In Between Campaigning – The Peaceful Years
Captain George Hastings-Queen’s Regiment of Horse
On the 6th June 1685 Samuel English was commissioned into the Queen’s Regiment of Horse (Later KDG) as a Troop Lieutenant and Captain in Sir John Laniers Troop. Five days later George Hasting received his commmission of a Troop.
Little more was heard of either officer for a further three years when Samuel English was promoted to Captain on the 25th September 1688. However on the 3rd December 1688 the following ”Advertisement” was published in the London Gazette.
”Whereas Captain George Hastings, of Her Majesty’s The Queen’s Regiment of Horse, commanded by the Hon Sir John Lanier, having barbarously murdered Captain Samuel English in his bed, at Henley upon Thames, being on a black horse, and a Corporal upon a large black gelding with one eye: whoever shall keep and secure the said Captain and Corporal , and give notice to Mr Freckleton at Tuttle Street, Westminster, shall have a considerable reward”. Freckleton was Agent to the regiment.
Summary of a Court Martial of the Horse and Dragoons held at the camp near Bouclain the Third day of October 1711 by order of his Grace the Duke of Marlborough Captain General of her Majesty’s Land Forces etc.
The Right Honourable the Lord Marquis of Harwich President:
Lt Colonel John Perry: Lt Colonel Philip Armstrong: Lt Colonel Robert Norton: Lt Colonel William Bray: Major Charles Cathcart: Captain Stephen Palmer: Captain Ebenezer Leeds: Captain Thomas Hall: Captain Wriothesly Beaton: Captain George Lord Forester: Captain George Rosse: Captain William Burroughs.
John Dod Trooper in Lt Colonel Deane’s Troop in the Queen’s Regiment of Horse commanded by the Honourable General Lumley accused of killing Thomas Watson of the same Troop in breach of the 19th Article of War.
Cuthbert Hudson Trooper in the same Troop swears that he being on command with a Squadron of the regiment at St Anan , about the middle of August last, there happened a dispute between the prisoner and the deceased, about their victuals and whetstone which the deceased carried so far, as to give abusive and provoking language to the prisoner, and then coming forward to the prisoner, with his sword in his hand, and with threatening language. The prisoner drew and gave the deceased a blow over the head, which the Surgeon that dressed it said it was no way dangerous, and about a month after there came an account that he was dead in the hospital at Donay, having first desired no punishment may be inflicted on the prisoner.
John Dabinson, Trooper in the same Troop swears the same thing with the above Deponent.
The prisoner says for himself that he gave the deceased no manner of occasion to quarrel with him, and did all that lay in his power to pacify him, but being not able to prevail, he was obliged to draw to his own defence.
The Officer of the Troop to which the prisoner belongs gives a very good character of his behaviour for several years past, and says the deceased was always of a turbulent and quarrelsome nature.
It is the opinion of the Court that the prisoner John Dod is not guilty of the breach of the 19th Article of War , and he is acquitted accordingly.
I do hereby approve and confirm the proceedings of this Court Martial given at the camp near Bouclain this Tenth Day of October 1711
August 1760: 2nd Dragoon Guards
The Lord Barrington, Secretary at War informed the House that he was commanded by the King, to acquaint the House, that Lord George Sackville, a Member of the House, was in arrest, by the Kings command, for disobedience of orders, while employed in his Majesty’s service, during the last campaign, in Germany; whereupon it was resovled,
That an humble address be presented to his Majesty, returning him the thanks of the House, for his tender regard to its privileges, in the communication which he was pleased to make of the reason for putting Lord George Sackville in arrest.
March 1766: 2nd Dragoon Guards
At Hereford assizes, a trial was brought on before Baron Perrot, wherein John Davy, a soldier in Lord Waldergraves regiment, was plaintiff, and the Quarter Master and clerk to a Troop of the said regiment, defendant. While this regiment lay in Germany, his Lordship gave a pair of gaiters to each of his men: the defendant having the distribution of them without mentioning his Lordships gift, delivered them, and charged his Troop 2s a pair. About two years ago whilst the regiment was quartered at Hereford, this man, the plaintiff asked the Quarter Master to return the money he had exacted from him, who being enraged, ordered him into confinement, and three days after held a court martial of two or three inferior officers, who sentanced him to 200 lashes, one half of which were severely inflicted on him; but the gentlemen of Hereford hearing the story interposed with the commanding officer, and got his sentence mitigated to drumming out of the regiment. Upon hearing the evidence the jury gave their verdict for the Plaintiff, with 100 l. damages and costs of suit.
1798 2nd Dragoon Guards Trumpeters
The Morning Chronicle 27th July 1789. Four Trumpeters belonging to the regiment of Queen’s Bays, received their discharge yesterday for their long servitude, and four Germans were appointed in their room;the band of the regiment consists chiefly of Germans.
1805: 1st Dragoon Guards, Trumpeters Horses
8th April 1805. To General Sir William Pitt. His Royal Highness approves your ordering Colonel Fane to purchase as many grey horses as are necessary to mount the Trumpeters of your regiment at present mounted on horses of differant colour.
Lieutenant Colonel John Elliott, Commanding Officer 1st King’s Dragoon Guards. 1804
On the 12th November 1804 a General Court Martial commenced for the trial of Lt Colonel John Elliott, on three charges preffered against him by Captain Abraham Cumberbatch Sober, also of the King’s Dragoon Guards. The trial continued by adjournements until the 21st November by virtue of a special warrant signed by the King. George III, directed by the Judge Advocate General, the Rt Hon Sir Charles Morgan Bart. It was held at the Castle Tavern, Brightelmstone (Now Brighton) with Major General Lennox as President, 14 Officers as members, and Deputy Judge Advocate James Charles Michell.
The three charges brought against Elliott by Sobers were as follows:
1st: For disobedience of General Orders concerning the sale of Cast (no longer fit for service) horses, dated January 7th 1802 in not causing such horses to be sold by Public Auction in several instances.
viz: At Bristol on the 12th March 1803: At Exeter 4th November 1803: At Chichester June 20th 1804: which last is in disobedience of Brigade Orders issued by Major General Hugonin dated June 13th 1804.
2nd: For carrying on an improper Traffic with the Bat (Baggage) and Cast horses between the dates of November 4th 1803 and 9th September 1804, highly disgraceful to the situation he holds in the regiment and thereby defrauding the Government.
