The Royal Scots Greys

Lineage Page


On a tablet WATERLOO the Eagle of the French 45th Infantry Regiment captured by Sergeant Ewart.

Regiment - Year and Title

Regiment - Year and Title


Owing to constant disturbances and the threatening attitude of the Covenanters it was considered advisable, in the early part of 1678, to augment the military establishment and accordingly two troops of Dragoons were then added to the regular army, a third being raised later in the year. This was the beginning of the Royal Scots Greys.

In 1681 King Charles II by Royal Warrant authorised the raising of three more troops and formed the six troops into a regiment which was styled the "Royal Regiment of Scots Dragoons." The regiment wore coats of stone grey cloth.

During 1686-1687 the regiment was mainly engaged in hunting down persons who had been concerned in Argyll's rebellion but in 1694 it was sent to Flanders where it remained on active service for some four years until the conclusion of the Peace of Ryswick. In 1702 it was again on the Continent as part of the Allied army under Marlborough. At this time the regiment was generally known as the "Scots Greys" and was mounted on grey horses.

In 1704 the Greys won their first battle honour at Blenheim. At Ramillies in 1706 they defeated and captured many of the French Regiment du Roi, the French Grenadier Guards, and in honour of this were given the distinction of wearing the "Grenadier Cap", a tall mitre-shaped head-dress which was later altered to the bearskin cap. Among the wounded at Ramillies was the famous trooper Mrs. Christian Davies (commonly called "Mother Ross") who had served for four years in the regiment without her sex being discovered. She was awarded a pension of one shilling a day by Queen Anne and on her death on 7th July, 1739, she was buried with full military honours in the cemetery of Chelsea Hospital.

From 1707, when the Parliaments of Scotland and England were united, the regiment was known as "The Royal Regiment of North British Dragoons" and in 1713 it obtained rank as the 2nd Dragoons.

During the rebellion of 1715 the Greys took part in various engagements and won general admiration for their conduct at the battle of Sheriffmuir. In 1742 they were engaged in the War of the Austrian Succession and played a distinguished part at Dettingen, where they captured a white standard belonging to the French household troops, and at Fontenoy. In 1758 the Greys joined the Duke of Brunswick's army in Germany and were present at the battles of Bergen and Minden (1759) and Warburg (1760).

In 1768 the Greys were ordered to wear black bearskin caps with the Thistle within the circle of St. Andrew and the motto "Nemo me impune lacessit" on the front.

The Greys formed part of Ponsonby's Brigade during the Waterloo campaign of 1815. On receiving the order to advance at Waterloo they charged to shouts of " Scotland for ever!" and many of the Gordon Highlanders are alleged to have grasped the stirrups of the Greys to keep up with them. In the charge 2,000 prisoners were taken and Sergeant Ewart of the Greys captured the "Eagle" of the 45th French Infantry. For their services in this campaign the Greys received Royal permission to bear on their guidon the badge of an Eagle and the word " Waterloo."

In the Crimean War they were engaged at Sevastopol and took a prominent part in the charge of the Heavy Brigade in front of Balaclava in 1854.

In 1877 the title of the regiment was changed to "The Royal Scots Greys."

The regiment served throughout the South African War of 1899-1902, winning special commendation in the dash to the relief of Kimberley and at Paardeberg.

In the war of 1914-1918 the Greys took part in all the major battles on the Western Front and marched into Germany with the guidon at their head.

At the outbreak of the 1939-1945 war, the regiment was in Palestine. In 1941, when half the regiment fought in the Syrian campaign as lorried infantry, the Greys ceased to be "Cavalry of the Line" and joined the Royal Armoured Corps.

The Greys took a leading part in the fighting at Alamein and throughout the 1,500 miles to Tripoli, which they captured with the New Zealand Division. After serving in the Italian campaign, the regiment took part in severe fighting in Normandy and in the pursuit of the enemy across France and the Low Countries into Germany. On 2nd May, 1945, when the port of Wismar on the Baltic was captured, the Greys were the first British troops to meet the Russians.


Regimental Dress

In 1971 the Royal Scots Greys were amalgamated with the 3rd Carabiniers, Prince of Wales's Dragoon Guards. Their new title being the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards(Carabiniers and Greys).

Regimental Dress

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards are still an active serving regiment in the British Army.


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