Brigadier George Butler, so tragically killed on 6th June in a helicopter accident while on his way to visit the 16/5th Lancers in Wales, was the first Commanding Officer of the Irish Hussars, having served with both parent regiments prior to their amalgamation.

Lt Col WGO Butler DSO MC

Brigadier George joined the 8th Hussars in 1948 from the Guides Cavalry, where he had served for ten years. As a member of the Chindits, he fought in Burma where he was awarded the Military Cross.

In 1952 he became Adjutant of the 8th Hussars. Later whilst commanding ‘B’ Squadron in Korea he received the DSO.

On the Regiment’s return to England, he became an instructor at the R.M.A. Sandhurst where for the first time the interests of both 4th and 8th Hussars were in his care, in that he acted as the local representative for the former regiment.

As a part of the Master plan which was to make the amalgamation of the 4th and 8th Hussars a bye-word in these complex and sensitive operations Brigadier George, changed the cap badge overnight and became a 4th Hussar.

So, on 25th October 1959, he became the first and most emancipated Commanding Officer of the Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars on its inception at Hohne.

There can be no doubt that the outstanding success and happiness of the amalgamation of these two great and very individualistic regiments must be attributed to the quiet, unassuming and human genius of this very great Regimental soldier and Gentleman.

Nothing was ever too much for him; always friendly and understanding with a true countryman’s courtesy, he moulded all the contrasting elements of both regiments into one family.

Having given up command in 1960 he moved to SHAPE as MA to General Stockwell; thence to Bangkok as a senior British member of the Military Planning Staff at HQ SEATO. In 1966 he returned to England to become CRAC 3 Division at Tidworth in which appointment he died.

Related topics

  1. Korea 1950-51
  2. A short history of The 8th Hussars
  3. Citation and Immediate Award of the Distinguished Service Order: Maj WGO Butler, MC