20th Light Horse

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> British Army >> 20th Light Horse

Origin and History

The regiment was created on the 12th of January 1760. It was raised in Ireland. The unit was originally designated as the “20th Light Dragoons” although it was more commonly known as the “Inniskilling or Caldwell’s Light Horse”.

This unit was raised by the city of Enniskillen. It seems the regiment was raised from the Light Troop of the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons and volonteers from other corps. Because of that, facings color seemed to be yellow at the very beginning but later changed to black.

The regiment counted 4 troops (12 officers and 232 rank and file).

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

  • from 1760: Lieutenant-Colonel Sir James Caldwell Bt.

Disbanded in 1763.

Service during the War

The regiment served in Ireland for the whole period of the war.

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:20th Light Horse Uniform Plate.jpg
Uniform in 1760 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform in 1760
Headgear black boiled leather helmet; the front plate edged white and decorated with a crowned GR cypher in white; red horsehair tail; black band round the base of the helmet; white metal fittings
Neck stock black
Coat short double breasted red with silver buttons and eight square loops set in pairs.
Collar black
Shoulder strap left shoulder: white epaulette
Lapels black half lapels with eight square loops set in pairs
Pockets vertical pocket with three chevron loops
Cuffs black (slashed in the British pattern) with silver buttons and three chevron-lace loops above.
Turnbacks black
Waistcoat white with very narrow 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 black with rounded corners decorated with the designation of the regiment “XX LD” (for light dragoons) on a red ground within a small wreath of roses and thistles; bordered with a yellow and blue (?) braid
Holster caps black with the designation of the regiment “XX LD” (for light dragoons) on a red ground within a small wreath of roses and thistles; bordered with a yellow and blue (?) braid.
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 at the lapels, cuffs and pockets
  • a crimson silk sash worn over the left shoulder
  • crimson and silver striped sword knot
  • ?deep green? 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 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 ?colour? coats lined and turned up with ?colour? and laced with the regimental braid (unknown). 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. ?colour? front decorated with a trophy of guidons and drums; little frontal red flap with the White Horse and the the motto “Nec aspera terrent”; ?colour? backing, ?colour? headband with a drum and the initials of the regiment (XX LD) in the middle part behind.

The drums were of brass with a white forepart carrying the initials of the regiment (XX 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 red compartment. In the second and third corners: the initials of the regiment (XX LD) in silver characters on a black ground.

Regimental Guidon: black field with its centre decorated with the castle of Inniskilling in silver. In the first and fourth corners the White Horse in a red compartment. In the second and third corners: the initials of the regiment (XX LD) in silver characters on a red ground.

King's Guidon - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Regimental Guidon - Source: Frédéric Aubert

References

To do: enumerate sources