2nd Dragoon Guards

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Origin and History

The regiment was raised in 1685 to curb Monmouth's rebellion and was designated as the "Earl of Peterborough's Regiment of Horse". It ranked as 3rd Horse.

The regiment was then sent to Ireland where it took part in the battles of the Boyne (1690) and Aughrim (1691). The regiment then returned to England where it assumed police duty in the commons of Hounslow and Blackheath.

In 1694, the regiment was sent to the Netherlands where it served until 1698, when it returned to England.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, in 1704, the regiment was sent to Portugal. On April 25 1707, it distinguished itself at the battle of Almanza. In July 1710, it was involved in an engagement near Almaneza where 16 squadrons of British and Portuguese horse charged and broke the French and Spaniards, whose force consisted of a first line of 22 squadrons flanked by infantry, and a second line of 20 squadrons and 9 battalions. At the end of the same year, the regiment along with other units was surprised and forced to surrender at Brihuega. In October 1711, it was exchanged and returned to England.

The regiment was the sent to curb the Great Jacobite Rebellion. In 1715, it was renamed the "Princess of Wales's Own Regiment of Horse".

In 1727, on the accession of the Prince of Wales to the throne as King George II, the regiment was renamed the "Queen's Own Regiment of Horse".

In 1746, when 3 regiments of horse were converted to Dragoon Guards, the "3rd Regiment of Horse" also known as the "Queen's Regiment of Horse" became the "2nd Dragoon Guards".

The regiment counted 2 squadrons, always mounted on bay horses.

At the end of 1755, a company of light dragoons was added to the regiments. These light dragoons had brass helmets.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:

  • in 1759: Lieutenant-general Lord George Sackville
  • in 1760: Colonel Mostyn

Service during the War

As of May 30 1759, the regiment was stationed in Scotland and counted 2 squadrons for a total of 390 men.

In May 1760, the regiment was among the second British contingent sent to reinforce the Allied army of Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick in Germany. The troops were shipped to Bremen on the Weser instead of, as heretofore, to Emden, and seem to have been despatched with commendable promptitude since some regiments were reviewed by Ferdinand in his camp at Fritzlar on June 17.

On July 31 1760, the regiment took part in the battle of Warburg where it formed part of the first line of Granby's cavalry. Granby charged and broke the French cavalry right wing then wheeled and hit the French infantry in the flank, winning the day for the Allies.

In 1761, the regiment served in Conway's Corps in Germany. On July 16, it took part in the battle of Vellinghausen.

To do: more details on the campaigns from 1760 to 1762

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: Richard Couture from a template by Frédéric Aubert
Uniform in 1758
Headgear black tricorne laced gold with a black cockade
Neck stock white
Coat red lined buff
Collar none
Shoulder strap left shoulder: red fastened with a small yellow button

right shoulder: yellow aiguillette

Lapels long buff lapels extending from the collar down to the waist with yellow buttons and very narrow yellow buttonholes grouped 3 by 3
Pockets long vertical pockets with yellow buttons and very narrow yellow buttonholes in a chevron pattern
Cuffs buff (slashed in the British pattern) with yellow buttons and very narrow yellow buttonholes in a chevron pattern on the sleeve
Turnbacks buff
Waistcoat buff with very narrow yellow buttonholes
Breeches buff with white knee covers
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt n/a
Cartridge Box natural leather
Scabbard n/a
Bayonet scabbard n/a
Footgear black boots
Horse Furniture
Housings buff with rounded corners decorated with the badge of the regiment (golden queen's cipher surrounded by a blue garter bearing the motto Honi soit qui mal y pense and surmounted by a golden crown); bordered with the royal lace (3 braids: yellow, blue, yellow)
Holster caps buff with pointed corners decorated with the golden crowned queen's cipher and the rank of the regiment underneath; bordered with the royal lace (3 braids: yellow, blue, yellow)
Blanket roll red and buff


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 gold lace at the bindings and buttonholes
  • a crimson silk sash worn over the left shoulder
  • crimson and gold striped sword knot
  • housings and holster caps laced gold

NCOs

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

Corporals distinguished by a narrow gold lace on the cuffs and shoulder strap; yellow silk aiguillette.

Musicians

The oboists and drummers rode grey horses. They wore red coats lined and turned up with blue and laced with the royal lace (yellow and blue). Hanging sleeves fastened at the waist. Blue waistcoats and breeches.

Drummers wore a mitre cap similar to the grenadier mitre cap but with a lower crown and the tassel hanging behind. Buff front decorated with the badge of the regiment; little frontal red flap with the White Horse and the the motto “Nec aspera terrent”; red backing, blue headband with a thistle and the rank of the regiment in the middle part behind.

The drums were of brass and embossed (not painted). The banners of the kettle-drum and trumpets were buff. The banner of the kettle drum carried the badge of the regiment while the banners of the trumpets carried the king's cipher and crown with the number of the regiment underneath.

Colours

The standards were made of damask, fringed and embroidered with gold. The tassels and cords were of crimson silk and gold mixed.

King's Standard: 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 badge of the regiment (the queen's cipher on a red field, surrounded by a blue garter carrying the motto “Honi soit qui mal y pense”).

Regimental Guidon: buff field fringed gold with its centre decorated with the badge of the regiment (the queen's cipher on a red field, surrounded by a blue garter carrying the motto “Honi soit qui mal y pense”). In the first and fourth corners the White Horse in a red compartment. In the second and third corners: the rank of the regiment in a red compartment.

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

References

Fortescue, J. W., A History of the British Army, Vol. II, MacMillan, London, 1899

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)

Wikipedia - 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays)

N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.