on to take part in the Siege of Sevastopol in winter 1854.[32] On 8 April 1861 the regiment was renamed the 13th Hussars[1] and in April 1862 the regiment started wearing hussar clothing.[33] The regiment departed for Canada in September 1866 as part of the response to the Fenian raids and sailed for India in January 1874.[33] Robert Baden-Powell, the future leader of the scouts, joined the regiment in India in 1876.[34] The regiment served in Afghanistan but saw no action during the Second Anglo-Afghan War.[33]

The Second Boer War

Rescuing a Drowning Trooper of the 13th Hussars at the Ferry Crossing (1902 Illustration)

The regiment arrived in South Africa in December 1899 and took part in the Battle of Colenso during the Second Boer War.[35] It formed part of Colonel Burn-Murdoch’s Brigade and had a minor part in the Relief of Ladysmith in February 1900.[35] The regiment stayed in South Africa throughout the hostilities, which ended with the Peace of Vereeniging on 31 May 1902. Following the end of the war, 556 officers and men of the regiment left South Africa on the SS City of Vienna, which arrived at Southampton in October 1902.[36]

First World War

13th Hussars horselines and bivouacs Aire, France (Photo 24-108)
13th Hussars bivouacked in France, 1915

The regiment, which was based in Meerut in India at the start of the war, landed in Marseille as part of the 7th (Meerut) Cavalry Brigade in the 2nd Indian Cavalry Division in December 1914 for action on the Western Front.[37] The regiment then moved to Mesopotamia, with the same brigade, in July 1916.[37] The regiment took part in the Second Battle of Kut in February 1917, the capture of Baghdad in March 1917 and the Battle of Sharqat in October 1918.[33] At Sharquat the regiment charged the hill where the Turkish guns were, and made a dismounted charge up it with fixed bayonets, successfully capturing the guns: İsmail Hakkı Bey, the Turkish commander, was aware of the peace talks at Mudros, and decided to spare his men rather than fight or break out, surrendering on 30 October 1918.[38] In 1922 the regiment amalgamated with the 18th Royal Hussars to form the 13th/18th Royal Hussars.[1]

Regimental museum

The regimental collection is held by the Discovery Museum in Newcastle upon Tyne.[39]


The colonels of the regiment were as follows:[1]

13th Regiment of Dragoons

A royal warrant provided that in future regiments would not be known by their colonels' names, but by their "number or rank" on 1 July 1751

from 1783 13th Regiment of Light Dragoons
from 1861 13th Hussars

In 1922 the regiment amalgamated with the 18th Royal Hussars to form the 13th/18th Royal Hussars

Battle honours

The regiment’s battle honours were as follows:[1]

  • Early Wars: Albuhera, Vittoria, Orthes, Toulouse, Peninsula, Waterloo, Alma, Balaklava, Inkerman, Sevastopol, Relief of Ladysmith, South Africa 1899-1902
  • The Great War: France and Flanders 1914-16, Kut al Amara 1917, Baghdad, Sharqat, Mesopotamia 1916-18

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "13th Hussars". Regiments.org. Archived from the original on 5 March 2007. Retrieved 25 August 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  2. ^ Cannon, p. 10
  3. ^ Cannon, p. 12
  4. ^ Corsar, Kenneth Charles (1941). "The Canter of Coltbridge; 16th September 1745". Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research. 20 (78): 93–94. JSTOR 44228252.
  5. ^ Lord Elcho, David (author), Charteris, Evan (ed) (1894). A short account of the affairs of Scotland : in the years 1744, 1745, 1746. David Douglas. p. 400.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  6. ^ Cannon, p. 20
  7. ^ Cannon, p. 24
  8. ^ Cannon, p. 28
  9. ^ Cannon, p. 30
  10. ^ Cannon, p. 34
  11. ^ Cannon, p. 42
  12. ^ Cannon, p.44
  13. ^ Fletcher, pp. 136-137.
  14. ^ Fletcher, p. 140.
  15. ^ Cannon, p. 49
  16. ^ Cannon, p. 50
  17. ^ Cannon, p. 51
  18. ^ Cannon, p. 53
  19. ^ Cannon, p. 57
  20. ^ Cannon, p. 59
  21. ^ Cannon, p. 61
  22. ^ Cannon, p. 65
  23. ^ Cannon, p. 68
  24. ^ Adkin, pp. 217-218
  25. ^ Cannon, p. 69
  26. ^ ), John Booth (Bookseller (1817). "The Battle of Waterloo publisher by authority with circumstantial details an observer". p. 69. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  27. ^ Cannon, p. 71
  28. ^ "The Battle of the Alma". British Battles. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  29. ^ a b c "The Battle of Balaclava". British Battles. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  30. ^ "No. 22043". The London Gazette. 25 September 1857. p. 3194.
  31. ^ Thomson, p. 181
  32. ^ "The Siege of Sevastopol". British battles. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  33. ^ a b c d "13th Hussars". British Empire. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  34. ^ "Robert Baden-Powell (1857-1941)". British Empire. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  35. ^ a b "13th Hussars". Anglo-Boer War. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  36. ^ "The Army in South Africa - Troops returning home". The Times (36887). London. 1 October 1902. p. 8.
  37. ^ a b "The Hussars". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  38. ^ Erickson, p. 203.
  39. ^ "Charge! The story of England's Northern Cavalry". Light Dragoons. Retrieved 2 June 2018.


