The Queen's Royal Irish Hussars

The Queen's Royal Irish Hussars were formed from the amalgamation of the 4th Queen's Own Hussars and the 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars in Hohne 1958. The first tour as a regiment was in Hohne itself as part of the 7th Armoured Brigade. In 1961 they re-roled as an armoured reconnaissance regiment deploying to Aden for a year of peaceful patroling during which they manned their own flight of aircraft.

The Regiment moved straight from Aden to Malaya in October in 1962 and were Garrisoned in Ipoh, Singapore and Sarawak. The Squadrons rotated through this series of widely dispersed camps, patroling to keep the peace from being broken by Indonesian communist forces, with whom there was some limited fighting. in 1964 the regiment moved back to Wolfenbuttel as the armoured car regiment of the first division for four years. it then returned to England spending a short time in Perham Down then Bovington for two years after which they returned to Paderborn in Germany. In 1974 the regiment went on a short tour to Cyprus to help in the aftermath of the Turkish invasion as part of the United Nations contingent.

In 1979 the regiment moved back to Tidworth for three years during which an independant squadron completed two tours as an armoured recce squadron in Cyprus and a small contingent became ceasefire monitors in Rhodesia.
From 1982 - 1987 the regiment was back in Munster, where it completed a short tour in Ireland in 1983 as the
Maze prison guard force. Two years in Bovington and Catterick followed Munster, then back out to Germany in 1990 where the regiment took part in the Gulf War and liberation of Kuwait, spearheading the 7th Armoured Brigade 100 hour advance. Prior to amalgamation in 1993 the regiment completed another tour of Cyprus as the United Nations.


The Queen's Royal Hussars

The QRH was formed on the 1st September 1993, with the amalgamation of The Queen's Own Hussars and the Queen's Royal Irish Hussars. The Regiment has been particularly active since amalgamation. It was the first regiment to deploy Challenger 1 tanks into Bosnia with the NATO Stabilization Force in 1996 and soon after it deployed to Northern Ireland in the dismounted role.

An independent Tank Squadron deployed to Kosovo in 2001 with Challenger 2 tanks, before the Regiment deployed as a whole later that year in the dismounted role. The current Regiment embodies the traditions and fighting spirit of it's predecessors. It is currently based in Sennelager, Germany where it makes up the Armoured Regiment of 20 Armoured Brigade.


The Pipes and Drums

The Pipes and Drums were first formed in Paderborn on the 17th march 1973 for St. Patrick's Day as a joint brain child of the then Commanding Officer Lt Col BR O'Rorke and Lord St Oswald, himself an EX 8th Hussar.
The pipes and drums performed for the first time on St Patrick's Day of that year. Unfortunately due to the increased level of work at Regimental duty the pipes and drums slowly declined, to be rejuvenated by a subsequent Commanding Officer Lt Col Sir Charles Lowther Bt, in 1987.

The pipe band originally consisted of just two pipers but no drums, the uniform was a saffron kilt with a green piper's jacket, after two years the band grew by adding four Drummers and were now in a position to carry out more challenging engagements.

By the end of the 1970's and the start of the 1980's the pipe band received its first Pipe Major, Pipe Major Jimmy Walker, which in turn helped to improve the musical talents within the pipe band and to perform at the Royal Tournament in London was one of the main driving focuses at the time. Sadly this was not achieved until 1996 Under Pipe Major Walker's Successor, Pipe Major David Johnson who joined the Regiment and the Pipe Band from the Irish Guards in Munster in 1988.

Once the Pipe Band achieved its goal of playing at London the Military School of Piping in Scotland then started to use the Pipes and Drums more frequently thus helping the Pipe Band immensely because a young Trooper from the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards joined the Regiment and the Pipe Band in 1991 to help and encourage the younger members of the band. He Became the Pipe Major before being replaced in 2008 by the first true Queen's Royal Hussar Pipe Major, Nicolas Colwell.

