16th / 5th Lancers

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Military Art Prints of the 16th  The Queen's Lancers and the 5th Royal Irish Lancers, published by Cranston Fine Arts.

16th THE QUEEN'S LANCER   Raised in 1759 as the 16th Light Dragoons, also known as Burgoyne's Light Horse, changing name in 1861 to the 16th (The Queen's) Lancers

Battle Honours

  • 1793 - 1802  Beaumont  during the French revolutionary wars
  • 1808 - 1814  at Talavera, Fuentos d'Onoro, Salamanca, Vittoria, Nive during the Peninsula war
  • 1815  Battle of waterloo
  • 1826, Bhurtpore during the Revolt of rajah of Bhurtpore
  • 1839  Ghuznee during the first Afghan War
  • 1843 at Maharajpore  during the Gwalior Campaign
  • 1845 - 1846  Aliwal, Sobraon during the First Sikh War
  • 1899 - 1902  Relief of Kimberley, Paardeburg, during the Boer War 
  • 1914 - 1918  Mons, le Cateau, Marne Aisne Messines, Ypres, Bellewaarde, Arras, Cambrai, Somme during the First World war

Victoria Cross Awards   One Victoria Cross Awarded to Lt Viscount Fincastle, during the Tirah campaign 17th August 1897.

5TH ROYAL IRISH LANCERS  Raised in 1689 as Wynne''s Dragoons later disbanded in 1799 till 1858, becoming in 1861 the 5th (Royal Irish Lancers) regiment was again disbanded but reconstituted in 1922.

Battle Honours

  • 1701 - 1715  Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde, Malplaquet. during the War of the Spanish Succession.
  • 1885  at Suakin During the Egyptian Campaign
  • 1899 - 1902  Defence of Ladysmith during the Boer war
  • 1914 - 1918  Le Cateau, Retreat from Mons, Marne, Aisne, Messines, Ypres, Cambrai, St Quentin, Pursuit to Mons, during the First World war

Victoria Cross awards  Two Victoria Cross were awarded. One during the Boer War and one during the First World War

Both of the Above regiments were amalgamated in 1922, forming the 16th / 5th Lancers and gaining the title of 16th / 5th The Queen's Royal Lancers in 1954.

Further battle Honours

  • 1939 - 1945  Fondouk, Bordj, Djebel Kournine, in Tunis, 1942 - 1943, Cassino II, Liri Valley, Advance to Florence, Argenta Gap, in Italy 1944 - 1945.

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Sgt Dowling MM & L. Cpl. F. Evans, REME, February 26th 1992 by David Rowlands.


Sgt Dowling MM & L. Cpl. F. Evans, REME, February 26th 1992 by David Rowlands.

Sgt Dowling and L Cpl Evans with the 16th/5th The Queens Royal Lancers. 16th/5th The Queen's Royal Lancers provided the reconnaissance for the 1st (UK) Armoured Division. On 25th February 1991, the regiment led the advance from Saudi Arabia, through the Iraqi defence line and into Iraq. The next day, they were attacking the enemy in the area code-named Objective LEAD. Each squadron of the Regiment had a small tracked logistical element mounted in M548 load carriers crewed by personnel of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. On 26th February, two of these M548s, belonging to C Squadron, were being led by the Squadron Sergeant-Major in his Ferret scout car when an enemy T59 tank appeared and chased them. One vehicle broke down during the pursuit. Fortunately, the T59 lost them in the sandstorm, and the other M548 stopped and was able to take off the crew. As the visibility improved, the tank saw and destroyed the abandoned M548 and gave chase to the remaining one. .........


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Item Code : DHM1371Sgt Dowling MM & L. Cpl. F. Evans, REME, February 26th 1992 by David Rowlands. - Editions Available
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Charge of the 16th Lancers at the Battle of Aliwal by Mark Churms.


Charge of the 16th Lancers at the Battle of Aliwal by Mark Churms.

The 16th Lancers were part of General Sir Harry Smith's army consisitng of the British and Bengali army of 12,000 men and 30 guns against the Sikh army of 30,000 men and 67 guns of Ranjodh Singh during the First Sikh War which was fought on the 28th January 1848 in the Punjab in the North West of India. This painting depicts the 16th Lancers which were part of Brigadier Macdowell's brigade consisitng of the 16th Queen's Lancers, 3rd Bengal Light Cavalry and 4th Bengal Irregular Cavalry. The 16th Lancers charged several times during the action, breaking a number of Sikh infantry squares and overrunning a battery of Sikh artillery. The Lancers are shown wearing over their chapkas the white cotton cover which had been adopted for service in the tropics.
Item Code : DHM0359Charge of the 16th Lancers at the Battle of Aliwal by Mark Churms. - Editions Available
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Officer 16th Lancers India, 1846 by Mark Churms.


