King Edward's Horse
The King’s Overseas Dominions Regiment was initiated by Lt Col George Hamilton in 1901 who had wished for such a regiment from his time in South Africa.
At the outbreak of the First World War King Edward’s Horse was regarded as Divisional Cavalry, an integral part of the British Expeditionary Force although their orders to mobilize were to move to the war station dismounted. The Regiment established itself at Alexandra Palace and under Colonel Sandeman was on war footing.
The role of cavalry was an uncertain position in World War I. The one advantage that the regiment had was that they could move quickly over open ground and not have to stick to roads that were frequently choked with marching units and motor vehicles. King Edward’s Horse lived up to its origins when having to bivouac. The men, relying on their previous homeland experiences, built splendid ‘bivvys’ from the natural materials around them and undertook basic engineering of water management.
The King, closely associated with the regiment at its inception noted that they had displayed the very best of the finest traditions of the British Army.
The regiment officially ceased in 1924, as people tried to forget the dreadful experiences of the war years. The pendulum of austerity and service swung to fun and indulgence before the reality of financial consequences were manifest. Regimental silver and effects were deposited at Haileybury College and still rest there in a cupboard.
Excerpt from Anderson, J. (2018).“King Edward’s Horse – an age passes into history”
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