Under Pipe Major Massie in 1999 the Pipe Band was requested to appear at the Royal Tournament and the Edinburgh Tattoo, he also changed the Uniforms of the Pipe Band to a Saffron Kilt with a green but gold braided Pipers jacket and a garter blue and green shawl with the White Horse of Hannover as a brooch, the drummers wearing traditional Hussars ceremonial dress.

Some of our recent engagements have included the south of France and South Africa supporting the Army Sales team, we are also sending Pipers to Brazil and Korea.

All the Soldiers currently serving in the Pipe Band are not just Pipers and Drummers but are also full crewmen of the regimental workhorse "the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank" and are always ready to deploy with the Regiment on any operational Duties.

There has been no formal adoption of pipe music by the regiment, but the pipe tunes have become very much a part of Regimental Parades, the following tunes have become part of the Regiment's Music.

  • KILLALOE Composed by Robert Martin in 1887 as part of the show "Miss Esmeralda".

  • THE MINSTRAL BOY The original words were composed by Thomas Moore, set to an
    old traditional  Irish air originally named "The Moreen".

  • HIGHLAND CATHEDRAL A Modern slow melody composed by M Korb for bagpipes, it
    is a haunting  tune used as a slow march.

  • ST PATRICK'S DAY Played by the Irish Pipes at the battle of Fontenoy in 1745, though
    it has long been a popular patriotic Irish song.

The Queen's Own Hussars

The Queen's Own Hussars were formed from the amalgamation of the 3rd King's Own Hussars and the 7th Queen's Own Hussars in Tidworth 1958. The Regiment remained in England until 1960 with one squadron serving in Aden. It was bought back together as the armoured Regiment of the 6th Infantry Brigade at Munster in northern Germany. They moved to Detmold two years later and back to Catterick in 1965 except for "A" Squadron who became the first Berlin Armoured Squadron. 1967 was a very busy year for the Regiment as their role was converted to that of an armoured reconnaissance regiment and deployed to keep the fragile peace in Aden, where they were awarded one MC and six mentions in dispatches.

The following two years saw the Regiment blown to the four corners of the globe, with independent squadrons serving in Singapore, Hong Kong, Maresfield and Cyprus. The Queen's Own Hussars converted back to being an armoured regiment in 1970, and were posted to Hohne as part of the 7th Armoured Brigade for four years in which time they completed two tours of Northern Ireland, one in armoured cars and the latter on foot. In 1974 they relocated to Bovington for two years, then Detmold for seven years punctuated by another two tours of Northern Ireland, returning to England in 1983.

Their final move as a complete regiment was out to Hohne in 1985, from where they completed a United Nations tour of Cyprus in 1990, and in 1993, shortly before there amalgamation they had two large independent squadrons, one as armoured reconnaissance in Cyprus and the other as the Maze prison guard force in Northern Ireland.


The 8th Hussars

Colonel Conyngham's Dragoons were raised in Ireland in 1693. They first saw active service during the war of Spanish secession where, having defeated the Spanish Cavalry and stolen their Crossbelts they earned the name of 'The Crossbelt Dragoon's'. The Regimental Journal and Polo Team are still called 'The Crossbelts'.

The Regiment saw extensive action during the Jacobite rebellion of 1745 and fought in the Flanders campaign of 1784.
They gained their first Battle Honour in 1803 in India. The 8 KRIH accompanied the 4th Hussars down the 'Valley of Death' during the immortal Charge Of  The Light Brigade in 1854. Soon after they won 5 Victoria Crosses in Central India during the mutinies. The Regiment spent the duration of the Great War suffering the privations of the trenches of the Western Front.

The Regiment mechanized in 1938 and fought alongside the 3rd, 4th and 7th Hussars in the Dessert Rats during the North African campaign. They landed in Normandy in June 1944, and fought their way across Europe to Hamburg. In 1950 the Regiment was sent to aid the UN in Korea where they earned unreserved praise for their courageous action during the battle of Imjin River.

The Regiment amalgamated with the 4th Hussar's in 1958.

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