3rd Dragoon Guards

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> British Army >> 3rd Dragoon Guards

Origin and History

The regiment was raised in 1685 to curb Monmouth's rebellion and was designated as the "Earl of Plymouth's Regiment of Horse" and ranked as 4th Horse.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment served in Europe under Marlborough. On July 2, the regiment took part to the combat of the Schellenberg. On August 13, it fought at the battle of Blenheim.

In 1746, when 3 regiments of horse were converted to Dragoon Guards, the "4th Regiment of Horse" became the "3rd Dragoon Guards".

The regiment had 2 squadrons.

At the end of 1755, a company of light dragoons was added to the regiments. These light dragoons had brass helmets.

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

  • in 1758: sir George Howard

Service during the War

In the summer of 1758, the regiment was among the first British contingent (6,000 men) sent to reinforce the Allied army of Ferdinand of Brunswick in Germany. The contingent embarked at Gravesend on July 19, disembarked at Emden on August 3 1758 and arrived at Coesfeld on August 17, after marching through a very heavy rain.

In June 1759, the regiment was part of the main Allied army under the command of the duke Ferdinand of Brunswick. On August 1, it was present at the battle of Minden where it was deployed in the right hand column under lord George Sackville. This cavalry corps did not take part to the battle despite several orders requesting its intervention. Lord Sackville was later court-martialed and lost his command.

On July 10 1760, the regiment was with the Hereditary Prince at the combat of Corbach. After the defeat, the rear-guard was so hard pressed that the prince only extricated it by putting himself at the head of two squadrons of the 3rd and 1st Dragoon Guards, and leading them to a desperate charge. Fortunately the squadrons responded superbly. The Allied rearguard was saved. A few weeks later, on July 31, the regiment fought at the battle of Warburg where it was deployed in the first line of Granby's cavalry. Granby charged and broke the French cavalry right wing then wheeled and hit the French infantry in the flank, winning the day for the Allies.

In 1761, the regiment served in Conway's Corps in Germany. On July 16, it took part to the battle of Vellinghausen.

To do: more details on the campaigns from 1760 to 1762

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform in 1758
Headgear black tricorne laced gold with a black cockade
Neck stock white
Coat red lined white
Collar none
Shoulder strap left shoulder: red fastened with a small yellow button

right shoulder: yellow aiguillette

Lapels long white lapels extending from the collar down to the waist with yellow buttons and very narrow yellow buttonholes grouped 2 by 2
Pockets long vertical pockets with yellow buttons and very narrow yellow buttonholes in a chevron pattern
Cuffs white (slashed in the British pattern) with yellow buttons and very narrow yellow buttonholes in a chevron pattern on the sleeve
Turnbacks white
Waistcoat white with very narrow yellow buttonholes
Breeches white with white knee covers
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt n/a
Cartridge Box natural leather
Scabbard n/a
Bayonet scabbard n/a
Footgear black boots
Horse Furniture
Housings white with rounded corners decorated with the rank of the regiment (III. D.G.) on a red ground within a wreath of roses and thistles; bordered with a yellow braid with a red stripe
Holster caps white with pointed corners decorated with the golden crowned king's cipher and the rank of the regiment (III. D.G.) underneath; bordered with a yellow braid with a red stripe
Blanket roll red and white


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

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 striped sword knot
  • housings and holster caps laced gold

NCOs

Sergeants were distinguished by a narrow gold lace on the lapels, cuffs and pockets; a gold aiguillette; a white worsted sash about their waist.

Corporals were distinguished by a narrow gold lace on the cuffs and shoulder strap; yellow silk aiguillette.

Musicians

The oboists and drummers rode grey horses. They wore white coats lined and turned up with red and laced with a yellow braid with a red stripe. Hanging sleeves fastened at the waist. 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 rank of the regiment (III. D.G.) in the middle part behind.

The drums were of brass with a white forepart carrying the rank of the regiment (III. D.G.) in gold characters on a crimson ground within a wreath of roses and thistles on the same stalk.

Colours

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

King's Standard: 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 (III. D.G.) in gold characters on a white ground.

Regimental Guidon: white field fringed gold with its centre decorated with the rank of the regiment (III. D.G.) in gold characters on a crimson ground within a wreath of roses and thistles on the same stalk. In the first and fourth corners the White Horse in a red compartment. In the second and third corners: the rose and thistle conjoined upon a red ground.

King's Standard - Source: PMPdeL
Regimental Guidon - Source: PMPdeL

References

Fortescue, J. W., A History of the British Army, Vol. II, MacMillan, London, 1899

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

George II, The Royal Clothing Warrant, 1751

Grose, Francis; Military Antiquities Respecting a History of the English Army, London, 1801, pp. 222-223

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)

N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.