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In 1702 the Royal Regiment of Scots Dragoons, 4th Horse and the Carabiniers embarked for Flanders to join Anglo-Dutch forces under the command of John Churchill, the Duke of Marlborough.

When Marlborough’s troops marched to the Danube in 1704, the Scots Dragoons saw action at the Schellenberg near the Bavarian town of Donauwörth, site of a strategically important bridge over the river. After the allied infantry was repulsed, the Scots Dragoons dismounted to assault the fortified heights above the town. The following month they fought as cavalry against the Franco-Bavarian army at the Battle of Blenheim. An eyewitness account of the battle made the first recorded reference to the regiment as 'Grey Dragoons'. They later fought at Oudernarde in 1708 and the bloody Battle of Malplaquet in 1709.   The 4th Horse and the Carabiniers also marched in Marlborough’s ranks to the Danube and fought alongside the Scots Dragoons at the Battle of Schellenberg and the other major engagements of the war. At Blenheim, the Colonel of the 4th Horse, Cornelius Wood, led his troops along with the Carabiniers and 7th Horse in a cavalry charge against the Franco-Bavarian defenders. Repeated charging throughout the day held the opposing cavalry at bay and allowed the allied infantry to surround the village, forcing the French commander Marshal Tallard to surrender. The 4th Horse is said to have captured the kettledrums and standard Elector of Bavaria’s Guard at the Battle of Ramillies in 1706. At Malplaquet the 4th Horse and the Carabiniers charged together again, helping to secure a costly allied victory.

Battle of Malplaquet, 11 September 1709, waterclour by Richard Simkin, c. 1900.
Image courtesy of the National Army Museum, London

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