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Hussar! 2019
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Brief History of the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars

Raised in 1795 following William Pitt's 1794 order to raise volunteer bodies of men to defend Great Britain, through various re-organisations, the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars remain today on the establishment of the Territorial Army as C (RGH) Sqn Royal Wessex Yeomanry. The current role is to provide Tank Replacement Crew for the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank, as well as supporting the Regular Army on current operations. In recent years serving soldiers have served in Bosina, Kosvo, Iraq and Afghanistan.

History, Formation and early years

In 1795 Captain Powell Snell raised the First Troop of Gloucestershire Gentleman and Yeomanry at the Plough Inn in Cheltenham. The Plough Inn now forms part of the Regent Shopping Arcade and a plaque commerating the raising of the first troop is on the wall to the main entrance of the Arcade.
By 1797, troops had been raised at Minchinhampton, Wotton Under Edge, Stow on the Wold, Henbury, Bristol, and Gloucester. In 1798 Stroud had also raised a troop. Following the 1802 Peace of Amiens, all except the Cheltenham Troop under Major Snell were disbanded.
Following the end of the Napoleonic Wars, all Yeomanry Troops were disbanded, either voluntarily or by order, in 1827. In 1830, responding to unrest amongst agricultural workers, Yeomanry Troops were raised again. The First Troop was established by Mr Codrington of Dodington Park, quickly followed by troops from Fairford, Cirencester, Stroud, Tetbury, Gloucester, and Bristol. In 1834 the captains of all Gloucestershire troops met in Petty France (A46 near to the village of Badminton) and combined to form one regiment, known as the Gloucestershire Yeomanry Cavalry. The Marquis of Worcester was appointed as the first Commanding Officer and the band was established.

Boer War

In 1900 123 members of the RGH under Capt WH Playne left for Cape Town, forming C Coy 1 Bn Imperial Yeomanry.

The Great War

On 15 April 1915 the RGH sailed to Egypt on board the SS Minneapolis, disembarking in Alexandria on 24 April, and making camp at Chatby Beach. On 11 August, the RGH received orders to embark for Gallipoli, less four officers and 100 other ranks who remained to tend the horses. They dis-embarked at Suvla Bay and were brigaded in 1st South Midland Brigade as part of the British 2nd Mounted Division. On return to Egypt, they took part in many of the battles that formed the Sinai and Palestine Campaign, primarily as part of the Imperial Mounted Division. As part of the Imperial Mounted Division, the RGH would have been present at the Battle of Beersheba.
During The Great War the RGH were placed under command of the following formations:
1st South Midland Brigade, British 2nd Mounted Division (Gallipoli only)
5th Mounted (Yeomanry) Brigade, Imperial Mounted Division

Following the Regiments World War I service a memorial was erected on College Green next to the city's cathedral to remember those soldiers who did not return.

The Second World War

During the Second World War three lines of RGH existed.

1st RGH guarded the South West of England after Dunkirk. Due to leave for Africa as part of British 6th Armoured Division, a last minute change saw the line spend the majority of the war as a UK Defence / Training regiment.
After VJ Day 1st RGH were sent to Austria and took part in the Musical Ride at the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna.

2nd RGH
reached Egypt in October 1941 as part of British 22nd Armoured Brigade. The unit took part in many of the key battles in Operation Crusader. In subsequent engagements the RGH suffered many casualties and was re-equipped on two occasions. 2nd RGH fought its final action at Battle of Alam el Halfa, on 31 August to 5 September 1942. Expecting to be re-equipped the regiment was instead disbanded with 'F', 'G' and 'H' Squadrons transferred to the 4th Hussars, Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry and the 8th Hussars respectively. HQ Squadron was divided and sent to the 5th Royal Tank Regiment and the 3rd Hussars.

3rd RGH
, consisting of the equivalent of a single troop of one officer and 30 men, was at various times either a training 'regiment', a trials unit or a decoy unit.

Late 20th Century

In keeping with many Territorial Army units, the RGH was reduced to a cadre of 3 officers and 4 NCOs between 1969 and 1971. In 1971 when the Territorial Army was raised again, three squadrons form part of the newly formed Wessex Yeomanry, which was granted Royal in 1977.

Battle honours

The current Guidon was presented to the RGH by Col the Duke of Beaufort, representing HM The Queen at Badminton House in 27 May 1962. The Guidon, which is still paraded by the current serving Squadron, contains the following honours:

Boer War
1. South Africa 1900-01

The Great War
1. Suvla; 2. Scimitar Hill; 3. Gallipoli 1915; 4. Rumani; 5. Rafah; 6. Egypt 1915-17; 7. Gaza; 8. El Mughar;
9. Nebi Samwil; 10. Jerusalem; 11. Megiddo; 12. Sharon; 13. Damascus; 14. Palestine 1917-18

The Second World War

1. Tobruk 1941; 2. Gubi; 3. Sidi Rezegh '41; 4. Chor es Sufan; 5. Gazala; 6. Bir el Aslagh; 7. Cauldron;
8. Alam el Halfa; 9. West Point 23; 10. North Africa 1941-42

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