3rd: For making requisitions and receiving Coals and Candles as a Barrack allowance, during the period the King’s Dragoon Guards were quartered in Arundel Barracks whilst he lodged in the town of Arundel and not in the Barracks between the 1st April 1804 and September 6th 1804: Contrary to an express order on tha head.
On the morning of Wednesday 21st November the Opinion and Sentence of the Court was read out:
1st Charge: Not guilty of causing horses to be sold by public auction at Bristol. Guilty of causing two Cast horses to be sold at Exeter: Guilty of not causing seven Cast horses to be sold at Chichester which was also in disobedience of Brigade Orders
2nd Charge: Guilty
3rd Charge: Guilty but the court was acknowledged that Elliott was unaware of the order until it was transmitted to him and that he had volunarily refunded the Coals and Candles previous to the knowledge that the charge was to be brought against him.
”Although deeply impressed with the many honourable Testimonies and to the good Character of the said Lt Colonel John Elliott and the length of his military service, yet, regarding the charges of which they have found him Guilty, as a breach of the Articles of War, do with great regret, feel it is their duty to adjudge and do hereby adjudge the said Lt Colonel John Elliott to be dismissed form His Majesty’s Service”.
The King subsequently approved the opinion of the Court Martial and confirmed the sentence.
Standing Orders of the 1st King’s Dragoon Guards 1819
Article No 1. All Officers on joining the regiment will attend the Riding Master, and Adjutants Drill, until reported to be perfectly competent in the several duties.
Article No 2. Officers chargers are also to attend the riding house until perfectly trained
Article No 3. No Officer is permitted to employ more than one Dragoon from his duty to act as Bat Man. Field Officers excepted who according to regulations are entitled to two, and the Commanding Officer enjoined a strict adherence to this order
Article No 4. No soldier to be taken as a servant by an officer at first joining the Regiment, nor is any Officer permitted to exchange his servant without the previous sanction of the Commanding Officer.
Article No 5. Officers servants and working men to attend parades for Field Days, Reviews, and Divine Service on Sundays, and to be always kept complete with Arms, Clothing ect
Article No 6. Uniformity of Drefs being efsentially necefsary to the good appearance of a Regiment, the strictest attention is to be paid to the established uniform, and no deviation to be made by any Officer in the most trifling instance.
Article No 7. No Officer is to put the Regiment through any evolutions without the exprefs leave of the commanding Officer.
Article No 8. No Officer excepting Commanding Officer at out quarters, is to grant pafses to soldiers to go more than one mile from his Quarters, no man allowed to be absent on leave on the 24th of the month except with a regular furlough.
Article No 9. The Orderly Officer of the day is to wear his pouch as a mark of his being on duty, he is not to quit the barracks during the days duty excepted, but is to consider himself responsible for its regularity in every particular, and to see that every article is in its place and properly hung up according to order, both in rooms and stables, and his particular attention is to be paid to the mens mefsing, to see that it is sufficient in quantity.- He will also ride out with the Troops when paraded in Watering Order, and attend to the regularity of the men while out.- He will likewise visit the canteen at watch-setting and be responsible that no drinking is allowed there after that hour, he is also to visit the Regimental Non Commissioned Officers Guards, and ascertain if all the men are present and regular.
Article No 10. When a Regimental Guard mounts, the cleanest and best drefsed man of the guard will be selected by the Orderly Officer and appointed Commanding Officers Orderly for the day, he will not be planted as a sentinel, but will merely be in the way when wanted.
Article No 11. The men of the guard are not permitted to quit it at dinner time their dinners are to be sent to them.
Article No 12. Officers relieved from duty are immediately to send their report to the Commanding Officer of the Regiment.
Article No 13. All Officers to attend Parades, Divine Service, Reviews and Punishments (Sicknefs or duty excepted) in the former case he will report himself through the Surgeon to the commanding Officer
Article No 14. Officers are to be thoroughly acquainted with the men under their command, so as to be able at all times to inform the Commanding Officer with the effective strength of their respective Troops, describing the number sick, employed and how employed.
Article No 15. Immediately upon a recruit joining the Regiment, a respectable good soldier is to be fixed upon as his convia?e
Article No 16. Each Troop is to be divided into Squads according to their strength, each Squad to be formed in such a manner, that the vices of some men may be checked by the good conduct of others, Non Commissioned Officers to have charge of each Squad.
Article No 17. Non Commissioned Officers to instruct such recruits as are in their Squads, in particular of their duty, and to take pains to inculcate on their mind that good conduct and spirit which may lead them to attain the first ranks of their profefsion.
Article No 18. Non Commissioned Officers are not to treat the men with too much intimacy, they are on no account to drink with them.- They must afsociate among themselves.
Article No 19. No debts to be contracted between the Non Commissioned Officers and private soldiers of the Regiment. On pain of having such debts cancelled and the parties punished with rigour.
Article No 20. No Non Commissioned Officer or soldier to suttle, or sell bread, cheese, or liquor, or be concerned with those that do.
Article No 21. No man to appear out of the barrack guard or quarters drefsed otherwise that regimentally and in the most perfect and clean manner
Article No 22. No soldier to work without leave from the Commanding Officer .
Article No 23. A soldier to be always kept complete in necefsaried agreeable to orders.
Article No 24. All Necefsaries that the men may require are to be purchased by their respective Commanding Officers of Troops, and delivered to the men at quime cost, except any unavoidable expence be incurred for carriage.- It is exprefsly ordered that the Non Commissioned Officers are not charges with this duty.
Article No 25. Officers in Command of Troops will make an inspection of the mens necsfsaries the third Saturday and of appointments the last Saturday of each month, these inspections are to be made (weather permitting) in the barrack guard.
Article No 26. In order to preserve cleanlinefs and uniformity, the soldiers are to change their linen twice a week Sundays and Thursdays, and their hair to be cut the last Saturday in each month.
Article No 27. The settlement of the mens accounts to take place on the 24th of every month.- Officers Commanding Troops will settle personally with their men and transmit to the Commanding Officer of the Regiment a list of debt and credit of their respective Troops, annexing a certificate that the men had signed their accounts, were satisfied or otherwise as the case may be
Article No 28. Corporals are to be chosen from such men as are active and zealous, and who from a perseverance in good behaviour have established a superiority.- In appointing serjeants no attention to be paid to seniority of corporals, but such as have manifested their inclination to the service, by a strict attention to their dutys to be preferred.
