18 January 2010

5th (Royal Irish) Lancers

This post will look at numbering in the 5th (Royal Irish) Lancers between 1882 (when my data starts), and 1906.

Service records for all of the following numbers - a sample from a larger database - survive in the WO 363 (Burnt Documents) and in the WO 364 (Pensions) series at the National Archives in Kew, London. These records can also be viewed on-line via Ancestry.co.uk which is currently offering a FREE 14 day trial.

2462 joined on 15th November 1882
2509 joined on 26th June 1883
2653 joined on 17th July 1884
2832 joined on 17th September 1885
3027 joined on 9th April 1886
3161 joined on 26th February 1887
3344 joined on 10th January 1888
3753 joined on 29th November 1889
3905 joined on 2nd January 1890
3968 joined on 27th October 1891
4022 joined on 2nd March 1892
4181 joined on 10th February 1893
4308 joined on 8th January 1894
4558 joined on 14th January 1895
4712 joined on 6th January 1896
4740 joined on 18th September 1897
4840 joined on 19th April 1898
5000 joined on 12th April 1899
5355 joined on 17th January 1900
5937 joined on 1st March 1901
6483 joined on 16th March 1902
6943 joined on 27th January 1903
6985 joined on 10th June 1904
7048 joined on 8th April 1905
7336 joined on 24th January 1906

Apart from a surge in recruitment during the Boer War (1900 to 1902), the sequential numbering above illustrates again just how slow recruitment could be in the cavalry regiments. 1906 also marked the last year that cavalry regiments numbered by regiment rather than corps and I have explained this in greater detail in my post dealing with regimental numbering as laid down in the Queen's and King's Regulations.

Also see:

Numbering in the 12th Lancers between 1881 and 1906, and the memorial in Bangalore commemorating the 16th Lancers in India 1865-1876.

I have borrowed the superb photograph of an unknown sergeant from the 5th Lancers, from the excellent, Soldiers of the Queen website. The photograph was taken in Durban, South Africa, and dates to 1898. Also see the 5th Royal Irish Lancers website.

I also offer a comprehensive, fast and cost-effective military history research service. Follow the link for more information.

From The Naval & Military Press:


The Historical Records of the Fifth (Royal Irish) Lancers from their Foundation as Wynne’s Dragoons (in 1689) to 1908

The 5th (Royal Irish) Lancers owe their origins to the turbulent times of the ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688. As this excellent history, written by one of the regiment’s officers in 1908 recounts, the Lancers were raised as ‘James Wynne’s Dragoons’, a mounted unit, to repel the attempt by Catholic supporters of James II to take over Ireland and launch an invasion of England. The Lancers took part in the successful defences of Derry and Enniskillen and the victorious Battles of the Boyne and Aughram. Subsequently, they served under King William III in the defence of his Dutch homeland against the French at the Siege of Namur.

The Lancers took a proud part in the Duke of Marlborough’s campaigns in the early 18th century, fighting at all four of his famous victories: Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde and Malplaquet. At the end of the century they took part in the suppression of the French-backed 1798 rising in their native Ireland, but were subsequently disbanded. Reformed in 1858 because of the need for cavalry to meet the threat of the Indian Mutiny, they took part in the relief of Lucknow.

The Lancers formed part of the Nile Expedition of 1884, mounted in a belated and doomed attempt to save Gordon of Khartoum from the Mahdi and in the Suakin expedition. Their final campaign narrated in this book was the Boer War, in which they took a prominent part in the successful defence of Ladysmith when the town was besieged by the Boers.

This is a fine and lively regimental history which will appeal to anyone interested in the British Army, the cavalry, or 18th and 19th century warfare. It is superbly reproduced with nine fine colour plates, 20 black and white illustrations and ten maps. CLICK HERE TO ORDER.

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