New Book - Centenary of the 'Last Charges' of the 9th/12th Royal Lancers


The Last Charges written by Major (Retired) Philip Watson combines the accounts of the last two significant charges, in the opening two months of the First World War, of the 9th Queen’s Royal Lancers and the 12th Royal Lancers. The author has revisited the legends surrounding these charges and through 20 years of meticulous research and the use of, and reference to, previously unpublished sources has produced an account that is credible and readable and which has dispelled some popular myths. The use of many newly revealed facts and extensive illustrations (some from German sources and point of view) enables the reader to fully understand the events surrounding those two days and the roles played by those involved in the charges.
The battles of Mons and Moÿ continue to be commemorated annually by The Royal Lancers, as part of Mons Day. This book gives us the context and helps us to understand why.
The book (containing 136 pages and 135 illustrations and photographs) is available on the online shop - - for £12.99 exclusive of postage. The sale proceeds will go to the 9th/12th Royal Lancers Museum Trust which funded its publication.

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RLOCA On Line Shop‌

On-line shop now available - A good selection of merchandise from both Regimental Museums and PRI

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Somme 2016 Centenary Film

Somme Film

Somme 2016 Centenary Film.  QRL & NY Museum plans to show this ground-breaking film that documented one of the most notorious battles of the First World War.  Screening dates: Friday 1st July at 11:00am and 2:00pm. Further showings on Thursdays throughout July at 11:00am. Book now on 01642824222, or via

Battle of Waterloo 18 June 1815‌

In March 1815, French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from exile on Elba and launched a military campaign which would end at the Battle of Waterloo. The European allies quickly assembled their armies and prepared to resume the war.

Napoleon, with his Grande Armée, resolved to attack Wellington’s Allied army, and marched into Belgium.  On 16 June at Ligny the French drove the Prussians off the battlefield.

Wellington established a strong defensive position defending a high ridge near the village of Waterloo, blocking the road to stop Napoleon’s advance towards Brussels. The villages of Papelotte on the left, La Haye Sainte in the centre and Hougoumont Farm on the right, formed the key positions of this defensive line.

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The battle of Waterloo was fought within a remarkably small area. From North to South it extended less than four miles and rather less in width. In this restricted area there were deployed more than four hundred pieces of artillery and over 140,000 men.

It had rained heavily during the night of 17 June and as a result the French attack did not begin until 11am, with the bombardment of Hougoumont Farm. This was followed at midday by an infantry assault which began the day-long struggle for the farm buildings.

At about 1.30pm French guns were brought forward opposite La Haye Sainte, held by the King’s German Legion, and 17,000 infantry began the attack on the centre and left. This assault continued intermittently for the rest of the day until the Legion ran out of ammunition and was finally overwhelmed.

Napoleon now mounted an attack against the British lines drawn up along the ridge, each assault was repulsed. Lord Uxbridge, Wellington's cavalry commander, had two brigades of heavy cavalry behind the ridge. The Union Brigade under Ponsonby and the Household Brigade commanded by Somerset. The brigades charged and hit the French infantry and Cuirassiers cutting through the cavalry and retreating infantry.

Carried away by their initial success, the heavy brigades failed to rally and continued towards the French positions. By this time their horses were blown and a swift retribution followed in the shape of a counter-attack by the French lancers.

As part of Vandeleur's cavalry brigade, the 12th and 16th Light Dragoons had been ordered against the flank of the retreating infantry, riding down infantry squares and squadrons of fleeing cavalry.

The 12th broke one the infantry squares but before it could reform, it was attacked by a French infantry reserve and a regiment of lancers. As a result they lost the strength of an entire squadron in killed, wounded or captured.

Vandeleur then recalled his brigade and ordered them to assist Ponsonby’s “Union” brigade of heavy cavalry who were being attacked by French lancers and chasseurs

The remnants of 12th and the 16th charged forward down the slope into a smoke filled valley below. The battlefield descended into a series of individual combats as English light dragoon fought the French lancer, each isolated from his comrades by the smoke, noise and general confusion.

The French eventually broke away allowing the survivors of the Union brigade and Vandeleur’s brigade to withdraw to their former positions.

Wellington’s army held out long enough for the beaten Prussians to regroup and attack the French again, uniting the Allied armies.

At about 8.00pm, Wellington ordered the whole line to advance. The two light brigades, followed by the cheering infantry, immediately charged the recoiling Imperial Guard. A panic now seized the French, and they were chased off the field.

By 8.30pm the battle was won, Napoleon was defeated, “but it was a close run thing”. In one day at Waterloo, Napoleon’s dream of French domination over Europe was finally crushed.


Battle of Waterloo 18 June 1815


Battle for Bellewaarde Ridge – 24th May 1915 – 9th Queen’s Royal Lancers‌

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208 casualties from 350 men including 8 officers from a total of 13.

Precis from Sheppard’s account:

For the next tour, which was due to begin on the night of May 23rd, the regiment (9th Queen’s Royal Lancers), which could now put 350 rifles in  the line, was reinforced by remnants of other units, about  520 men of the 4th Green Howards and 5th Durham Light Infantry of the 50th Division, which had temporarily been broken up. It took over five hundred yards of the 9th Infantry brigade sector astride the Menin Road south-eastwards from Hooge; “B” Sqn (Capt Francis Grenfell VC), with 300 infantry, held the left portion, actually astride the road; “A” Sqn (Capt A.N. Edwards), with 150 of the infantry, the right portion, which included a sort of blind–alley sap running forward almost to the enemy lines; “C” Sqn (Capt R.L. Benson) was in the support line.

Here on 24th May, Whit Monday and Empire Day, the regiment underwent its greatest day of glory and sorrow of the whole war.

About 3 a.m. the Germans bombarded the British V Corps front with shell and gas and followed up with an attack by four German Divisions. The front broke to the north and south of the Ninth but in great part due to the fine resistance of the Ninth the hostile attack lost its momentum and a counter-attack during the afternoon recovered part of the lost ground.

As the Ninth withdrew on the 28th May, their Brigadier met them on the road, but dared not trust himself to speak to them. ‘Tell them,’ he told the Colonel, ‘that no words of mine can express my reverence for the Ninth.’

Amongst those killed was Capt Francis Grenfell who had been awarded the VC for gallantry in action against unbroken infantry at Andregnies, Belgium, on 24th August 1914, and for gallant conduct in assisting to save the guns of the 119th Battery, Royal Field Artillery, near Doubon the same day.

During the Ypres battles of 1915 the Ninth won 1 DSO, 2 MC, 4 DCM and 5 MM.