Article No 29. The Surgeon to make an inspection weekly of the whole of the men at the station, and to transmit to the Commanding Officer, on Sunday mornings, a state of the sick, specifying the disorder, recovery, or danger of each man.
Article No 30. The Veterinary Surgeon will transmit a daily report of the sick horses to the Commanding Officer.
Article No 31. Sentries to be very exact in paying the compliment to all officers as they pafs their posts, sea as well as land Officers.
Article No 32. Sentries are to keep their posts clean, allowing no rioting near their posts, nor are they to hold conversation with any man to repeat their orders to no person, not even the Officer of the guard, unlefs the corporal is present, to suffer no man to touch their arms under any pretence, and at night when they challenge to stand upon their guard ready to defend themselves in case they are attacked, to do their duty implicitly as ordered, to favour no irregularity that may and ought to come under their inspection, to screen no soldier by winking at his disobedience of ardent, to be particularly careful in regard to prisoners, trust no man, guard well their persons and suffer such provisions and liquor only to pafs as may be agreeable to orders.
Article No 33. No Officer or Non Commifsioned Officer to dismifs guards, or orther detachments, without first obtaining the permifsion of any superior officer that may be present.
Article No 34. All Non Commifsioned Officers and soldiers without arms in pafsing an officer are to raise their hand briskly to the cap, with the elbow square to the shoulder, and look the officer full in the face; if the officer pafses on the soldiers right, the left hand to be raised, if on the left the right hand to be raised.-No distinction is to be made with respect to an officers drefs, whether in or out of uniform knowing him to be an officer.
Article No 35. A Non Commifsioned Officer, Trumpeter or Private coming in to an officers room, to keep his cap on and salute on entering as if he was in the street.
Article No 36. All Privates with arms, complimenting officers pafsing, to carry their arms well shouldered, march past with life and look the officer full in the face.- Non Commifsioned Officers to carry their arms advanced.
Article No 37. A Non Commifsioned Officer or soldier with arms coming to speak to an officer, to march up boldly, recover his arms and speak his errand without fear or difference, and whilst speaking to him stand perfectly still and upright, and if upon the parade without bending the head, knees, or body, return behind and pafs him.
Article No 38. The following system to be considered as a general rule for the duties of the day.- The morning call will sound at half past five clock, at six the trumpet sounded for stables when the Troop are to fall in on their respective parades with their nose bags containing their stable appointments in their hand. The Troop roll is to be called by the Non Commifsioned Officer, under the superintendence of the Troop Sgt Major. The Troops are then sent to their stables; at this stable time the horses are to get half a pail of water each, after which they are to be well wiped over; a sufficient number of men will be then sent from each stable to receive forage for the day, which will be delivered out in the manner hereafter specified. The litter, weather permitting, is to be put out to dry, the stables cleaned up and put in order in every particular. These duties done, which aught to not take more than one hour and a half, The orderly Troop Sgt Major orders the Trumpeter to sound the dismifs, when the Troops again falls in, and is regularly dismifsed by its Sergeant Major; between this hour and half past nine the men get their breakfast, wash,drefs and clean themselves for the day, at half past nine the trumpet sounds for midday stables, when the Troops fall in and the rolls are called as pointed out above, at half past ten the bugle sounded for horse parade, after the parade is inspected by the Commanding Officer, the horses are rode out to water under the superintendence of the Orderly Officer, and on their return the men immediately go to work at their horses, their feet and heels are to be washed, and they are to be perfectly drefsed and cleaned in every particular; as soon as each Troop has finished, the Troop Sergeant Major informs the Orderly Sergeant of the day, and as soon as all the Troops are reported ready the Orderly Sergeant informed the Orderly Officer who immediately inspects the stables, sees the horses mains and tails well combed and wetter, and ordered then to feed in his presence; as soon as he has finished his inspection, if alright he orders the trumpeter to sound dismifs, when the Troops fall in and are dismifsed as before specified.- If the Non Commifsioned Officers do their duty by keeping the men constantly at work. The stables will be dismifsed ny half past one or at the latest two clock.-When the trumpet sounds for dinner, the mefses are to be taken up and divided, but no mefs is to be eaten until it has been inspected by the Orderly Officer, whose businefs it is to see that it is proper in quantity and quality.- upon all occafsions when an officer visits any of the rooms, the first man who perceives him entering is to give the word ‘Attention’ when every man instantly stands up and remains perfectly steady until the Officer goes out.-Officers are desired to take care that the order is strictly attended to.-The trumpet is to sound for evening stables at a quarter before seven clock when the rolls are to be called sic as before explained; at this stable time the horses are to be well brushed over and bedded up for the night; as soon as the stables are ready for inspection the Troop Sgt Major reports to the Orderly Sergeant and he to the Orderly Officer who inspects the stables, sees the horses fed sic sic as before specified.- Any man absent at any of the Troop roll calls will of course be confined and reported.- This is to be the regular detail of every day (Sunday excepted) when mounted duties do not interfere; on Sundays the horses will be perfectly drefsed at morning stables and there will be no midday stables, excepting to feed the horses immediately after the church parade is dismifsed, the rest of the day till evening stable time will be allowed the men for recreation so long as they do not abuse in by drunkennefs or other irregularities.- the forage for the twenty four hours is to be delivered out by the Regimental Quarter Master at Head Quarters, and under the superintendence of a Subaltern Officer at out quarters, at morning stable time. The horses are to be fed three times a day in equal proportion at each stable time.- The Commanding Officer finds it necefsary to point out to the Non Commifsioned Officers of the Regiment that it is a very principal part of their duty at stables to keep the men of their Squads constantly employed while there and to prevent idle conversation which only leads to neglect of duty and ofs of time.- The litter is very fine morning to be taken out of the stables and spread to dry, it is to remain out (weather permitting) form morning until evening stables, when the weather is bad it is to be neatly piled up along the centre of the stables.- The Troop Sergeant Majors will take care that before the stables are dismifsed the whole of the utensils are carefully put up.- The Orderly Sergeant of the day is to consider himself responsible for the cleanlinefs and regularity of the hospital stable in every particular, he will of course report any man who may be negligent in his duty.
