‘King George Commands And We Obey’: My 15mm SYW British Army (Part 5: Dragoons)

As discussed in Part 3 of this series, I was originally using the Allied order of battle for the Battle of Minden 1759 as my painting ‘To Do’ list for the ‘Western Allied’ armies (Great Britain, Hanover, Hesse-Cassel, Brunswick and Schaumburg-Lippe).  However, as discussed in Part 4 this can be rather limiting, in that the British Army in Germany more than doubled in size following the victory at Minden, so the later battles often have a very different mix of British units.  This was certainly the case at the Battle of Warburg 1760, as only half of the the British cavalry at that battle had been present at Minden.

The first wave of British cavalry sent to Germany in 1758 comprised the following regiments:

3 Sqns, Royal Horse Guards (‘The Blues’)
3 Sqns, 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards (Bland’s)
2 Sqns, 3rd Dragoon Guards (Howard’s)
2 Sqns, 2nd (Royal North British) Dragoons (‘The Greys’) (Argyll’s)
2 Sqns, 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons (Cholmondley’s)
2 Sqns, 10th Dragoons (Mordaunt’s)

The second wave of British cavalry sent to Germany in 1760 consisted of these regiments:

2 Sqns, 2nd (Queen’s) Dragoon Guards (‘The Bays’) (Waldegrave’s)
2 Sqns, 3rd Regiment of Horse (‘Carabiniers’) (Dejean’s)
2 Sqns, 4th Regiment of Horse (‘The Black Horse’) (Honeywood’s)
2 Sqns, 1st (Royal) Dragoons (Conway’s)
2 Sqns, 7th (Queen’s Own) Dragoons (Cope’s until 1760, then Mostyn’s)
2 Sqns, 11th Dragoons (Ancram’s)
3 Sqns, 15th Light Dragoons (‘Eliott’s Light Horse’)

[Edited to add that Frédéric Aubert recently corrected me; a very small third wave of cavalry was added to Granby’s command in 1761.  This consisted of just 50 men of the 18th Light Dragoons (Hale’s Light Horse).]

For our recent refight of Warburg, I therefore had to paint an additional six regiments of British cavalry as all but one of the British cavalry regiments deployed to Germany were present at that battle.  The 15th Light Dragoons were the sole absent regiment and are therefore the last remaining unpainted regiment.

I’ll cover the new Dragoon Guards and Horse next time, but here are the new Dragoons.  These are all 18mm Eureka figures, with flags by Maverick Models.

Above: At Warburg, the 1st (Royal) Dragoons (Conway’s) and 7th (Queen’s Own) Dragoons (Cope’s) were assigned to Spörcken’s Corps, brigaded with Hanoverian Dragoons and Hessian Horse and weren’t therefore involved in famous charge of the British cavalry led by The Marquess of Granby.  They did however, make a decisive, albeit little-known charge of their own on the left flank of the French army at Warburg that destroyed several French battalions.

As discussed here before, British regiments of Dragoons, Dragoon Guards and Horse were (with a few exceptions) pretty small, usually consisting of only two squadrons, each of three troops, totaling some 357 men at the start of the war.  This was soon expanded to around 390 men in 1758/59 and expanded again when transferred to Germany.  The average strength on campaign would appear to have been around 400 men and the 1st Dragoons are recorded as reaching 450 men (544 men when the undeployed Light Troop are included).  By contrast, there were only around 240-280 men in a two-squadron French cavalry regiment.

Dragoon Regiments also added a Light Troop just prior to the start of the war.  However, this was not normally deployed with the main part of the regiment, often being grouped with other Light Troops in support of amphibious operations around the French coast.  I’m not aware of any Dragoon Regiment Light Troops being deployed in Germany.  Light Troops initially consisted of 71 men, though were soon expanded to over 100 men.

In Tricorn, a 12-figure ‘unit’, as shown above, therefore represents two (6-figure) Dragoon Regiments, totaling around 750-800 men.  However, for the sake of clarity, I’ll show each 6-figure regiment individually below.

