|Photographs and history of the 9th Lancers, during the
reign of Queen Victoria.
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), Wynne's, Honeywood's, Munden's, Dormer's and Stanhope's
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 Wynne's 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
King's 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
Auchmuty's 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 "Queen's 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 Roberts's 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 enemy's 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 Fitzmaurice's 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
ALFRED STOWELL JONES (Lieutenant,
now Lieut-Colonel) 9th (Queen’s
On June 8th 1857, at Budle-K-Serai, Delhi, the
squadron commanded by Lieutenant Jones charged the rebels and, although
they offered a stout resistance, rode straight through them, killing the
drivers, and capturing one of their guns.
With the assistance of Colonel Yule, he turned it upon a village,
strongly held by the mutineers, and drove them out.
Sir Hope Grant stated in his despatch that nothing could have
been better done or more gallantly executed.
At Agra, on October 10th following, Lieutenant Jones
received no fewer than twenty-two wounds, part of his head being cut
away, and one eye destroyed, in spite of which he recovered. Born
at Liverpool, January 24th 1832, Lieut. –Colonel Jones is
the son of the late Archdeacon Jones.
Educated at Liverpool College and Staff College, Sandhurst, he
entered the 9th Lancers in 1852.
Throughout the siege of Delhi served as D.A.Q.M.G. to the
cavalry, being there three times mentioned in despatches, and promoted
Captain and Brevet-Major.
Graduated at the Staff College 1861, served
on the Staff at the Cape, 1861-7, retiring 1872.
H. HARTIGAN (Sergeant)
On October 10th following at
Agra, under circumstances of great bravery, he saved the life of
Sergeant Crews, who was attacked by four rebels (who had crept into the
camp), and though quite unarmed, Hartigan dashed for the nearest,
wrenched a tulwar from his hand, hitting him a blow in the mouth with
his fist, then turned and attacked the other three, one of whom he
killed, and wounded the two remaining.
He was, however, by that time so terribly wounded himself, that
he was unable to continue the combat, and was obliged to retire on
THOMAS HANCOCK (Private)
this gallant soldier was specially mentioned by Sir Hope Grant,
in command of the Field Force, for his courageous conduct on June 19th
1857. When that brave
leader’s horse was shot under him at Delhi, Hancock remained by him
and giving him his own mount, enabled him to be taken out of the hot
corner the cavalry were in at the time. With him were Private Purcell (V.C.) and a Sowar, Roopur
Khan. The former was
awarded the chief of decoration, but the Sowar’s name unfortunately
does not figure in the list of recipients.
JOHN PURCELL (Private)
At Delhi, June 19th 1857,
Purcell, with another brave lancer, Thomas Hancock (V.C.) and Sowar
Roopur Khan, saved the life of Sir Hope Grant, by staying with him,
offering him one of their horses, and getting him out of the melee when
surrounded by rebel cavalry. Purcel’s
horse was killed in the contest.
P. DONOHOF (Private)
On September 28th 1857, at Boolundshuhur, during the
charge in which Lieutenant Robert Blair (V.C.) so gallantly
distinguished himself, Donohoe was greatly instrumental in assisting his
officer in returning to camp after going to his support when so terribly
ROBERT KELLS (Lance
Corporal) 9th Lancers
On September 28th 1857, at Boolundshuhur, Captain
Drysdale’s horse was shot, and he was thrown heavily, breaking his
collarbone. Kells, dashing
to his rescue, kept the enemy at bay until help arrived, and was the
means of saving him from certain death.
The portrait of this gallant lancer shows him in the uniform of
the Yeoman of the Guard, in which corps he is still serving.
In July 1901 was presented with the Royal Victorian Medal by H.M.
J. R. ROBERTS (Private)
Decorated for conspicuous gallantry and devotion at Boolundshuhur,
September 28th 1857, when, under a most galling fire, he
brought a wounded comrade through the streets, being himself badly
injured during his humae act.
J. FREEMAN (Private)
At Agra, on October 10th 1857, Lieutenant Jones had
been shot and severely wounded. Freeman,
dashing to his officer’s assistance, killed the leader of the
enemy’s cavalry and kept at bay the Sepoys surrounding him.
His Cross in the United Service Institute, London.
D. SPENCE (Troop
Sergeant-Major) 9th Lancers
Decorated for conspicuous bravery at Shumsabad, on January 17th
1858, when he rescued Private Kidd from the centre of a band of rebels.
