Scotland's only cavalry regiment, the Royal Scots Greys were descended from the Royal Regiment of Scots Dragoons. The regiment saw active service in many major conflicts fought by the British Army, from the Jacobite risings to the Napoleonic Wars. But World War I marked the beginning of the end for cavalry regiments which were phased out after the introduction of mechanised warfare.


  • Originally made up of three independent troops of dragoons formed in 1668, they later merged with three other troops to form the Royal Regiment of Scots Dragoons in 1681.
  • Earliest postings were to maintain law and order in Scotland in the run-up to the Jacobite rebellions.
  • In 1693, when William III inspected the troops, the whole regiment appeared mounted on grey-coated horses and became known as the 'Grey Dragoons' or the 'Scots Regiment of Grey Dragoons'.
  • These names were incorporated into its official title in 1877 when it was renamed the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys).

Facts and figures


Following an infamous charge into battle during the Battle of Waterloo, Ensign Charles Ewart managed to capture the regimental eagle of the 45e Régiment de Ligne (45th Regiment of the Line), and their reputation as the 'Bird Catchers' was confirmed.

Apparently on account of a fondness for champagne, the regiment was also known as the 'Bubbly Jocks'.

Official motto

Nemo Me Impune Lacessit (No one Attacks Me With Impunity)

Unofficial motto

Nulli Secundus (Second to None)


Many regiments have their own marches which were traditionally used to rally the troops and boost morale before battle.

  • Heilan' Laddie (quick band)
  • The Garb of Old (slow band)
  • My Home (pipes and drums

World War I

  • In 1914, armed with Lee Enfield rifles and new swords, the regiment was reorganised into three squadrons each consisting of four troops.
  • Initially assigned to the 5th Cavalry Brigade, commanded by Brigadier PW Chetwode, it was soon expanded into the 2nd Cavalry Division under the command of Brigadier-General Gough.
  • The Scots Greys and the other cavalry regiments of the 5th Brigade would remain with the 2nd Cavalry Division for the rest of the war.
  • 26 battle honours were awarded.

Discover more at the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Museum.

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