The Household Cavalry Museum and Shop

The Household Cavalry Museum and Shop The home of Household Cavalry heritage. Dive into 360 years of service to the Sovereign, see our working stables and visit the shop. Go to our website for opening times and our online shop.
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Operating as usual

This is the Death Medal of 19 year old 2nd Lieutenant Howard Avenel Bligh St George of the 1st Life Guards. Known as ‘Av...
01/07/2021

This is the Death Medal of 19 year old 2nd Lieutenant Howard Avenel Bligh St George of the 1st Life Guards.

Known as ‘Ave’, he was one of the many Old Etonians to join up on the outbreak of war. A dashing sportsman and popular officer, the teenage Ave saw action almost at once when his brigade reached Belgium in October 1914 - just as mounted roles were become obsolete. He wrote home:

“Words can’t describe the hell it is... the worst part of it all is the ghastly sight of wounded men.” He told of the guns’ “continuous roar”, of how he opened fire with a rifle on 500 Germans advancing 1,200 yards away and of seeing a Zeppelin destroyed.

During one advance he wrote how he came across three Germans with fixed bayonets, adding: “They got such a fright they flung down their arms and surrendered to me – which I may tell you was rather a relief.” Within a month Avenel was dead, aged only 19, shot by a sniper at Ypres in November 1914. His mother Evelyn, a beautiful American heiress, was heartbroken and commemorated him in plaques and stained glass windows at Newbold Pacey and Zillebeke Church where he was buried.

He was an archetypal young officer, epitomising a generation and class that were destroyed in the front line of battle during the Great War. While his Death Medal is in our Museum, a broken 1908 pattern cavalry sword, picked up from the battlefield he died on, can be found in our archive. This symbol of so much shattered youth was retrieved by Corporal of Horse James Bolton who served throughout the war and lived into the 1960s.

It’s nearly that time of the year.
30/06/2021

It’s nearly that time of the year.

It’s nearly that time of the year.

In 2009 a Household Cavalry sniper on operations in Afghanistan achieved a world record for the longest range kill.In No...
28/06/2021

In 2009 a Household Cavalry sniper on operations in Afghanistan achieved a world record for the longest range kill.

In November 2009, while deployed to the south of Musa Qaleh, Corporal of Horse Craig Harrison - callsign Maverick 41 - was providing overwatch for a mixed unit of 12 soldiers from the British Army and Afghan National Army. Their mission was to go into a village and clear out Taliban insurgents. He watched these 12 men move unknowingly into an enemy kill zone, and in the distance saw a flicker, revealing an enemy insurgent with a radio.

Craig said: “I looked up and I could see two guys with a PKM belt-fed Russian machine gun and they were hammering down on the lads. It was a long way, it was 2,475 meters away, which is just over a mile and a half. My rifle only shoots 1,500 meters, so I had to, I call it lob in, I lobbed a bullet in.”

With his number two spotting at his side, he bracketed the enemy position with 6 rounds until he struck the rooftop where the enemy were firing from. His seventh shot took the machine gunner in the chest and as the radio man moved, he fired two more in quick succession. The ninth shot hit its target.

When asked if he was proud of this moment Craig answered: “No. I was doing my job. I was just trying to save twelve guys.” You can read more of CoH Harrison’s extraordinary career in his book Longest Kill.

A few years later another Household Cavalry sniper was awarded a Conspicuous Gallantry cross for his role in a fight in Afghanistan, while surrounded by the enemy and having been shot through the neck. But that’s a story for another day. The Household Cavalry Regiment continues to train and deploy some of the world’s best snipers; experts in camouflage, concealment and information gathering.

Happy Armed Forces Day!
26/06/2021

Happy Armed Forces Day!

Happy Armed Forces Day!

“Poor little Johnie, I feel his death very deeply…what a splendid boy he was.”John Spencer Dunville was born in May 1896...
25/06/2021

“Poor little Johnie, I feel his death very deeply…what a splendid boy he was.”

John Spencer Dunville was born in May 1896 in London, educated at Eton, and when war broke out he joined up immediately. He fought at Loos in 1915 with the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons before transferring to the 1st (Royal) Dragoons in January 1916. In April he contracted trench fever and was invalided home, but returned to France in December.

On 25th June 1917, 2Lt Dunville was fatally wounded during a raid on the German lines near Épehy. But his selfless actions during that raid resulted in the award of a posthumous Victoria Cross.
 
The VC Citation for the 21-year-old Dunville tells how during that night operation in 1917 he placed himself between the enemy and a sapper struggling to blow a hole in the wire. Then leading his men through the gap he was mortally wounded.

