A Short History About the 1st Hussars

Around 1835 some of the settlers in the London area started to train in cavalry skills, and when the British garrison left in 1856, they formed the the First London Voluntary Troop of Cavalry. By 1866 there were four independent troops: London, St. Thomas, Courtright, and Kingsville. On the 31 of May 1872 these were consolidated into one unit with headquarters in London under the command of Lt. Col. John Cole. In 1892 the First Regiment of Calvary was renamed the 1st Hussars.


During the Boer War the 1st Hussars sent a contingent of officers and men to South Africa and earned the Regiment's first Battle Honour.
Following the outbreak of World War I the 7th Canadian Mounted Rifles, consisting of largely of personnel from the 1st Hussars was formed and went overseas in June 1915 under the command of Lt. Col. Ibbotson Leonard. The soldiers fought with distinction and the 1st Hussars were awarded thirteen additional Battle Honours for outstanding performance in battle.


Between the wars the Regiment continued mounted training and in 1937 won all but one of the trophies open to cavalry units. In 1929 the Regiment was affiliated with the British 11th Hussars (Prince Albert's Own) "The Cherrypickers" famed for the Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimea. This affiliation has been preserved with their successor units, The Royal Hussars formed by the amalgamation with the 10th Hussars (Prince of Wales Own) in 1969 and the King's Royal Hussars formed by amalgamation with the 14th/20th Kings Hussars in December 1992.


The first Non-Permanent Militia unit to be mobilized upon the outbreak of World War II, the Regiment moved overseas as part of the 5th Canadian Armour Division in 1941 and continued training until D-DAY. Following the Normandy landing, the Regiment took part in the bitter battles in the bridgehead, the closing of Falaise Gap, and clearing of the cross channel guns at Calais. The 1st Hussars fought with distinction through Belgium and Holland, ending the war in Germany. During this period, the 1st Hussars won 72 Decorations, Certificates, or Mentioned in Dispatches, more than any other unit in the 1st Canadian Army, and were awarded 20 additional Battle Honours for outstanding Bravery.
Returning to the Dundas Street Armories in London (now known as the Delta armoires Hotel) the Regiment resumed its Militia Role undergoing numerous organizational and tasking changes. In 1964 "C" Squadron was formed in Sarnia. In 1967 and again in 1991 the 1st Hussars won the Worthington Trophy as best Canadian Militia Armoured Regiment.


On 5 July 1967 as part of Canada's Centennial Celebration, the 1st Hussars received their first Regimental Guidon From Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at a ceremony held on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The Regiment received their second Guidon on 13th of June 1993 at a ceremony held in London the original Guidon was laid to rest and can now be viewed at the 1st Hussars museum at the old London court house.
In 1977 Regimental Headquarters and "A" Squadron moved from the Dundas Street Armories to the Royal School Building in London's Wosley Barracks. (founding location of the Royal Canadian Armour Corps) "A" Squadron and Headquarters moved once again a short distance to its current location in A Block the former Royal Canadian Regiment Barracks in 1994. In 1983 "C" Squadron was given an Armory in Sarnia.
Today the 1st Hussars continue their armour training using the AVGP Cougar (Armour Vehicle General Purpose). A number of members of the unit have served and are currently serving in peacekeeping mission around the world with NATO and the United Nations.


The Regiment remains true to its motto:
Hodie Non Cras
(Today Not Tomorrow)

© 2017 by The Cavalry Fund, 1st Hussars

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