7th Hussars 1812-1815
The 7th Queen's Own Hussars was a cavalry regiment in the British Army, first formed in 1690. It saw service for three centuries, before being amalgamated into The Queen's Own Hussars in 1958.
In October 1808 the 7th Hussars embarked for Corunna to reinforce Sir John Moore's Army. Moore had started the retreat before the 7th Hussars had reached the Army. Two minor conflicts brought the cavalry some renown during the retreat, the first at Sahagún in which two regiment of French Cavalry were overwhelmed, the second at Benavente when the over-enthusiastic leading elements of the French advance were pushed back into the river they had just crossed.
The remainder of the retreat over the mountains in the January snow and ice were disastrous, 150 effective soldiers were left of the 749 Queen's Own who had landed two months before. The Coup-de-Grace was delivered to the regiment when one of the troopships was wrecked on the way home, drowning sixty more of the regiment.
The remainder reconstituted and served in Ireland for three years before being recalled to London for ceremonial duty owing to the Life Guards being overseas, and proceeding from there to the Peninsula as part of the Hussar Brigade arriving in September 1812. The 7th crossed the Pyrenees and wintered near Bayonne, not fighting until Battle of Orthes in February 1814, where they mauled the retreating French infantry and were the only Cavalry regiment mentioned by Wellington in his dispatches.