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wildlone ADD/Origins: The Rout of the Blues (38) RE: Lyr req: Rout of the Blues 08 Aug 05

The Blues

    A Brief history of the Blues and Royals

    The Blues and Royals were formed in 1969 from an amalgamation of The Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) and The Royal Dragoons (The Royals).

    The Royal Horse Guards trace their origins to a force raised by Cromwell prior to the second invasion of Scotland, but the parliamentary officers were replaced by royalists in 1660. The Regiment then saw almost continuous service in Flanders, the Boyne, the War of Austrian Succession and the Seven Years War during which the Regiment was commanded by the celebrated Marquis of Granby. The Regiment went on to see service during the Peninsular Campaign, fighting at the decisive Battle of Vittoria in 1813, and as part of the Household Cavalry Brigade at Waterloo. The Regiment was especially favoured by King George IV and, with the appointment of the Duke of Wellington as its Colonel, was elevated to the status of Household Cavalry in 1820.

    The Royal Dragoons trace their origins to a troop of horse raised by King Charles II in 1661 to form part of the garrison of Tangier. They became Dragoons on their return to England in 1683, the term Dragoon being derived from the 'dragon', a musket suitable for mounted infantry. The Regiment then served in the War of Spanish Succession, the War of Austrian Succession and in the Spanish Peninsula before performing with distinction at the Battle of Waterloo where the Regiment captured the Colour, surmounted by an eagle, of the French 105th infantry Regiment. This eagle is now commemorated in the Regimental cypher and worn on the left sleeve of all uniforms. The latter half of the 19th century saw them in action in the Crimea, the Boer War and in India before deploying to Flanders in 1914. The Regiment fought at Ypres, Loos, Hohenzollern and the Hindenburg Line in 1917. The inter-war years saw the Royal Dragoons stationed in Egypt, India and Palestine. They deployed to the Western Desert in 1941 seeing distinguished service at El Alamein. Operation Overlord in 1944 saw the Regiment in Normandy from where they liberated Copenhagen in 1945. The Regiment spent the post-war years in Egypt, Germany, Aden and Malaya before amalgamation in 1969.

    Meanwhile, the Royal Horse Guards were serving with the Household Cavalry Regiment in Egypt in 1882, the Sudan and South Africa. Like the Life Guards, the Blues saw action in the majority of major actions in France and Flanders during World War I. Likewise World War II saw the Regiment divided between the 1st and 2nd Household Cavalry Regiment in Palestine, Syria and the invasion of Normandy as reconnaissance troops for the Guards Armoured Brigade.

    History post-1945

    After the war the Regiment undertook tours in Germany, Cyprus and Windsor before amalgamating with the Royal Dragoons in 1969.

    Since then the Blues and Royals has served in Windsor, Northern Ireland, Germany and Cyprus, most notably providing the two armoured reconnaissance troops during the Falklands Campaign in 1982. The Regiment also had a squadron on operational duty with the UN in Bosnia in 1994/95. As a result of the Options for Change Review in 1991, the Regiment has, like the Life Guards, two recce squadrons in Windsor and a mounted ceremonial squadron in London.

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