Officer 16th Lancers India, 1846 by Mark Churms.

The 16th Lancers were part of General Sir Harry Smith's army consisitng of the British and Bengali army of 12,000 men and 30 guns against the Sikh army of 30,000 men and 67 guns of Ranjodh Singh during the First Sikh War which was fought on the 28th January 1848 in the Punjab in the North West of India. This painting depicts the 16th Lancers which were part of Brigadier Macdowell's brigade consisitng of the 16th Queen's Lancers, 3rd Bengal Light Cavalry and 4th Bengal Irregular Cavalry. The 16th Lancers charged several times during the action, breaking a number of Sikh infantry squares and overrunning a battery of Sikh artillery. The Lancers are shown wearing over their chapkas the white cotton cover which had been adopted for service in the tropics.
Item Code : DHM0377Officer 16th Lancers India, 1846 by Mark Churms. - Editions Available
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The 5th Lancers Re-enter Mons, November 1918 by Richard Caton Woodville.


The 5th Lancers Re-enter Mons, November 1918 by Richard Caton Woodville.

The 5th Lancers (attached to the Canadian Corps) were the first British troops to re-enter Mons, just as they had been the last to leave Mons in August 1914. Very few of the troopers who left Mons in 1914 were there to re-enter in 1918.
Item Code : DHM1082The 5th Lancers Re-enter Mons, November 1918 by Richard Caton Woodville. - Editions Available
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Death and Glory in Flanders Fields by Chris Collingwood.
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Retreat From Mons by Lady Elizabeth Butler.
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The Charge of the 16th Lancers, at the Battle of Aliwal, by Orlando Norie.


The Charge of the 16th Lancers, at the Battle of Aliwal, by Orlando Norie.

The battle was fought during the 1st Sikh War (1845-1846) between a force of 10,000 British and Indian troops under the command of General Sir Harry Smith and a 15,000 strong Sikh army led by Ranjur Singh. The Sikh forces occupied an entrenched position between the villages of Aliwal and Bhundri, close to the River Sutlej. Smith drove the Sikhs out of Aliwal with his infantry and then rolled up their line with cavalry and artillery support. The 16th Lancers charged several times during the action, breaking a number of Sikh infantry squares and overrunning a battery of Sikh artillery.
Item Code : DHM0162The Charge of the 16th Lancers, at the Battle of Aliwal, by Orlando Norie. - Editions Available
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The Death of Cornet Bigoe, during the Battle of Aliwal, by Orlando Norie.


The Death of Cornet Bigoe, during the Battle of Aliwal, by Orlando Norie.

Cornet Bigoe of the 16th Lancers killed during the battle of Aliwal during the first Sikh War, 28th January 1846, Aliwal is 50 South East of Lahore, India. The 16th Lancers were part of General Sir Harry Smith's army consisitng of the British and Bengali army of 12,000 men and 30 guns against the Sikh army of 30,000 men and 67 guns of Ranjodh Singh during the First Sikh War which was fought on the 28th January 1848 in the Punjab in the North West of India. This painting depicts the 16th Lancers which were part of Brigadier Macdowell's brigade consisitng of the 16th Queen's Lancers, 3rd Bengal Light Cavalry and 4th Bengal Irregular Cavalry. The 16th Lancers charged several times during the action, breaking a number of Sikh infantry squares and overrunning a battery of Sikh artillery.
Item Code : DHM0163The Death of Cornet Bigoe, during the Battle of Aliwal, by Orlando Norie. - Editions Available
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Scimitars of the 16th / 5th the Queens Royal Lancers in Action by David Rowlands.


Scimitars of the 16th / 5th the Queens Royal Lancers in Action by David Rowlands.

The 16th / 5th shown during the operation Objective Lead, The Gulf war 26th February 1991.
Item Code : DHM0608Scimitars of the 16th / 5th the Queens Royal Lancers in Action by David Rowlands. - Editions Available
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16th Lancers by Richard Simkin


16th Lancers by Richard Simkin



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Item Code : UN026216th Lancers by Richard Simkin - Editions Available
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The Lancers by Michael Angelo Hayes.


The Lancers by Michael Angelo Hayes.



