Confidential Report of the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards inspected by Major General Sir Henry Fane February 1815
This Corps has been singly commanded by Colonel Sir Jn Elley since its return to England. It is at present under the orders of Lieut Colonel Althorpe. Due attention appears to have been paid to its equipment and discipline.
Field Officers & Officers of Troops
None of the officers appear from age, or any other infirmity, to be unfit for the service. The Subalterns with whom I had occasion to converse, did not appear particularly well acquainted with the details of their duty. The Captains seem properly acquainted with the interior economy of their troops, and competent to the command of them. Unanimity and good understanding are said by the Commanding Officer to prevail in the Corps; and he receives such support from his officers as he is entitled to expect.
The Adjutant and Quarter Master
The Adjutant is a very intelligent Officer, and appears fully competent to the discharge of his duties. A regimental Quarter Master does not belong to the establishment of the Regiment. The Adjutant keeps the books of both departments, and they are regularly kept in conformity to regulation.
Troop Serjeant Majors
The troop Quarter Master in this Corps are commissioned Officers; they appear to understand the interior concerns of their troops.
The Non-commissioned Officers are properly instructed, and each Corporal is in possession of a printed copy of the abstract of the rules and regulations.
The Trumpeters are perfect in their different soundings.
The Band is excellent, and plays in correct time. Their number is not limited according to regulation.
The Privates are a fine body of men, clean and in health. The number in the ranks correspond with the returns.
The Corps and Regimental books are kept in a proper manner and answering to the established regulations. The former are signed by the men; and the commanding officers of troops are always present at the settling periods, and countersign each account.
The Regimental necessaries supplied, appear of proper quality, and to be charged at fair prices. The schedule in the warrant of 1812, is not considered by the regiment to be applicable to them, and therefore its ***** are not attended to.
No complain of any kind was made to me.
Men proposed to be disch’d and horses to be Cast.
Returns of one man proposed to be discharged and of the Horses proposed to be cast, accompany this report.
The Horses are in good condition and, generally speaking, of sufficient size and strength. Proper exertion is making to compleat their training [sic].
The Riding Master conducts his drills with propriety and appears painstaking and intelligent.
Forage has been supplied by the contractor of satisfactory quality, and it is issued under the superintendence of a troop Quarter Master.
It is hardly necessary to observe that the original formation of this corps differs much from that of the Line; and the Regulations for the line are not be considered to be applicable to it. They therefore act in various cases according to regulations of their own; which regulations may be seen in their standing orders, issued by Lieut Colonel Sir Robt Hill, dated Windsor 1812. They have adopted the manual of platoon exercise for the light Dragoons; and various alterations have been made in the “Rules and regulations for the field exercise and movements of the Cavalry”.
Their Courts Martial have been more numerous than in many other regiments, since , since their return to England. They frequently sentence two, and sometimes three, Picketings. Their forms of proceedings have been perfectly correct.
The regimental Hospital appears to be conducted with much propriety, and according to regulation in every respect.
The Veterinary Surgeon is stated by the commanding officer to be a good one, and equal to the duties of his situation. I chanced to see two horses shoeing at the forge, both of whose Frogs had been cut until the bled, and whose shoes had been put on so hot as to burn the hoofs. This last, the Veterinary Surgeon told me, was his practice; and the only way in which a horse could be will shod. It may be right to refer this mated to be discussed by Mr Coleman. But one contagious disease has appeared in the regiment for some time; a case of Farry which has been entirely cured.
Clothing, accoutrements and appointments.
The clothing of the officers is not uniform; nor according to the regulations for the line. The men whom I saw in Marching order appeared in what is called their second clothing, the clothing of 1811, several suits of which were most exceedingly bad. The Clothing of the present period is kept in store and given out only to be worn on a Sunday. The articles supplied differ in several respects from the regulations for the Corps, and in instances have been issued to the men for 1813. An extra pair of overalls have been issued instead.
The accoutrements and appointments are in good condition. The Clasps of the Sword Belts are totally different from those of the line. The men’s saddle bags are leather; of the old pattern, and some men are without any; owing, as is stated, to the regiment being uncertain what pattern they are to adopt.
The Arms of the four troops at head Quarters were in good repair and clean. Those of the troops detached at Reading, were not in the order they should have been. They are all regularly marked.
The regimental School is properly established, and the school master appears competent to the duties of his situation.
The Barrack at Windsor is attended by a Chaplain’ who performs his duties in a satisfactory manner.
This Corps belonging to the Household troops and the regulations issued for the line not being deemed applicable to them I have refrained from issuing such orders as I should otherwise have considered it my duty to have done.