18th Light Horse

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> British Army >> 18th Light Horse

Origin and History

The regiment was created on the 7th of November 1759 under Lieut.-Colonel John Hale from the 47th Foot. The regiment was embodied in Hertfordshire The unit was originally designated as the “18th Light Dragoons” although it was more commonly known as the “Hale's Light Horse”.

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

  • Lieut.-Colonel Hale (promoted to the colonelcy the 27th of April 1763)

Not a regular unit until 24th of July 1763 when he was redesignated as 17th Regiment of Light Dragoons. Changed as 3rd Regiment of Light Dragoons in 1766 and, then, in 1768 re-numbered 17th Light Dragoons.

As beginning of December 1759, the regiment was stationed in England (Coventry) and counted 6 troops. The regiment was then sent to Scotland in October 1760 where it was stationed during the following 3 years.


This regiment was in North America during the American War of Independence.

Service during the War

In the spring of 1761, the regiment sent a draft of 50 men and horses to Germany, to serve under the Marquis of Granby.

Uniform

We have not found any primary source describing the uniform of this regiment. Several part of our description are assumptions based on the uniforms of the regiments of dragoons.

Privates

File:18th Light Horse Uniform Plate.jpg
Uniform in 1760 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform in 1760
Headgear gold or copper helmet; the front plate with brown fur and a red semi oval plate decorated with a black skull and two black bones + underneath the Motto "Or Glory"; red horsehair tail; brown fur band round the base of the helmet
Neck stock black
Coat short double breasted red with silver buttons and very narrow white buttonholes
Collar white
Shoulder strap left shoulder: white epaulette
Lapels white half lapels with eight square loops set in pairs
Pockets vertical pocket with four white chevron loops
Cuffs white square cuffs (slashed in the British pattern) with silver buttons
Turnbacks white
Waistcoat white with very narrow white buttonholes
Breeches white with white knee covers
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt buff leather slung over the left shoulder
Waistbelt n/a
Cartridge Box buff leather pouch
Scabbard n/a
Bayonet scabbard n/a
Footgear light calf-length black boots
Horse Furniture
Housings red with rounded corners decorated with a black skull and two black crossed bones + the underneath Motto "Or Glory"; bordered with a braid (1/3 black on the middle and two 1/3 red stripes, one on either side)
Holster caps red decorated with a black skull and two black crossed bones + the underneath Motto "Or Glory"; bordered with a braid (1/3 black on the middle and two 1/3 red stripes, one on either side)
n/a


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

Officers

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

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

NCOs

Sergeants were distinguished by a narrow silver lace on the lapels, cuffs and pockets; a silver aiguillette; a black 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 lapels, cuffs and collar and laced with the regimental braid. 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 the motto “Nec aspera terrent”; red backing, white headband with a drum and the initials of the regiment (XVIII LD) in the middle part behind.

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

Colours

We have not found any primary source describing the colours of this regiment. Several part of our description are assumptions based on the colours of the regiments of dragoons.

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

King's Guidon: Crimson 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 initials of the regiment (XVIII LD) in silver characters on a white ground.

Regimental Guidon: White field with its centre decorated with two black bones above a black skull and with underneath the Motto "Or Glory" (for 'Death Or Glory'). It seems that, at the end of the war, the two black bones were behind the black skull. In the first and fourth corners the White Horse in a red compartment. In the second and third corners: the initials of the regiment (XVIII LD) in silver characters on a white ground within a wreath of roses and thistles.

King's Guidon - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Regimental Guidon in 1759 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Regimental Guidon at the end of the war (?) - Source: Frédéric Aubert

References

To do: enumerate sources