March 12, 2015

Finest Hour 159, Summer 2013

Page 21

5 December 1906, WSC to the Adjutant, Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars:

Sir, I should be very glad if you would inform me what is the nature of the course of instruction which I should attend in order to become qualified for Field Rank; and I would certainly make every exertion in my power to comply with the regulations. But my official work is at the present time very heavy and has been so the whole of this year, and it would be quite impossible for me to be absent from London while Parliament is sitting and very difficult for me to attend satisfactorily to any course of instruction which required daily attendance.

10 September 1908, Lieut-Colonel Sir Robert Hermon-Hodge to WSC:

My dear Churchill, I am sending you tomorrow a silver salver precisely the same as [your brother] Jack’s from the officers of the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars with the warmest good wishes for your happiness. Please allow me this opportunity of telling you how much I appreciate your work in the Regiment and the way in which you stick to it in spite of the important claims upon your time. Do not trouble to answer this.

Believe me, Yours sincerely, Robert Hodge (Colonel, Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars)

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14 September 1915, WSC to insurance agent W.H. Bernau:

I may require to go to France in the near future on the same sort of conditions of liberty as were arranged for my visit to the Dardanelles. I should like to pay an extra premium to cover say 15 days actually in the zone of the armies though not serving as a soldier; these days to count as they occur. In the event of my later on in the same year wishing to pay the regular £5.5.0 of full war risk, I should like this partial fragment to be counted towards the total.

18 November 1915, WSC to Clementine Churchill from GHQ, British Expeditionary Force:

My darling, Things have fallen out very much as I expected. I was met by a request to come to General Headquarters, which after seeing my regiment, I did. [General] French as ever an affectionate friend. He wished me to take a Brigade as soon as it could be arranged. I said as I told you that beforehand I must feel myself effectively master of the conditions of trench warfare from the point of view of the regimental officer; and I suggested the Guards as the best school. This is therefore to be arranged and I expect to go into the line on Saturday for a week or two. You must not let this fret you in the least. No action is in prospect and only a very general and ordinary risk need be contemplated. But I shall always be very proud to have served with the famous corps. It is indeed much safer than going into the line with the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars.

13 July 1944, WSC to Secretary of State for War (Sir Percy J. Grigg):

I have had most disturbing news from my old regiment, the Oxfordshire Hussars, of which I am now Honorary Colonel. Apparently its role is to find drafts for the Twenty-first Army Group and to be a holding unit for wounded, trainees, etc. This means that it can never serve as a fighting unit, and will in fact disappear in all but name. It seems very wrong that a regiment with such a fine history and record should be treated in this shabby fashion. Surely they deserve their chance in the field?  Pray go into this and let me know what can be done.

29 July 1944, WSC to Secretary of State for War and C.I.G.S. (Field Marshal Alanbrooke):

General Montgomery spoke to me last week about the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars and other ancient Yeomanry regiments which are being used merely as holding units. I have pointed out to you the great importance of not destroying these permanent elements in our defensive system. 2. General Montgomery proposed to me that when a “Hostilities Only” or war-time-raised unit at the front was so depleted that it had to be broken up, that unit should be sent home to form part of the pool of reinforcements, and one of these now perfectly trained, permanent Yeomanry units should be sent out in its place. They are of course actually at the present time trained as artillery or anti-tank. This proposal seems quite satisfactory to me. 3. I have your minute of July 18 informing me that you have given instructions that men are not to be taken from the Oxfordshire Hussars for the time being.

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