Raised in Scotland in 1678 three companies of dragoons were regimented into the Royal Regiment of Scots Dragoons in 1681 ultimately becoming the Royal Scots Greys in 1921. In 1972 they were finally amalgamated with 3rd Carabiniers (Prince of Wales’s Dragoon Guards) to form The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys). The Scots Greys were the only regular regiment of Scottish Cavalry and were mounted on grey horses from c. 1700 until 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, except for the Grenadier cap because, at Ramillies (1706) they captured the colours of the elite Regiment du Roi so were awarded the right to wear them. 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. Their final head dress was a bearskin cap like that of the Foot Guards. The shoulder belt is of buff leather whitened by the Greys who prided themselves on their appearance. The red cord running down the centre of the shoulder belt supported a powder flask 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.
Trooper, Royal North British Dragoons (Scots Greys), 1743
In 1678 the Royal Regiment of Scots Dragoons were raised; merged with the 3rd Carabiniers (Prince of Wales’s Dragoon Guards) in 1972 to form today’s The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys).
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