James Champion

Sergeant-Major James Champion.
For distinguished bravery at Beejapore on the 8th of September, 1858, when both the Officers attached to the Troop were disabled, and himself severely wounded at the commencement of the action by a ball through his body, in having continued at his duty forward, throughout the pursuit, and disabled several of the Enemy with his pistol. Also recommended for distinguished conduct at Gwalior.

Four Gwalior VCs
London Gazette 28th Jan. 1859
Captain (now Brevet-Major) Clement Walker Heneage No. 1584. Serjeant Joseph Ward

No. 1298. Farrier George Hollis

No. 861. Private John Pearson

Selected for the Victoria Cross by their companions in the gallant charge made by a squadron of the Regiment at Gwalior, on the 17th of June, 1858, when, supported by a division of the Bombay Horse Artillery, and Her Majesty's 95th Regiment, they routed the enemy, who were advancing against Brigadier Smith's position, charged through the rebel camp into two batteries, capturing and bringing into their camp two of the enemy's guns, under a heavy and converging fire from the Fort and Town.


Medals of the Regiments:
8th (The King's Royal Irish) Hussars

8th King's Royal Irish Hussars cap badge 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars pouch badge.
King's crown bimetal cap badge of the 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars.
Kipling and King reference 762
Above, a rather robust cast white metal pouch badge
which I am reliably informed is 8th Hussars (maybe!)

© Images Copyright ©




8th (The King's Royal Irish) Hussars

Some Titles
Henry Conyngham's Regiment of Dragoons 1693
8th Regiment of Light Dragoons. 1775
8th (The King's Royal Irish) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons (Hussars) 1822
8th (The King's Royal Irish) Hussars 1861
8th King's Royal Irish Hussars 1922
Earliest recognised formation: 1693 when raised as Henry Conyngham's Regiment of Dragoons.
Motto: Pristinae virtutis memores = The memory of former valour
Regimental Journal:  Cross-Belts
WWI: Battle Honours; 15 Victoria Crosses; 0 Died; 103
WWII: Battle Honours; 19 Victoria Crosses; 0 Died;
Amalgamated: 1958, with the 4th Queen's Own Hussars to form The Queen's Royal Irish Hussars
1775: "8th Regiment of Light Dragoons."

Egypt Campaign 1801

Military General Service Medal 1793 - 1814 clasp:


Privates; George Duncan, James Durneen, James Flanagan, Andrew Geraghty, Stephen Russell, Robert Smith and Corporal Richard Solery. (all also in possession of an Army of India Medal except Flanagan.)


Second Mahratta War 1803-05

Army of India Medal 1799 - 1826




Capture of Deig

Number: 27 33

Battle Honour: Leswarree.


Nepal War 1814-16

Army of India Medal 1799 - 1826



number: 14

Battle Honour: Hindoostan (granted for service in India 1802-1822)


Crimean War  1854 - 1856        When can their glory fade?

Crimea Medal 1854 -56

Clasp: → ..none...





Total Medals
Number: ? 200 179* 162 439 ?

Men who served in the Crimea also eligible for:

Turkish Crimea Medal 1855


*"Light Brigade chargers"; Regiment part of the gallant 600 who rode into the valley of death on that fateful day 25th October 1854


Battle Honours:  Alma; Balaklava; Inkermann; Sebastopol.


Indian Mutiny 1857-59 

India Mutiny Medal. 1857 -59

clasp: ...none...

Central India

number: 24509

VCs: ; Champion,    Heneage,  Hollis,  Pearson,  Ward.    (Champion was also in the charge at Gwalior where the other 4 VCs were won)

Battle Honour: Central India


Afghan War 1878

Afghanistan Medal 1878  -1880

number: 398


26 dead on the roll.

two apothecaries struck through on the roll are not counted here.

Battle Honour: Afghanistan


South African War 1899 - 1902 or "Boer War"  (March 1900 - end)

Queen's South Africa Medal 1899-1902,

Common clasps: Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902; and a significant minority:



Diamond Hill


total medals    
number; ? ? ? 1460 approx    


Officers NCOs and Men
KIA & DOW Wounded Missing / POW KIA & DOW Death from disease Wounded Missing / POW
3 8 - 13 31 42 4

Battle Honour: South Africa 1900-02


The Great War 1914 - 1918 Served France and Flanders.


In India when war declared. 16/10/14 sailed from Bombay for France arriving Marseilles 10/11/14. Serving in the Ambala Cavalry Brigade, 1st Indian Cavalry Division. 15/9/15 Brigade transferred to 2nd Indian Cavalry Division. 26/11/16 the Division became 5th Cavalry Division, this  broken up 2/18. 10/9/18 Regiment to the 9th Cavalry Brigade 1st Cavalry Division.


Soldiers/Officers died records 103 casualties for the period.


Men landed France and Flanders prior to 1/1/1916 entitled to a 1914 or 1914-15 Star as appropriate. Also the British War Medal & Victory Medal



Battle Honours: Givenchy 1914; Somme 1916, 1918; Cambrai 1917, 1918; Bapaume 1918; Rosières; Amiens; Albert 1918; Beaurevoir; Pursuit to Mons; France and Flanders 1914-18. Bazentin; Flers-Courcelette; St Quentin; Hindenburg Line; St Quentin Canal.


Jewish / Arab Unrest, Palestine 1936 - 39

General Service Medal 1918 -62

number: ?

WW2 1939 - 1945 (Royal Armoured Corps)

campaigns: North Africa North West Europe.
WW2 campaign stars:  Africa France & Germany
  Light Armoured Brigade, Mobile Division  Egypt 3/9/39. (renamed 7th Armoured Brigade, 7th Armoured Division ) Regiment later served 4th Armoured Brigade.  Heavy losses Bir Hakeim 26-27/5/42. Survivors formed composite unit with 3RTR and later 4th Hussars. Returned to UK for NW Europe preparations 9/6/44 -31/8/45 7th Armoured Div. Troops.

Most also entitled to the 39-45 Star & 1939-45 War Medal


Battle Honours: Mont Pinçon; Dives Crossing; Nederrijn; Best; Egyptian Frontier 1940; Sidi Barrani; Relief of Tobruk; Bir el Igela; Mersa Matruh; Alam el Halfa. Villers Bocage; Lower Maas; Rhine; North-West Europe 1944-5; Buq Buq; Sidi Rezegh 1941; Gazala; El Alamein; North Africa 1940-2.


Korean War 1950 - 1953   (Nov 1950 - Dec 1951)

Queen's Korea Medal

number: ?*

* 39 officers and 689 ORs; with reinforcements of 10 officers and 104 ORs are strengths quoted in the official history for 8/8/1950. [ plus LAD (1 off, 28 ORs +1) and Sigs Tp. (18 0Rs +1) - we assume medals named REME & R.SIGS. for these men?]

Composition: Regimental Headquarters & Headquarters Squadron, including Reconnaissance Troop, Signal Troop, RHQ Troop. Three sabre squadrons, each 20 Centurion tanks = Squadron headquarters and four troops of 4 Centurion tanks. Total 64 Centurions; 6 Cromwells; 3 tank dosers; 3 Churchill recovery (ARV); 3 Churchill Bridgelayers; 4 carriers, universal; 18 scout cars.


KIA or DOW Wounded POW
16 ? 37
Honours and Awards DSO MC MM OBE MBE  
3 6 3 2 2  

Battle Honours:  Imjin; Korea 1950-51.


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Selected Links

The Regimental Museum. (Located in ) 


Selected Bibliography;

Author Title Publisher
 (Cannon's Historical Records Series) Historical Record of the Eighth, or The King's Royal Irish Regiment of Hussars; containing an Account of the Formation of the Regiment in 1693, and of its subsequent Services to 1843.134 pp. London: John W. Parker, 1844.
Drawn up by John Francis Smet, late Surgeon of the 8th Hussars. Historical Record of the Eighth King's Royal Irish Hussars, from its being raised, to 1803. 86 pp. London: W. Mitchell & Co., 1874.
Rev. Robert H. Murray, with a foreword by Gen. the Right Hon. Sir Bryan T. Mahon. The History of the VIII King's Royal Irish Hussars, 1693-1927.    2 vols. Cambridge: W. Heifer & Sons Ltd., 1928
Olivia Fitzroy, foreword by H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh, Colonel of the Regiment. Men of Valour: the third volume of the history of the VIII King's Royal Irish Hussars, 1927-1958.  375pp. Liverpool: printed by C. Tinling & Co., Ltd., 1961
J. W. Morton, Squadron-Sergeant-Major. 8th (King's Royal Irish) Hussars. Diary of the South African War, 1900-1902.  159 pp.  Aldershot; Gale & Polden Ltd., 1905.


Additional Bibliography for this Page.

Author/Compiler Title Publisher
Officers of the Regiment. Unpublished rolls in the care of the National Archives; WO 100/ etc. -
  Additional bibliography same as Northumberland Fusiliers page  



Site Home Page

Guide to British Medals

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