Former Titles of the Regiment - RDG Museum

RDG Museum

Former Titles of the Regiment - RDG Museum

Former titles of the Regiment


Prior to the reforms of George III's era, Regiments of the British Army were usually known by the name of their Colonel (e.g. Berkeley's Dragoons, Howard's Regiment of Foot). This resulted in numerous changes in the names of Regiments, creating a great deal of trouble with administering the army - a regiment that had been Jones' Horse one week could become, on occasion, Smith's Horse the next. In an attempt to alleviate the confusion this caused, the Army began to designate its units by numbers, with a word to denote the role of the regiment in question (e.g. 4th Horse, 22nd Foot). The terms "Horse" and "Foot" were employed during this period; it was felt undesirable to use "Cavalry" and "Infantry", since these were of French origin!

In due course, the reforms of 1746 resulted in the reduction of three regiments of Horse to the lower rank of Dragoon Guards as a measure of economy (Dragoon Guards were paid less than Horse). This was then continued in 1788, converting the remaining Horse regiments into Dragoon Guards.

At the end of the First World War, as a further measure of economy, the cavalry were yet further reduced. The3rd and 6th, and the 4th and 7th Dragoon Guards amalgamated, to form the 3rd/6th and 4th/7th Dragoon Guards, respectively. Meanwhile, one of the three surviving Dragoon regiments - the Inniskillings, (6th Dragoons) was amalgamated with the 5th Dragoon Guards, to form the 5th/6th Dragoons. In each case, two squadrons from the senior regiment would amalgamate with one of the junior (e.g. the 5th/6th Dragoons contained two squadrons from the 5th Dragoon Guards and one from the 6th Dragoons).

The joining of two regiments inevitably produced difficulties for all involved. However, the title "5th/6th Dragoons" caused particular animosity; the former 5th Dragoon Guards resented their loss of seniority (Dragoon Guards being senior to Dragoons), and the Inniskillings, who had carried the city's name proudly since 1751, and maintained a strong connection with Enniskillen, resented the loss of their ancestral association. To make matters worse, the former 5th (Royal Irish) Dragoons had, in fact, been disbanded in 1799, for allegedly refusing to attack Irish rebels during the Irish Rebellion of 1798; the name was thus somewhat disgraced.

Eventually, repeated petitions proved able to sway higher authority, and in 1927 the 5th/6th Dragoons re-titled to become the 5th Inniskilling Dragoon Guards, thereby restoring lost pride on both sides. Furthermore, they went on to receive the "Royal" title in 1935, becoming the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards:

"On the occasion of His Majesty's Birthday and in commemoration of the completion of the twenty-fifth year of his reign, the King has been graciously pleased... to approve that the following regiments shall in future enjoy the distinction "Royal" and shall henceforth be designated:—

5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards..."

The 4th/7th Dragoon Guards would also receive their much-coveted "Royal" appellation in 1936.

Below is a complete list of the titles borne by the four antecedent Regiments of The Royal Dragoon Guards, from their inception to the present day.


4th Dragoon Guards 5th Dragoon Guards 7th Dragoon Guards 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons
1685 - The Earl of Arran's Horse, or 6th Horse 1685 - Shrewsbury's Horse    
1688 - The Earl of Selkirk's Horse 1687 - Langdale's Horse    
1688 - Godfrey's Horse 1687 - Hamilton's Horse 1688 - The Earl of Devonshire's Horse, or 10th Horse  
  1688 - Coy's Horse 1690 - The Earl of Schomberg's Horse, or 10th Horse 1689 - Conyngham's Dragoons
1690 - 5th Horse 1691 - 6th Horse 1692 - Leinster's Horse, or 8th Horse 1691 - Echlin's Dragoons
1693 - Langton's Horse 1697 - Arran's Horse 1693 - Schomberg's Horse, or 8th Horse  
1713 - Jocelyn's Horse 1703 - Cadogan's Horse 1711 - Harwich's Horse, or 8th Horse 1715 - Dalrymple's Dragoons
1715 - Davenport's Horse, or The Prince of Wales' Own Regiment of Horse 1712 - Kellum's Horse 1713 - Sybourg's Horse, or 8th Horse 1715 - Stair's Dragoons
1719 - Wynne's Horse 1717 - Napier's Horse 1720 - Ligonier's Horse, or 8th Horse, or The Black Horse  
1732 - Pearce's Horse 1740 - Neville's Horse   1734 - Cadogan's Dragoons
1739 - Trawley's Horse 1744 - Cobham's Horse   1745 - Leslie's Dragoons
1743 - John Brown's Horse 1745 - Wentworth's Horse   1750 - Chomondley's Dragoons
1746 - 1st Horse (Irish Establishment) or Blue Horse 1746 - Second Irish Horse (Green Horse) 1746 - 4th Horse (Irish Establishment) 1751 - 6th (Inniskilling) Regiment of Dragoons
  1751 - Second Regiment of Irish Horse   1758 - 6th or Inniskilling Regiment of Dragoons
1788 - 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards 1788 - 5th Dragoon Guards 1788 - 7th (Princess Royal's) Dragoon Guards 1815 - 6th (Inniskilling) Regiment of Dragoons
  1804 - 5th (or The Princess Charlotte of Wales's) Dragoon Guards   1861 - 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons
1921 - 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards 1921 - 5th Dragoon Guards (Princess Charlotte of Wales's) 1921 - 7th Dragoon Guards (Princess Royal's) 1921 - The Inniskillings (6th Dragoons)
1922 - 4th/7th Dragoon Guards 1922 - 5th/6th Dragoons 1922 - 4th/7th Dragoon Guards 1922 - 5th/6th Dragoons


    1927 - 5th Inniskilling Dragoon Guards  
  1936 - 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards 1935 - 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards  


  1992 - The Royal Dragoon Guards  


The Royal Dragoon Guards, formed upon the amalgamation of the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards and the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards in 1992, is the present incarnation of the four ancestral Regiments.

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