Light Dragoons

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The Light Dragoons
Light Dragoons Cap Badge.svg
Cap badge of the Light Dragoons
Active1 December 1992–
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch British Army
TypeLine cavalry
RoleLight Cavalry
SizeOne regiment
Part ofRoyal Armoured Corps
Garrison/HQRHQ – Newcastle upon Tyne
Regiment – Catterick Garrison
Nickname(s)"England's Northern Cavalry"
"England's Light Cavalry"
Motto(s)Viret in aeternum (It Flourishes Forever)
Merebimur (We shall be Worthy)
MarchQuick – Balaklava
Slow – Denmark
Colonel-in-ChiefKing Abdullah II of Jordan
Colonel of
the Regiment
Brigadier Angus Watson MBE
Tactical Recognition FlashLight Dragoons TRF.svg
Arm BadgeNCOs – Royal Crest
From 15th/19th King's Royal Hussars
ORs – South Africa flash
From 13th/18th Royal Hussars

The Light Dragoons (LD) is a cavalry regiment in the British Army. The regiment is a light cavalry regiment with a history in the reconnaissance role which dates back to the early eighteenth century. It is currently based in Catterick Garrison North Yorkshire.


The term 'Light Dragoons' has a much earlier history. The British army experimented with light cavalry in the 1740s, prompted by the French creation of hussar regiments. However, it was not until the 1750s that the British converted some dragoon regiments into light cavalry, these regiments being officially designated 'Light Dragoons'. All British light cavalry regiments (numbered 7th and upwards) were titled Light Dragoons until 1806-1807, when four were re-classified as 'Hussars'. From 1816 more Light Dragoon regiments were reclassified as lancers or hussars, a tendency that continued throughout the 19th century.[1]


The 13th Light Dragoons at the Battle of Waterloo
The Light Dragoons receiving the Freedom of the Borough of Barnsley

The regiment was formed in 1992 at Haig Barracks in Hohne from the amalgamation of two regiments, the 13th/18th Royal Hussars (Queen Mary's Own) and the 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars. All of the antecedent regiments had been regiments of "light dragoons" during the 18th and 19th centuries, including the Napoleonic Wars.[2]

B Squadron (The Guards) was the first squadron of the newly formed regiment to do a tour of duty; sent to Bosnia and Herzegovina in May 1993 on peacekeeping duties. They were followed by C Squadron (The Legion) in November 1993 and later by A and D squadrons in 1994. For all of those initial tours the Light Dragoons deployed on Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance Tracked (CVRT).[3] The Light Dragoons also sent units to Iraq on Operation Telic 2 in July 2003 and Operation Telic 6 in May 2005.[4]

Elements of the regiment were deployed on a tour of duty in Helmand Province, Afghanistan on Operation Herrick 5 with 3 Commando Brigade in October 2006 and then with 12 Mechanised Brigade on Operation Herrick 6 in April 2007.[5] The regiment deployed as a battle group on Operation Herrick 10 in April 2009 and took part in Operation Panther's Claw in the summer of 2009.[4] The regiment's last deployment to Afghanistan was on Operation Herrick 16 in April 2012.[5] It subordinated to 4th Infantry Brigade and moved to a new home at Gaza Barracks in Catterick Garrison in 2015.[5]


The regiment's role includes scouting for information about the enemy, engaging enemy targets and guiding fast jets. The regiment converted to the Jackal armoured fighting vehicles under Army 2020.[6][7] The Light Dragoons recruit mainly in Northern England, from the counties of Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham, South Yorkshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire and have strong connections with these areas. For this reason, the regiment is known as "England’s Northern Cavalry".[8]

Regimental museum[edit]

The Newcastle Discovery Museum includes the regimental museum of the Light Dragoons and the Northumberland Hussars.[9]


Colonels-in-Chief were:

Regimental Colonels[edit]

Colonels of the Regiment were:[14]

Commanding Officers[edit]

Commanding Officers have included:[15]

  • 1992–1993: Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Richard Evelyn De Cardonnel Stewart
  • 1993–1996: Lt Col Robert I. Webb-Bowen
  • 1996–1997: Lt Col Timothy J. Checketts
  • 1997–1999: Lt Col David John Rutherford-Jones
  • 1999–2002: Lt Col Simon R. Levey
  • 2002–2004: Lt Col David R. Amos
  • 2004–2006: Lt Col Robin C. Matthews
  • 2006–2009: Lt Col H. Angus Watson
  • 2009–2011: Lt Col Angus G. C. Fair
  • 2011–2013: Lt Col Samuel J. Plant
  • 2013–2016: Lt Col James M. Senior
  • 2016–2019: Lt Col Benjamin M. J. Cossens
  • 2019–Present: Lt Col Thomas R. M. Robinson


1881 Childers Reforms 1922 Amalgamations 1990 Options for Change - today
13th Hussars 13th/18th Royal Hussars (Queen Mary's Own) Light Dragoons
18th (Queen Mary's Own) Hussars
15th (The King's) Hussars 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars
19th (Queen Alexandra's Own Royal) Hussars


Affiliated yeomanry[edit]

Order of precedence[edit]

Preceded by
King's Royal Hussars
Cavalry order of precedence Succeeded by
Royal Tank Regiment


  1. ^ Haythornthwaite, P.J. (1989) Wellington's Military Machine, Spellmount, Staplehurst, Kent, pp. 18-20
  2. ^ "Hussars" (PDF). Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  3. ^ "British units deployed to Bosnia". Britain's small wars. Archived from the original on 20 April 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Light Dragoons". British Empire. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  5. ^ a b c "Light Dragoons". British Army units 1945 on. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Light Dragoons". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  7. ^ "Army 2020 report" (PDF). Ministry of Defence. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 June 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  8. ^ "Hundreds gather in Barnsley to welcome the Light Dragoons". 14 November 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  9. ^ "Charge! The story of England's Northern Cavalry". Light Dragoons. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  10. ^ "History". Light Dragoons Regimental Association. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  11. ^ "HRH The Princess Margaret". British Empire. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  12. ^ "No. 57032". The London Gazette (Supplement). 19 August 2003. p. 10318.
  13. ^ "New Royal Colonels appointed". British Monarchy. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  14. ^ "The Light Dragoons". Archived from the original on 2 February 2008. Retrieved 27 July 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  15. ^ Regiments and Commanding Officers, 1960–.


  • Light Dragoons: The Making of a Regiment By Allan Mallinson . Pen and Sword books . 362 pages . 2006. ISBN 1-84415-448-3

External links[edit]