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
|Headgear||black tricorne laced gold with a black cockade|
|Coat||red lined white
|Waistcoat||white with very narrow yellow buttonholes|
|Breeches||white with white knee covers|
Troopers were armed with a sword, a pair of pistols and a musket.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.