12th Dragoons

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> British Army >> 12th Dragoons

Origin and History

The regiment was raised on July 22 1715 in Berkshire by Colonel Phineas Bowles to crush the Jacobite Rising against George I. It ranked 12th among the dragoon regiments.

In 1718, the regiment was placed on the Irish establishment and stationed in Ireland.

On July 1 1751, when a Royal warrant reorganised the British cavalry, the regiment was designated as the "12th Regiment of Dragoons".

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:

  • from 1756 till 1763: Major-general Sir Whiteford

In 1768, the regiment was converted into a Light Dragoons Regiment known as the "12th or Prince of Wales's Regiment of Light Dragoons".

Service during the War

As of May 30 1759, the regiment was stationed in Ireland and counted 2 squadrons for a total of 180 men. It was not involved in any campaign during the war.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: Ibrahim90 from a template made by Frédéric Aubert
Uniform in 1758
Headgear black tricorne laced silver with a black cockade on the left side
Neck stock white
Coat double breasted red lined white with white buttons and very narrow white buttonholes grouped 2 by
Collar none
Shoulder strap left shoulder: red fastened with a white button
right shoulder: white aiguillette
Lapels none
Pockets long vertical pockets with white buttons and very narrow white buttonholes in a chevron pattern
Cuffs white (slashed in the British pattern) with white buttons and very narrow white buttonholes in a chevron pattern on the sleeve
Turnbacks white
Waistcoat white with white buttons and very narrow white buttonholes
Breeches white with white knee covers
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt n/a
Cartridge Box natural leather pouch
Scabbard n/a
Bayonet scabbard n/a
Footgear black boots
Horse Furniture
Housings white with rounded corners decorated with the rank of the regiment (XII D.) on a red ground within a small wreath of roses and thistles; bordered with a yellow braid with a central green stripe
Holster caps white decorated with the King's Cypher in white with the Crown over it; bordered with a yellow braid with a central green stripe
Blanket roll white and red


Troopers were armed with a sword, a pair of pistols and a musket.

Officers

As per the regulation of 1751, the officers wore the same uniform with the following exceptions:

  • a narrow silver lace at the lapels, cuffs and pockets
  • a crimson silk sash worn over the left shoulder
  • crimson and gold striped sword knot
  • white housings and holster caps laced silver

NCOs

Sergeants were distinguished by a narrow silver lace on the lapels, cuffs and pockets; a silver aiguillette; a white worsted sash about their waist.

Corporals were distinguished by a narrow silver lace on the cuffs and shoulder strap; white silk aiguillette.

Musicians

Drummers rode grey horses. They wore white coats lined and turned up with red and laced with a yellow braid with a green stripe. Red waistcoats and breeches.

Drummers wore a mitre cap similar to the grenadier mitre cap but with a lower crown and the tassel hanging behind; white front decorated with a trophy of guidons and drums; little frontal red flap with the White Horse and the motto “Nec aspera terrent”; red backing, white headband with a drum and the rank of the regiment (XII. D.) in the middle part behind.

The drums were of brass with a white forepart carrying the rank of the regiment (XII. D.) in silver characters on a crimson ground within a wreath of roses and thistles on the same stalk.

Colours

The guidons were made of silk, fringed in green and silver, and embroidered in silver. The tassels and cords were of crimson silk and gold mixed.

King's Guidon: crimson field decorated with the rose and thistle conjoined surmounted by a crown. Underneath the central decoration: the king's motto “Dieu et mon Droit”. In the first and fourth corners the White Horse in a compartment. In the second and third corners: the rank of the regiment (XII. D.) in silver characters on a white ground.

Regimental Guidon: white field with its centre decorated with the rank of the regiment (XII. D.) in silver characters on a crimson ground within a wreath of roses and thistles on the same stalk. In the first and fourth corners the White Horse in a red compartment. In the second and third corners: the Rose and Thistle conjoined upon a red ground.

King's Guidon - Source: Richard Couture from a template by PMPdeL
Regimental Guidon - Source: Richard Couture from a template by PMPdeL

References

Funcken, Liliane and Fred, Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle

George II, The Royal Clothing Warrant, 1751

Lawson, Cecil C. P., A History of the Uniforms of the British Army - from the Beginnings to 1760, vol. II

Mills, T. F., Land Forces of Britain the Empire and Commonwealth (an excellent website which unfortunately does not seem to be online any more)

Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756 - 1763. Edited and published by KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg e.V., Magstadt, 1989

Wikipedia - 12th Royal Lancers

Acknowledgements

Digby Smith for additional info on the regiment.