In Collaboration With Charles Griffin


Options For Change
In July 1990 the Secretary of State for Defence, Tom King, announced the government's outline proposals for force levels and structures. These were called Options for Change. Particular attention was paid to the Royal Armoured Corps which was now considered of less importance since the end of the Cold War. However, within 12 months British tanks were firing at Soviet-built tanks in the Gulf, and 'Options' was put on ice. But Operation Desert Storm did not change government thinking and in 1991 it was announced that the 19 cavalry regiments were to be reduced to 11. This reduction was greater than was feared.
The Name of the New Regiment
The senior hussar regiments had bagged the 'royal' tiles of Queen's Royal Hussars and King's Royal Hussars leaving a naming problem for the combined 13th/18th and 15th/19th. The loss of the Hussar name (and the royal title of King's from the 15th Hussars) must have been a bitter disappointment to many of the officers and former officers, especially those with an attachment to the old 15th and 18th Hussars. These two were amongst the few original hussar regiments dating back to the beginning of the 19th century, whereas the 13th and 19th had converted to hussars relatively recently, in 1861. But, the 15th and 18th had been light dragoons for 46 years prior to becoming hussars so the change to that title wasn't as inappropriate as it might at first have seemed.
Amalgamation, 1st Dec 1992
The announcement came in Feb 1992 in the House of Commons so that the title and date of amalgamation were established. Each regiment had to reduce its peacetime establishment by half, through transfer or discharge. There was much heartache over the redundancies, and the details of the new uniforms and badges had to be thrashed out. Brigadier Allan Mallinson, former CO of the 13th/18th, designed the badges and was involved with the decisions on uniform, music etc together with the Commanding officer of the new regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew Stewart.
The Balkans
The first tour of duty for active service was in Bosnia as part of the peace-keeping force. In May 1994, 2 Recce squadrons were in Bosnia in May 1994 to support the Duke of Wellington's Own Reg. and the R Anglians. D Squadron in Scimitars ventured north into the notorious Maglaj Finger where the Croats and Muslims were threatened on 3 sides by Bosnian Serb Army. The Light Dragoons carried out 14 Tours of duty in the Balkans in the 1990s, probably more than any other British unit. The following men were killed by a mine on 28th Jan 1996 at Titov Devar.

Trooper John Robert Kelly aged 21, from Silksworth, Sunderland. Trooper Andrew Ovington aged 25 from Easington Co Durham. Lieut Richard Wyndham Madden aged 25.

Iraq
The Light Dragoons toured twice in Iraq on Operation TELIC in 2003 and 2005. On 5th June 2005 they were in Al Muthanna Governate, Southern iraq and supplies were dropped to them from a Hercules C130J. They were there from July to October 2005. A foot patrol in As-Samawah resulted in the serious injury of Corporal Tony Duncan on 15th Sep 2005.
Afghanistan
The Light dragoons have served in Afghanistan in 2006 2007 2009 and 2012. In 2006 C Squadron spent 6 months in Helmand on Operation HERRICK 5 with 3 Commando Brigade RM. In April 2007 most of the regiment including elements of HQ Squadron, B Squadron complete and specialists from D Squadron deployed for 6 months in Afghanistan with 12 Mechanised Brigade on Operation HERRICK 6. In 2009 they were part of Operation Panther's Claw to push back the Taliban from an area of ground between Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital and the town of Gereshk. The regiment lost 6 men during the 6 month tour in 2009:

Lance Corporal Nigel Moffett
Lance Corporal David Dennis
Trooper Christopher Whiteside
Trooper Phillip Lawrence
Craftsman Anthony Lombardi
Lance Corporal Richard James

The last two named soldiers were from REME attached to the regiment. A memorial service was held at Norwich Cathederal on 3rd Dec.

Afghanistan 2012
Operation Panther's Claw
320 soldiers went out to Afghanistan in March 2012. A Formation Reconnaissance Squadron patrolled across the danger zone of Helmand. They were out on the road for up to 25 days at a time with the aim of disrupting the insurgents. A squadron was in the recce role for 12th Mechanised brigade and provided route security for convoys. They also provided training and mentoring for the Afghan National Police Force (Police Advisory Teams). They carried out 248 operations, searched 1,700 Afghan compounds and discovered over 3 tonnes of homemade explosives and other bomb-making equipment. They returned in Nov 2012. Sergeant Lee Davidson was killed on 9th Sep 2012. He was killed when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province.

On 7th Aug 2012 the LD discovered and destroyed a huge cache of bomb-making equipment in Helmand. Soldiers from A Squadron, known as 'the Empire', with Afghan Army personnel made the discovery.

Formation Reconnaissance (FR)
They operate up to 50 miles ahead of the main body. They are tasked with identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the enemy's defences and must locate the main thrust of the attack. They establish observation posts. They are equipped with Scimitars (CVR(T)), also Sultan Command and control vehicles and Samaritan field ambulances. 3 Squadrons (A B and C) each of 12 FV107 Scimitars and 4 FV103 Spartans. D Squadron has experts in demolitions, sniping, controlling fast jets (JTAC) and using the FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missile system. They intend to convert to Jackal mounted light cavalry in 2020
Badge
Badges
Official Name
The Light Dragoons
Motto
VIRET IN AETERNUM
It flourishes forever

MEREBIMUR
We shall be worthy

Depot
Robertson Barracks
Swanton Morley
Norfolk
Recruiting Area
Northeast England, Yorkshire and Norfolk
Regimental Marches
Balaklava
Ilkla Moor ba't'at
Blaydon Races
Regimental Anniversary
25th October (Balaklava)
Colonels in Chief
Princess of Wales 1992-1996
Princess Margaret 1997-2002
King Abdullah of Jordan 2003 -
Colonels
Lieutenant-General Sir Roderick Alexander Cordy-Simpson KBE CB
Commanding Officers
1992 -
Soldiers
1992 -
Roll of Honour
1992 -
Uniforms
1992 -
Guidon
1992 -
Pouchbelts
1992 -
Predecessor Units
13th Dragoons
(1715 - 1778)
13th Light Dragoons
(1778 - 1861)
18th Light Dragoons
(1759 - 1858)
13th Hussars
(1861 - 1922)
18th Royal Hussars
(1864 - 1922)
13th/18th Hussars
(1922 - 1992
Suggested Reading
History of the 13th/18th Royal Hussars, 1947-92
by Eric Hunt

Light Dragoons
by Allan Mallinson







by Stephen Luscombe