Waterloo 18th June 1815 – The KDG’s, and now the QDG’s, Key Battle Honour
Although not in the eighteenth century, the battle honour of Waterloo, fought in 1815, is included in this section as it was the culmination of the aforementioned wars against the French.
This is the battle where the British, the Prussians and their allies finally silenced France after over a hundred years of fighting. Waterloo was the KDG’s, and is now the QDG’s, most significant battle honour and therefore deserves a detailed mention. The anniversary of this battle, 18th June, is the Regimental Day. Waterloo is celebrated annually with a dinner held in the Sergeants’ Mess, to which the officers are invited by the RSM. This tradition has its roots in the number of casualties sustained by the KDG that day. Tradition holds that after the battle there were not enough surviving officers and sergeants to justify separate messing facilities so they sat down shared their rations on the battlefield.
The KDG charged 13 times during this action and by the end of the day only 15 remained in action which included two Officers, the RSM, one Serjeant and eleven Privates, out of the 530 sabres that had started the battle. A junior captain, Captain Naylor KDG, ended the day commanding an entire Cavalry Brigade. We should remember Waterloo as the Regiment’s greatest battle honour in that its successful contribution helped bring about a victory that had one of the most favourable outcomes for Britain in modern history. It should also be remembered as a bitter tragedy that almost obliterated the KDG. For those interested in the KDG’s epic battle at Waterloo the best book on the subject is ‘And They Rode On’ by Michael Man which is sold by the regimental shop on its website.
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