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17th Lancers (Duke of Cambridge's Own)

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CHARLES111MAC:
17th Lancers (Duke of Cambridge's Own)



17th Lancers Service in the Empire

SpoilerIn December 1857 the 17th arrived in India to reinforce the effort to suppress the Indian rebellion against British rule. By the time the regiment was prepared for service, the rebellion was effectively over, though it did pursue Tantia Topi. During the course of the pursuit, Lieutenant Evelyn Wood earned the Victoria Cross for gallantry on two separate occasions. Tantia Topi was ultimately captured and hanged by the British. The 17th Lancers remained in India until 1863, when it returned to Britain.
In India, the 17th became the 17th Regiment of Lancers. When, in 1876, it gained Prince George, Duke of Cambridge as its Colonel-in-Chief, the regiment adopted the title of the 17th (The Duke of Cambridge's Own) Lancers.
The 17th was sent to Natal Colony for the Zulu War. On 4 July 1879, the 17th fought at the Battle of Ulundi under Sir Drury Curzon Drury-Lowe. The 17th was posted inside a large British infantry square during the attack by the Zulu Army, which had surrounded the British. When the attack appeared to be wavering, the 17th Lancers were ordered to advance. Their charge routed the warriors with heavy loss. The battle proved to be decisive. The 17th returned to India the same year, remaining there until about 1890 when they returned home.



In 1900 the 17th returned to Southern Africa for the Second Boer War. They missed the large pitched battles, but would still see substantial action during the war. In 1900, Sergeant Brian Lawrence won the regiment's fifth and final VC at Essenbosch Farm. The 17th's most significant action was at the Battle of Elands River (Modderfontein) in September 1901. C Squadron of the 17th was attacked by Boers under Jan Smuts whom they mistook for British troops. The Boers took advantage of a mist to encircle the British camp. When Smuts' vanguard ran head on into a Lancer patrol, the British hesitated to fire because many of the Boers wore captured British uniforms. The Boers immediately opened fire and attacked in front while Smuts led the remainder of his force to attack the British camp from the rear. The British party suffered further casualties at a closed gate that slowed them down. All six British officers sustained wounds and four were killed. Only Captain Sandeman, the commanding officer, and Lieutenant Lord Vivian survived. The 17th Lancers had suffered 29 killed and 41 wounded before surrendering, while Boer losses were one killed and six wounded.The 17th returned home in 1902 with the conclusion of the war. The regiment left for India in 1905, where it remained until the First World War.[close]


Ranks

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Officer

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Lieutenant Colonel
Major
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2nd Lieutenant        

Warrant Officers

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NCO

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Sergeant
Corporal
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