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Item Code : UN0240The Lancers by Michael Angelo Hayes. - Editions Available
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The Reverend P. W. Guinness. Chaplain To The Forces Riding With A Message Under Heavy Fire To The Headquarters Of The 3rd Cavalry Brigade.


The Reverend P. W. Guinness. Chaplain To The Forces Riding With A Message Under Heavy Fire To The Headquarters Of The 3rd Cavalry Brigade.

During the fighting about Kruistraat on November 5th 1914, Major Dixon of the 16th Lancers was mortally wounded. The Reverend Percy Wyndham Guinness, B.A., Chaplain to the forces, the 3rd Cavalry Brigade, gallantly went on his own initiative into the trenches under heavy fire, and brought the wounded officer to the ambulance. In the afternoon of the same day, being the only person with a horse in the region, which was being shelled, he rode with a message under heavy fire from the 4th Hussars to the headquarters of the 3rd Cavalry Brigade. For gallant conduct he was rewarded with the D.S.O.


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Item Code : DTE0261The Reverend P. W. Guinness. Chaplain To The Forces Riding With A Message Under Heavy Fire To The Headquarters Of The 3rd Cavalry Brigade. - Editions Available
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Lance-Corporal Colgrave Rallying Indian Troops And Leading Them Into Action At Hollebeke.


Lance-Corporal Colgrave Rallying Indian Troops And Leading Them Into Action At Hollebeke.

On October 30th 1914, Colgraves regiment, the 5th Lancers, was extremely hard pressed near Hollebeke and a battalion of Indian infantry was sent up to support them. Their battalion came under an extremely heavy fire and soon lost all its officers, while the men, leaderless and shaken, became demoralised. Colgrave, retiring with a scattered body of Indians, rallied them and led them back in time to shatter the German infantry attack. He then rallied other bodies and also carried a wounded officer into safety, services for which he received the D.C.N.


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History of the 5th Lancers, during the reign of Queen Victoria. The history of this regiment is intermittent, a great gap occurring between 1798 and 1858.  It originated with the forces raised by the town of Inniskilling to resist the invading forces of King James II, and shared in the work done by them.  In the latter year, by a warrant of William II, the Inniskilling forces were consolidated into a regiment of Horse, two regiments of Dragoons, which became the 5th Royal Irish and 6th Inniskilling Regiments, and three battalions of foot.

They appear to have shared in all the engagements and harassing work that characterised the operations against the Irish rebels and their French allies from 1689 to 1691; and certainly served with King William in Flanders from 1694 to 1697.  But it was in the great campaigns of Marlborough that the royal Irish Dragoons most distinguished themselves, and for their important services have transmitted to their descendants, the 5th royal Irish Lancers, the names of "Blenheim", "Ramillies", "Oudenarde", and "Malplaquet", to head the regimental list of honours.  At Blejnheim they shared in the vigorous cavalry charges which so materially brought the day to a successful issue; and by the direction of the Duke of Marlborough himself the kettledrums taken from the French during the engagement were ordered "to be carried at the head of the Royal Dragoons of Ireland".  resent at the forcing of the fortified lines at Neer-hespen and Helixem, with the Royal Scots and the irish Dragoons, and the following year at Ramillies they again charged knee to knee with the greys, making prisoners of two Picardy regiments, and cutting a third to pieces, for which gallant action they were permitted to wear grenadier caps.  Lieutenant-General Count de Horn was taken prisoner during the fight by Mr Ellis of the Royal Irish dragoons.  Malplaquet saw them for a fourth time being brigaded with the Royal North British Dragoons under General Sybourg, and, filing through a wood in their front, after a desperate series of charges, they drove the French Cuirassiers from the field.

The early record of the regiment is honourable and distinguished, and continued so until 1798.  The cause for its disbandment seems to be very insufficiently understood.  There is very strong evidence in contemporaneous publications that scant justice was meted out to a brave and distinguished regiment.  A very exhaustive and apparently truthful account of the events that led to this disbandment appears in the second volume of the "British Military Library", dated April 1800, of which the following is a summary.  No doubt was felt as to its loyalty when in 1798 the regiment was ordered to Ireland to assist in putting down the Irish insurrection, which had broken out with every incident of revengeful cruelty.  "The gentlemen of property were either massacred with savage barbarity or immured in the gaol of Wexford, under the most dreadful suspense, and in momentary dread of increased enormities, while the females were carried off to the place of general rendezvous, where they experienced treatment that we forebear to enter on, because the details would disgrace the annals of civilisation".  They met the enemy at Ross, which was garrisoned by about 1700 men under General Johnson, against which the "Army of Ireland", 18000 strong, advanced on the 2nd June.  The attack was delivered with the utmost fury in three columns, one of which set fire to the suburbs; and, covered by a number of "horned cattle", whih they drove before them "through the smoke, they penetrated the town on one side, whil a body of pikemen entered it from the other."  The story, as told in this record, reads like an Afghan rush or an Arab charge.  "Those who escaped the sword and bullet were fondly taught to believe that they were shielded by some superior power, and those that fell died under the strongest impression that they were destined to an early participation of eternal comforts."

