13th Dragoons

 

The Light Dragoons were formed on the 1st December 1992 as an amalgamation of the 13th/18th Royal Hussars and 15th/19th The Kings Royal Hussars. The Regiment can trace its history back to 1715 when the 13th were raised due to the fact of the feared 'Jacobite' rising in Scotland, so the Army was rapidly expanded. The Regiment being under the command of Richard Munden hence the nickname Munden's Dragoons.

 

Dragoons were not actually intended for use as cavalry in the usual sense. Dragoons wore Red, predominantly the colour of the Infantry and were and used to seize defiles or secure flanks, dismounting once in position to fight on foot.

 

The Seven Years War was to play a vital role in the history of the Regiment. Three years after the outbreak of the war in 1759 Six Regiments of Dragoons were raised the first being the 15th ('Eliots Light Horse' after their Colonel). In 1760 the 15th were sent out to Germany with Six other Cavalry Regiments, which was to become known as the "Glorious Reinforcement". Within three days they were in action. But it was in July they came into their own at Ermsdoff, near Kassel charging the French Infantry three times, capturing Six Cannons, One Hundred Seventy Seven Officers, Two Thousand Five Hundred other Ranks. The battle also had significance for the Army as a whole as it was the first Battle Honour to be awarded to any British Regiment.

 

The 19th at the time were being raised in Ireland at Moore Abbey, Kildare and were known as "Drogheda's Light Horse". In 1762 they were renumbered Eighteen. In 1779 the number Nineteen was again seen in the Line and the 19th Light Dragoons were raised because of the revolutionary war in America going wrong for Britain. The 19th being disbanded four years later because of American Independence. The 23rd Light Dragoons surviving this and then being renumbered in 1786 to Nineteen. So in this Year all the Regiments of the present day Light Dragoons wearing the Blue Jackets and Fur Fringed Caps of the Light Cavalry.

 

In the time after this the Four Regiments serving in campaigns all around the world including the Spanish Peninsular War the Crimea, India and South Africa. Many Battle honours being gained; Sahagun (1808) and Balaklava (1854) were the 13th took part in the famous charge of the Light Brigade with both days still being celebrated by the Regiment. They also took part in the tremendous battle of Waterloo (1815).

 

All four Regiments gave a good account of themselves in the Great War. Fighting in the B.E.F (first troops into France). They also fought in a number of battles Ypres and Cambrai. Also the 18th being the first British troops to cross the Rhine. In 1922 after cuts in the Army due to the ending of the War, the 13th and 18th were amalgamated as were the 15th and 19th.

 

In 1939 both regiments were in the B.E.F and later in the strategic withdrawal at Dunkirk. Then from then until 1944 they trained at home in England. They fought in the D-DAY Landings and Northwest Europe during the rest of the War. Most notably the 13th/18th coming ashore in Duplex Drive Sherman Amphibious Tanks.

 

In the Years after the War both Regiments were concentrated in West Germany and also took part in campaigns in Palestine, Egypt, North Africa, Malaya, Aden and Northern Ireland.

 

At the collapse of the Cold War the British Army had to cut down its spending so some Regiments being amalgamated. So on the 1st December 1992 the Light Dragoon were formed from the 13th/18th Royal Hussars and the 15th/19th The Kings Royal Hussars thus recognising the 275 Years tradition of Reconnaissance in the British Army and with Great Hopes that the Light Dragoons carry on the Proud History of their Forebears. "For Their Voices Forever Flourish".

 

Note:
17th Regiment of Light Dragoons. The institution of entire regiments of Light Cavalry, as part of the standing army of Great Britain, in the spring of 1759, was attended with such signal success, that, after the formation of the two splendid corps of Eliott and Burgoyne, which were numbered the Fifteenth and Sixteenth, King George II. was induced to carry the plan to a still greater extent, and to augment the Light Dragoon establishment with five additional regiments, which were numbered the Seventeenth, Eighteenth, Nineteenth, Twentieth, and Twenty-first Light Dragoons. The first of these additional corps was raised in Scotland by Lord Aberdour.  It never consisted of more than two troops, and was disbanded at the termination of the seven years' war, in 1763.

 

See also: http://www.regiments.org/milhist/uk/cav/D13h.htm#history 

 

 

 

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