Kidd’s horse had fallen and he was badly wounded, and to reach
him had to cut his way through several of the enemy.
WILLIAM GOAT (Corporal)
9th (Queen’s Royal) Lancers.
This brave young soldier took p[art in the siege and capture of Lucknow
in 1858. On March 6th,
while in action with the enemy’s cavalry, he coolly dismounted, took
up Major Smyth, 2nd Dragoon Guards, who was thought to be
only severely wounded, and attempted to remove him off the field.
This, at first, he was unable to accomplish, being surrounded by
the enemy’s horse. Nothing
daunted, he made a second attempt, this time under a heavy fire, and
succeeding in his endeavours-in defence of the rabble around him-removed
the officer’s body out of reach of those waiting to mutilate it.
William goat’s Cross with Mutiny medal
was sold in London, in May 1902 for £85.
R. Newell (Private)
Decorated for his bravery at Lucknow on March 19th
1858, when, under a heavy fire of musketry, he went to the assistance of
a comrade whose horse had fallen on bad ground, and brought him away to
DAVID RUSHE (Troops
Sergeant Major) 9th Lancers
On March 19th 1858, this non-commissioned officer
displayed conspicuous bravery near Lucknow in having, with one other
soldier; attacked eight mutineers posted in a nullah, and killed three
LORD WILLIAM LESLIE DE LA POER
BERESFORD (Captain, afterwards Colonel,
K.C.I.E.) 9th (Queen’s royal)
Previous to the battle of Ulundi, which broke the Zulu power and
brought that sanguinary war to a close, reconnaissance was made across
the White Umvolosi River on July 3rd 1879.
The cavalry having pushed far out towards Ulundi, thousands of
Zulus, hidden up to that moment in deep hollows, opened a brisk fire on
our men. The “retire”
was sounded, and at that instant Sergeant Fitzmaurice, of the 24th
was thrown from his horse, severely injured and partially stunned, and
the Zulus being now only a few yards away, his fate seemed sealed.
Lord William Beresford then rode back, cur his way to the man,
took him up on his horse and brought him away safely.
This task was rendered all the more dangerous and difficult owing
to the fact that Fitzmaurice twice nearly pulled him off the saddle, but
Sergeants O’Toole rendered valuable assistance by helping to keep the
man on the horse at the same time checking the advance of the nearest
Zulus with his carbine. O’Toole
was deservedly awarded the Victoria Cross also, thanks to Lord William
speaking on his behalf, for when commanded to Windsor to receive to
decoration, he told Her late Majesty that he could not in honour receive
the recognition of his services unless it were shared in by Sergeant
O’Toole, who he generously affirmed, deserved infinitely greater
credit than any which might attach to himself and the next Gazette
announced O’Toole’s reward.
Colonel Lord William Leslie de la Poer
Beresford, third son of the Rev. John de la Poer, fourth Marquess of
Waterford, was born on July 20th 1847. Educated at Eton, he entered the 9th Lancers in
1867 as Cornet, obtained his commission as Lieutenant in 1870, and his
Captaincy in 1876. Was an
A.D.C. to Lord Lytton, Viceroy of India, from the end of 1875 to October
1881. Served through the
Jowaki Expedition 1877-8, this being his first active service.
Besides the Zulu War, he served with the gallant Lancers in the
Afghan War, being present at the capture of Ali Musjid, and from 1881 to
1894 was Military Secretary to the successive Viceroys of India, Lords
Dufferin and Lansdowne. Became
Major in 1884, and served with the Burmese Expedition, being mentioned
in despatches and receiving Brevet of Lieut. –Colonel.
Became Colonel in January 1891.
Died December 28th 1900.
Drum-Horse of the 9th Lancers. (1896)
The 9th (Queen's Royal) Lancers, whose drum horse we show opposite,
was originally one of the Dragoon regiments raised early in George the
First's reign. As Dragoons, the 9th served under Wellington in
Spain. After 1816 they became Lancers, on the model of the
celebrated Polish Lancers, who rendered Napoleon such devoted
service. The 9th were at Sobraon and Chillianwallah, and in India
during the Sepoy mutiny, the prowess of the "Delhi Spearmen"
being a living recollection to many a grey bearded ex-rebel still
alive. Since then they have greatly added to their fame in the
East - under Lord Roberts, with whom they fought at Cabul, and marched
to Candahar. This horse was presented to the regiment by Her
Majesty the Queen, on their return to England from the Afghan War.
magazine photo page published 1895 - 1902. Price £25.
reproduction of photograph ready mounted. Price £25. Click here to
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Non-Commissioned Officers of the 9th Lancers.
