Title: 20th Hussars in the Great War 1914 – 1918
Author: Darling, Major J C
Edition: 2nd Edition
Publication Date: 2003
Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 133 pages
Comments: The record of a cavalry regiment that served on the Western Front right through the war, one of the first in action in August 1914.
When war broke out the 20th Hussars were in Colchester, where they had been since 1911. They were one of the three regiments making up the 5th Cavalry Brigade commanded by Brig-Gen Sir Philip Chetwode, who rose to the command of XX Corps, and after the war became C-in-C India and Field Marshal. The regiment arrived in France on 18th August (‘A’ Squadron arrived the previous day). The Cavalry Division was formed on mobilization but the 5th Cavalry Brigade was an independent brigade until transferred to the newly formed 2nd Cavalry Division in September 1914. The regiment served on the Western Front for the rest of the war, remaining in 5th Cavalry Brigade, 2nd Cavalry Division.
The regiment was in it right from the start – Mons and the Retreat, the Marne and the Aisne and all the way through to the armistice. Twenty-four Battle Honours were awarded and the dead numbered 11 officers and 205 other ranks (Soldiers Died). This history, published privately by the author, a regular officer who served in the regiment during the war, is a simple, straightforward and easily read narrative in which individuals are named and officer and sometimes other rank casualties are mentioned as they occur. The story is quite obviously intended for regimental readers, who will readily identify with some of the incidents described.
Thus we read how Lieut Sparrow shot a ‘Hun cyclist’ with his revolver; how Corporal Goring killed two Uhlans and captured their lances; and how Lieut Goodhart, closely pursued by an ‘ugly Hun’ with a lance, tried to shoot him with his revolver, only to discover he had forgotten to load it. Fortunately for him his polo pony had the legs of the German horse (or was more agile) and Goodhart lived to fight another day. No doubt it cost him drinks all round. This happened on 22nd August 1914, the day before Mons, so the regiment was one of the first in action. Officer casualties, and sometimes senior NCO are mentioned as they occur, with the circumstances; from time to time the list of officers present for duty are given. But there is no roll of honour nor lists of honours and awards, and no index.