Article No 39. All orders to be read and explained to the men by their respective Troop Sergeant Majors at evening stables.- The Articles of War to be publicly read to the regiment once a month.
Article No 40. The Farriers are not to be mounted at horse parade in watering order, they will be in the rear of their respective Troops ready if wanted, when the horses go to water they return to their forge work.
The soundings for the various duties in the course of the day are to be punctually performed as follows in;
The Reveille at Half past Five clock. On the trumpet
The stables at 6 clock. On the trumpet
The dismiss when ordered by the Orderly Sgt Major. On the trumpet
Guard Mounting a quarter before nine. On the trumpet.
Stables at half past nine. On the trumpet
Horse parade to form half past ten except other mounted duties interfere. On the bugle
Dismiss from stables when directed by the Orderly Officer. On the trumpet
Mens dismifsed at 2pm, or immediately after stables are dismifsed, if not dismifsed before that hour. On the trumpet
Officers dinner 6 clock. On the bugle
Evening Stables a quarter before 7 clock . On the trumpet
Dismiss from stables when directed by the Orderly Officer. On the trumpet
Watchsetting at time. Trumpeters and Buglers
This is the regular daily detail when other duties do not interfere.
When amounted parade is ordered:
Boots and saddles an hour and a half previous to the named hour of General Parade. On the trumpet
For the Troops to turn out on Troop Parade half an hour previous to the named hour. On the bugle
General Parade at the named hour. On the bugle
When a foot parade is ordered:
For the Troops parade twenty minutes before the named hour. On the trumpet
General parade at the named hour. On the trumpet.
Article 42. An Officer while in temporary Command of the Regiment, or any other Officer, is on any account to make any change in the regulations established by the Lieutenant Colonel without his previous knowledge and convenience when it appears to and officer that a change may be made for the better, he may submit his ideas to the Lieutenant Colonel who will thankfully receive the communication and carefully weigh its merits; without this he will not permit the slightest deviation form the orders.
A true Extract Head Quartered Dundalk 23rd September 1819
George Teesdale Lieutenant Colonel
Kings D Guards
Lt Colonel George Teesdale
”The Abergavenny Advertiser” The Voice of Free Wales. Stop Press October 1823
Abergavenny Tollkeepers Defy 2nd Dragoon Guards Captain.
An acrimoniuos dispute has arisen between Captain Charles Middleton, officer commanding a Troop of the 2nd Dragoon Guards quartered in the town and the keepers of the four Toll Bar Gates. The Captain claims that he is being unfairly charged a toll fee whenever he rides out on the local roads and that this contravenes the Mutiny Act which exempts officers and their Bat (Baggage) Men while on duty and wearing uniform. On submitting this case to the Commissioner of Turnpikes however, he was aggrieved to learn that the Turnpike Act is interpreted differantly and officers are required to pay Toll duties unless actually at the head of their Troop and their Bat Men dressed in uniform.
”Duty” Captain Middleton told me ”Often requires my individual presence beyond the town limits. In such a case i have no option but to pay the tax or take the Toll Keeper before the local Magistrate to divulge the nature of my duty, which may not always be appropriate or advisable”. The unhappy Captain has written to the Deputy Secretary at War in Horse Guards for a ruling on this differance of interpretation between the military forces and the civilian administration
Mr Powell the Acting Magistrate for Monmouthshire has now entered the fray and he to has written to the War Office-” I have consulted the Turnpike Act and it clearly states that provided they are on the march or on duty the toll will not be charged for officers or soldiers. The Captain contends that he is stationed here on full time duty and he must recce the local roads, thus claiming exemption whenever he passes through the gates. The Gatekeepers maintain that the officer is only on duty when at the head of his Troop, because otherwise they cannot judge if he is riding for duty or for pleasure and are therefore liable to be defrauded (!). Captain Middleton claims that it is not for the Gatekeepers to decide. Within the meaning of the Turnpike Act, i am inclined to take the side of the Gatekeepers. I hope that the Secretary at War will clarify the position with the Attorney or Solicitor General so that i can make a final decision”.
Clearly the two sides are a long way from agreement and this in part reflects the unpopularity of the military being employed in a policing role during these times of civil unrest. We now await a ruling from Horse Guards which hopefully will enable this affair to be settled amicably.
The painting depicted here shows the Regiments baggage wagons outside St Nicholas Church (now the Cathedral of Newcastle) and depicts an incident in regimental life that must have been all too familiar to men of all cavalry regiments in the first half of the nineteenth century. In the troubled times of the Industrial Revolution cavalry regiments were constantly moving from station to station since they were frequently needed in support of the Civil Power to quell riots and overawe trouble makers. Most regular and yeomanry regiments had some experience of these troubles and the 1st King’s Dragoon Guards were so often required to operate in this role. That an old nickname of the Regiment was “The Trade Union”.
A brief outline of the Regiment’s movements after returning from Ireland in 1822 well exemplifies this continuous activity. Landing at Liverpool, they afterwards occupied quarters at Manchester, Sheffield, and Nottingham. Shortly after midsummer of 1823 they proceeded to Scotland and were quartered at Piershill barracks, Edinburgh and Perth. In 1824, the Regiment returned to England, where detachments were stationed at Carlisle, Leeds and Newcastle-on-Tyne from whence it marched in 1825 to Hounslow to be reviewed by H.R.H The Duke of York on 28th June. In July it marched to Canterbury, Deal and Shorncliffe. In February two Troops were removed to Norwich and in March the remainder of the Regiment proceeded to Leeds, Blackburn and Burnley. It became actively engaged in suppressing riots and preserving property from destruction in the manufacturing districts of Yorkshire and Lancashire and so urgent were the requisitions of the magistrates that the troops occasionally marched between fifty and sixty miles in one day.
In 1827 The KDG returned to Scotland, to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Perth and in April 1828 again marched south to York, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Carlisle and Beverly. In October they were stationed in Manchester where they were once again repeatedly used to aid the ‘Civil Power’ at Macclesfield, Rochdale and Manchester. The next year (1829) they returned to Ireland but not to rest as they were once more continually used to quell riots.
We remember today isolated incidents such as the “Peterloo Massacre” but as this recital shows rioting and unrest were wide spread especially in industrial areas and troops had to learn how to exercise then, as now, a judicious show of force when necessary tempered by patience and good humour. That serious injury and loss of life were so rare is a tribute to the skilful way in which the Regiment handled these occasions for which they received numerous commendations form the authorities.
