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The Queen's Own Hussars

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Last Modified:  01 January 2017

Tom Hamilton:


No sheep were hurt in the making of this update.

The title has changed. Ali Murdoch on hearing of my attempt said: “Sounds suitably stupid! I’ll give him some money”. Therefore The Suitably Stupid March South it now is.

The final phase of the walk began at Bishops Cannings on 21st October and went as far as Chitterne in the heart of Salisbury Plain, a 15.5 mile day. I have been incredibly lucky with the weather during the walk and this was no exception. After initial fog it became a bright warm day. I was joined for the whole day by Bart Simpson and Oli Anderson, both former QRH officers.

The first few miles were relatively flat and we made good time. Bart (all 6’ 2” …..ish of him) led the way. It was not long before Oli and I noted that for each of his paces we had to take three. This became even more apparent as we climbed a steep hill up onto the plain near Market Lavington and a little puffing, red Hamilton had to shout “Oi! Slow down!” and Oli began to undress(?). As we neared the end of the day Oli noticed a sheep with its head caught in a wire fence.

There followed a discussion between Bart and Oli about what to do during which disappointment about the way the sheep was facing was expressed(??). Clearly the sheep understood the discussion better than I as it struggled valiantly and managed to get free (with a little “baaa” of relief) as Oli approached.
As we arrived in Chitterne we were met by a bearded Chris Wildman who photo bombed then took Oli and Bart for a well earned drink.

Oli, Bart, Pippa, Self and Chris Wildman in Chitterne. Note height difference between Bart and I!

The next day was another 15 miles from Chitterne to Fifield Bavant. Not long into the walk I passed a small valley on my left in which were several old four tonners that had been adapted with wooden rear canopy’s and a line of people carrying shot guns.

It soon became apparent from which direction the beaters were coming as Partridge and Pheasant began to come over one of the crest lines at just the right height to be “Popped off”. However the guns must either have been novice or animal rights activists as none of the birds seemed to drop. Fate however is fickle.

One of the partridges landed in the road about a hundred yards from me, no doubt with a satisfied “Missed me” smile on its beak. Unfortunately the smile vanished as it was suddenly embedded in the front of the Range Rover that came round the corner at speed. C’est la vie?

Slightly further on is a very steep hill at Fovant. Several WW1 capbadges are carved into the hill and recently a centenary poppy has also been carved. The hill is that steep that on the map it states “Hill Climbing”. I had spotted it on my recce of the route and noted it on the route planner. It hurt. A lot.

Capbadges engraved into the hillside at Fovant.

Sean McLean and I at Fifield Bavant.

On day 22 I was joined by an old mate who had been in Recce Troop with me in………wait for it………….1976-1978. Sean McLean had been suffering from Man Flu and dragged himself from his sick bed to do some of the day. It was a real pleasure to see him. He left after a few miles to ensure he did not get ill again but I was then joined for a short period by Tony Dixie who, having searched most of South West England on his bike found me on the Wessex Ridgeway. Tony lived in a village called Codford through which I had passed the day before and missed him.


The rest of that day was spent on the Ridgeway with spectacular views. This area has been misnamed the South Downs by someone with little sense of gravity. It is very clearly the South Ups.

Tony Dixie and bike on the Ridgeway.


Note the slope of the hill in the centre……and someone called these the South Downs????

At the close of this day we stayed in the Crown Hotel in Blandford. This was most definitely a “Like”. Very comfortable, all en suite, good food and very fairly priced (£70 for two with breakfast included). It is well worth considering if you are in that area or visiting Bovington for any reason. We liked it so much we stayed an extra night. We woke to rain and the penultimate day was wet. The first fully wet day of the walk.

The final day was one for surprises. Surprise one was the hill at the back of Bere Regis heading toward Turners Puddle. The second was the reception at Allenby Barracks where all the ERE QRH clapped me in. Lt Col Paul Hodgson (who had encouraged me throughout) had travelled south and Lt Col Andrew Ledger was also there to greet me. Although I am sure many of those who attended “Volunteered” to be there it was a great reception and I am very grateful. I also managed to get a few bob for the Museum out of them!

