The 14th/20th King’s Hussars

Framed hawk

The 14th/20th Kings Hussars was founded in 1922 through the amalgamation of the 14th Kings Hussars and the 20th Hussars and was renamed the 14th/20th Hussars and given the title ‘Kings’ after George VI came to the Throne on the 14th December 1936. On the 16th December 1936 the Regiment was notified that it was to be re-designated as the 14th/20th King’s Hussars. This was achieved by representations being put forward by the Colonel of the Regiment General Sir George Barrow. The newly founded Regiment had its first tour of active duty in Egypt in 1931 for two years. The last time the Regiment went out mounted was in January 1938, this was on manoeuvres near Lucknow.

Without ceremony the Regiment said goodbye to the horses in August 1938 and became fully mechanised. Each officer was allowed to keep one horse, a pool of horses were also kept. Tanks arrived in two and threes (The Vickers light tanks MK2 and the MK6), and on the 31st March 1939 the Regiment was officially recorded as being converted to mechanisation. All ranks were transferred from Cavalry of the Line to the R.A.C at Secunderabad, on the 11th April 1939. The Regiment has maintained all its Cavalry traditions throughout the transition period and to it’s end.

3 hawks verticalWhen the Regiment formed there were two versions/colours of the cap badge. One produced in gilt for Officers and Warrant Officers Class I, and a gilding version (brass) for other ranks.

A gilt Prussian Eagle in black was worn by all ranks above the rank of Sergeant on red forage caps. Ranks below Sergeant wore brass badges.

Gilding metal and gilt badges were worn by all ranks wearing Service Dress hats and berets. The exception to metal badges – Officers and Warrant Officers Class I wore embroidered badges on berets and Field Service Caps (side hats).

The brass badge was replaced in 1960 by staybrite (Anodised Aluminium).

In 1966 the standard staybrite badge was replaced by a black Prussian Eagle version and worn on all forms of headdress.

Due to the fact that the staybrite black ‘Hawk’ could not be easily identifiable on a navy blue beret, an oval felt backing was issued matching regimental colours, to be used in conjunction with the badge when worn on berets.

The Regiment served in Iraq and Iran during the middle of 1941, German forces were becoming more influential in the area at the time and the Regiment was tasked to counter those heavy influences. The Regiment formed the main element of the second light Armoured Brigade providing the only tanks available in the area.

In Mesopotamia the Regiment went through several changes, it had several new types of Tanks issued to it culminating in the issue of the MK4 Sherman tank. The Regiment spent the best part of the next three years in the middle east protecting the oil fields and maintaining supply routes.

Then it was Italy, it was here that the Regiment fought the Germans during the advance on Bologna, Medicina was a well fortified and protected area. ‘A’ Squadron were dispatched in the newly acquired ‘Kangaroo’ vehicles to deal with the problem. A long battle ensued resulting in the defeat of the Germans and the ‘Medicina’ battle honour being added to the Regiments Guidon. Finally the Regiment took part in the Battle for the Gaiana Canal before withdrawing for a refit and the final charge to Padua in 1945.

kukris

In January 1947 the Regiment adopted the Gurkha Crossed Kukris as shoulder badges. This honour was bestowed on the Regiment by the Gurkha Brigade in recognition of the close comradeship of the Regiment with the Gurkha battalions of the 43rd Gurka Lorried Infantry Brigade during the war years 1943-45 in Italy.

During the post war years the regiment saw service in many countries including Libya, Germany, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Belize, Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom. The main role was that of amour moving from the previously mentioned tanks to Centurion, Conqueror, SaladinScimitarScorpion CVR(T), Chieftain and then Challenger 1 which was used by the regiment when it was deployed during Gulf War 1.

The Battle honour Gulf 1991 was awarded to the regiment on completion of the campaign and was the final Battle to be awarded to the regiment and placed on the Guidon prior to amalgamation in 1992.

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