The Senior Squadron
C Squadron The King’s Royal Hussars is the senior Squadron within the Regiment, and as such parades Right of the Line, a tradition which has been upheld for more than two hundred years, since its inception in the 11th Hussars.
In 1800, General Sir Ralph Abercrombie led an expedition to Egypt to counter the French threat present in the area. The force was organised primarily as an infantry formation, but detachments of cavalry were sent to provide reconnaissance support. Gen Abercrombie, under whose command the 11th Light Dragoons had served in the Seven Year’s War, asked the Duke of York, then Captain General of the Horse Guards, for a detachment to be provided by the Regiment. This was drawn from C Squadron, and consisted of 79 men under the command of Lieutenant Captain Money (so called because he was an acting Captain, only).
The Squadron sailed for Egypt in the summer of 1800, but did not arrive in Theatre until 8th March 1801; a journey of some 9 months. They saw immediate action, taking part in the seaborne assault at Aboukir Bay, and subsequently in a fierce engagement with the French Cavalry near Beda.
Battle of Alexandria 1801
There were many other minor battles and skirmishes during the Campaign, but the most significant action was the defeat of the French at the Battle of Alexandria on the 21st March 1801, during which Gen Abercrombie was himself mortally wounded.
During the battle, the infantry, comprising 28th and 42nd Foot, ran out of ammunition whilst under attack. With no cavalry at the time to support them, they were forced to beat-off the marauding French Cavalry with bayonets and stones!
Right of Line
So impressed was Gen Abercrombie with C Squadron’s distinguished conduct during their time in Egypt, before he died he directed that on their return to the Regiment they be granted the honour of being Right of the Line. The Sphinx superscribed with the campaign honour ‘Egypt’ was also added to the Guidon at this time. The London Gazette recorded this latter award “as a distinguished mark of his Majesty’s Royal approbation, and a lasting memorial of the glory acquired to His Majesty by the zeal, discipline and intrepidity of his troops in this arduous and important campaign”.