Some of the reception committee waiting for my arrival.

“Dinga” Bell telling Andrew Ledger how it’s done.


Chatting with some of the boys.


342 miles done. 0 to do. Amount raised so far………………….£5800+ ish. Amount needed. Quite a bit more. If you have not donated to the museum fund in one way or another then it is not too late. Every little bit helps. Find the QRH Museum on the net or contact Major Jim Austin on regsec@qrhussars.co.uk to make a donation supporting my walk.

Many, many thanks to all of you who have supported me on this walk. To those who have made donations because I looked like a bumble bee (two gentlemen in South Yorkshire) to those who have provided accommodation and food (and in one case paid for my hotel for a night) your generosity is very much appreciated. To those who walked with me and provided encouragement, it was needed and much required.

Get it? Seafoods?……Codford?

Free Coffee – Farm shop North Derbyshire.

Donation 35 Café - Bourne

Donation – Archie Orr Ewing ex RHG/D – Kings Head Bledington


RMO, MTO, RSM (on occasion), Chief Clerk, SQMS and Long Haired General. Brilliant.

Thank you to all of those pictured for their generosity and encouragement.

If you have not heard about the new Museum visit the website. Just type into Google QRH Museum and it comes up, or use this link:
 http://qrhmuseum.uk/home . It lists a number of ways to donate and invest or you can pledge money to support this walk. 10p a mile works out at £34. You can pledge more or less. To pledge money contact:   regsec@qrhussars.co.uk

My very best wishes to you all

Tom Hamilton

Contact   30/10/2016


Tom Hamilton: THE MARCH SOUTH - Update 3

Phase 3 of the walk started at Sherbourne, just outside Warwick. Starting here meant I avoided a route walking along a busy dual carriageway but made no difference to the overall distance……..until that is we came across one of those road closures that spring up overnight. This one was at the start point so we had to adjust the route at very short notice. This sort of overnight closure (and they are literally overnight as we recce our route each evening) have added quite a few miles to the journey. Absolutely nothing to do with bad map reading!

This leg was through the Cotswolds and we were very happy to be joined on sections of the route by Brigadier Andrew Bellamy and by Colonel Michael Bromley Gardner. We were also very happy to accept the huge generosity of those that offered us accommodation through this section.

We did have to omit two miles of this section as it was just too dangerous to attempt to walk along. As with many minor roads if it links two major routes it becomes a race track. The road between Calne and Bishops Cannings is a good example but I managed that one without being hit…….just.

On one cross country route the path was ploughed out and hedges overgrown and eventually (after about 1 1/2k) I had to turn back and take the road. It’s a risk you take at this time of year and with councils pushed to spend money on footpath upkeep and farmers getting in next years crop. My boots were sodden and having not worn my second pair of boots for any of the previous 200 miles they gave me a few blisters.

We had been very lucky with the weather with only two heavy showers but at midday on Sunday 16th the skies opened and a monsoon hit. Colonel Michael Bromley Gardner, having just finished a section of the route with me just managed to avoid it but did say, “Hmmmm, looks like rain” pointing to heavy dark cloud and smiling as he left! My youngest daughter who joined me as he left did not have waterproof trousers. I did and was very jack!

275 miles completed.65 miles to do. The steep approach to Salisbury plain is to come and hopefully more members of the Regiment can come along for a days walking. Bovington on Balaklava Day. The next section starts at The Crown Inn, Bishops Cannings on 21st October at 0830.

Brigadier Andrew and Annabel Bellamy before walking from Upper Durrington.


Colonel Michael Bromley Gardner and self in reflective mood. Purton to Bishops Cannings leg.


Naunton Dickens, Delphi and I. Monty Pythons “I know my place”!


Colonel Alex Wilson.

Chris and Geraldine Gould…..how many Becks?

General David Jenkins and Annie visited us at Colonel Michael Bromley Gardner’s home.

Thank you to all of those pictured for their generosity and encouragement.