A letter from The Royals Commanding Officer to his mother describes it better: “The Sapper Corporal states that during the whole of this time Johnie was urging him to keep cool and kept assuring him that he was in no danger. He stated that Johnie interposed his own body between the enemy and himself, and that by his example and bravery gave him the necessary confidence to carry out his task. As the leading men got up to the gap Johnie was wounded, his left arm being badly shattered by a bomb. He then had to be taken back, and despite a dreadful wound, he walked back the whole distance. A man of less grit could not have accomplished it. He was quite calm when he reached my HQ and talked cheerfully to the doctor who attended to his wounds, and apologised to me for not having been able to get into the trenches… Quite apart from his gallant end, he had been working indefatigably with his scouts in 'No Man's Land' for a week before the raid… He did everything that human power could do to make a success of the raid, and I cannot put into words the admiration which we all feel for him.”
 
The following day he died. A commemorative stone was unveiled in Westminster in 2017 on the 100th anniversary of his actions, and his VC was marched across from the Museum for the ceremony.

This month we lost one of our last Second World War veterans. Charles Herbert Foster, nicknamed ‘Ginger’, enlisted into ...
24/06/2021

This month we lost one of our last Second World War veterans. Charles Herbert Foster, nicknamed ‘Ginger’, enlisted into the army in 1940, aged just 19. A year later he transferred into the Royal Horse Guards (Blues) and became part of the 2nd Household Cavalry Regiment (2HCR).

In 2HCR Ginger was trained as a Driver/Operator, and over the next few years became well versed in the maintenance and operation of a Daimler Armoured Car; ready for reconnaissance tasks after the invasion of Normandy.

He departed from Southampton on 13th July 1944, heading to France. On 31st July whilst serving in Normandy, near to St Martin des Besaces, he and other members of his troop had a lucky escape; their Daimler Armoured Car was about 400 yards from a railway crossing when an enemy tank, hidden in some houses, opened fire on it. The car was hit three times; one shot passed through the driver’s legs, one removed the front suspension, and one travelled clean through the whole length of the car. The crew baled out as he vehicle burned. His crew mates were injured but Ginger untouched.

Ginger was less lucky on 10th August when he was wounded by mortar fire at the Falaise Gap. The allies were closing the net on the retreating panzer divisions pouring out of the Norman bocage but elements were still laying down significant fire. Ginger’s injuries included wounds to his chest, arms, hands, and head. His war was over.

After victory in Europe the 2nd Household Cavalry Regiment disbanded. Ginger returned to the Royal Horse Guards and was part of the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR), posted in Germany until June 1946. He was officially discharged after 6 years and 73 days of service in August ‘45.

For his service Trooper Charles Foster was awarded the 1939-1945 Star, the France and Germany Star, the Defence Medal, and the War Medal 1939-1945 by the British Government. In 2016 he was one of 12 veterans presented with the Legion d’Honneur by the French Ambassador at her Kensington residence.

This generation were ordinary people who were caught up in extraordinary events and they did not fail, the world is poorer for their passing.

With thanks to The Blues and Royals Association.

Yesterday we reunited the 105th Regiment’s Eagle with the long-lost medal of the man who captured it. But how much do yo...
22/06/2021
Capturing an Eagle at Waterloo

Yesterday we reunited the 105th Regiment’s Eagle with the long-lost medal of the man who captured it. But how much do you know about the Eagle, the charge of the Heavy Cavalry at Waterloo and Corporal Francis Styles? Waterloo expert, author and former Household Cavalry commander, General Barney White-Spunner, tells the story here. Sit deep because it’s an epic one.

Thanks to our partners and supporters
National Army Museum
The Household Cavalry
The Band of The Household Cavalry
The Army in London - HQ London District
British Army
Household Cavalry Foundation

Please subscribe to our YouTube channel for more gripping content and don’t forget to visit the Museum this summer to see our #WaterlooHeroes collection running until 26 September.

https://youtu.be/A-xhRXtHga0

For the first time in two centuries a Napoleonic Eagle captured on the battlefield at Waterloo has been reunited with the long-lost medal of the soldier who ...

For the first time in two centuries a Napoleonic Eagle captured on the battlefield at Waterloo has been reunited with th...
21/06/2021

For the first time in two centuries a Napoleonic Eagle captured on the battlefield at Waterloo has been reunited with the medal of the soldier who won it.
 
On 18th June 1815 Corporal Francis Styles, a Londoner from Holborn, charged with Wellington’s Heavy Cavalry against the massed ranks of French infantry attacking the allied position. Styles and his Squadron Leader, Captain Alexander Kennedy Clark, found themselves in the midst of desperate fighting where they seized one of the two Eagles which were captured at Waterloo, writing their names into legend.
 