External links

13th/18th Royal Hussars

The 13th/18th Royal Hussars (Queen Mary's Own) was a cavalry regiment of the British Army. It was formed by the amalgamation of the 13th Hussars and the 18th Royal Hussars in 1922 and, after service in the Second World War, it amalgamated with the 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars to form the Light Dragoons in 1992.

Alexander George Dickson

Alexander George Dickson (1834 – 3 July 1889) was a Conservative Party Member of Parliament in the British House of Commons representing Dover.

Dickson joined the 13th Light Dragoons in 1853 and reached the rank of Major. In 1863 he became Captain in the Royal East Kent Regiment of Mounted Rifles Yeomanry Cavalry. He stood for parliament at Dover in 1865 and retained the seat until his death in 1889.

He married as her second husband Charlotte Maria Eden, widow of Dudley North, Lord North, son of Francis North, 6th Earl of Guilford.

Anthony Home

Surgeon General Sir Anthony Dickson Home VC KCB (30 November 1826 – 10 August 1914) was a Scottish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Arthur Tremayne

Arthur Tremayne (15 May 1827 – 14 November 1905) was a Crimean War soldier and Cornish MP, who survived the charge of the light brigade, during which his horse was shot from under him.

Baker Russell

General Sir Baker Creed Russell (11 January 1837 – 25 November 1911) was an Australian-born British Army officer who served with distinction in the Indian Mutiny, Anglo-Ashanti War, Anglo-Zulu War and Egyptian War.

Henry Berkeley Fitzhardinge Maxse

Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Henry Berkeley Fitzhardinge Maxse (1832, Effingham Hill, England – 10 September 1883, St. John's, Newfoundland) was a Newfoundland colonial leader and a captain during the Crimean War.

Maxse was commissioned lieutenant in the Grenadier Guards in 1849 and transferred to the 13th Light Dragoons and then the 21st Foot in 1852. He was promoted captain in 1854 and transferred to the Coldstream Guards in 1855. He was promoted major in 1855 and lieutenant-colonel in 1863.

He was wounded at the Battle of Balaclava and received medals of honour for his service. He was lieutenant-governor of Heligoland in 1863 and appointed as governor the following year. Maxse became governor of Newfoundland in 1881.

Maxse was instrumental in the construction of the Newfoundland Railway. Most of his term as governor was spent in Germany with his wife, Auguste von Rudloff (d.1915). A noted German-language scholar, he published an English translation of Bismarck's Letters to his Wife and Sisters.

Maxse died as a result of the injuries he suffered at the Battle of Balaclava. He is buried in Brookwood Cemetery in Surrey.

Henry George Grey

Lieutenant-General Sir Henry George Grey GCH, GCB (25 October 1766 – 11 January 1845) was a British Army officer who served as acting Governor of Cape Colony.

Henry Seymour Conway

Field Marshal Henry Seymour Conway (1721 – 9 July 1795) was a British general and statesman. A brother of the 1st Marquess of Hertford, and cousin of Horace Walpole, he began his military career in the War of the Austrian Succession. He held various political offices including Chief Secretary for Ireland, Secretary of State for the Southern Department, Leader of the House of Commons and Secretary of State for the Northern Department. He eventually rose to the position of Commander-in-Chief of the Forces.

Humphrey Bland

Lieutenant General Humphrey Bland (1686 – 8 May 1763) was a British Army general who commanded the cavalry at the Battle of Culloden.

John Hamilton Gray (Prince Edward Island politician)

For the Father of Confederation from New Brunswick, see John Hamilton Gray (New Brunswick politician)

John Hamilton Gray (14 June 1811 – 13 August 1887) was Premier of Prince Edward Island from 1863 – 1865 and one of the Fathers of Confederation.

Gray began his political career in 1862 when he was elected to the provincial assembly as a reformer, despite his conservative roots. He became a leading member of the opposition, with a reputation even among his opponents as a great orator. He impressed the governor so much that he was invited to become a member of the Executive Council. However, his acceptance of the position drew criticism from his reform colleagues, and gained him a reputation for vacillation that followed him for the rest of his career. Gray became the Tory leader in the assembly, but when the Liberals won a majority in 1854, he was once again relegated to the opposition. Two years later, in 1856, the provincial governor dismissed the Liberal Executive Council and replaced them with a government led by Gray.

