Unit History: 9th Queen's Royal Lancers
The second Lancer Regiment in order of precedence dates its origin from the year 1715. The death of Queen Anne had long been looked forward to by the Jacobites, as giving their faction an opportunity of placing their leader and head on the British throne as James III. Whether the Chevalier de St George ever really came to England and interviewed his sister the Queen, as Thackeray suggests in "Esmond", may be doubted, but there was evidently enough political disturbance in the air to render the Whig party, which favoured the new dynasty, uneasy. They had reason for this, as events proved; and, to promote a greater feeling of security, the small standing army was increased by seventeen additional regiments of dragoons and thirteen of foot. Of the former only six remain (now the 9th, 11th, 13th, 10th, 12th, 14th), the others, with all the new foot regiments, disappearing from the army list in 1718.
Major-General Wynne was the first colonel, and raised his six troops chiefly in the southern counties. Their services were soon required. Supported by France, the standard of rebellion was raised by the Earl of Mar at Braemar, where the Duke of Argyll commanded what loyal troops there were in Scotland. Another insurgent centre was formed partly of Scots and partly of English, under Lord Kenmuir, and this force, the under the command of General Foster, invaded England, and reached Preston, which they had fortified and barricaded, the approaches being commanded by guns.
Against this a force under General Wills advanced on the 12th of November. It consisted of the 3rd Horse (afterwards the 2nd Dragoon Guards), Wynnes, Honeywoods, Mundens, Dormers and Stanhopes Regiments of Dragoons, and the 26th Foot. The Cameronians, supported by detachments of Dragoons, attacked from the Wigan Road, the Lancaster route being assaulted by the rest of the force. But so stout was the resistance that the village was fired before the defenders gave way and it was only on the second day of the fight that the rebels surrendered. With the return of the Pretender to France all further conflict ceased, and Wynnes Dragoons embarked for Ireland.
In 1751 the clothing warrant describes the uniform as scarlet, with buff facings and breeches. The colours were of red silk for the Kings guidon, and buff for the other troops. The former has the rose and thistle crowned with "Dieu et mon Droit" in the centre, and in the four compartments are panels bearing the the white horse of Hanover and the regimental number on a buff ground; the other guidons were centred with the regimental number on a crimson ground, within a wreath of roses and thistles, while the panels in this case were the white horse and a rose and thistle joined alternately. In 1783 they were converted into Light Dragoons, and the following year the uniform was changed to blue. Their first service since the rising of 1715 was again against rebels, in the Irish insurrection of 1798, and throughout the whole of that troubled year they were employed, frequently as isolated troops and in small bodies, against the universally numerically superior bands that seem, without any connected plan, to have been collected at different points. Much barbarity was shown by the have savage insurgents. In one case, for instance, Quartermaster Charles King, who had been taken prisoner in one of these numerous skirmishes, was shot in cold blood "for persisting in his loyalty to his sovereign".
The regiment remained in Ireland until 1803, and did not again embark for foreign service until 1806, when it formed part of Sir Samuel Auchmutys expedition to the River Plate, which they reached in seven weeks from England. They shared in the occupation of Monte Video, though not in its storm. But no effort was made to replace the dead and useless horses, so that after a while the regiment ceased to be effective as cavalry, and were used, for the first and last time in their history, as foot soldiers, in the brigade formed by the dismounted troops of the 6th Dragoon Guards and the 40th and 45th Regiments of the Line, under Colonel the Hon Thomas Mahon. To the dismounted cavalry was given the honour of attacking one of the central streets, with three troops of 9th Light Dragoons and four of the Carabiniers in the first line, and the other five troops of the former in reserve, and supported by two six-pounders. They behaved with the greatest bravery, but the attack was, on the whole, a failure, and General Whitelocke abandoned the place.
