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Saffron
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When I joined this forum some commented on how I like researching items, and I openly admit that I do and an item that can be researched gets my attention so much more than a coin. So I was in my element today.

Not the best of starts as meant being up about 6 and leaving home soon after 6:30 for a 100 mile drive to Somerset :thumbdown:

But arrived to join our little group and straight away the chap in the next car who I had not seen since the start of the year said about me having lost weight (I believe him ... but not sure the scales would!) and enjoy the normal friendly banter :thumbsup:

I am not getting many "dig me" signals and being a bit fussy about deep "iffy" ones as ground is hard and sun soon starts to make itself felt.

But before long I get a button, but I like the look of it (hang on why have half the readers suddenly left this post ).

Its got numbers and letters on so almost certainly military. A quick wipe and "18 LD" is clearly visible. Hang on "LD" :?: yes "LD" have a think the only match I can think of is Light Dragoons, and their items are fairly rare .... so much so that although like most of us I have found a lot of military buttons and a few badges this would be my first Light Dragoons item :thumbsup:

My military knowledge is better than a lot but what do I know about Light Dragoons?, ..... errr ..... well they are a kind of light cavalry and that is about it ..... and I do not even know if there was an 18th.


Research hat on :D

Before the Seven Years War (1756 - 1763) it was being noted throughout Europe that existing regiments of Dragoons were expensive to raise and maintain and inflexible on the battlefield. Light regiments were being raised to counter these problems of price and maneuverability.

Light dragoons have always been rather special troops. They were first raised in the middle of the Eighteenth Century for reconnaissance and patrolling - in other words scouting - but soon acquired a reputation for courage and dash in the charge. Originally, each regiment of cavalry formed a light troop, but so successful was the idea that whole regiments were formed. The 15th Light Dragoons were the first ever (1759), and others quickly followed including the Eighteenth and Nineteenth.

These light dragoon regiments fought all over the world in the half-century that followed, notably in India and North America. They distinguished themselves under the Duke of Wellington in Spain and Portugal in the Napoleonic wars, and three of them were present at the battle of Waterloo (1815).

The Light Dragoons main distinction from their heavier cousins was in the type of horse employed. Rather than use the big and burly heavy cart cobs the Light Dragoons preferred the use of smaller, leaner hunter horses (under 15.1 hands). Originally, the Light Dragoons were not equipped with swords of any sort rather their main armament was a carbine that could have a bayonet fitted, pistols and an axe. They were trained to be able to fire from the saddle. Speed and agility (of rider and horse) were prized over strength and sturdiness. These attributes would prove to be valuable ones in the small scale actions common to colonial campaigns for a long time to come.


As you can see above yes there was an 18th Light Dragoons :thumbsup: :D

The regiment was first raised by Charles, Marquess of Drogheda as the 19th Regiment of (Light) Dragoons in 1759; it was also known as Drogheda's Light Horse. It was renumbered the 18th Regiment of (Light) Dragoons in 1763, and briefly the 4th Regiment of Light Dragoons in 1766 before reverting to the 18th in 1769. Arthur Wesley was briefly a junior officer in the regiment between October 1792 and April 1793. The regiment undertook a one-year tour in Saint-Domingue between February 1796 and February 1797. It was in action at the Battle of Bergen in September 1799 during the Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland.

In 1805 it took the title of the 18th (King's Irish) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons, named for George III, and redesignated as hussars in 1807, becoming the 18th (King's Irish) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons (Hussars).

Under its new title it charged the centre of the French position at the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815.


Unfortunately my camera is not working but there is similar version to mine on the https://asahelena.wixsite.com/militaryb ... d-dragoons site which confirms the date as 1763-1807 (as other sources above) but mine is identical to the attached image of the silver button below (sadly I do not think that mine is silver!).

Its very unusual, and being a first for me means I am happy :Party: :Party:

Some could say "Its just a button", which is correct ..... but its a button that is over 200 years old and can be dated to a narrow date range. It could even have been lost by a soldier that a few years latter charged the centre of the French position at the Battle of Waterloo.

However, I could imagine the soldier swearing when he realised that he had lost it, but there is no way that he could have imagined that over 200 years in the future somebody would dig it up and as a result learn all about the Light Dragoons and his unit. If he is looking down on me now I hope he has a smile on his face.

I also found a complete thimble, which will be claimed once somebody I know finds out as she collects thimbles!, and Victorian 1/2d and a George IV penny (both in good condition) ... but there were millions of them and you can not research them!.

Stopped for a pint and meal by the river once nearly home to finish a nice day out. Just proves its not all about the gold and silver.

Evan

Edit: above information taken from Wiki, Colchestertreasurehunting, Britishempire.co.uk
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Steve_JT
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It’s nice when something so simple as a button grabs your attention ( like other items) it leads to all sorts of knowledge, it’s a mark in time, the person loosing that button or item was there at that time, it could be an important reference, a good reminder not to dismiss such common items and what it may be associated with
Thanks for sharing :thumbsup:

Regards Steve
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Easylife
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Well found, I'm always pleased to find a different type of military button to what I have found before, and agree that through researching it you learn a lot that you would have never otherwise have known. :thumbsup:
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TerraBritannia
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That was a fascinating read and well done for doing the research and sharing it with us. :thumbsup:
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Bors
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Wasn`t it a Light Dragoon lot led by Jason Issacs that killed the Grey Ghosts Son ( