The 16th The Queen’s Lancers was a cavalry regiment in the British Army, first raised in 1759. It saw service for two centuries, before being amalgamated into the 16th/5th Lancers in 1922.
The regiment was raised as the second of the new regiments of light dragoons in 1759, as the 16th Regiment of (Light) Dragoons, also known as Burgoyne’s Light Horse. In 1766 they were renamed after Queen Charlotte as the 2nd (or The Queen’s) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons, the number being an attempt to create a new numbering system for the light dragoon regiments. However, the old system was quickly reestablished, with the regiment returning as the 16th (The Queen’s) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons in 1769.
Shortly after its establishment the regiment saw combat in February 1761 against French forces garrisoning Belle Île. During the subsequent eight months the 16th Light Dragoons served as part of a British force campaigning against the Spanish.
The 16th Light Dragoons arrived in New York in September, 1776. They were involved in fighting at Brandywine, Paoli, and Monmouth Court House. The regiment returned to Britain in December, 1778.
During 1793-96 the 16th Light Dragoons served in the Low Countries during the early stages of the French Revolutionary Wars, distinguishing itself at the Battle of Beaumont. In Spain and France between 1809 and 1814 the regiment suffered 309 casualties in a series of separate encounters. At Waterloo the regiment charged with Vandeleur’s Cavalry Brigade.
They became lancers in 1816, as the 16th (The Queen’s) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons (Lancers). In the course of 24 years unbroken service in India, from 1822 to 1846, the regiment saw action in both the 1st and 2nd Afghan Wars, the Maharatta War and the Sikh War of 1845-46. As lancers they were the first British regiment to use this weapon, at the Siege of Bhurtpore in 1826
The regimental title was simplified in 1861 to the 16th (The Queen’s) Lancers. The Regiment was posted to India in the early 1900s, but took part in the Second Boer War in South Africa 1900-1901.
After service in the First World War the regiment was retitled as the 16th The Queen’s Lancers in 1921 and amalgamated with the 5th Royal Irish Lancers to form the 16th/5th Lancers (later the 16th/5th The Queen’s Royal Lancers) the following year. This measure was part of a general reduction of mounted cavalry numbers in the British Army.
==Insignia and uniform==
The collar badge of the regiment until 1921 comprised the figure 16 above a scroll inscribed “Queen’s Lancers”, over a pair of crossed lances and surmounted by a crown (see illustration above). The lancer full dress cap bore the regimental battle honors and number in silver.
In its early years as the 16th Light Dragoons, the regiment wore the standard red uniform of this branch of cavalry with black and then royal blue facings. In 1784 the red coat was replaced by a dark blue jacket. From 1816 to 1832 a dark blue lancer uniform was worn, until in December 1832 a scarlet coatee and undress jacket was authorized. The latter was worn during the First Sikh War and on its return to England in 1846 the 16th petitioned to retain the scarlet uniform when all lancer regiments were ordered to return to blue. The unique distinction of scarlet lancer tunic and dark blue plastron was retained in full dress until 1914.