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Unit History: 5th Dragoon Guards

The Royal Dragoon Guards were formed on 1 August 1992, as a result of the amalgamation of the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards and the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards.

Both of these were in turn the result of earlier amalgamations in the 1920s.

The 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards, the 5th Dragoon Guards, the 7th Dragoon Guards and the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons. All four were raised between 1685 and 1689, during the protracted contest between James II and William of Orange for the English throne.

Both the 4th and 5th Dragoon Guards were formed in 1685 from Troops of Horse raised by James II to defend London from the invasion.

The Regiments originally known as Arrans Horse and Shrewsburys Horse, taking the names from their Commanding Officers, as was the custom in those times. In the event, these Regiments, together with the rest of Jamess Army, refused to support him and he fled to France, abandoning the throne to William of Orange.

The next year, he landed in Ireland. Only Carrickfergus, Londonderry and Enniskillen held out against him.

The town of Enniskillen raised three Regiments from Protestants who had taken refuge there. One of these was Conynghams Dragoons, which became the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons.

On 11th June 1690, King William himself landed at Carrickfergus with a Protestant Army, which included both the 4th and 5th Dragoon Guards, and on the 1st July that year, all three Regiments fought side by side at the Battle of the Boyne. James was defeated and returned to France.

Within a few years the 5th Dragoon Guards, embarked for Holland and Marlboroughs famous campaigns; both Regiments (4th & 5th) earned honours side by side at Blenheim, Ramillies, Malplaquet and Oudenarde, as well as the celebrated cavalry action at Elixem in 1705 where the 5th Dragoon Guards (Princess Charlotte of Wales’) captured Standards from the Bavarian Horse Grenadiers.

1701 - 1715 at Blenheim, Ramallies, Oudenarde, Malplaquet, during the War of the Spanish Succession

1793 - 1802, Beaumont, during the French revolution.

1808 - 1814, Salamanca, Vittoria, Toulouse, during the Peninsula War

1854 - 1855, Balaclava, Sebastopol, during the Crimean War

1899 - 1902, Defence of Ladysmith during the Boer War

1914 - 1918, Mons, le Cateau, Marne, Messines
1914, Ypres 1914, 1915, Bellewaarde, Somme 1916,
1918, Cambrai 1917, 1918, Ameiens, and Mons. during the First World War.

The regiment was awarded one Victoria Cross, won by Second Lt J Norwood, at Ladysmith during the Boer War. 1899.

Forces Reunited Forum Posts Involving 5th Dragoon Guards

"... Can anyone point me in the right direction. I have an old B/W photo of him sitting on a horse taken in about 1900. Thanks Martin Brown   the 7th dragoon guards were amalgamated with the 4th royal Irish dragoon guards in 1922 and later with the 5th dragoon guards and so now becoming the Royal Dragoon Guards with their headquaters in York. They have a fantastic little museum that is well worth a visit. if you look at their web site it will give the history and battle honours. thankyou Ray..."
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"Hi, I am trying to locate records for William John Pickavance born 1870, he served alongside his brother Robert James Pickavance in the 5th Dragoon Guards during the Boer War.  I would love to have some information on him as he is my great great grandfather. Any help or suggestions greatly appreciated.  Kind regards, Caroline Last edited by caroline gee"
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"Birmingham Daily Mail – 5 January 1915: CHRISTMAS AT THE FRONT. SOLDIERS FARE BETTER THAN THEY DID IN SOUTH AFRICA. “Corporal H. Boulton, of the 5th Dragoon Guards, a brother of Detective-sergeant Boulton, of the Birmingham Police Force, has written to his niece at Aston informing her that, under the circumstances, he and his comrades have had a very good Christmas. Their Christmas dinner consisted of pork and fowl, Brussels sprouts, and plum pudding, with two glasses of ale. The corporal,..."
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Active From: 1685 - 1992

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