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BRITISH 21ST LANCERS
21ST EMPRESS OF INDIA'S LANCERS
"THE QUEEN'S ROYAL LANCERS"

OFFICER, FULL DRESS UNIFORM PERIOD 1900

  • Sculpted by: Stephen Mallia
  • Box art painted by: Stephen Mallia - Malta
  • Price: $59.95
THE 21ST LANCERS TRACE THEIR ORIGINS TO 1760, DURING THE SEVEN YEAR'S WAR WITH FRANCE, WHEN THEY WERE RAISED BY THE MARQUIS OF GRANBY AS THE 21ST LIGHT DRAGOONS.

DURING THE NAPOLEONIC WARS, THE 21ST LIGHT DRAGOONS WERE DEPLOYED TO CAPE TOWN TO PROTECT THE INDIAN TRADE ROUTE. AFTER THE WAR ENDED IN 1815 A TROOP FROM THE 21ST LIGHT DRAGOONS WAS SELECTED TO GUARD AND ESCORT NAPOLEON ON THE REMOTE ATLANTIC ISLAND OF ST. HELENA UNTIL THE EMPEROR'S DEATH IN 1821.
FOLLOWING THE INDIAN MUTINY OF 1857, THE 21ST LIGHT DRAGOONS WERE AGAIN RAISED AND SAW SERVICE IN INDIA. IN 1861, THEY WERE REDESIGNATED AS HUSSARS BUT WERE ALLOWED TO RETAIN THEIR DISTINCTIVE FRENCH-GRAY UNIFORM FACINGS, AS A MARK OF THEIR INDIAN ORIGIN.

THE 21ST HUSSARS SPENT THE NEXT 12 YEARS IN BENGAL BEFORE RETURNING TO ENGLAND AND IRELAND. IN 1887 THEY WERE AGAIN POSTED TO INDIA, WHERE THEY REMAINED UNTIL MOVING TO EGYPT IN 1896. IT WAS WHILE IN CAIRO THAT THE 21ST LANCERS WERE FORMED. IN APRIL 1897, THEY WERE REDESIGNATED AND EQUIPPED AS LANCERS.

THE CHARGE OF THE 21ST LANCERS AT OMDURMAN OCCURRED ON SEPTEMBER 2ND 1898. THE LANCERS WERE ORDERED TO CUT THE DERVISH LINE OF RETREAT INTO THE CITY OF OMDURMAN. AS THE REGIMENT OF 440-STRONG ADVANCED THEY CAME UNDER FIRE FROM WHAT APPEARED TO BE A FEW HUNDRED SKIRMISHERS, AND THE ORDER WAS GIVING TO CHARGE. TOO LATE AS THE LANCERS DISCOVERED THE FRAIL LINE OF DERVISHES STOOD IN FRONT OF A DRY RIVERBED PACKED WITH THOUSANDS OF THE ENEMY. THE REGIMENT FOUGHT ITS WAY THROUGH THE PACKED ENEMY AND MOVED AWAY, DISMOUNTED AND OPENED A WITHERING FIRE FROM THEIR CARBINES, FORCING THE ENEMY TO WITHDRAW. DURING THE ACTION THE 21ST LANCERS LOST 21 MEN KILLED AND 50 WOUNDED. THREE VICTORIA CROSSES WERE AWARDED, EACH FOR RESCUING A WOUNDED COMRADE FROM THE MIDST OF ENEMY. LIEUTENANT WINSTON CHURCHILL, ATTACHED TO THE REGIMENT FROM THE 4TH HUSSARS COMMANDED A TROOP IN THE CHARGE.

AS A RESULT OF OMDURMAN "THE LAST CHARGE", THE 21ST LANCERS WERE AWARDED THE TITLE "EMPRESS OF INDIA" BY QUEEN VICTORIA AND BECAME THE ONLY REGIMENT ENTITLED TO WEAR HER ROYAL CYPHER.

THE BUST IS BASED ON THE 21ST LANCER UNIFORM IN THE CRAMER MUSEUM.



 

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