Above:  The 1st (Royal) Dragoons Even though the 1st Dragoons had the title ‘Royal’, the regiment was still sometimes referred to in the ‘old manner’, by the name of it’s Colonel.  The 1st Dragoons were therefore known as ‘Hawley’s’ for Major-General Henry Hawley until 1759, then ‘Conway’s’ for the Hon Henry Seymour Conway for the rest of the war.  While the main part of the regiment was in Germany, the regiment’s Light Troop was detached and took part in two amphibious expeditions to the French coast.

1st (Royal) Dragoons by David Morier

Above:  The 1st (Royal) Dragoons.  All regiments of dragoons had coats without lapels, though with facing-coloured ‘gorget-patches’ where the top of the front-seam meets the collar (as clearly shown on the painting above).  Cuffs and linings were in the regimental facing colour.  The breast of the coat was decorated with buttonhole lace in the regimental ‘metal’ colour (the number and spacing of lace loops varied from regiment to regiment).  Buttons were placed in a single vertical row up the sleeves and up the tails, with a chevron of metal-coloured lace extending on each side of the button.  A metal-coloured aiguillette was worn on the right shoulder and a red shoulder-strap on the left.  Small-clothes always matched the facing-colour and the waistcoat was also decorated with buttonhole lace.  Hats were edged in ‘metal’ colour and had a black cockade secured with a button.  Neck-stocks were white.

Above:  The 1st (Royal) Dragoons.  The 1st Royal Dragoons had dark blue facings, yellow ‘metal’ and rode black horses.  The horse-furniture would normally be coloured in the facing-colour, though the 1st Dragoons were an exception, having red horse-furniture, reflecting the Royal Livery worn by the regiment’s drummers (red coats with blue facings and heavily laced in strips of gold-yellow with a central dark blue (or possibly purple) strip.  The drummers’ bandoliers and the edging of the horse-furniture were always coloured to match the lace.

Drummers wore short mitre-caps with a red ‘bag’, blue band and blue front-piece, piped gold-yellow and heavily embroidered, typically with a crowned drum, Order of the Garter, GR cypher or other badge, surrounded by foliage and piled trophies of war.  Above the brow was the usual red ‘false flap’, decorated with the white running horse of Hanover and edged with the motto ‘NEC ASPERA TERRENT’.  The cap-band was also often decorated with foliate embroidery and a drum badge.  The lace and embroidery of drummers’ uniforms and caps was often made of very expensive metallic wire; some colonels spared absolutely no expense!  Drummers were also normally mounted on grey horses.

Above:  The 7th (Queen’s Own) Dragoons.  This regiment was sometimes known as ‘Cope’s’ for Lieutenant-General Sir John Cope until his death on 28th July 1760, then as ‘Mostyn’s’ for Lieutenant-General John Mostyn until the end of the war.  While the main part of the regiment was in Germany, the regiment’s Light Troop was detached and took part in two amphibious expeditions to the French coast.

7th (Queen’s Own) Dragoons by David Morier

Above:  The 7th (Queen’s Own) Dragoons.  The regiment had while facings and white ‘metal’, while the regimental lace was yellow with a central blue stripe.  This means that the regiment’s breeches should have been white, though Morier’s painting from the 1740s (above) shown non-regulation red breeches (I’ve done them white anyway).  Morier’s painting also shows a curious little black-feather plume.  The regiment rode horses ‘of different colours’ and the horse furniture was white, edged in regimental lace.  The drummers had coats in reversed colours, decorated with the regimental lace.

All dragoon regiments wore a single buff cross-belt with a prominent brass buckle on the front.  This was worn over the left shoulder, supporting a buff cartridge-pouch and carbine, while the sword-scabbard was suspended from a buff waist-belt and worn beneath the coat.  Cloaks were rolled behind the saddle and were normally rolled with the facing-coloured lining facing outwards (as shown in the Morier painting above), though in a moment of weakness, I followed the Kronoskaf plate and painted them red (it always pays to check multiple sources).

