This week’s postcard depicts the 1st Dragoon Guards, unusually bereft of their horses and changing guard on foot:
The 1st Dragoon Guards could trace their history back as far as 1685 and was to see service throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. By the time this postcard was produced, they had just completed service in the Boer War including using their mobility on the South African plains to chase down Boer General Christiaan de Wet. Here we see two lines of dragoons, with their distinctive metal helmets each mounting a tall horse hair plume. They wear white leather belts to hold the scabbards for their swords, which are drawn and carried at the slope:
Most men wear the black plume on their helmet, the trumpeter however has a white plume and can be seen carrying his trumpet by his side:
The Regiment had close ties with the Habsburg with Franz Joseph becoming Colonel in Chief in 1896. As such the regiment adopted the double headed Habsburg eagle as its cap badge and the Radetzky March as its regimental march. The Regiment’s cap badge can be seen superimposed over the photograph in the centre of the postcard:
The Regiment was in India at the start of World War One, but transferred to Europe in November 1914 and served on the Western Front until early 1917 when it was returned to India to serve out the rest of the war.