11th Hussars

11th Hussars

The 11th Hussars (Prince Albert's Own) was a cavalry regiment of the British Army.


The regiment was founded in 1715 as Colonel Philip Honeywood's Regiment of Dragoons and was known by the name of its Colonel until 1751 when it became the 11th Regiment of Dragoons. A further name change, to the 11th Regiment of Light Dragoons, occurred in 1783.

Their career during the 18th Century included service in the Seven Years' War when they took part in the charge at Warburg.

19th and 20th centuries

In 1840, the regiment was named for Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's consort, who later became the regiment's Colonel.

During the Napoleonic Wars battle-honours were received for Salamanca, Peninsular and Waterloo. The regiment's nickname, the "Cherry Pickers", came from an incident during the Peninsular War, in which the 11th Light Dragoons (as the regiment was then named) were attacked while raiding an orchard at "San Martin de Trebejo" in Spain. When the regiment became the 11th (Prince Albert's Own) Hussars in 1840, their new uniform by coincidence included "cherry" (i.e. crimson) coloured trousers, unique among British regiments and worn since in all orders of uniform except battledress. This was not in memory of the orchard incident but reflected the crimson livery of Prince Albert's House: Saxe-Coburg and Gotha [ "The King's Own Royal Hussars" - Part 9 of the "Regiment" series ] .

The 11th Hussars charged with the Light Brigade, which was commanded by their former Colonel, Lord Cardigan, at Balaklava during the Crimean War.

In 1928, the 11th Hussars became the first British regiment to become mechanized. In 1936, they became involved in suppressing the Arab revolt in the British Mandate of Palestine.

The Second World War

In 1940, the 11th was located in Egypt when Italy declared war on Britain and France. It was part of the "Divisional Troops" of the 7th Armoured Division (known as the "Desert Rats"). Equipped with obsolete Rolls Royce and Morris armored cars, the unit immediately began to conduct various raids against Italian positions during the Western Desert Campaign. The Hussars captured Fort Capuzzo and, in an ambush east of Bardia, captured General Lastucci, the Engineer-in-Chief of the Italian Tenth Army.

In September 1940, when the Italian invasion of Egypt was launched, the 11th Hussars were part of the British covering force.

The 11th Hussars took part in the British counterattack called Operation Compass that was launched against the Italian forces in Egypt and then Libya. The unit was part of an "ad hoc" combat unit called "Combe Force" that cut off the retreating Tenth Army near Beda Fomm. Lieutenant-Colonel John Combe was the commander and namesake of Combe Force. The Italians were unable to break through the defensive positions established by Combe Force and surrendered "en masse" as the 6th Australian Division closed in on them from their rear.

Prior to the Normandy campaign, the 11th Hussars were removed from the Division and assigned as a Corps-level unit in accordance with Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery's view that all armoured car regiments would be assigned to Corps, not Divisions. Later in the European campaign, the Regiment reverted back to the 7th Armoured Division.


On October 25 1969 the regiment was amalgamated with the 10th Royal Hussars (Prince of Wales's Own) to form The Royal Hussars (Prince of Wales's Own). In 1992, as part of the Options for Change defence review, the Royal Hussars were amalgamated with the 14th/20th King's Hussars to form the King's Royal Hussars. The 11th Hussars are unofficially perpetuated by C squadron of the King's Royal Hussars.

Notable members

*James Thomas Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardigan - leader of the Charge of the Light Brigade
*Alexander Roberts Dunn - the first Canadian to win the Victoria Cross
*David Margesson, 1st Viscount Margesson - British politician
*Francis Newall, 2nd Baron Newall - British politician
*Nicholas Soames - British Politician
*HRH Prince Michael of Kent
*Sir Philip Frankland-Payne-Gallwey, 6th Bt
*Harry Paget Flashman - fictional anti hero
*Antony Beevor - writer

Battle honours

*Warburg, Beaumont, Willems, Egypt, Salamanca, Peninsula, Waterloo, Bhurtpore, Alma, Balaklava, Inkerman, Sevastopol

*The Great War: Mons, Le Cateau, Retreat from Mons, Marne 1914, Aisne 1914, Messines 1914, Armentières 1914, Ypres 1914 '15, Frezenberg, Bellewaarde, Somme 1916 '18, Flers-Courcelette, Arras 1917, Scarpe 1917, Cambrai 1917 '18, St. Quentin, Rosières, Amiens, Albert 1918, Hindenburg Line, St. Quentin Canal, Beaurevoir, Selle, France and Flanders 1914-18

*The Second World War: Villers Bocage, Bourguébus Ridge, Mont Pincon, Jurques, Dives Crossing, La Vie Crossing, Lisieux, Le Touques Crossing, Risle Crossing, Roer, Rhine, Ibbenburen, Aller, North-West Europe 1944-45, Egyptian Frontier 1940, Withdrawal to Matruh, Bir Enba, Sidi Barrani, Buq Buq, Bardia 1941, Capture of Tobruk, Beda Fomm, Halfaya 1941, Sidi Suleiman, Tobruk 1941, Gubi I II, Gabr Saleh, Sidi Rezegh 1941, Taieb el Essem, Relief of Tobruk, Saunnu, Msus, Defence of Alamein Line, Alam el Halfa, El Alamein, Advance on Tripoli, Enfidaville, Tunis, North Africa 1940-43, Capture of Naples, Volturno Crossing, Italy 1943

References and external links

*Bowling, A. H. (1972). British Hussar Regiments 1805 - 1914. Almark Publishing, London.
* [http://website.lineone.net/~royal.hussar/11hhomepage.htm Site dedicated to the 11th Hussars]
* [http://www.warlinks.com/armour/11_hussars War diaries of the 11th Hussars]
* [http://www.regiments.org/regiments/uk/cav/D11h.htm regiments.org]

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