5th Dragoons

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> British Army >> 5th Dragoons

Origin and History

The regiment was raised on June 20 1689 as the "James Wynne's Regiment of Dragoons". It was the first of two regiments raised in Inniskilling during the war in Ireland. It initially ranked as 6th Dragoons.

During the Williamite War in Ireland, on July 11 1690, the regiment fought in the battle of the Boyne. The same year, it was renumbered 5th Dragoons. On July 22 1691, it took part in the battle of Aughrim.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, in 1704, the regiment became the "Royal Dragoons of Ireland". It took part in several battles: Blenheim (August 13, 1704), Ramillies (May 23, 1706), Oudenarde (July 11, 1708), and Malplaquet (September 11, 1709).

During the War of the Austrian Succession, on May 11 1745, the regiment took part in the battle of Fontenoy.

On July 1 1751, when a Royal warrant reorganised the British cavalry, the regiment was designated as the "5th Regiment of Dragoons".

At the end of 1755, a company of light dragoons was added to the Regiments.

In 1756, the regiment was retitled "5th (Royal Irish) Regiment of Dragoons"

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

  • in 1759: Major-general Mostyn

On April 8 1799, after the troubles in Ireland, the regiment was disbanded on April 8 1799 and its rank remained vacant until 1858.

Service during the War

As of May 30 1759, the regiment was stationed in Ireland and counted 3 squadrons for a total of 270 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
Neck stock white
Coat double breasted red lined blue with white buttons and very narrow white buttonholes grouped 3 by 3
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 blue (slashed in the British pattern) with white buttons and very narrow white buttonholes in a chevron pattern on the sleeve
Turnbacks blue
Waistcoat blue with white buttons and very narrow white buttonholes
Breeches blue with white knee covers
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather slung over the left shoulder
Waistbelt n/a
Cartridge Box natural leather pouch
Scabbard n/a
Bayonet scabbard n/a
Footgear black boots
Horse Furniture
Housings blue with rounded corners decorated with the Harp and Crown; bordered with a yellow braid with a blue stripe
Holster caps blue decorated with the King's Cypher with the Crown over it; bordered with a yellow braid with a blue stripe
Blanket roll blue and red


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

Other interpretations

Lawson mentions yellow buttons and yellow buttonholes in 1757, even though the warrant of 1751 specifies white.

Funcken mentions that some companies wore a grenadier mitre-cap but no pictorial evidence has been found of this fact.

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
  • blue 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 blue 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 red coats lined and turned up with blue and laced with the royal lace (yellow with a blue stripe). 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. Blue 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, blue headband with a drum and the rank of the regiment (V. D.) in the middle part behind.

The drums were of brass with a blue forepart carrying the rank of the regiment (V. 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 and embroidered in gold and 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 (V. D.) in silver characters on a blue ground.

Regimental Guidon: blue field with its centre decorated with the Harp and Crown. In the first and fourth corners the White Horse in a red compartment. In the second and third corners: the rank of the regiment (V. D) on a red ground within a small wreath of Roses and Thistles.

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 - 5th Royal Irish Lancers

Acknowledgements

Digby Smith for additional info on the regiment.