Gray was born in 1811, the son of Robert Gray, a United Empire Loyalist from Virginia. The elder Gray held a number of important administrative appointments in the early colonial government.

John Hamilton Gray was educated in Charlottetown. He chose a military career, trained in England and was commissioned into the 15th Foot in 1831. He transferred to the 13th Light Dragoons later the same year, the 15th Light Dragoons in 1839, the 1st Dragoon Guards in 1840, the 14th Light Dragoons in 1841, and the 7th Dragoon Guards in 1844.

It was not long before he was asked to participate in the political life of the colony. In 1858 he was elected to represent the district of 4th Queens in the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island as a Conservative. He was re-elected in 1863.

Gray was Premier minister of Prince Edward Island from 1863 to 1865 and during that time he attempted to alleviate the problems of the tenants by passing the fifteen-year purchase act, but the final solution of this question had to await Confederation. Gray was chairman of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference, which laid the groundwork for the British North America Act of 1867. He supported the entry of the Island into Confederation but when the Island rejected the scheme he left politics, turning the government over to James Colledge Pope.

He then returned to his first interest, the military. He was appointed adjutant-general of the PEI military in 1867 with the rank of colonel. He continued to be an administrator of military affairs until after the eventual Confederation of Prince Edward Island with Canada in 1873.

In 1887 John Hamilton Gray died at Inkerman House in Charlottetown. The name of the estate is in reference to the Battle of Inkerman where his father-in-law Sir John Pennyfeather, had lost honours to an older man. Inkerman Drive which once led to the house, is lined with trees planted by Gray and replacements of the same species, to represent the sides in the Battle. Linden on one side (Russian) and a mixture of white birch, beech, mountain ash and poplar on the other (French and English).

John Tyson Wigan

Brigadier-General John Tyson Wigan, (July 1877 – November 1952) was a senior British Army officer and later a Conservative Party politician. He served with the Desert Mounted Corps during World War I, and was wounded in action three times during campaigning at the Battle of Gallipoli and during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign. He had previously been badly wounded in the Second Boer War.

Following his retirement from the army post-war, Wigan became a Member of Parliament (MP) for three years.

Joseph Malone (VC)

Joseph Malone VC (11 January 1833 – 28 June 1883) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Kenneth McLaren

Kenneth McLaren DSO (sometimes known as Kenneth MacLaren), DSO, (1860–1924) was a Major in the 13th Hussars regiment of the British Army. After his military service he assisted with the growth of the Scouting movement founded by his friend Robert Baden-Powell.

In 1898 McLaren married Leila Evelyn Landon, who died in 1904. He married Ethyl Mary Wilson in 1910 despite the advice of Baden-Powell, who considered her below his station.

Richard Munden (British Army officer)

Richard Munden (after 25 June 1680 – 19 December 1725) was a British soldier and Member of Parliament.

He was the posthumous son of Sir Richard Munden, a captain in the Royal Navy.

He was commissioned as a captain in the 1st Foot Guards in 1702, and became a colonel in 1706. From 1708 to 1710 he sat in Parliament for Camelford. He was promoted to brigadier-general in 1712, and served as colonel of the 13th Light Dragoons from 1715 to 1722 and of the 8th Dragoons from 1722 to his death.

Sir Robert Rich, 4th Baronet

Field Marshal Sir Robert Rich, 4th Baronet (3 July 1685 – 1 February 1768) was a British cavalry officer. As a junior officer he fought at the Battle of Schellenberg and at the Battle of Blenheim during the War of the Spanish Succession. He was then asked the raise a regiment to combat the threat from the Jacobite rising of 1715. He also served with the Pragmatic Army under the Earl of Stair at the Battle of Dettingen during the War of the Austrian Succession. As a Member of Parliament he represented three different constituencies but never attained political office.

Thomas Bateson, 1st Baron Deramore

Thomas Bateson, 1st Baron Deramore DL (4 June 1819 – 1 December 1890), known as Sir Thomas Bateson, 2nd Bt from 1863 until 1885, was a British peer and Conservative Party politician.

William Anstruther-Gray (St Andrews MP)

Lieutenant-Colonel William Anstruther-Gray, FSA, JP, DL (6 September 1859 – 17 April 1938) was a Scottish soldier and politician.

William Ormsby-Gore, 2nd Baron Harlech

William Richard Ormsby-Gore, 2nd Baron Harlech (3 March 1819 – 26 June 1904), was an Anglo-Irish peer and Member of Parliament.

William Stanhope, 1st Earl of Harrington

William Stanhope, 1st Earl of Harrington, PC (c. 1683 – 8 December 1756) was a British statesman and diplomat.

Victoria Cross
See also
British cavalry regiments of World War I
Household Cavalry
Dragoon Guards
Special Reserve

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.