It is clear from this that the scene depicted must have been a commonplace occasion in Regimental life, but one of which few pictorial records survive. From the above list it would seem that the Regiment was twice stationed at Newcastle in this period, once in 1824-25 and again in 1828. From internal evidence there would have been little to show which occasion was recorded as there was no change in uniform in these years, however an old label on the back of the painting states “The 1st Dragoon Guards shifting their baggage near St Nicholas Church Newcastle from a sketch taken on the spot by H. Parker 1825” and this can be taken fairly definite of the Regiments first visit to the town.
Shown are four baggage wagons piled mountainously high and a considerable number of wives and children are sitting on the baggage or obviously intending to do so and though, rather strangely for British soldiers, no dogs are in evidence there is a bird cage near the summit of the wagon in the centre of the picture. Also recognisable in the bottom left of the picture is the coloured face of Loveless Overton an officers servant. Loveless Overton was born in St Thomas, Bridgetown, Barbados and enlisted for unlimited service in the King’s Dragoon Guards in Manchester 25th March 1800 aged twenty years old. Previously he had served as a Trumpeter in the Ayrshire Fencibles from 1799-1800. He was discharged as a trumpeter from the King’s Dragoon Guards to a pension of 9d per day due to a shortness of breath. On discharge he is described as illiterate, of good character, 38 years old. 6ft tall, black hair, black eyes, a black complexion and was a joiner by trade. (Although he served in the Regiment during the Waterloo campaign he does not appear on the medal roll. Also his age given does not seem to fit in with his military service).
The Standing Orders of the KDG issued by Lt Colonel G B Mundy in 1804 have a number of points to make about baggage. The Quartermaster had to attend to the packing and proper loading of the wagons. Spare arms were to be packed in the arms chest and accoutrements of every kind wrapped with some covering for their preservation. When four Troops marched together an officer, sergeant, corporal and two men per Troop formed the baggage guard. When only one Troop marched, an NCO and three men sufficed. Only the sick were entitled to ride on baggage trains and an NCO obliging a driver to carry women against his will incurred a penalty of ‘5-a very severe one in those times. No woman on the baggage train was permitted to wear a dragoon’s cloak unless she was unwell, when an old cloak may be ordered to her by the baggage officer.
In 1840 Standing Orders of the KDG also stated that no soldiers wife or other person could expect to be allowed to travel on any Regimental baggage carts and any NCO’s or soldiers wives who might hire a cart for their conveyance were required to march with the baggage and were not allowed to precede them on any account. The march of the baggage had to be regulated so that it would arrive at the end of the days march with the Regiment always moving off a sufficient time before the main body to ensure this.
In spite of all the regulations it would seem that in practise a blind eye was turned by authority and the majority of the wives or at any rate those with young children were allowed to ride on the baggage.
Amongst the items waiting to be loaded are two officers trunks. One bears the name Lt Colonel G. Teesdale, the Commanding officer. He had a remarkable long tenure of command even at this period. First commissioned in 1793 he was promoted Captain in 1795, Major in 1805, and Lt Colonel in the Army 1st January 1812. he was employed away from the Regiment but after the death of Lt Colonel Fuller while leading the Regiment at Waterloo he was appointed to take over command on the 7th September 1815, and remained in command until the 11th May 1838. He was apparently a somewhat corpulent officer and is so shown in a portrait by Digton. He also figures in three caricatures published in Ireland in 1822. One of these shows him on one balance of a pair of scales with seven Hussars officers well outweighed on the other, with the caption “One Heavy Son of Mars against Seven Light Hussars” and another, entitled “Military Prodigies-or the Fattest (sic) the Tallest and Smallest” identifies him with two of his Cornets Richard Heaviside who was well over 6ft and Richard Martin who was diminutive. Teesdale was made a Knight of the Royal Guelphic Order by William IV.
The second trunk is inscribed Cornet (sic) Wilson. He obtained his commission 28th August 1823. and was promoted Lt 23rd January 1825. So this information confirms the dating of the picture to the first Visit to Necastle.
All the items of Kit shown, and a detailed examination shows many are of known pattern and would be as expected, with one exception. This is a black leather undress sabretache lying on the ground in the centre of the picture. This has a yellow metal badge which cannot be quite clearly made out but looks like a crest or badge over a scroll. The only pattern so far known has a brass star badge with crown on top and a KDG monogram in the centre and this pattern is clearly shown in the print from Spooners Upright Series of officers of the British Army No 45 by Mansion and Exchanzier showing an officer in marching order published c1832. It would therefore seem that this is an earlier pattern previously unrecorded and it is a great pity that it is not a little clearer in the picture.
The artist. Henry Perlee Parker was born at Devonport 15th March 1795, but moved to Newcastle in 1817 where he had a studio at Pilgrim Street. About 1840 he was appointed drawing master at Wesley College, Sheffield, but in 1845 moved to London where he died on 11th November 1873. He was popularly known as ‘Smuggler Parker’ from his partiality for painting fishermen, smugglers and beach scenes, but he as also painted landscapes and other historical pictures. The only other of his listed with a military subject is ‘Securing a Deserter’ exhibited at the British Institution in 1829. It would seem that this painting which also shows the KDG and was painted on a panel was at some time cut down from the original 2ft.10ins x 3ft 10ins to 9ins x 7ins. That it is the same picture seems probable by reason of the fact that on the back of the panel is painted “Serter on one line below “P Parker” and the size spread of this lettering seems to fit with a picture of the size quoted. The picture shows a corporal fitting handcuffs on the wrists of a young man whose relatives crowd around while a Trooper holding a carbine stands by his side. The uniform which is carefully drawn is the same as that portrayed in the Baggage Train picture, although from the date of the exhibition this was probably done the on regiment’s second visit to Newcastle. It is noted that the corporal’s gloves are carried in the swivel of the carbine belt. The Standing Orders of the KDG under the heading “Dress of Sergeants and Sergeant Majors”, says “On duties on foot and under arms they are dressed with sashes, with knots hanging on the right side, pouch belt, carbine and sword belt, with gloves hanging on the swivel” Another regulation of the same Standing Order states “When corporals and privates are ordered to escort deserters ect, they will parade with arms as on all foot parades, flints and ammunition complete and in trousers. Unfortunately this picture is not in the regimental collection.