Into the midst of the disorder charged the only squadron of the 5th Dragoons present, and that with such desperate gallantry, through the narrow roads and uneven streets, against the rebel troops, "armed with pikes ten to twelve feet long, that of the whole force - less than a hundred strong - but the quartermaster and nine men escaped.  Even then their courage was undaunted.  when the general, whose force was diminished by one half, saw that the rebels were not pursuing the advantage they had gained, he spoke to his men and asked such as were willing to conquer or die with their general to follow him.  The ten survivors of the squadron avowed that "they were willing to shed the last drop of their blood in support of their general and to avenge their fallen comrades"; and the spirit so displayed was met by the answering cheers of the little garrison, and, with the cry "God save the King and success to General Johnson!" they returned with vigour to the attack, and regained the town with the most awful carnage.  The next day, from the streets alone, some 2000 bodies were taken.

Personal reasons for desiring to injure the regiment are plainly advanced by the writer of the article in question.  "It was the intent of some individuals to get the 5th Dragoons removed from the next establishment for the purpose of enhancing the value of their commissions in the event of their being sent to England".  Be this as it may, it is not denied that orders were issued to fill up the gaps made in the above action by enlisting recruits in Ireland.  But no care was taken as to their selection.  Many were rebel partisans and in league with their friends in the mountain near Lehaunstown Huts, about seven miles from Dublin, where there was a detachment of the Dragoons.  A plot was laid to take possession of this station by these new recruits, and massacre all its little garrison of seventy men; but it was discovered, and the culprits were tried by court martial.  Two brothers named Feeny, deserters from the regiment when at Drogheda, "were caught by the yeomanry in the act of thieving ", and to avoid immediate death offered to name other Dragoons who were engaged in the conspiracy.  Such evidence cannot be deemed to be of great value, and the only name advanced by these scoundrels was that of James McNassar, as being implicated.  In the court martial that ensued, which resulted in the condemnation to death of the Feenys, and the transportation of McNassar, not one iota of evidence was brought against a single other man of the entire regiment,then some 600 strong.  Two other men, Ryan, a reduced sergeant, and Gallagher, a corporal, were suspected by the commanding officer, but nothing could be proved against them and they were released.  On such weak grounds the 5th Royal Irish Dragoons were disbanded at Chatham on the 10th April 1799.  The regiment landed in England and "marched above 200 miles on foot" to Chtaham, "in perfectly good order", and was "publicly thanked by General fox for its exemplary good behaviour during the march and its unremitting regularity whilst it was under his command".  Such conduct is not that of a regiment that has either disgraced itself or been guilty of indiscipline.

But it was not until 1858 that the erring judgment was reversed, and the old Royal Irish Dragoons were restored to the army list, to blossom into the 5th  Royal Irish Lancers, with the harp and crown as their badge and the old motto, with the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards of "Quis separabit".  In Stocqueler's list of British regiments, dated 1871, the colour of the uniform is red, with blue facings, but the present dress is like all the Lancer regiments, except the 16th - blue with scarlet facings.  They served in India from 1863 to 1874; but in their next active service added Suakim to the list of honours by despatching two squadrons to take part in that section section of the war in the Soudan, where they shared in the battle of Hasheen.  The saddest loss to the regiment did not, however, occur in the Suakim portion of the theatre of war.  In the broken square at Abu Klea, during the march of Sir Herbert Stewart's column across the Bayuda desert, fell Major Carmichael, "accidentally shot through the head by one of our own men, so that death must have been instantaneous".  The term "Royal Irish", which is frequently applied to the regiment, is misleading, as there is another "Royal Irish" Regiment, though of Dragoons.  The origin of the nickname at one time given to it, "The Daily Advertisers", is lost in obscurity. Extract from "The British Army and Auxiliary Forces" Colonel C. Cooper King, R.M.A. , 1894

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