The 14th Hussars fought the Sikhs in the Battle of Ramnuggur in which their Commanding Officer was killed.
In 1845, The Sikhs invaded territory under British protection in India with a view to taking Delhi. The Sikh forces were defeated after a short, hard campaign but war with the Sikhs broke out again in 1848. On 22nd November 1848 the Sikhs, some 16,000 strong, with cavalry, infantry and 28 guns, were astride the Chenab River in North West India, at Ramnuggur, now Rasulnagar in Pakistan.
The 3rd Light Dragoons had the first action, which drove in the enemy outposts on the south of the river. The 14th Light Dragoons were ordered to advance with two squadrons, supported by the 5th Native Cavalry. The Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel William Havelock, charged the Sikh cavalry reserve. General Cureton could see that the Regiment was heading into a much larger and well-positioned force and galloped after the 14th to stop them. He was killed in the attempt and the 14th continued the charge under increasing fire from the Sikhs.
The soft sand of the river had slowed the charge to a trot, which made the Sikhs’ fire even more effective. Nevertheless, the 14th pushed on with heavy hand-to-hand fighting and the Sikhs were forced back across the river. Havelock reformed the Regiment, took the 5th Native Cavalry under command and charged the Sikhs, again at the trot. Despite accurate and heavy fire from the Sikhs, both regiments fought hard and drove the Sikhs back, winning the day.
The 14th lost six officers, 44 men and 56 horses. Colonel Havelock was killed, his body found with nine of his soldiers heaped on it, killed trying to save their Colonel. After the battle, the 5th Cavalry presented the Sergeants’ Mess of the 14th Light Dragoons with a magnificent cup. The anniversary of the Battle of Ramnuggur is celebrated annually in the Sergeants’ Mess of The King’s Royal Hussars when all drink from the cup, saluting “The Heroes of Ramnuggur”.