These two eagles, along with the Duke of Wellington’s dispatches telling of the Allied victory, arrived in London three days after the battle on 21st June 1815, exactly 206 years ago. After more than a decade of war, London and Britain rejoiced.
 
This summer, as the museum finally opens fully again, the long-lost Waterloo Medal of Francis Styles of the Royals (1st Dragoons) – now Blues and Royals - will be on display with the actual Eagle of the 105e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne, which he captured during that fateful battle.
 
Styles’s medal was lost to the Regiment after his early death in 1828. It disappeared from the record until last year when it was put up for sale on eBay in the United States. A serving Household Cavalryman, Corporal of Horse Richard Hendy, spotted this and flagged it to the Museum. It was duly purchased for the museum with donations from serving and ex-serving Household Cavalrymen.

Colonel (retd) James Gaselee, the Museum’s Chairman, said: “The story of Styles is an epic one and I’m looking forward to others hearing more about him and the incredible characters who charged with him that day. I encourage history fans of all ages to get involved and visit the Museum.”
 
From today, for three months, and thanks to the generosity of the National Army Museum, the Eagle so iconic to members of the Blues and Royals will be displayed with the medal. Over the summer a special temporary collection will focus on the cavalry heroes of Waterloo - from Jack ‘Bear’ Shaw, a champion boxer and male model killed at Waterloo, to Lord Uxbridge, who lost his leg in the closing moments. #WaterlooHeroes

21/06/2021

Incredible footage live from Horse Guards….

21/06/2021

Watch part 2 now!

21/06/2021

Watch live now! #waterlooheroes #waterloo #LondonIsOpen #london

21/06/2021
20/06/2021

This week…

Book your tickets for Friday, Saturday and Sunday to see our new exhibit. This special moment wouldn’t be possible without the National Army Museum and the kind donations of the Household Cavalry regimental family. #waterlooheroes

A century of relative peace in Europe came at a cost at Waterloo. Some 3,500 men of the Anglo-Dutch army were dead and s...
19/06/2021

A century of relative peace in Europe came at a cost at Waterloo. Some 3,500 men of the Anglo-Dutch army were dead and some 10,200 wounded. A third of the British cavalry had been killed or wounded - wounds that often ended in amputation.

The French suffered a staggering 30,000 dead and wounded. The bodies of the dead and dying of both armies lay heaped in the tramped, singed and blood stained corn fields for days. Many suffered indignities from local scavengers, stripping and looting bodies both dead and alive - often leaving the alive with throats cut.

The stench of decay soon fell across this compact battlefield as men and horses began to putrefy in the June heat. Flies swarmed as the final groans fell silent.

As news of Wellington and Blücher’s victory spread across Europe tourists converged on the battlefield, eager for souvenirs. As they picked over the site, pyres of corpses burned, feeding off human fat for several days. This French pistol is one such souvenir, taken by a member of the Regiment from a fallen French cavalryman. The brick is a more recent acquisition, taken from the walls of Hougoumont Farm during the bi-centenary restorations.

Months and years after the battle Belgian farmers were still unearthing hundreds of bodies of Waterloo dead. Eventually a contract was given to an agricultural company to empty the fields of corpses, turning them into fertiliser; an unthinkable proposition for the fallen of the First World War 100 years later.

Just after 2pm on 18th June 1815 General D’Erlon’s Corps of 17,000 men was about to smash through the thin red line of a...
18/06/2021

Just after 2pm on 18th June 1815 General D’Erlon’s Corps of 17,000 men was about to smash through the thin red line of allied infantry. They stood two ranks deep on the ridge of Mont St. Jean, their ranks already thinned at Quatre Bras, and the entire weight of a fresh Corps bearing down on them. Their commander, the great Peninsular hero General Picton, was shot dead and the line beginning to waver.

It was at this point that Lord Uxbridge, the cavalry commander, ordered his ‘Heavies’ forward. On the allied right rode the Household Bridge and on the left the Union - composed of English, Irish and Scottish dragoons.

Some 2,500 men and horses moved forward to a trumpet call, first in walk, then trot and finally they surged forward in canter, a wall of horseflesh, thundering hooves and sharpened steel.

The 1st Dragoons, or Royals, crashed into the 105e Regiment d’Infanterie de Ligne. An infantryman recounts: “Horses’ hoofs sinking into men’s breasts, breaking bones and pressing out their bowels. Riders’ swords streaming in blood, waving over their heads and descending in deadly vengeance. Stroke follows stroke, like the turning of a flail…”

Captain Clark, a Royals Squadron Leader, takes up the story: “I did not see the eagle…until we had been probably five or six minutes engaged…I gave the order to my squadron ‘Right shoulders forward, attack the colour’, leading direct on the point myself. On reaching it, I ran my sword into the officer's right side a little above his hip joint…I tried to catch it [the colour] with my left hand, but could only touch the fringe of the flag, and it is probable it would have fallen to the ground, had it not been prevented by the neck of Corporal Styles’ horse, who came up close to my left at the instant, and against which it fell.”

