Musicians have been on the establishment since very early times. The forebears of the 3rd Dragoon Guards and the Carabiniers, as Regiments of Horse, originally would have had trumpeters and kettledrums. The Scots Greys, however, as Dragoons, had ‘hautbois’ – an extremely loud ancestor of the modern oboe – and infantry pattern side drums which, when mounted, were carried on the saddle in front of the left knee. In 1696 it is recorded that the greys had 16 hautbois and 16 drummers and that already they were wearing a special uniform.
In full dress uniform the bandsmen and trumpeters are particularly distinctive since they wear a magnificent crimson bearskin plume which extends over the crest of the cap. Plumes of this size originated in the Scots Greys around 1830.
Before reading about the history of the Pipe Band further down the page see a short film of the Pipe Band playing 'Spirit of the Glen' which was nominated for the Classical BRIT awards, and has already been awarded two gold discs.
Click on the track below that you would like to listen to ...
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Cavalry regiments do not traditionally have Pipe Bands however The Royal Scots Greys established an unofficial ‘pipe band’ while serving in
In 1947 they were officially recognised by The War Office and King George VI, Colonel in Chief, sanctioned wearing the Royal Stewart tartan by the Grey’s pipers. Today each member of the Pipe Band is also a fully trained member of a tank crew, and their latest record ‘Spirit of the Glen’ in 2008 is nominated for the Classical BRIT Awards.
All three Regiments had their own Military bands during the 19th Century. At amalgamation in 1922 the Bands of the 3rd Dragoon Guards and 6th Dragoon Guards merged.
The Band of the Royal Scots Greys continued from the mid 19th Century until 1971 when another merger with the 3rd Carabiniers bands formed the Military Band of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys) this band continued until 1994 when with much sadness it was disbanded due to Government financial cuts.
Early records show that six Trumpeters on the strength of the 3rd Dragoon Guards in 1766. A kettle drummer in the 6th Dragoon Guards in 1768 and in 1766 Drummers in the Greys were ordered to be Trumpeters.