If you have not heard about the new Museum visit the website. Just type into Google QRH Museum and it comes up, or use this link:
 http://qrhmuseum.uk/home . It lists a number of ways to donate and invest or you can pledge money to support this walk. 10p a mile works out at £34. You can pledge more or less. To pledge money contact:   regsec@qrhussars.co.uk

My very best wishes to you all

Tom Hamilton

Contact   17/10/2016


Tom Hamilton: THE MARCH SOUTH - Update 2

Phase Two of the walk from Catterick to Bovington started early on 29th September as we drove from our home in Lincolnshire to the start point in Maltby. From Maltby it was a 14 mile walk to a small town in Derbyshire called Clowne where I would wake up on my Birthday……….says it all really.

On the way to Clowne I was surprised in the village of Harthill by Lt Col (Retd) Paul Hodgson who had brought a birthday cake for me.

Paul presenting the cake having cleverly guessed the year I was starting………work it out for yourself!

Having left the “scenery” of Yorkshire behind me it was a bit of a shock to find Derbyshire was equally “scenic” in parts. Oh goody! One bit of “scenery”, the hill leading into Quarndon, was just stunning. I could’nt breathe properly for an hour after getting there. After Quarndon it became less hilly. In the West Midlands it became positively pretty. Nice views, few hills. Not “scenic” at all.
In one village I walked through (Coton in the Elms) I stumbled across a memorial to Cpl Russell Aston, one of the six RMP killed in Majaar al Kabir in Iraq during 2003.

Lunches during the day have been in pubs on route. In one we asked for a cheese basket and got a Camembert cheese that would have given my cardiologist a heart attack had he seen it.

Continuing South, Warwick came into view on walking day 14 and I walked into the site of the new Museum on schedule. Apart from a lost toe nail and three small blisters the feet were OK. 195 miles completed and only 147 to go!


The site of the new museum.1 Trinity Mews, Priory Road, Warwick

I got a good look at the museum and heard the plans for it. It is going to be a fitting museum for The Queens Royal Hussars. I doubt there will be another museum that will be better. It will showcase events from Balaklava and Dettingen all the way up to Iraq and Afghanistan. I am convinced it will do QRH and all its antecedent regiments proud. There is a lot of work to do for those plans to come to fruition and, to answer one of the questions being posed on Facebook, currently not enough money has yet been raised. Much more is needed.

If you have not heard about the new Museum visit the website. Just type into Google QRH Museum and it comes up, or use this link:  http://qrhmuseum.uk/home . It lists a number of ways to donate and invest or you can pledge money to support this walk. 10p a mile works out at £34. You can pledge more or less. To pledge money contact:   regsec@qrhussars.co.uk

My very best wishes to you all

Tom Hamilton

Contact   07/10/2016


Stuart Hadley: Hi,  Hope you can help me, my father Frederick Hadley served in the Queens Own Hussars during the 60's and early 70's. My dad unfortunately has passed away. It would be great to make contact with anyone who served with my father as I would like to visit the barracks he was based at in Germany.

Many thanks.

Stuart Hadley

Contact   05/09/2016


Tom Hamilton:   THE MARCH SOUTH - Update 1

For those of you that are unaware I am walking from Cambrai Barracks, Catterick to Allenby Barracks, Bovington via the site of the new Queens Royal Hussars Museum in Warwick to raise funds for the Museum and to raise awareness of the need for those funds. This is our museum. It will have many of the great exhibits from QRIH, QOH and our predecessor regiments and will bring the information right up to date with QRH. It is our museum, it shows the standards we achieved and therefore sets the standards for those that follow. It deserves our support.

On the 19th of September I and my support team of one (my long suffering wife) moved from our home in Lincolnshire to stay with a friend in Bedale. This meant we could start at 0830 the following morning. As we arrived at the start we were met by some ex members of the Regiment who made me feel welcome and questioned my sanity.

Harry Christie, Tom Hamilton, Capt Colin Davidson, Bob Gavin at the start.