Captain Frederick Polhill 1st King’s Dragoon Guards 1825
On November the 9th 1825, this officer, for a wager, rode ninety-five miles in four hours and seventeen minutes. On the 17th April 1826 Captain Polhill, having undertaken for a match of 100 sovereigns to walk 50 miles, to drive 50 miles, and to ride 50 in the space of twenty-four hours, commenced his arduous task on Monday morning at one o’clock on Haigh Park Racecourse. As his feat had excited much interest in the town, it occasioned the attendance of a numerous and respectable concours of equestrians and pedestrians. At five minutes past eight p.m. the Captain completed his undertaking, having four hours and fifty-five minutes to spare. He immediately stepped into a coach, and amidst respected cheers was drawn to the barracks (a distance of upwards of four miles) by the assembled multitude. Upon arriving at the Barracks, the coach was drawn up at the officers’ door, and after the Captain had alighted, the company sang the National Anthem. The whole distance was completed in 186 rounds of three quarters of a mile and 104 yards each. He commenced by walking 19 miles at the rate of 5 an hour. He then drove 10 miles and so proceeded, walking, driving and riding in succession. The whole time occupied in walking being 10 hours and 21 minutes, at the rate of 4 5/6ths miles an hour; in driving 4 hours and 24 minutes, at 11⅓ miles an hour; and in riding 2 hours and 42 minutes at 18 miles an hours. Mr Polhill ran the last round, and appeared very little the worse for the exertion.
Tyne Mercury November 22 1831 Queen’s Bays
A Board consisting of Lt Colonel Holloway, C.B. Royal Engineers. Major Kearny, Queen’s Bays. Major Drought 15th Foot. Captain Bellairs, Barrack Master. And Doctor Bain 15th regiment of Foot, last week came to the resolution of representing in the strongest terms to Head Quarters, that the health and comfort of the Garrison at Newcastle called for the removal of the great manure heap which is accumulated near to the Soldiers, Quarters at the Barracks, and is no doubt a very offensive nuisance.
Newcastle July 13th 1832 Queen’s Bays
MILITARY DEGRADATION:- On Monday the whole regiment of the Queen’s Bays were drawn up in line in the barrack square at Piershill, in order to witness the ceremony of the ignominious dismissal of Private Lockwood from the Corps. Every means had been resorted to reclaim this individual from his abandoned habits; at length, after having been convicted of felony, he, by the sanction of the Commander-in-Chief, was sentenced to be flogged, and dismissed the service with ignominy.
The former part of the sentence was delivered some weeks back, and the latter on Monday.- He was led to the front of the Corps, where Trumpeters cut off his facings, lace, and buttons; he was then paraded in the centre of six Trumpeters, who played the Rogues March down the line and then to the barrack gate, where he was dismissed. The heartened vagabond then took off his coat threw it at the Trumpeters, and ran off.
Captain Little Mounted on ‘Chandler’
Captain James Lockhart Little; born Shabden Park, Reigate 14th November 1821. He was commissioned Ensign in the 40th Regiment of Foot 7 August 1840. Cornet 1st King’s Dragoon Guards on the 15th December 1840. Lieutenant 16th August 1842. Captain 31st March 1848. He was a small, dark, finely-built man, reputed to have a way with the women, and beautiful ‘hands’. Whilst serving in the King’s Dragoon Guards, he lost money in a bank failure and transferred to the less expensive 81st Foot Regiment 22nd March 1850. Retired from the service 20th June 1851
He was coached in the art of Steeplechase riding by Tom Olliver and lack of funds did not prevent him from acquiring a half-share in the horse ‘Chandler’ whom he rode to victory in the 1848 Grand National, beating the ‘Curate’ (ridden by Tom Olliver) by one and a half lengths in a driving finish. Later he bought the horse ‘Peter Simple’ from Finch Mason and with Tom Olliver up, the gritty Bay stayed home best to win the 1853 Grand National. Captain Little’s other good racing successes included the Worcester Grand Annual in 1847.
Steeplechasing at Liverpool dates from 1836 and a Grand National Steeplechase, sometimes styled the first Grand National was run at Maghull from 1836-1838. The Aintree course, which Mr William Lynn leased from the 2nd Earl of Sefton, was first used in 1839. The first National was a level-weights affair over 4 miles for gentlemen riders. There were 29 fences and the course was chiefly plough. The two great brooks were christened by riders who fell into them. Captain Becher was disunited from his mount ‘Conrad’ at Brook Number One in 1839 while Brook Number Two was named after Mr Power’s Irish horse ‘Valentine’. In 1843 the race became a Handicap and in 1847 was for the first time styled ‘The Grand National’.
”The Edinburgh Investigator” Stop Press February 1841
Septuagenarian Trampled by 2nd Dragoon Guards Horse
An unfortunate accident took place on the 26th of September last when Robert Carfrae was badly injured by a Troop horse of the 2nd Dragoon Guards. The Commanding Officer of the regiment Lt Colonel Charles Kearney, told me: ‘While the regiment was returning to barracks from watering exercise on Portobello Sands, one of the Troop horses became highly agitated and accidently knocked down and injured Mr Carfrae. He was taken back to Piershill Barracks by A Troop Sgt Major and his wounds were dressed at the regimental hospital. In addition, the Orderly Officer gave him a gratuity of five shillings. I should also add that the acccident was unavoidable and that the soldier who was leading the horse could not be held to blame’.
Major General Lord Greenwich the GOC, has been in correspondence with the War Office over the question of compensation as Mr Carfrae (70 years old) who was earning 25 Shillings per week, is now unable to work. I understand that a twenty pound annuity for the remainder of his life has been recommended by the War Office, but a decision is being held up by uncertainty in Whitehall as to which department should pay it.
Letter Dated May 10th 1849
From The Duke of Richmond to the Marquis of Breadalbane
Goodwood 10th May 1849
My Dear Breadalbane
The widow of Major Sweney of the King’s Dragoon Guards-who save his Colonel (Lt Colonel William Fuller-killed in the battle) broke through the French line at Waterloo, of who’s party only himself and another survived, he being dreadfully wounded and made prisoner, has applied to me for admission for her and her friend Mrs Green to witness the arrival of the ladies at the Palace on the Birthday-I have entered into the above particulars as my excuse for asking you this favour.
