Trooper, Royal North British Dragoons (Scots Greys), 1743


Uniforms of the Scottish Regiments 1730-1959

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Since 1972: The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys). The Greys were the only regular regiment of Scottish Cavalry and were raised in Scotland in 1681. They were mounted on grey horses from about 1700 onward, until they lost their horses in 1941. To Napoleon, they were ‘ces terribles chevaux gris’. As a cavalry regiment the Scots Greys never wore Highland dress. Their uniform resembled that of other dragoons in the army. The uniform shown here is like that worn in the cavalry at that time, except for the Grenadier cap. At Ramillies the Scots Greys showed such gallantry in routing the Regiment du Roi of the French army that they were granted the privilege of Grenadier caps. The caps were beautifully embroidered: those of officers being of velvet worked with gold and silver wire; those of privates of cloth worked with wool. The Greys had the usual hats too and protected the caps with oilskin covers. The only other cavalrymen to wear Grenadier caps were the Horse Grenadiers, later absorbed into the Life Guards. The cap shows the cross of St Andrew under that of St George. The thistle on the front flap displays the Scottish origin of the regiment. When the Grenadier cap was replaced in the infantry by a black fur cap, the Greys changed theirs too, and their final full-dress head dress was a bearskin cap like that worn by the Foot Guards. The shoulder belt is of buff leather whitened by the Greys who evidently prided themselves on their appearance. The red cord running down the centre of the shoulder belt supported a powder flask housed just above the pouch (for use with the carbine, with which the trooper was armed) in addition to his sword. These flask cords were worn by most regiments then.

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Dimensions24 × 37.5 cm