As the time came to set off they waved and cheered and for a small group made a lot of noise. It really chuffed me. Day one was from Catterick to Masham. For those that can remember Masham is the home for Theakstons breweries, the scene of several liquid brewery visits when the Regiment was in Catterick and when QOH was the Training Regiment. As a warmer into the bank at only 13 miles it was a good opportunity to get used to North Yorkshires scenery. “Scenery” is a word used by some sadists to describe pain. “Scenic” describes multiple pains of varying degrees. North Yorkshire has a lot of “scenery” and is very “scenic”. “Scenery” that goes up and down is doubly “scenic”. North Yorkshire has lots of very ups and very downs! The route also brought me into contact for the first time with drivers who consider pedestrians invisible (despite the fact that I looked like a yellow high viz Quasimodo) and on one occasion I had to dive into the edge of the road getting badly stung in the process as the driver, with nothing coming in either direction for miles, drove at me.

Day 2 saw me walk from Masham to a small village called Shaws Mill. It was a bit further at 14 ½ miles and was VERY “scenic”. At the end of this stage the first minor blisters were appearing. On day 3, I passed close to the Army Foundation College as I made my way to East Keswick. At 17 miles this was a grueller and my feet now knew they had been walking hard. As each hour went on more tape appeared on my feet. I should have taken shares out in Boots prior to the walk as I slowly worked my way through their entire foot product range. That night we stayed at Maustin Park Caravan and camping site. This was a “like”. The owner donated a Pod which was a modern purpose built wooden hut with a TV and electricity. The beds you provide yourself. It was a nice site and well worth a visit if you are up that way.

  Army Foundation College, Harrogate                      Day 3 “Frodo” feet!

   A “Pod” at Maustin park.                     Passing through, heading south.


Day 4 was the toughest day both mentally and physically. A route change meant it was another 17 mile day. Everything was tired, stiff and did not want to move. The start was a steep hill climb and after 5 miles I was telling myself off firmly for opening my big mouth. However, as all feeling in my legs completely died the sun came out and the “Scenery” became less hilly so I started to feel better.

Moving further south on days 5 and 6 we arrived in the suburbs of Doncaster. This was not a like. I can see why it features on Police Interceptors so much. We spent the night in a hotel called the Camponile on Bawtry Road. Definitely NOT recommended. I continued south through Sprotborough and Edlington eventually reaching Maltby in mid afternoon. We stopped for a coffee and found someone had hit the car in our absence without having the good grace to tell us. I was glad to leave that area behind. We had obviously hit it on a bad day.

93 miles down, 252 miles to go! The next stage starts on Thursday at Maltby and will see me move to Warwick. A route planner is attached and I would be delighted if anyone felt they would like to join me for a day or part of a day.   Download

We did meet some very kind and interesting people on route with money being donated by people with no connection to the military who had just asked what I was doing. One bloke was walking for charity from Inverness to Cambridge! Completely mad!

If you have not heard about the new Museum visit the website. Just type into Google QRH Museum and it comes up, or use this link:  http://qrhmuseum.uk/home . It lists a number of ways to donate and invest or you can pledge money to support this walk. 10p a mile works out at £34. You can pledge more or less. To pledge money contact:   regsec@qrhussars.co.uk

My very best wishes to you all

Tom Hamilton

Contact   26/09/2016



You will all be aware that the Regiment has recently purchased a new museum. The museum will house items that tell the story of our history and that of our predecessors. It is important to the success of our Regiment that future members of the Regiment are aware of what we and our predecessors have achieved and the standards that have been set. The details of the new museum and the funding requirements are set out on the museum web page at http://qrhmuseum.uk/home. The museum is due to open in 2018 but to do so it needs funds now.

To assist in the fund raising effort I intend to attempt a walk from Cambrai Barracks, Catterick to Allenby Barracks, Bovington, a distance of 340 miles. I have said I will “attempt” to walk between the two locations. The walk would be a challenge for most and as I am a little beyond my military prime there is a chance that my body will not allow me to complete it (although I have every intention of doing so). For those that wish to donate to the museum fund as a result of my walk I would prefer you to pledge an amount per mile (ie: a pledge of 1p per mile would equate to a donation of £3.40 or 10p a mile would equate to £34). In the event of my being unable to complete the walk you will only be asked to honour a payment for the number of miles I complete.