Styles was then ordered to take the Eagle to the rear. Since that day the 105th’s Eagle has become part of the legend of The Royals, now the Blues and Royals. It was worn in battle as a capbadge, has been tattooed onto skin, and continues to be displayed on the sleeves of Blues and Royals to this day.

Next week something exciting will be unveiled at the Museum to mark this moment. Stay tuned.

On the 17th June 1815 Wellington’s army woke at the crossroads of Quatre Bras. Dead men and horses lay about them amongs...
17/06/2021

On the 17th June 1815 Wellington’s army woke at the crossroads of Quatre Bras. Dead men and horses lay about them amongst the trampled rye fields. On learning that the Prussian Army had been defeated at Ligny, Wellington decided to withdraw to the St. Jean ridge before Waterloo.

By 11 am the weary allied infantry were formed up and marching towards Brussels; their uniforms blood spattered, faces powder stained and throats dry. To their rear the fresher British cavalry formed a rearguard to protect against Marshal Ney’s wolf-like lancers.

As the cavalry moved off the humid afternoon grew overcast with dark thunderclouds which opened in a thunderstorm that would last all evening and night. Moving through the town of Genappe a bottleneck developed crossing the bridge. The French 1st Lanciers were nipping at the heels of the 7th Hussars, so the latter bolted through before turning back and charging the Lanciers as they came through the same choke point. But the Lanciers had their flanks secured by the buildings while the reach of their lances protected their front. Over 50 men were killed or captured.

The 1st Life Guards, who had been watching the 7th’s futile skirmish, were now ordered up. Lord Uxbridge rode over to Captain Edward Kelly, who was commanding the rear Squadron, and said “The Life Guards shall have this honour.” Kelly formed his men from column into line, drew swords, moved off in trot and called charge.

They hit the Lancers in formation and scattered them. An officer of the 95th Rifles was impressed but noted that when Life Guards were unhorsed in the now slippery wet mud, they would take themselves smartly to the rear as they would in Hyde Park, ‘no longer fit to be on parade.’

The following day at Waterloo Kelly was to lead his Squadron against armoured French cuirassiers. He attacked the cuirassiers’ commanding officer, Colonel Habert, and after a considerable duel defeated him. He then dismounted and cut off Habert’s gold epaulettes as a souvenir before taking his horse. Kelly was later wounded but survived the battle and was promoted for his actions. This is the sword he used in these actions, hanging in our Museum collection.

Address

Horse Guards, Whitehall, London SW1A 2AX
London
SW1A 2AX

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
Thursday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00
Sunday 10:00 - 17:00

Telephone

0207 930 3070

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Comments

Stupid question maybe ,are the troopers boots passed down or does each trooper get a new pair?
I vacationed in London at the beginning of October, enjoyed visiting the museum. With all of the people around, I was still able to capture this photo that I printed on canvas, wanted to share. He was kind enough to catch a moment to pose without the crowd so I could get the shot.
Me visite to london, its a beautyfull place to be.
Cant wait to come and see my grandson on parade in london after his full training in catterick, I have never seen a boy so keen has he his , he his really doing well so proud of him.And my father would of been so proud and my grandfather all milatary , dad in the bomb disposel
CAN YOU HELP? We are putting a shout out to try and help a little boy who lost a much-loved toy dog at the Dismount Parade at Horse Guards yesterday afternoon. If you found this and handed it in or see a toy dog, described by his Mum as brown and bit tatty, lying around the area please send us a message and lets see if we can reunite this little man with his lost friend.
Hey All! Dan and the team have worked very hard setting up a dedicated page for The Forgotten Army Dogtag Project- here is a link https://m.facebook.com/ForgottenArmyDogtagProject/ We will post updates here and other places but the main hub for all things dogtags will be there! Come give us a follow and share it around! About everyday we are uncovering new stories of soldiers behind the tags. Thanks!! Lots of local regiments and residents who knows possibly a family members tags are amongst them
Veterans For Britain Report: Chequers Sacrifices British Control Over Armed Forces In effect, the Withdrawal Agreement and proposed Defence Treaty would keep the UK under EU power permanently – even after the end of the ‘transition period’.
Who is selling H C Christmas cards please.?
Maybe one day? No "bits" about it! 😁