The 9th (Queen's Royal) Lancers, the non-commissioned
officer of which well known regiment are here shown in undress uniform,
have one of the best records of any cavalry corps in the Service.
They were raised as Dragoons in the year 1715, and became Lancers after
Waterloo. They fought under Wellington in Spain, and since then
there is hardly a campaign in India in which the 9th Lancers have not
borne a distinguished part. Their facings are scarlet, and plume
black and white.
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Bringing Horses to the Rear by George Wright
Depicting the 9th Lancers during 1914.
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Copyright National Army Museum
|The First VC of the European War by Richard Caton
Captain Francis Grenfell, 9th Lancers, the first VC of World War I to
be gazetted, winning the VC at Audregnies, Belgium, 24th August 1914.
Print serial number DHM1098. Image size 25" x 15". Print
price £42 ($75)
Charge of the 9th Lancers by Richard Caton Woodville
Depicts the charge of a squadron of the 9th Lancers against the Prussian
Dragoons of the Guard at Moncel on the 7th September 1914. This was Cavalry
action in the First World War when cavalry charged with both sides at
full gallop. The 9th Lancers casualties were 3 killed and 7 wounded compared
to heavy losses suffered by the Prussian Dragoons.
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by permission of the 9th/12th Lancers
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|The Battle of Goojerat, 21st October 1849 by H.M
In pursuit of the Sikhs after the battle.
Print serial number VAR434. Image size 17" x 12". Print
price £24 ($45).
|Charge of the Picket of the 9th Lancers, October 10th
1857 by unknown artist
Led by Captain French and Lieutenant Jones, the former killed and
latter severely wounded.
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price £24 ($45).
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Uniform print of the 9th Lancers by Richard Simkin.
Serial number UN295 Image size 8" 12" Price £8 ($15)
|Officer, IXth Light Dragoons in Review Order
Coloured lithograph vignettes by J C Stadler after Chares Hamilton
Smith from Charles Hamilton Smith's Costumes of the Army of the British
Empire, according to the last regulations 1812, published by Colnaghi
& Co. 1812-1815.
Antique print image size 9" x 11". serial number
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Regimental Books Available
Captain Francis Octavius Grenfell, OF The 9th Lancers, Won The
V.C. Near Doubon
7.30 on the morning of August 24th-the day on which the retreat
from Mons began-Sir Charles Ferguson, who was holding the village of
Frameries with the right of the 5th Division, found that the
enemy were endeavouring to work round his flank between Frameries and Mons,
and sent word of General Allenby that he was very hard pressed and in
urgent need of support. On
receipt of this message, Allenby at once brought up his cavalry to the
menaced point, and for a little while succeeded in holding the out
flanking movement in check. The
first of the cavalry to go into action were the three regiments of the 2nd
Brigade-the 4th Dragoon Guards, the 9th Lancers, and
the 18th Hussars, who began a dismounted action with the German
infantry at a range of over a thousand yards near the village of
Andregnies. Then General de
Lisle, who commanded the brigade, ordered the 9th Lancers to
mount and charge the flank of the advancing masses, with the other two
regiments as supports. But
alas! Their gallantry was to affect nothing beyond proving that the
spirit, which had inspired the Light Brigade at Balaclava, is still a line
in the British cavalry of today. For
the ground had been insufficiently reconnoitred, and five hundred yards
from the enemy the Lancers found themselves held up by a double line of
barbed wire, along which they galloped “like rabbits in front of a line
of guns,” in a vain attempt to find some way of getting round.
Every moment, beneath the deadly blast of
shell and rifle fire which swept their now broken ranks, men dropped from
their saddles, or horses, screaming in agony, came crashing down, until at
last, perceiving the impossibility of reaching the enemy, the remnant of
the regiment drew rein behind a house.
But the respite they had thus gained was a very brief one. At once the German guns were turned upon the house, which in
a few minutes was nothing but a heap of tangled masonry; and once more men
and horses were exposed to the full blast of the storm, until they finally
found refuge under a railway embankment, near Doubon.
