Regimental Slow March - RDG Museum

RDG Museum

Regimental Slow March - RDG Museum


Following amalgamation in 1992, The Royal Dragoon Guards adopted the Slow March of the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards.

Before the 20th century, few cavalry regiments deigned to own a Quick March, regarding such jaunty infantry-style quicksteps as beneath the dignity of the mounted arm. With the passing of time - and the horses - Quick Marches became accepted.

Around 1881 all regiments, cavalry and infantry, were instructed to submit details of their Regimental Marches to War Office so that they could (for the first time) be officially approved. Only Slow Marches were submitted by the cavalry. Many of these had already been in use for generations; some were based on traditional melodies; some were borrowed from the world of Opera; others had been specially written by long-forgotten Bandmasters, no doubt on the orders of contemporary Commanding Officers.

The Slow March of the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards, now that of The Royal Dragoon Guards, is a composite version of those of the 4th and 7th Dragoon Guards. It dates only from the 1922 amalgamation, and was no doubt arranged by the first Bandmaster of the combined Regiment, Mr. A. Stone, DCM.

The Slow March of the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards is said to have been composed around 1842 by one Eusebius Hall, Bandmaster to the 1st Royal Cheshire Militia and the Birkenhead Artillery Volunteers. When or why this superseded the "Grand Slow March of the 4 Royal Irish Dragoon Guards", written in 1839 by their German "Master", Hermann Eckersberg, is not known, but this gentleman apparently adopted (and adapted) Hall's composition during his tenure of office.

The original title of the March had been one hardly appropriate for a Regiment of shock-action cavalry - "Better Late Than Never". Not surprisingly this quickly fell out of use, and it was sometimes referred to as, "The Blue Horse March". Finally, after correspondence with Kneller Hall just before the 4th Dragoon Guards sailed for India in 1921, the title "Inseparable" was chosen, as being a play on the Regimental Motto, "Quis Separabit?"

Unfortunately there is no information about the origin of the Slow March of the 7th (Princess Royal's) Dragoon Guards. Its earliest appearance in print dates from 1897 when a pianoforte arrangement was published in The Black Horse Gazette for October of that year. It was then entitled simply "Seventh Dragoon Guards (Princess Royal's) Regimental March", but according to tradition it was not unnaturally known by all ranks as "The Black Horse March".

Click the link above to listen to the Regimental slow march (played by the Band of The Royal Dragoon Guards, under Bandmaster Pennington, 1994), or click here to learn about the Regimental quick march.

Leave a Comment

Your name
Your email
Please type in the letters/ numbers you see
[ Different Image ]