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Richard Simkin (1840-1926) - Charge of the 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays)
  • Richard Simkin (1840-1926) - Charge of the 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays)

    This highly detailed watercolour of the 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays) charging is a superb example of Simkin's work as a military artist. At the front there are two officers leading the charge who have various distinctions including gold stripes on their trousers instead of white.


    'The 2nd Dragoon Guards were raised from some of the independent troops of horse which came into being at the time of the Monmouth Rebellion in 1685, and which were formed into the Earl of Peterborough's Regiment of Horse. At that time it ranked as the 3rd Horse, and in 1727 the Queen's Own Royal Regiment of Horse. In 1746 it was converted to the 2nd or Queen's Dragoon Guards. In 1872 the title was changed to the 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays). In 1920 the title rearranged itself to the Queen's Bays (2nd Dragoon Guards), and then in 1959, on amalgamation with the King's Dragoon Guards, it became the 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards.' [1]


    The 2nd Dragoon Guards were an important regiment in the 19th century for the British Army. They joined the Army of Occupation on the continent after the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Afterwards they were given policing and garrison duties back at home before being deployed to India in 1857 after the outbreak of mutiny on the sub-continent. They were integral to the capture of Lucknow in 1858. For the rest of the 19th century the regiment were stationed in India or were on home duty. They were later deployed to the Boer War in 1901 where they took part in the anti-guerrilla operations. 


    This watercolour by Simkin drawn in 1874 most likely depicts a military exercise completed by the 2nd Dragoon Guards that the artist witnessed in person. During this period the regiment were split between home duties and being garrisoned in India.


    Medium: watercolour on paper, signed l.r. 'R. Simkin 1874', 23 x 40cm, framed.


    Provenance: Private Collection, U.K.




    [1] W. Y. Carman, 'Richard Simkin's Uniforms of the British Army: The Calvary Regiments', Webb & Bower: Exeter, 1982, p.36.


    Condition report: the watercolour is in excellent condition for its age. There is a small bit of time staining on the mount and the frame shows some wear, please see photographs.

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