I am asking Old Comrades (and serving members at ERE if they wish) to come and do some of the walk with me or to “Walk a Day”.

Attached, and downloadable via the button below is the route and proposed timetable which gives the grid references and postcodes of daily start points. Those that wish to walk do not have to complete the full route for that day and can be picked up at any point on that days route. The walk will start at 0830 daily. The timetable may be subject to change if 15 miles a day is found to be too optimistic! Changes to the timetable will be shown on the Museum web page.

If any Old Comrade who lives on or near the route feels they can accommodate my wife, my mad black dog and I for a night (or arrange accommodation in TA centre/village hall or similar set up) I would ask that they contact me at techamilton@hotmail.com . All we require is roof, floor and toilet facilities. We can provide the rest. The attached programme shows the nights that we already have accommodation in hand.

For those that would like to pledge an amount per mile please let Maj (Retd) Jim Austin know on the following e mail address: regsec@qrhussars.co.uk. If you make a pledge you will be contacted after the walk to ask you to send your pledge, following the instructions on the museum website donate page.

The Regiment have chosen to support this venture and will complete the same distance in relay on running machines starting on the same day.


My very best wishes to you all

Tom Hamilton

Contact   26/09/2016


Annie Brown:  A Declaration of my Love for Jim MacDonald --  A Queens Royal Hussar

The Lady of Shallot --Jim MacDonald, my Lancelot and I am his Fairy Maiden

Jim MacDonald. He is my Lancelot and I am his Fairy Maiden. In the Lady of Shallot, a fairy maiden looks in her mirror and see the scenes of local folks journey down to Camelot. This Fairy Maiden mirrors me and the meeting of Lancelot.

"There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colours gay
She has heard a whisper say
A curse is on her if she stay
To look down to Camelot

She knows not what the curse may be
And so she weaveth steadily
A little other care hath she
The Lady of Shallot"

Through the mirror she sees Lancelot.....

"He rode between the barley sheaves,
The sun came dazzling through the leaves,
And flamed upon the brazen greaves
Of Bold Sir Lancelot.

A red-cross Knight forever kneeled
To a lady in his shield,
That sparkled on the yellow field,
Beside remote Shallot."

Through our meeting, I saw my love Jim MacDonald. My knight, my love. He is my Queens Royal Hussar, guard of the Queen, A Commander, a soldier, a noble, handsome guard. I fell in love immediately. He looks so noble in his uniform, stately, handsome, just like Sir Lancelot. I am his Fairy Maiden like the Lady of Shallot. In the Lady of Shallot, her reaction on seeing Lancelot with his "coal black curls as on he rode, down to Camelot," was:

"She left the web, she left the loom,
She made three paces through the room,
She saw the water lily bloom,
She saw the Helmet and the plume,
She looked down to Camelot.

Out flew, the web and floated wide;
The mirror cracked from side to side
"The curse is come upon me" cried
The Lady of Shallot"

Yes I met my destiny with Jim MacDonald. He is the one that was for me to love. Just like how the Lady of Shallot met her destiny with Lancelot. We fell in love...passionately in love. We agreed to marry each other. We pledge our hearts to each other...and we will live happily ever after.

Contact   26/06/2016


Colin Smith:  'B' Sqn QOH  Warminster 1975-1976

My name is Colin Smith and I retired from the Army in 1990.

In 1975, I returned from Australia on posting as Pay Sergeant to B Sqn The Queens Own Hussars stationed at The School of Infantry, Warminster where they had the role of the Demonstration Squadron.

Would it be possible to let me know the current status or whereabouts of the hierarchy of the squadron, notably Maj D Younger, Capt Butler and Capt P W Gore, also the Squadron Sergeant Major, whose name I cannot recall?

I had a very rewarding time with the squadron and thoroughly enjoyed my time with them until they were posted to Hohne and A Sqn 14/20 Kings Hussars took over their role as Demo Squadron. Major A A S Adams RAPC, the Paymaster with the Regiment at Bovington wanted me to move with The Queens Own Hussars but my records Office decided I should stay in my role with the incoming squadron.