Above:  The 7th (Queen’s Own) Dragoons.  The 1st Squadron of each dragoon regiment carried a King’s Guidon, which was always coloured crimson.  The 2nd Squadron carried a Regimental Guidon, which was coloured according to the regimental facing colour, in this case white.  With such small regiments, I only give them one flag and I tend to use the Regimental Guidon, as the different facing colours look a bit more interesting than fielding a load of the crimson version.  However, for the larger 3-squadron (12-figure) regiments (RHG, 1st KDG & 15th LD), I give them both a King’s and a Regimental Standard/Guidon.

Note that in British parlance, a Guidon was always a swallow-tailed flag, while a Standard was always a square flag.  Regiments of Horse carried only Standards, while Dragoons and Light Dragoons carried only Guidons.  Dragoon Guards carried a King’s Standard (reflecting their origins as Horse) and a Regimental Guidon (two guidons in the case of the three-squadron 1st KDG).  The Life Guards, who stayed in Britain during the SYW, though who had been deployed during the War of Austrian Succession, had both a Standard and a Guidon in each troop!

Above:  The 11th Dragoons (Ancram’s).  This regiment didn’t have a title, so was just known by the name of its Colonel, namely William Henry, Earl of Ancram, who held the title throughout the Seven Years War.  Again, the regiment’s Light Troop remained in Britain, though took part in two amphibious operations to the French coast.

11th Dragoons by David Morier

Above:  The 11th Dragoons (Ancram’s).  This regiment had buff facings and white ‘metal’.  Kronoskaf describes the regimental lace as white with a green central stripe, though every other source says that the central stripe was blue (it’s hard to tell either way from the Morier painting above).  I’ve opted for blue.  I did however, foolishly follow Kronoskaf (again) and rolled their cloaks the wrong way round, red side out!  I’ve absolutely no idea why I did this… Again…  The regiment is recording as riding ‘dark brown horses, though other colours were used when dark brown was scarce’.  Horse furniture was buff, edged in regimental lace.

Above:  The 11th Dragoons (Ancram’s).  A close-up of the rear rank, including the drummer, to compare to the picture below.  As typical, they were dressed in reverse colours, heavily decorated with regimental lace, as shown in the painting below.

Above:  The 11th Dragoons (Ancram’s).  I accidentally ordered a crimson King’s Guidon for this unit, but no matter.  The Regimental Guidon would be buff.

Above:  Colonel Edward Harvey.  I decided to add this officer to my collection last September, when we refought the Battle of Clostercamp, as Colonel Harvey commanded a large British-Hanoverian-Hessian cavalry brigade of 12 squadrons at that battle.  He also went on to command brigades at Vellinghausen and Wilhelmsthal, so is a handy chap to have in my collection.  He was initially commissioned as a Cornet in the 10th Dragoons in 1741, before gaining a Captaincy in the 7th (Queen’s Own) Dragoons in 1747.  In 1754 he became Lieutenant Colonel of the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons and was promoted to full Colonel in 1760 and to Major-General in 1762.

Lieutenant Edward Harvey, 10th Dragoons by Allan Ramsay 1740s

Above:  Colonel Edward Harvey.  I’ve based Harvey’s uniform on the portrait above, showing him as a junior officer of the 10th Dragoons, sometime between 1741 and 1747.  As it happens, the uniform colourings would have been exactly the same when he was Colonel of the 6th Dragoons during the Seven Years War (yellow facings and silver metal).  Interestingly, the portrait shows Harvey wearing a plain ‘campaign coat’, with plain red cuffs instead of regulation yellow and completely devoid of lace.  The yellow gorget-patches and the placement of buttons show that he’s a dragoon, while the silver aiguillette indicates that he’s an officer.  Perhaps with this portrait he was making a statement that he was a ‘fighting officer’?  His yellow waistcoat however, retains its fancy silver lace.  Note that Harvey is also wearing non-standard red breeches instead of yellow, which again might be a campaign ‘thing’.

