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History

The Royal Dragoon Guards was formed on 1 August 1992, as a result of the amalgamation of the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards and the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards. Both these were in their turn the results of earlier amalgamations in the 1920s.

As both of these regiments were the result of amalgamations in the 1920s, the Royal Dragoon Guards now carries the traditions and history of four of the finest regiments in the British Cavalry

  • The 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards
  • The 5th Dragoon Guards
  • The 7th Dragoon Guards
  • The 6th Inniskilling Dragoons

All four were raised between 1685 and 1689, during the protracted contest between James II and William of Orange for the English throne.

The Regiment has played host to a number of illustrious figures over the years, including the likes of Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts movement and Captain Oates, a gallant member of Captain Scott’s ill-fated Antarctic expedition, for which 2012 is the centenary memorial year.
Over the last century the Regiment has earned Battle Honours for both the First and Second World Wars, and spent lengthy periods in Germany. Today it finds itself based in Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire.

In 2010 the regiment undertook its first tour of Afghanistan. Spread far and wide throughout Southern Afghanistan, the regiment served with distinction from Sangin in Northern Helmand, through Gereshk in the centre and Nad-e Ali in the South. Unsurprisingly, our role was diverse, including the Mastiff Group, a Ground Holding squadron, Viking Group and Force Protection.

Captain Oates

Captain Lawrence Oates served with the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons between 1900 and 1912. In 1911 he joined Captain Scott’s ill-fated expedition to the Antarctic. He was selected to accompany him on the final leg of the journey to the South Pole. On the return journey Oates began to suffer from severe frostbite to his feet. The swelling and intense pain almost paralysed him and he began to handicap the team’s chances of survival.

Oates realised that he was becoming a hindrance and on 17 March 1912, his 32nd birthday, he made the ultimate sacrifice and walked to his death. Oates left the shelter, uttering the immortal words, “I am going outside and may be some time.”

The descendent of Captain Oates’ 6th Inniskilling Dragoons, every St Patrick’s Day, The Royal Dragoon Guards still commemorate his extraordinary act of selfless bravery. 2012 marked the Centenary of this event and the Lord Lieutenant presented shamrocks to the regiment on the day itself. Further to this, nearly 100 personnel from across all ranks serving and past were invited to attend a commemorative service at St Pauls Cathedral to mark the date of the last passage in Captain Scott’s Diary, Sir David Attenborough and the Princess Royal delivering passages from the diary.

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