Sailing the British Empire : The Voyages of The Clarence, 1858-73

18th Hussars Background

    The unit was raised in 1759 in Ireland under Lieutenant Colonel Charles, also known as Lord Drogheda, with the title 19th Light Dragoons. Their title was bumped up to the 18th Light Dragoons with the disbanding of the 17th Light Dragoons. The unit would reach its peak under Lieut. Col. Sir Charles William Vane Stewart, who took over the unit in 1798. Around this time the Hussars primarily saw service in the Caribbean, specifically Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. In 1807, they changed title and uniform to that of a Hussar (another type of light cavalry unit) unit and were therefore known as the 18th Hussars. Soon after, the Hussars would reach the height of their fame during the Napoleonic Wars. They were credited with notable victories in Spain in 1808 during the Peninsular War and were key in the British Army’s successful, while disheartening, retreat at Corunna. They returned to France in 1813 and were part of the side that drove into France and forced Napoleon’s abdication of Paris. After returning to England, they were required yet again to fight Napoleon in France, after he escaped from imprisonment on the island of Elba. The regiment was part of the great victory at Waterloo, and key in ousting the French Army for good. The regiment returned to Ireland, and, as part of a peacetime discharge of troops throughout the British army, was officially dissolved in 1821.

1. Heathcote, T. A. The Military in British India: The Development of British Forces in South Asia, 1600-1947. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1995. Print.
2. Malet, Harold Esdaile. Historical Records of the 18th Hussars. London: W. Clowes, 1869. Accessed via Hathi Trust.
Nixon, Paul. "Army Service Numbers 1881-1918." : 18th Hussars. N.p., 5 Apr. 2012. Web. 17 Dec. 2015. <>.

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