My Dear Breadalbane
Ipswich Barracks April 1852
To the N.C.O.s and Dragoons of The Queen’s Bays
I am about quitting the 2nd Dragoon Guards and find it a hard task to bid adieu to such noble fellows as compose the distinguished Corps, in which I was born, and in which I have served upwards of thirty-six years.
It is my first duty on taking leave, to return you my grateful thanks for having by your good conduct made my service both pleasant and honourable.
I commenced my career as a Private although the son of an Officer and by assiduous attention to my duty combined with cheerful obedience to orders, I have risen from the ranks to the high and honourable position of your Adjutant.
To serve our country is a great privilege, but to serve in The Queen’s Bays is a happiness that few can attain. You are all aware that in this happy old Corps every Dragoon is treated with propriety and justice, and receives his due with scrupulous exactness; he experiences every proper indulgence and has every comfort and advantage that his situation can afford, both in sickness and in health, with a liberal provision made for his old age; therefore, every exertion is required from his to show his zealous attachment to a service which is as honourable as it is advantageous.
I will take the liberty of pointing out what the soldier should avoid, i.e. drunkenness, late hours and loose companions, keep clear of these and you will attain contentment and the honourable distinguishing badges for good conduct with extra pay whilst serving, and a better pension on discharge, as well as maintain the unblemished reputation of The Queen’s Dragoon Guards, which it has conspicuously held on all occasions through all the vicissitudes of one hundred and sixty-seven years.
To your wives I bid farewell with a deep and lasting regret, because their virtuous conduct, cleanliness, and attention to the comfort of all, has in a great measure rendered the barrack room your happy home, and so prevented crime-gratitude is due to them.
God bless you all and give you every comfort in this world. Let my last words be ever in your thoughts, these are:
Fear God, Honour your Sovereign, Obey your Superiors and Love One Another.
Lieutenant and Adjutant
2nd Dragoon Guards
Letter Dated 5th July 1879:
Fort ltelezi– 3am 5th July 1879
I much regret to have to report for the information of the Major General Commanding, Frontier District that i have been obliged to make Prisoners this morning of 1 Troop Sergeant Major, 1 Sergeant and 4 Privates of the Squadron under my command for being drunk–1 Troop Sgt Major for being absent from bivouac between 11 &12 o’clock (midnight) and 2 Sergeants and 1 Private (Sentry) for not stopping a disturbance in the Squadron lines at the same hour. The disturbance alluded to was singing and loud talking, on the part of the men in the bivouac.
Pending the Major General’s order’s, I leave the whole of these men in charge of the officer commanding the detachment–24th Regiment at this post, and will bring a summary of evidence back with me tomorrow. Captain Thompson is the chief witness. I am unable to ascertain how liquor was procured in excess of the allowance of such issued to the men in bivouac. A good deal of rum appears to have been upset on the ground at the place of issue.
Previous to these irregularities coming to notice, I had the Traders waggons with the convoy searched by an officer but no liquor was found in them. The Medical comforts were also checked and found correct. I placed a Sentry over these. On leaving Koppie Allein I left in charge of the officer Commanding 1 Private for being absent from his (reverse) post when on Sentry and found drunk when on parade, and a Corporal and 2 men of the Post detachment were reported absent. I have since heard from Major Bromhead that the Corporal was found drunk. I cannot close this report without saying how shocked and disgusted i am at these disgraceful irregularities in a detachment which has behaved remarkably well since entering Zululand on the 1st June until yesterday.
I trust that I may be favoured with the Major General’s instructions regarding the trial of the prisoners. The convoy under my charge moved off punctually according to order.
I have the honor to be,
Your Obedient Servant
M Marter Major
Commanding detachment King’s Dragoon Guards
The Brigade Major
P.S The officer Commanding Detachment 2/24th Foot here reports his men all all correct. M.M.
Letter dated 5th July 1879
Frontier District officer;
Any Commissioned officer or men drunk on duty will be tried by Court Martial under arrangements made by the Officers Commanding Posts–These prisoners will be disposed of by Officers Commanding
Herbert Stewart, Captain Bn
Letter dated 6th July 1879
O. f. Fort lteleze
Hand over all prisoners KDG to Major Marter on arrival. These men are to be taken to Fort Newdigate and dis???? of there.
C J Bromhead
Commanding Koppie Allien
Some Experiences of South Africa, 1879. By Major J Saltren-Willett
It was about 4th June 1879, that we set sail from Kingston with a draft of men from Dragoon Guard regiments in Dublin for Durban in an old tub called ‘Queen Margaret’, a line that used to ply between Calcutta and London with tea. We had, as well as our men on board a draft of horses for A.S.C and ourselves-204 in all-and it will seem strange nowadays since the last experiences, as every horse was slung in its stall with a support under its belly to prevent it falling down before we left port.
All went merry until the night before we got to Madeira, when we ran into a most awful storm, but it cleared for the next day when we went ashore to sample some inferior specimens of wine of that name. Nothing very eventful occurred until our arrival at Durban about July 4th, so judging by the dates you will see we did not exceed the speed limit, but we landed 198 out of the 204 horses with which we started.
There at the primitive harbour, horses and everything were slung off into lighters, to take them ashore, and in one or two instances they did not strike the lighter first, and had a refreshing sea bath before they did. There was nothing very exciting in being camped on a sandy spot outside Durban until we had orders to move up-country, except it was the first experience I had of attending a flogging parade, and although I had a fairly strong stomach, after it was over, on return to my tent, I had violent bilious attacks and was frightfully sick, and this sort of attack always occurred after every parade of this sort I attended in South Africa.
Whilst I am on this gruesome subject I might mention an instance of how various natures stuck it. At Wakkerstroom some months after there were two men paraded for the same punishment, the first who stole a comrades shirt-a bad offence on active service when each man as only two-began to shout before he was tied to the wheel; the second for some trivial misdemeanour stuck the whole twenty-five lashes without a murmur, and was a Troop Sgt Major in India afterwards.
Times were not too good when we got to the Transvaal, bully beef, six days a week unless we had the good luck to shoot a buck, or else that supreme luxury, a pauw, a sort of African bustard, about the size of a turkey, but there was nothing very exhilarating to wash it down with, as the only solaces were Squareface (Holland’s Gin) or Pontac (Cape Port), a fruity sort of mixture.
