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Queen's Royal Irish Hussars

Last updated: 30 June 2014

Other ranks’ cap badge, The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars, c1958Other ranks’ cap badge, The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars, c1958
NAM. 1991-08-265-1


The regiment was formed by amalgamating the 4th Queen's Own Hussars and 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars on 24 October 1958 - the day before the anniversary of the Charge of the Light Brigade, in which both these regiments participated.

The new regiment’s colonel-in-chief was the Duke of Edinburgh and it inherited the colonels of both its predecessor regiments, one of whom was Winston Churchill, who had served in the 4th Hussars.

Both regiments were in Germany at the time of the merger and the new unit remained there for its early years, operating as an armoured car unit. In June 1961 it moved to Aden via England, followed by jungle warfare in Brunei and Sarawak and service as part of the Internal Security Forces in Singapore.

Soldiers of The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars at a NAAFI van just after arriving in Malaysia, 1962.Soldiers of The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars at a NAAFI van just after arriving in Malaysia, 1962
NAM. 2009-09-76-977

In 1964 the regiment moved back to West Germany for four years, before converting to a tank regiment and becoming the Royal Armoured Corps’s Centre Regiment. In 1965 officers from the regiment stood vigil over Churchill’s catafalque and acted as his coffin-bearers. His death also led the regiment to switch to a single colonel.

Next, the regiment re-equipped with Chieftain tanks in 1969 before returning to Germany once again the following year. That deployment lasted until 1979, when it returned to Britain, sending individual squadrons to serve as the Demonstration Squadron at Warminster, UN peacekeepers on Cyprus and ceasefire monitors in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).

In 1983 it sent troops to be guards at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland. From 1982 to 1988 and 1990 to 1995 the regiment was again based in Germany, spending the interim in England. During that period it switched to Challenger tanks, with which it led 7th Armoured Brigade’s advance in Operation Desert Storm in Iraq in October 1991. Later in 1991 it returned to its base in Germany, where two years later it was merged with The Queen’s Own Hussars to form The Queen’s Royal Hussars (Queen’s Own and Royal Irish).

Key facts


  • 'Mente et Manu' (meaning 'With Mind and Hand')

Titles to date:

  • The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars
  • The Queen’s Royal Hussars (The Queen’s Own and Royal Irish)
  The Queen's Royal Hussars (The Queen's Own and Royal Irish)
  The Queen's Own Hussars
  The Queen's Royal Irish Hussars
3rd The King's Own Hussars
  7th Queen's Own Hussars
  4th Queen's Own Hussars
  8th King's Royal Irish Hussars

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