1st Troop Horse Grenadier Guards

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> British Army >> 1st Troop Horse Grenadier Guards

Origin and History

In 1678, a division of “Mounted Granadeers” was added to each of the 3 Life Guards companies garrisoned in London. A Horse Grenadiers received only half the pay of a Life Guard. Their uniform and fighting methods were those of dragoons with the addition of the grenade.

In 1680, the Horse Grenadiers were disbanded but soon reestablished in 1683. It consisted of 2 companies. From 1687, the unit was known as the “1st Troop of Grenadiers”.

During the Williamite War in Ireland, on July 11 1690, the Horse Grenadiers took part in the battle of the Boyne, near Drogheda.

During the Nine Years' War, the Horse Grenadiers served in the Netherlands. On August 3 1692, they took part in the battle of Steenkerque.

In 1693, it was renamed the “Horse Grenadier Guards”, amalgamating the former 1st, 2nd and 3rd Troops. Finally, in 1709, it was renamed the “1st Troop of Horse Grenadier Guards”.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, in 1742, the unit was sent abroad for service. The troop was at the battles of Dettingen (June 27 1743) and Fontenoy (May 11 1745). It was then recalled to Great Britain at the outbreak of the Jacobite Rising.

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

  • since April 25 1745 to March 16 1760: Richard Onslow
  • from October 30 1760 to November 19 1763: Thomas Howard, 2nd Earl of Effingham

In 1788, the troop was amalgamated with the 1st Troop of Guards to form the 1st Regiment of Life Guards.

Service during the War

At the outbreak of the Seven Years' War, the troop consisted of 1 squadron counting 150 men.

As of May 30 1759, the troop was stationed in England. It remained in Great Britain throughout the war.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1751 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform in 1751 as per David Morier
Headgear British mitre with: a dark blue front edged white and embroidered with white twigs; the centre device consisted of a blue garter edged yellow carrying the motto "HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE" in yellow and, on a dark blue inner field, the yellow "GR" cipher; a crown (yellow with crimson cushions, white pearls and ermine headband) above the centre device; a small red front flap edged yellow carrying a white grenade with white trophies; with a red band edged in light yellow carrying the motto "NEC ASPERA TERRENT" in white; red bag with a white tassel; a red headband edged white with white crossed sword and musket side badges.
Neckstock white
Coat red with white buttons and narrow white buttonholes
Collar none
Shoulder strap red edged in blue
Lapels none
Pockets vertical pockets with 5 white buttons and 5 narrow white buttonholes in a chevron pattern
Cuffs blue with 4 white buttons and 4 narrow white buttonholes in a chevron pattern on the sleeve above each cuff
Turnbacks blue
Waistcoat buff
Breeches buff leather
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box black
Scabbard black
Bayonet scabbard n/a
Footgear black boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth dark laced with a thick gold braid with a red central stripe carrying the same badge as the mitre cap (blue garter surmounted by a crown) in the rear corners
Housings dark blue laced with a thick gold braid with a red central stripe carrying the same badge as the mitre cap (blue garter surmounted by a crown)
Blanket roll blue and red


Troopers were armed with a sword, a pair of pistols, grenades, a musket and a bayonet. Horse Grenadier Guards rode black horses.

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 sword knot
  • housings and holster caps laced gold

NCOs

no information available yet

Musicians

Drummers and oboists rode grey horses. They wore red uniforms with blue facings, the whole heavily laced in gold. Their swords had a broken blade because they were not considered as combatant.

Colours

Standard and guidon were made of damask.

1st troop Standard (as per the 1751 Warrant and the Windsor Colour Book): dark blue field, fringed gold; centre device consisting of a rose and thistle on the same stalk surmounted by a large crown (yellow with red cushions, white pearls and ermine headband) with the letters G and R in gold on either side; a silver scroll carrying the motto "Dieu et mon droit" in black below the centre device; 3 smaller crowns below the scroll (identical to the larger crown depicted above).

1st troop Guidon (as per the 1751 Warrant and the Windsor Colour Book): dark blue field, fringed gold; centre device consisting of a rose and thistle on the same stalk surmounted by a large crown (yellow with red cushions, white pearls and ermine headband) with the letters G and R in gold on either side; a silver scroll carrying the motto "Dieu et mon droit" in black below the centre device; 3 smaller crowns below the scroll (identical to the larger crown depicted above).

Troop Standard – Source: Frédéric Aubert
Troop Guidon – Source: Frédéric Aubert

References

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

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

  • Horse Grenadier Guards