Military Wiki
16th The Queen's Lancers
Active 1759-1922
Country  Kingdom of Great Britain (1759–1800)
 United Kingdom (1801–1922)
Branch British Army
Type Line Cavalry
Nickname(s) "The Scarlet Lancers"
March Quick: The English Patrol
Slow: The 16th Lancers
Anniversaries Aliwal (28 Jan)

General John Burgoyne
Field Marshal William Harcourt, 3rd Earl Harcourt

General Sir Edward Cust

The 16th The Queen's Lancers was a cavalry regiment in the British Army, first raised in 1759. It saw service for two centuries, before being amalgamated into the 16th/5th Lancers in 1922.


The regiment was raised as the second of the new regiments of light dragoons in 1759, as the 16th Regiment of (Light) Dragoons, also known as Burgoyne's Light Horse. In 1766 they were renamed after Queen Charlotte as the 2nd (or The Queen's) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons, the number being an attempt to create a new numbering system for the light dragoon regiments. However, the old system was quickly reestablished, with the regiment returning as the 16th (The Queen's) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons in 1769.

The 16th Light Dragoons arrived in New York in September, 1776. They were involved in fighting at Brandywine, Paoli, and Monmouth Court House. The regiment returned to Britain in December, 1778.

They became lancers in 1816, as the 16th (The Queen's) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons (Lancers). The title was simplified in 1861 to the 16th (The Queen's) Lancers. The Regiment was posted in India in the early 1900s, but took part in the Second Boer War in South Africa 1900-1901. After service in the First World War, the regiment was retitled as the 16th The Queen's Lancers in 1921, and was amalgamated with the 5th Royal Irish Lancers to form the 16th/5th Lancers (later the 16th/5th The Queen's Royal Lancers) the following year.

Battle Honours

  • Beaumont, Willems, Talavera, Fuentes d'Onor, Salamanca, Vittoria, Nive, Peninsula, Waterloo, Bhurtpore, Ghuznee 1839, Afghanistan 1839, Maharajpore, Aliwal, Sobraon, Relief of Kimberley, Paardeberg, South Africa 1900-02.
  • The Great War: Mons, Le Cateau, Retreat from Mons, Marne 1914, Aisne 1914, Messines 1914, Armentières 1914, Ypres 1914 '15, Gheluvelt, St. Julien, Bellewaarde, Arras 1917, Scarpe 1917, Cambrai 1917, Somme 1918, Amiens, Hindenburg Line, Canal du Nord, Pursuit to Mons, France and Flanders 1914-18.

Insignia and uniform

The collar badge of the regiment until 1921 comprised the figure 16 above a scroll inscribed "Queen's Lancers", over a pair of crossed lances and surmounted by a crown (see illustration above). The lancer full dress cap bore the regimental battle honors and number in silver.[1]

In its early years as the 16th Light Dragoons, the regiment wore the standard red uniform of this branch of cavalry with black and then royal blue facings. In 1784 the red coat was replaced by a dark blue jacket. From 1816 to 1832 a dark blue lancer uniform was worn, until in December 1832 a scarlet coatee and undress jacket was authorized. The latter was worn during the First Sikh War and on its return to England in 1846 the 16th petitioned to retain the scarlet uniform when all lancer regiments were ordered to return to blue. The unique distinction of scarlet lancer tunic and dark blue plastron was retained in full dress until 1914.[2]

See also


  1. Appendix I "Dress Regulations for the Army 1900"
  2. W.Y. Carman, pages 172-174 "Uniforms of the British Army - the Cavalry Regiments", ISBN 0-906671-13-2

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