As it happened, at Wakkerstroom one particularly awful night, three of us in a bell tent, raining in torrents, and the sanitary arrangements most primitive, I had to get up every few moments for natural disturbances and go outside the tent, and my two pals in the tent decided to walk across the valley to the 80th Foot, where that celebrated man (Sir Charles Tucker) was in command, and there was an hospital there, to try to get some medical comforts for me, but they found the doctor-a civilian-blind drunk so no comforts were received.
From Wakkerstroom we moved up to Standerton, and there my servant found that they killed one sheep a week, and he managed to get its kidneys for my breakfast. Our next move was on to Pretoria, where we remained until the order came to march down to Maritzburg. Each Squadron sold its horses off where they were and footed down country. We managed to do it alright 400miles-and walked over the ground where Johannesburg now stands, but there was no such place in those days. You can imagine we were fairly fit after our walk, but one man in my lot could not compete in the last four miles into Maritzburg. There was the band of the 60th (or Rifle) Brigade which met us four miles out to play us in, and that was too much for him, he came to me gasping for breath, asking for leave to fall out, as he could not keep step to a Rifle band. We had ten days at Maritzburg before embarking for Bombay
Letter Dated February 4th 1899
The Emperor, at Schonbrunn, to Queen Victoria:
Honoured and Dear Sister,
Your 1st Regiment of the King’s Dragoon Guards has, through Colonel Wardrop, expressed the wish that the Austrian Eagle which in accordance with your gracious decision is worn by the regiment on their coat collars might hence forward also be worn by the non-commissioned officers on their sleeves. As i see in this desire of the glorious Regiment a most gratifying proof of sympathy, I may perhaps venture to recommend it for your glorious consideration.
I would add that, as the Regimental Sgt Major of the ‘Greys’ wears a Russian Medal and the Regimental Sgt Major of the ‘Royals’ a Prussian one, the King’s Dragoon Guards have expressed a wish that their Regimental Sgt Major might also be decorated. Should you condescend to make an exception to the existing regulations, I should have the pleasure in conferring on that non-commissioned officer my 1st Class Silver Medal For Bravery.
With invariable attachment and veneration
Your sincerely devoted brother
February 13th 1899
Sir Arthur Bigge, The Queen’s Private Secretary, to Commander-in-Chief
My Dear Lord Wolseley,
The Queen desires me to send you the enclosed copy of a translation of a letter received from the Emperor of Austria. Her Majesty has replied that she has much pleasure in granting permission asked for by the Emperor.
February 14th 1899
Military Secretary to Sir Arthur Bigge
My Dear Bigge,
Lord Wolseley desires me to say that the necessary action will be taken without delay to give effect to Her Majesty’s desires about the King’s Dragoon Guards. I return the translation of the Emperor of Austria’s letter, having kept a copy with which to work.
February 15th 1899
Memorandum by M.S.
The Regulations respecting Foreign Medals would not allow of permission being granted for Sergeant Major James Barry, 1st Dragoon Guards, to accept and wear a Foreign Medal. Such permission is only given when a British subject has been employed by a Foreign Army by the commmand or sanction of Her Majesty’s Government.
Nothing is known here, or in the Adjutant Generals Office, of permission having been granted to the Regimental Sgt Majors of the 2nd Dragoons and 1st Dragoons to wear Russian and Prussian medals respectively. It was proposed to confer a decoration on the Sergeant Major of the 2nd Dragoon Guards (Scots Greys) as well as other members of the Deputation which proceeded to St Petersburg when the Emperor of Russia was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of that Regiment, but the Sergeant Major, being a Warrant Officer, was held to be ineligible for a Foreign Medal, vide 01 37/523.
Her Majesty, however, occasionally granted private permission to individuals to accept and wear Decorations though their cases did come within the Regulations, it is presumed that such permission was given in the cases referred to.
February 18th 1899
General Paar (Vienna) to Colonel Wardrop
Her Majesty, The Queen of Great Britain, has been pleased to sanction the wearing of the Austrian Eagle on the sleeve ornaments of the non-commissioned officers of the 1st King’s Dragoon Guards. Further His Royal and Imperial Apostolic Majesty has, with the sanction of Her Majesty, conferred the accompanying Silver Medal for Bravery, of the 1st Class of the Eagle, on Regimental Sgt Major James Barry, of the above regiment. In having the honour to inform you of this, I beg you to accept the expression of my most perfect respect.
February 20th, 1899
I have the honour to forward, herewith, for the favour of transmission to the Secretary of State for War, a letter which I have received from His Excellency General Graf Paar, personal Aide-de-Camp to His Majesty, stating that Her Majesty, the Queen, has sanctioned the wearing of the badge of the Austrian Eagle on the arm of the non-commissioned officers of the King’s Dragoon Guards, and further that the regimental Sergeant Major James Barry, may accept and wear the “Silberne Tapferkeits Medaille ” (1st Class) which I herewith enclose.
I have, &c.,
(Signed) F.M. Wardrop,
Colonel, Military Attach�
March 10th 1899
Foreign Office to Under Secretary of State, War Office,
With referance to your letter of 20th ultimo, I am directed by the Marquess of Salisbury to transmit to you, to be laid before the Marquess of Lansdowne, a copy of a despatch from her Majesty’s Ambassador at Vienna, enclosing the ”Silberne-Tapferkeits-Medaille” which has been conferred by His Majesty the Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary, upon James Barry, Sergeant Major, 1st King’s Dragoon Guards and i am to request that you will move Lord Landsdowne to cause the medal to be forwarded to Mr Barry.
March 16th 1899
M.S. to Adjutant General.
Please say whether this medal is to be worn on the left breast and regarded as a ‘Foreign Medal’
March 23rd 1899
A.A.G. to O.6.
Medals are worn by soldiers in the manner prescribed for officers in dress regulations, i.e. worn on the left breast and in the order shewn on enclosed list-recently sanctioned by the Prince of Wales. I think it may be taken as a ‘Foreign Decoration’.
James Barry’s Medals
- Roots and Origins
- Battle Honours
- 18th Century Battles
- 19th Century Honours
- Regimental Cap Badge
- First World War
- Second World War
- Post War Conflicts
- Iraq, Afghanistan to the present day