About 16th/5th The Queen's Royal Lancers

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16th/5th The Queen's Royal Lancers

16th/5th The Queen's Royal Lancers armoured regiment was formed in 1922 by merging two cavalry units. It fought in several campaigns until 1993, when it became part of The Queen’s Royal Lancers.

This unit was formed as the 16th/5th Lancers in 1922 by amalgamating the 16th The Queen's Lancers and the 5th Royal Irish Lancers, both of which were in India at the time.

The 5th Royal Irish Lancers had been dishonourably disbanded in 1799. On its re-formation in 1858, it was ranked 18th, instead of 5th, in the cavalry order of precedence. This explains the new regiment’s title being the 16th/5th rather than the 5th/16th Lancers.

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About us

Second World War

The new unit was posted back to Britain in 1926, before returning to India in 1937. It was still there on the outbreak of the Second World War (1939-45). Still a mounted regiment at the time, it sailed for England in January 1940 to mechanise.

The regiment initially provided motorised machine-gun troops to defend Britain against possible German invasion in the autumn of 1940. Once that threat had gone, it switched to training on Valentine and Matilda tanks in November 1940.

It deployed to Tunisia in November 1942, where it was re-equipped with Sherman tanks the following year. It then fought at Kasserine and in the final capture of Tunis in 1943.

Battle honours

In January 1944, the regiment landed at Naples. The mountainous Italian terrain was ill-suited to armoured warfare and so its soldiers often ended up operating as infantry. By the time of the German surrender in Italy in May 1945, the 16th/5th Lancers had pushed the furthest west of any unit in the 8th Army, linking up with the Americans.

Second World War: Kasserine, Fondouk, Kairouan, Bordj, Djebel Kournine, Tunis, Gromballa, Bou Ficha, North Africa 1942–43, Cassino II, Liri Valley, Monte Piccolo, Capture of Perugia, Arezzo, Advance to Florence, Argenta Gap, Traghetto, Italy 1944–45

Gulf War: Gulf 1991