Unit History: 14/20 King's Hussars
The 14th King’s Hussars was a cavalry regiment in the British Army, first raised in 1715. It saw service for two centuries, before being amalgamated into the 14th/20th Hussars in 1922.
The regiment was raised in 1715 as a dragoon regiment, named for its first colonel as James Dormer’s Regiment of Dragoons, and ranked as the 14th Dragoons. In 1751 it was formally renamed as the 14th Regiment of Dragoons. It became a light dragoon regiment in 1776, as the 14th Regiment of (Light) Dragoons, and was renamed for Princess Frederica in 1798 as the 14th (The Duchess of York’s Own) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons.
The regiment went to join Wellington’s Army in the Iberian Peninsula in 1808 following time spent in England. The regiment gained the battle honour Douro in May 1809 having been spared the retreat to Corunna in the same year; the only regiment having been spared this retreat. Hard action at the Talavera in 1809 followed with smaller actions at Barquilla and on the Coa river during 1810. The regiment also saw action at Fuentes d’Onoro in 1811. The following year was a very busy one for the 14th having fought at Villagarcia and Salamanca as well as covering the sieges at Badajoz and at Ciudad Rodrigo where Lieutenant-Colonel Talbot, along with 34 of his men were killed.
During the Battle of Vitoria in 1813 the regiment captured a silver chamberpot belonging to King Joseph Bonaparte, brother of the Emperor Napoleon, from which the regimental nickname of "The Emperors Chambermaids" followed. Minor actions in the Pyrenees followed, and supporting roles took them through to the passage into France itself. The regiment went back to England at the end of the Peninsula War, but had to find two squadrons to send to North America. In North America the role of the regiment was limited by the fact that they had arrived without their horses, although they did take part in the Battle of New Orleans on 8 January 1815. Due to the action in North America the regiment took no part in the Waterloo Campaign.
They were renamed in 1830, to mark the coronation of William IV as the 14th (The King’s) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons. The title was simplified in 1861 to the 14th (King’s) Hussars. After service in the First World War, the regiment retitled as the 14th King’s Hussars in 1921, and was amalgamated with the 20th Hussars to form the 14th/20th Hussars the following year.
The 20th Hussars were a regular cavalry regiment in the British Army. In 1922 they were amalgamated with the 14th Hussars to comprise the 14th/20th Hussars, later the 14th/20th King’s Hussars
A number of regiments of Dragoons have carried the title 20th Regiment. The 20th Regiment of (Light) Dragoons’, also known as the "20th (Inniskilling) Light Dragoons" was formed in 1760 and disbanded in 1763. In 1779 a new 20th Regiment of (Light) Dragoons was raised out of the Dragoon Guards regiments lasting until 1783.
This was followed by the 20th (Jamaica) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons raised in 1792. The regiment served in Jamaica during the Maroon War, 1795-6. It subsequently performed much varied and gallant service. Part of it was present at the capture of the Cape of Good Hope in 1806 and was subsequently employed in South America at Montevideo and Buenos Aires. A portion of the regiment also took part in the descent on Calabria, and was present at the battle of Maida. In 1807 the 3rd Squadron was the sole cavalry detachment present in the Alexandria expedition of 1807. It went to Portugal in 1808, and was much distinguished at Vimiero, where its conduct elicited the warmest praise from Sir Arthur Wellesley. It was also at the capture of Genoa in 1814. In 1805 it was just the 20th Regiment of (Light) Dragoons and was disbanded in 1818.
The 14th/20th Kings Hussars was founded in 1922 through the amalgamation of the 14th Kings Hussars and the 20th Hussars and was renamed the 14/20 Hussars and given the title Kings after George VI came to the Throne on the 14th Dec 1936. On the 16th December 1936 the Regiment was notified that it was to be re-designated as the 14th/20th King’s Hussars. This was achieved by representations being put forward by the Colonel of the Regiment General Sir George Barrow.
The newly founded Regiment had its first tour of active duty in Egypt in 1931 for two years. The last time the Regiment went out mounted was in Jan 1938, this was on manoeuvres near Lucknow. Without ceremony the Regiment said goodbye to the horses in Aug 1938. Each officer was allowed to keep one horse, a pool was also kept. After this tanks arrived in two and threes (The Vickers light tanks MK2 and the MK6), and on the 31st March 1939 the Regiment was officially recorded as being converted to mechanisation. All ranks were transferred from Cavalry of the Line to the R.A.C at Secunderabad, on the 11th April 1939. The Regiment has maintained all its Cavalry traditions throughout the transition period and to it’s end.
The Regiment served in Iraq and Iran during the middle of 1941, German forces were becoming more influential in the area at the time and the Regiment was tasked to counter those heavy influences. The Regiment formed the main element of the second light Armoured Brigade providing the only tanks available in the area.
On the 4th December 1992 the 14th/20th Kings Hussars amalgamated with the Royal Hussars (PWO) and formed a new Regiment - The Kings Royal Hussars to carry on the History of this finest of all Regiments.