Friday, August 26, 2016

3rd Dragoon Guards (Prince of Wales's)

    This regiment was first raised in 1685, in response to the Monmouth Rebellion, as the Earl of Plymouth's Regiment of Horse.  It was ranked as the 4th Regiment of Horse. It fought duration the War of the Spanish Succession (`1701 - 1715), participating in the battles of  Schellenberg Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde, and Malplaquet.

In 1746, it was renumbered as the 3rd Regiment, and when the Regiments of Horse were re-designated as Dragoon Guards in 1751, it  became the 3rd Regiment of Dragoon Guards.  It received the title of "Prince of Wales's in 1765.

 It was active during the Peninsular War from 1809 onward, participating in the battles of Talavera, Albuhera, and Vittoria.  This being a unit of Dragoon Guards, one of the subtle differences from the Dragoon regiments was that the edging on the front of the collar was red instead of the lace color. Tough to pick out, but it is there!

During this era, it had white facings with yellow lace. 

In 1816, its facings were changed to Yellow with white lace, and thus later acquired the nickname of "The Old Canaries". 

The badge of the Regiment was the three feathered cap of the Prince of Wales.

I'ts motto was that of the Prince of Wales as well -"Ich Dien" ("I serve" in German; there are various stories as to how that came about, none of them verified). 

In contrast tot he Queen's Dragoons, this regiment wears the normal service trousers, grey with a red stripe. I kept the dress shabraques, though - white edged with yellow. 

I  mounted this regiment on Light Chestnut horses. 

In keeping with the usual practice of British cavalry, their horse furniture is natural leather color. 

As you can see, their flag is still MIA. It was square (as opposed to the swallow tailed guidons of he Dragoons and Light Dragoons/Hussars), with a white field and gold fringe, and bears the badge of the Prince of Wales in the center.

In keeping with the association with Wales, its slow march was "Men of Harlech", a personal favorite of mine. Must be the Welsh portion of my ancestry! It probably has more different sets of lyrics than just about any March or song that I can think of!

Not a military performance, but clear and well played. It seems that all of the various instrumental versions I listened to use the same arrangement, even those played by the Welsh Guards - I the first half, but in the 2nd half, IMHO, it gets too fancy and off track. The Band Director of our band in college was genius at adapting music into arrangements for Band, and I've love to see what he could have done with this!

Men of Harlech! In the Hollow, 
Do ye hear like rushing billow
 Wave on wave that surging follow 
Battle's distant sound?

Tis the tramp of Saxon foemen, 
Saxon spearmen,  Saxon bowmen, 
Be they knights or hinds or yeomen, 
They shall bite the ground!

Loose the folds asunder, 
Flag we conquer under! 
The placid sky now bright on high, 
Shall launch its bolts in thunder!
Onward! 'tis the country needs us, 
He is bravest, he who leads us 
Honor's self now proudly heads us, 
Freedom, God and Right!

Rocky Steeps and passes narrow, 
Flash with spear and flight of arrow 
Who would think of death or sorrow? 
Death is glory now!

Hurl the reeling horsemen over, 
Let the earth dead foemen cover
 Fate of friend, of wife, of lover, 
Trembles on a blow!

Strands of life are riven! 
Blow for blow is given 
In deadly lock, or battle shock, 
And mercy shrieks to heaven! 
Men of Harlech! young or hoary, 
Would you win a name in story? 
Strike for home, for life, for glory! 
Freedom, God and Right!


  1. Peter, you continue fielding British horse at a steady clip! Good regimental history and useful painting tips regarding the intricacies of the uniform trim. When are you planning another Napoleonic game features your newly raised cavalry?

    1. These British probably won't see a game for a while. The next Napoleonic action upcomming will be a resumption of the paused LANNES campaign, probably sometime in September. That's a French/Russian thing with Barry's troops and mine. Schedule depending, I may run a game at Ellis Con in November; exactly what that would be is as yet undetermined. It is possible, therefore that could feature some of these troops. Overall, though, my plan is to build Spanish allies for the British before they see major tabletop time. Then I'll probably work my way through most of the important battles of the Peninsular War.

    2. "Then I'll probably work my way through most of the important battles of the Peninsular War."

      -- that will be fun to watch!

    3. Hopefully it will be fun to do, too. There is plenty of materiel there!

  2. Lovely work, and I'll look forward to seeing your forthcoming Spanish.

    1. Goal id to finish the British by the end of 2016, then start on the Spanish. It is unlikely I will be able to match your magnificent troops in that regard, Lawrence!

  3. Nice dragoon guards, they've come out well. Looking forward to the Spanish, I'm reading up on the peninsula at the moment.
    Best Iain

    1. Thanks, Ian; I shall have read more about the Peninsular War as well!