Any assistance you may be able to give me would be gratefully received. I am aware that Capt Gore retired from the Army in 1976 but would be interested to know what he went on to do.

Sincere regards

Colin Smith
(Ex 24112991 WO2 (SQMS) RAPC)

Contact   22/08/2016


Dick Mather:  As many of you are aware The Queen’s Own Hussars museum is to close down at the end of October and relocate to Trinity Court, Warwick, where it will join up with the Queen’s Own Irish Hussars museum which is to move from Eastbourne to become The Queen’s Royal Hussars museum.

To enable this move to run smoothly we are looking for volunteers to offer their services during the movement of the contents of the Warwick museum, the time period of the offer is down to you, be it a couple of hours or more the time will be appreciated and a great help in the transfer of YOUR museum.

Further to the move there will also be a need for volunteers to help in the running of the museum, once opened perhaps mid 2017, on a Saturday, Sunday or Bank Holiday, currently there is Ray & Janet Mabbott, Jimmy James, Ron Gallivan and myself who do the stags, usually of one or, at most, two days a month but, as I’m sure you will appreciate we are not getting any younger so it would help to be able to spread the load.

Should either or both of the above commitments take your fancy then please drop me a line or phone me on 01908 568414 for further information, don’t be shy.



Contact   11/08/2016


Lisa Monks:  Hi, I was wondering if Ray Raisback could be located, as my Father Bernard Monks would like to hear from him regarding the time they served together in the QOH between 1969 to 1978. Any news from him would be appreciated. Kind regards Lisa Monks.

Contact   26/06/2016


Barry 'Codders' Coddington:  Can all ex Boys Please log onto the JLRRAC website and help save the site from going down the pan.  

Bishop,  Lower, Keogh  George  Billy, Colin. Chaplin and the rest of you slackers get on with it...

Please    ??????????????



Contact   16/02/2016


Ken Hanna: I hope that you will not mind this form of enquiry, I have been trying for some time to contact David Payne (or possibly known as Inglis) who joined JLR RAC from Balsall Heath in Birmingham some time about 1958-60. He would be the elder brother of Both Brian and Eileen Inglis who were very close friends of that time.

I put out a request for information on the JLR RAC website a few years ago without success and tried again in the last week. As a result I was given a possible guide by a member of the forum, hence my enquiry. It would be good to get in touch with old friends after so many years.

Kind regards.


: +44 (0)1606 557178
: +44 (0)7921 803292

: Contact  01/02/2016

Barry 'Codders' Coddington: 
Can any one put me in touch with the Supplier of QOH T shirts and QOH ribbon( for straw hats) Barry Coddington

Contact   22/01/2016


Lizzie Taylor:  Hello,

Please would you put the following message on your notice board:

3rd The King's Own Hussars 1955-1958

My father WO2 AQMS and later WO1 ASM Ralph Taylor was REME attached to 3rd KOH from 1955 in Iserlohn to the end, Oct 1958 in Munster. He received his LSGC medal from Princess Margaret during her visit to the regiment in Munster, Mar 29 & 30 1958. I remember the parade well, aged 4, sitting in the stands watching the Centurions and Conquerors drive past the saluting dais

Can you please tell me the significance of the formation numbers, 41 and 59 on photographs I've seen elsewhere, on the tanks' RAC flash. Was the 59 a special number, hastily supplanted over the 41 in preparation for Suez in Nov 1956 which then reverted back to 41 as the regiment didn't go and were stood down?

Any further info on the regiment 1955-58 and of the REME attached would be welcome.

I and my brother served in Epsom Barracks too, when it was Corunna Barracks (1980-84); the camp barber my brother went to was the one from 3rd KOH days who remembered my father and of the 'incident' where my father held my brother aged two, in a headlock so the barber could ensure his long curly girly blonde locks were safely shorn off!

I'd love to learn more of those times and of my father, read of regimental escapades and see more photos of the regiments vehicles and Epsom Barracks, as was. My email is as per the contact button.

Thank you.

Kind regards
Lizzie Taylor MSc HRM, BSc Eng., Chartered MCIPD

Contact   22/01/2016



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