The 24th Lancers were a very short lived cavalry regiment in the Second World War. The regiment was raised in December 1940 from a cadre of personnel taken from the 9th Queen’s Royal Lancers and the 17th/21st Lancers; despite its numerical designation, the regiment shared no lineage with the earlier 24th Light Dragoons. It was initially assigned to the 29th Armoured Brigade, which formed part of the 11th Armoured Division, but it was reassigned to the 8th Armoured Brigade on 8 February 1944.
The regiment had a very simple cap badge designed for it, consisting of the number 24 in Roman Numerals in a ring with two lances and surmounted by a crown and not only was this produced as a brass cap badge, but also on items for the mess such as these coasters:
Each is made of a double layer of absorbent paper to catch condensation from the drink placed upon it and has the badge embossed into it in blue. All the details of the badge are carefully recreated:
With the 8th Armoured Brigade, the regiment landed on Gold Beach, in the second wave of the Operation Overlord landings, supporting the 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division. The regiment landed on 7 June 1944 (D+1). Equipped with Sherman tanks, shortly after landing the regiment was involved in the fighting around Putot-en-Bessin and Villers Bocage. After intensive action in the Tilly-sur-Seulles, Fontenay-le-Pesnel, Tessel Wood and Rauray areas, the regiment was disbanded towards the end of July 1944 due to heavy casualties and limited reinforcements, and its personnel were transferred to other regiments. Most of these men went to the 23rd Hussars or other units of the 8th Armoured Brigade, or the 29th Armoured Brigade in the 11th Armoured Division. Since D-Day, the regiment had lost 41 officers and men killed in action, along with 98 wounded or missing.
For such a short lived regiment, and for something that was designed to be used once and thrown away, these coasters are a rare survivor.