Above:  Colonel Edward Harvey.  I’ve used a Eureka mounted infantry officer figure for Harvey.  This in theory is slightly wrong, in that he’s wearing his sash ‘infantry-style’ over the right shoulder, whereas cavalry officers were meant to wear theirs on the left.  However, there are a few portraits of senior cavalry officers wearing their sash over the right shoulder, while the famous portrait of George Washington as a Colonel of Virginia infantry shows his sash being worn over the left shoulder, so I’m not bothered.

Right, that’s it for now.  More British cavalry, (French) Swiss infantry, scenarios and battle-reports to come, as soon as I get back from Italy!  🙂

This entry was posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War British & Hanoverian Armies, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules). Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to ‘King George Commands And We Obey’: My 15mm SYW British Army (Part 5: Dragoons)

  1. Old Pretender says:

    Thanks for all your posts. I have been working on building a collection of 28mm War of the Austrian Succession units (focusing on the Jacobite Rebellion), but after seeing your fantastic efforts am thinking of down sizing to 15mm for the broader WAS/SYW conflict. A friend has the beginnings of a 15mm SYW force so 15’s are starting to make more sense. My 28mm units are ~30 figures and am also looking at smaller units and possibly also your Tricorne rules. I very much appreciate all your comments regarding figure manufactures, issues regarding choices of figures that you have made for a given unit etc. Very inspiring, and helpful!

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Thanks OP, that’s very kind of you! 🙂

      Although I’m already one of the ‘converted’, smaller scales do make things a lot easier if you want to do ‘full-fat’ historical battles. You’ve probably seen my scenario maps, but they’d need to be absolutely vast for 28mm figures, even with only 12-figure battalions.

      Funnily enough, I was only thinking about the Jacobite Rebellions last week and wondering how to do them justice with Tricorn. We did actually do ‘a version’ of the ’45 during our WAS campaign some 30 years ago, but I’m struggling to remember exactly how we did it. I’ll continue to think about it… As for figures, I’m not sure what there is for the Jacobite Rebellions in 15mm or 18mm, though I did once have the Old Glory packs and really liked them. However, I couldn’t bring myself to paint all that tartan and the project never went anywhere… I’ve always had a hankering for it though, having visited Culloden a few times and got a load of books on the subject. The last time I was at Culloden, I missed Christopher Duffy doing a book-signing by 30 minutes! Aargh! I didn’t even know he was going to be there.

      Anyway, thanks again for your kind comments. I’m about to post some more stuff on Dragoon Guards and Horse and there will be a load more scenarios soon, especially for the WAS.



      • Old Pretender says:

        Yes, please do share any ideas regarding gaming the Jacobite Rebellion (the ’45) with Tricorn. The 28mm Jacobites, and I have been collecting the Crann Tara range with scads of detail, have been challenging with regards to painting convincing tartans (and almost everything is tartan – kilts, jackets, vests, hose). The miniatures are just large enough that I did not feel doing a grid of one colour over another was going to cut it. As with most things I have gotten rather carried away. The ’45 Rebellion is close to my heart, as both side of my family came from the Black Isle, just to the north of Inverness. Going back just a couple of generations my ancestors included Frasers, MacKenzies, MacGregors, and (possibly with representation on the government side) Munros. My Father grew up on a farm across the firth from Fort George. Needless to say I have a connection to the event.

        Although I have lived in Canada since I was 18 months old, I have been back to Britain a number of times and visited Culloden back in 2019. Anyway looking forward to your future posts on the WAS. All the best and thanks for taking the time to reply.

        • jemima_fawr says:

          Ah yes, one of my favourite parts of the world, thanks to periodic visits to RAF Kinloss, RAF Lossiemouth and Fort George. 🙂

          Yes, I’ll sit and have a good think about this (and a re-read of Duffy and Reid)…



  2. Pingback: ‘King George Commands And We Obey’ (Part 6: Regiments of Horse and Dragoon Guards) | Jemima Fawr's Miniature Wargames Blog

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