Dick Surtees Cripps joined the 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars in Mesopotamia in July 1920.

A natural and stylish horseman he won the Regimental Point to Point three years running on `Madcap’ and was later a member of the British Army Team.

Recalled from retirement on the outbreak of war, he rejoined the Regiment in Egypt and took command of ‘B’• Squadron.

In August ‘B’ Squadron were the first to go into action against enemy (Italian) armour. After a prolonged running battle, the enemy was forced to retire and subsequently Major Cripps was awarded the D.S.O., the Regiment’s first decoration of the War.

In May 1941 he took over command of the Regiment and by November was back in action attempting to relieve Tobruk. During the action, he was taken POW and remained so until September 1943 when Italy capitulated.

After the war, he retired to Limerick and began breeding bloodstock. In 1962 he won the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot with ‘Shot Silk’ and so became the only 8th Hussar to have graced the winners’ enclosure at the Royal Meeting.

Dick Cripps was a quiet man. With men and horses, he never raised his voice but, with a permanent twinkle in his eye, and a ready wit that was never unkind, he commanded a deep measure of respect and affection from all who served with or under him.

In 1933 he married Miss Betty Goodbody of Woodsdown, County Limerick, a sister of a later Adjutant General, General Sir Richard Goodbody. She predeceased him by some months.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 8th Hussars
  2. Middle East (Egypt and Libya) timeline
  3. Citation and Award of the Distinguished Service Order: Maj DS Cripps