They next shared in the ill-fated Walcheren expedition, losing 152 men there by fever, and in 1811 embarked for Portugal. At Aroyo de Molino they surprised General Girard, capturing 1,000 prisoners, the artillery, baggage, and stores of the force and taking General Brune prisoner. They took part in all the numerous skirmishes that occurred between 1811 and 1813, when they returned home with the permission to bear "Peninsula" on their appointments. In 1816 they were constituted Lancers, with, in 1830, the distinguished title of "Queens Royal", in honour of Queen Adelaide, consort of William IV.
Embarking for India, they took part in the Gwalior campaign at Punniar and Maharajpore, and soon after shared in the Sutlej campaign against the Sikhs. "Sobraon", "Punjaub", "Chillianwallah", and "Goojerat", are borne on their colours for their brilliant services in that campaign, where the Sikh horse was often "as numerous as the sands of the sea", where Sir Hope Grant on more than one occasion led them, and where as the enemy thought, "God had given them the victory." They were the recipients of the first bronze star, which was given after the war instead of the silver medal; and the regiment later on again gained the distinction of the similar star given to those who joined in Sir Frederick Robertss march from Kabul to Kandahar. Again in the Mutiny they did good work, as at Delhi, where they shared in the skirmishes which preceded the fall of the city, one of which Colonel Abercromby Yule was slain, and, at Lucknow, where they earned the commendation of Lord Clyde. No cavalry regiment has a longer list of Victoria Cross men than the 9th Lancers, and it is well their names should be recorded. Thomas Hancock and John Purcell, Privates, were decorated for gallantly standing by theitrBrigadier, the J. H. Grant, C.B., when his horse was shot; Lieutenant A. S. Jones, afterwards Adjutant at the Staff College, almost single-handed captured one of the enemys guns, but at Agra, four months later, was desperately wounded, receiving no less than twenty three wounds, and losing the sight of an eye by a sword cut; Lance-Corporal Goat, Private Newell, Troops Sergeants-Major Spence and Rushe, Privates Donohoe, Freeman and Roberts, distinguished themselves by attempts to save wounded officers or comrades; as did Lance-Corporal Kells and Sergeant Hartigan. The latter showed extreme gallantry on more than one occasion, and at Agra was dangerously wounded. Lastly, Lord William Beresford, when on the staff of the army operating in Zululand in 1879, won the highly prized decoration for saving Sergeant Fitzmaurices life in the retreat of a reconnoitring party across the White Umvolosi River, in the presence of a large body of Zulus, by mounting him behind him on his horse and bringing him away, "under the close fire of the Zulus, who were in great force, and coming on quickly".
Lastly, for their splendid services in Afghanistan, too long to retell here, they carry on their battle roll the names of Charasiah, Kabul 1879; Kandahar, 1880; and Afghanistan, 1878-80.
The blue uniform has scarlet facings and black and white plume; and their honoured nickname is "The Delhi Spearmen", from the good use to which they put their lances in the Mutiny. The badge is the royal cypher within the Garter.
Extract from "The British Army and Auxiliary Forces" Colonel C. Cooper King, R.M.A. , 1894
9th/12th Royal Lancers
With the re-alignment of the British army during the ’cold war’ the regiment was amalgamated with the 12th Lancers. Despite many regiments undergoing further amalgamations with some loss of identity, the 9th/12th Royal Lancers have remained a distinct regiment and still perform much the same tasks for the army of today armed with scimitar tanks, as their predecessors did on horseback. Most recently the 9th/12th have seen active service in the Gulf War of 1991 and the Balkans. The regiment is currently on station in Germany beginning a tour of duty as part of Nato forces.
The record of the Regiment has no ending. Its spirit can be seldom expressed in words only articulated in the bearing of officers and men in the fierce competitive brilliance of peace and the discipline and comradeship of war. This spirit has been created by generation after generation of soldiers, by men who fought in the Peninsula and at Waterloo, in South Africa and India, in the Transvaal and the mud of Flanders, in France, North Africa, Italy and Iraq.