View Full Version : The Queens Royal Hussars and why cavalry is different.

09-05-2006, 04:35 AM
British Queens Royal Hussars, (previously Queens Own and Royal Irish) - Every member of the Regiment wears the crest of the City of Warsaw on his left sleeve in recognition of the support given by the 7th Hussars to the 2nd Polish Corps during the Italian Campaign in World War Two.



My father was in Polish Carpathian Lancers Regiment which had very close ties with "Own Hussars". He recalled that "Own hussars" were the only unit he saw during the war which was carrying with them the complete set up of Officers and Sergeants Messes. Anywhere they stopped for longer time their messes were set in suitable location with all traditional decorations.

Cavalry either British and Polish thought of themselves as better cast than infantry and other services, excluding Mounted Infantry and Horse Artillery - units which cultivated similar "horse" traditions.

Infantry did not liked being treated as outcasts and quite often in bars and taverns in Italy and before in Cairo, Alexandria or Baghdad, MP had a lot of work stopping numerous fist fights and brawls.
Reasons were also numerous, from a few rude words to major incidents.

There was regulation that if private or noncom entered cafe or restaurant, he should come to the highest ranking officer he could see and ask for permission to stay.
Lancers and Hussars were ignoring infantry officers.
If in the restaurant was infantry major and cavalry lieutenant - they always asked lieutenant - it was major offence for foot sloggers and sure reason for a big fight later that night.

Box is a British sport, always very popular on the Isles and Polish Lancers were often loosing the fights with stronger, usually a bit older and very hard hitting British infantrymen - strong like oxes ex miners and farmers.
(In Polish cavalry regiments was a lot of very young soldiers - 16, 17 years old.)
After a few brawls which ended badly for Lancers despite help from Hussars, they deviced not very fair device...
They sew into the ends of their ties lead plates weighing about a pound.
When the next figt erupted result was completely unexpected - all British infantry men were knockouted. Poles quietly departed and when Red Caps arrived they had easy job picking still unconscious Britons.

Couple of such incidents helped to build reciprocating respect. Later on when war progressed fights were more sporadic - the main reason being that another opponent arrived, not really loved by Brits and Poles together... - American boys...
They were better fed, better dressed, beter paid and it was such natural thing for them to monopolize all females in their range, that old ties between British Empire and Republic of Poland were suddenly renewed, animosity between cavalry and infantry softened and both sides united against American supremacy.

I'm interested if any of these "traditions" still exist?