1st Troop Horse Grenadier Guards
Origin and History
In 1678, a division of “Mounted Granadeers” was added to each of the three 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 as three divisions, each one attached to a troop of English Life Guards. From 1687, these divisions were commonly designated as the “1st Troop of Grenadiers”.
On July 11 1690, during the Williamite War in Ireland (1689-91), the Horse Grenadiers grouped in a single squadron took part in the Battle of the Boyne, near Drogheda.
In 1691, during the Nine Years' War (1688-97), the Horse Grenadier Guards were sent to the Dutch Republic. On August 3 1692, they took part in the Battle of Steenkerque where they dismounted and charged on foot with signal gallantry. They later covered the retreat of the Allies. In 1693, they took part in the Battle of Landen. In October of the same year, the Horse Grenadier Guards attached to the three English troops of Life Guards were embodied into one troop and renamed the “Horse Grenadier Guards”, amalgamating the former 1st, 2nd and 3rd divisions. In 1697, the entire corps of Life Guards returned to England.
During the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), the Horse Grenadier Guards did not serve abroad, nor were they employed on any of the expedition during the war.
In 1709, this troop of Horse Grenadier Guards was renamed the “1st Troop of Horse Grenadier Guards”.
On October 20, 1715, the troop attended to the coronation of King George I.
On October 11, 1727, the troop attended to the coronation of King George II.
In 1742, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the troop was sent abroad for service. It 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:
- from 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.
|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.|
|Coat||red with white buttons and narrow white buttonholes
Troopers were armed with a sword, a pair of pistols, grenades, a musket and a bayonet. Horse Grenadier Guards rode black horses.
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
no information available yet
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.
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).
This article incorporates texts of the following source:
- Cannon, Richard: Historical Record of the Life Guards, London: Longman, Orme, and Co, 1840
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)
- Horse Grenadier Guards