Military Subjects: Organization, Strategy & Tactics

 

Where Have All the Regiments Gone? The Modern Descendants of the Regiments of the 1815 British Army: the Cavalry Regiments

Compiled by Donald E. Graves

Introduction

In 2006, as part of a continued attempt by the Labour government to reduce defence expenditures, the British army underwent a major reduction of its strength and a re-organization of its regiments which resulted in numerous regimental amalgamations with some of them seemingly based on illogical and dubious reasoning. Up to 2006, the lineage of the army could be traced back, without a great deal of difficulty, to its 1815 predecessor; after 2006, this has becoming increasingly difficult, particularly for the infantry regiments. This is the first in a series of articles that will attempt to identify the present day (2009) descendants of the regiments of the 1815 army as recorded in The Army List for that year.  In January 2007 the army had a strength of just under 120,000, a figure that includes every man and woman in uniform, whether in combat units, undergoing training or serving in the dental corps. Compare this with the United States Marine Corps alone -- which had 194,000 personnel in April 2008 -- and it can be seen why the British army is having difficulty meeting its commitments in Germany, Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as many other places around the globe. 

Part I: Cavalry Regiments

In 1815 there were 36 cavalry regiments of all types in the army, there are just 9 remaining in existence. It should be noted that The Household Cavalry Regiment actually comprises two distinct entities: The Household Cavalry Regiment proper which is equipped with armoured vehicles and has an operational role and The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, which is a horsed ceremonial unit with two squadrons, one being The Life Guards, the other being The Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st The Royal Dragoons). The Household Cavalry is part of The Household Division, along with the infantry units of  The Brigade of Guards (Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards) and is not part of the Royal Armoured Corps as are the other cavalry regiments.

Regimental Title in the 1815 Army List

Regimental Title in 2009

1st Regiment of Life Guards

The Household Cavalry Regiment (The Life Guards)

2nd Regiment of Life Guards

The Household Cavalry Regiment (The Life Guards)

Royal Regiment of Horse Guards

The Household Cavalry Regiment (The Blues and Royals)

1st (or the King's) Regiment of Dragoon Guards

1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards

2nd (or Queen's) Regiment of Dragoon Guards

1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards

3rd (or the Prince of Wales's) Regiment of Dragoon Guards

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Greys and Carabiniers)

4th (or Royal Irish) Regiment of Dragoon Guards

The Royal Dragoon Guards

5th (or Princess Charlotte of Wales 's) Regiment of Dragoon Guards

The Royal Dragoon Guards

6th Regiment of Dragoon Guards

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Greys and Carabiniers)

7th (or Princess Royal's) Regiment of Dragoon Guards

The Royal Dragoon Guards

1st (or Royal) Regiment of Dragoons

The Household Cavalry Regiment (The Blues and Royals)

2nd (or Royal North British) Regiment of Dragoons

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Greys  and Carabiniers)

3rd (or the King's own) Regiment of Dragoons                

The Queen's Royal Hussars (Queen's Own and Royal Irish)

4th (or the Queen's own) Regiment of Dragoons

The Queen's Royal Hussars (Queen's Own and Royal Irish)

6th (or Inniskilling) Regiment of Dragoons

The Royal Dragoon Guards

7th (or the Queen's own) Regiment of Light Dragoons (Hussars)

The Queen's Royal Hussars (Queen's Own and Royal Irish)

8th (or the King's Royal Irish) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons              

The Queen's Royal Hussars (Queen's Own and Royal Irish)

9th Regiment of (Light) Dragoons                                           

9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales's)

10th (or the Prince of Wales's won Royal) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons (Hussars)  

The King's Royal Hussars

11th Regiment of (Light) Dragoons                

The King's Royal Hussars

12th (or the Prince of Wales's) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons              

9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales's)

13th Regiment of (Light) Dragoons                

The Light Dragoons

14th (or the Duchess of York's own) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons

The King's Royal Hussars

15th (or the King's) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons (Hussars)

The Light Dragoons   

16th (or the Queen's) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons                        

The Queen's Royal Lancers

17th Regiment of (Light) Dragoons                

The Queen's Royal Lancers

18th Regiment of (Light) Dragoons (Hussars)                                     

Disbanded 1821, re-raised 1858, now part of The Light Dragoons

19th Regiment of (Light) Dragoons                

Disbanded1821,in1862 the East India Company's Bengal European Light Cavalry was given the number,  now part of The Light Dragoons

20th Regiment of (Light) Dragoons

Disbanded1818, in 1857, the East India Company's 2nd Bombay European Light Cavalry were given the number, now part of The King's Royal Hussars 

21st Regiment of (Light) Dragoons                                    

Disbanded 1820, in 1857 the East India Company's 3rd Bengal European Light Cavalry were given the number, now part of The Queen's Royal Lancers

22nd Regiment of (Light) Dragoons  

Disbanded 1819

23rd Regiment of (Light) Dragoons  

Disbanded 1817

24th Regiment of (Light) Dragoons  

Disbanded 1818

25th Regiment of (Light) Dragoons  

Disbanded 1818

Sources

Army List, 1815

Ministry of Defence and regimental websites

Victor Sutcliffe, compiler,  Regiments of the British Army; A Handbook with Lists (East Rudham, 2008)

Arthur Swinson, ed., A Register of the Regiments and Corps of the British Army ( London, 1972)

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: February - March 2009

 

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