Trooper, 17th Light Dragoons, 1759 (17th/21st Lancers)


The 17th Light Dragoons became 17th Lancers in 1815 then 17th/21st Lancers in 1922,  finally Queen’s Royal Lancers in 1993

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In 1759 five regiments of Light Dragoons were raised. One was the 17th, named after Colonel Hale who raised them. They became 17th Lancers in 1815 and took part in the Charge of the Light Brigade on 25th October 1854 at Balaclava. In 1922 the regiment was merged with the 21st Lancers and became the 17/21st Lancers then amalgamated with the 16th/5th The Queen’s Royal Lancers to form the Queen’s Royal Lancers in 1993. The conversion of the regiments of Horse to Dragoon Guards in 1746 meant loss of pay to the soldiers and loss of the Light Cavalry. In 1756 a troop of light cavalry was therefore added to each regiment of Dragoon Guards and Dragoons. The Light Dragoons were trained and equipped for rapid action in small numbers. They did not act together in numbers larger than a troop. Their wore a reinforced leather helmet – like a modern crash-helmet embellished with horsehair tufts, fur and regimental insignia. The coat is more cut away than a Dragoon They carried a curved sabre and a carbine. The sabre was slung from a waist or shoulder belt, the carbine hung from a swivel from another belt. When mounted, the Light Dragoon’s carbine hung free from the swivel so he able to use either carbine or sabre freely in the saddle. Clearly from contemporary images, firing from the saddle was one of the exercises at which the Light Dragoon had to be adept. The trooper in the picture is wearing the first uniform devised for the regiment. The badge, the Death’s Head with the motto ‘or Glory’, was the badge of the regiment throughout its history, and it retained its white facings as well.

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Dimensions 24 × 37.5 cm