This cavalry regiment was raised in 1759 by Charles Moore, 6th Earl of Drogheda, on his estate at Moore Abbey, County Kildare. Originally titled the 19th Regiment of Light Dragoons, it was re-numbered several times, until finally becoming the 18th in 1769. Its handsome uniform also led to the nickname Lord Drogheda’s Blues. Less charitably, the Regiment was sometimes referred to as Drogheda’s Cossacks. In 1807, the Light Dragoons were re-designated as Hussars and in that capacity participated in the Peninsular Wars and at Waterloo.
The Regiment was disbanded in Ireland in 1821 but re-formed in 1858 as the 18th Regiment of (Light) Hussars. Renamed once more in 1861 as the 18th Hussars, it participated in the Boer Wars. In 1903, the Regiment was granted the courtesy title Queen Mary’s Own in honour of the wife of King George V.
The 18th Hussars formed part of the 1st Cavalry Division deployed to France in August 1914. The Regiment served in France and Flanders from 1914 to 1918 and was later awarded the title ‘Royal’ for its services during the war.