By this time, all the senior officers had been either killed or so
severely wounded as well as being incapacitated for further service; and
Captain Francis Grenfell, who had kept his squadron together by giving the
order to trot, found himself in command.
He himself had come by no means scathless through the terrible
ordeal, which his regiment had undergone, having been badly wounded by
shrapnel in the hand and leg; but this dauntless courage and devotion to
duty were to triumph over pain and weakness, and to enable him to perform
one of the most heroic actions of the first weeks of war.
Under the lee of the embankment a battery
commandant and some dozen gunners had taken shelter.
They belonged to the 119th Battery of the Royal Field
Artillery, which had been put out of action, with the loss of the most of
its men and all its horses, by the enemy’s terrific shellfire.
Captain Grenfell at once determined that an attempt ought to be
made to save the abandoned guns, and rode out alone to ascertain if there
was any exit for them to the British lines.
Some little distance beyond them he discovered a way of retreat,
and then coolly walked his horse back to the embankment, amidst a tempest
of shot and shell, with the object on minimizing the risk of the
undertaking in the eyes of his men. “We
have got to save those guns,” said he.
“Who’s going to volunteer?” and he reminded his men of how
the 9th Lancers had saved a battery at Maiwand, and of how in
South Africa they had never failed the gunners.
Every man at once volunteered, and leaving their horses behind the
embankment, about a score of them, together with the survivors of the
battery, ran towards the guns.
“It’s all right they can’t hit us,”
observed Captain Grenfell coolly, and although more than one journey was
necessary and they were exposed to a tremendous fire, they succeeded in
man handling the guns into safety, with the loss of only three men
wounded, although, as the last gun was being got away, the German infantry
were close upon them. Captain
Grenfell, who was awarded the crown of every soldier’s ambition for this
most gallant deed, was invalided home, but at the earliest possible moment
he rejoined his regiment and greatly distinguished himself in the fight of
the dismounted cavalry at Messines, on November 1st 1914.
Wounded again, this time more severely than before, he once more
fought his way back to recovery, but on March 24th 1915, the 2nd
Cavalry Division, among which were the 9th Lancers, were
subjected to a violent gas attack by the Germans, the poison cloud rising
to forty feet, and the emission continuing for four and a half hours.
Throughout the gas and the subsequent heavy shelling, which they
received, this most hardly tried regiment stuck gallantly to their
trenches, but they paid a heavy toll, and among the dead was Captain
Grenfell. Joining the 9th
Lancers in May 1901, Captain Francis Grenfell served with distinction in
the South African War, I which he obtained the Queen’s Medal with five
clasps. He was promoted
captain three years ago. He
was one of the best known and most popular officers in the whole Army, a
perfect type of the soldier, gentlemen and sportsman; and his loss is
widely deplored. Extracted from 'Deeds That
Thrill The Empire'
of the 9th (Q.R.) Lancers During the South African Campaign 1899 to
1902. by Lieut Col F F Colvin and Capt E R Gordon. (1904)
The 9th Lancers were stationed in Muttra, India, in
September 1899 when they were warned for service in S Africa where war
with the Boers was imminent. The Regiment sailed from Bombay on
24/25th September in three ships, one of which encountered a fierce
storm between Durban and Cape Town resulting in 83 horses and nine mules
being killed or washed overboard. This storm is vividly described,
the carnage among the animals on deck was appalling as they were flung
about among the wreckage of the wooden stables. the contents are set
out in diary form with dates in the margin against the narrative which
covers all matters affecting the regiment - actions. casualties.
reinforcements, extracts from Army, divisional etc orders and other
correspondence, strength states, awards, all are duly noted. The
first entry is for 8th September 1899 when the Regiment was ordered to
mobilize and prepare for active service and the final entry is for 9th
April 1902 when the Regiment arrived back in India after some two and a
half years on active service. It saw plenty of action - at
Kimberley, in the Transvaal and Orange Free State and River Colony; clasps
to the Queen's South Africa Medal gained by the Regiment as a whole were:
Belmont, Modder River, Releief of Kimberley, Paardeberg, Johannesburg,
Diamond Hill and Witterbergen. Casualty details are given at the end
of the book, 225 in all of whom 45 died in action and 26 of disease or
from accident. There is also a complete list of officers who served
with the Regiment during the campaign, a list Awards and Mentions in
Despatches, and finally a record of distances covered - a total of 8,520
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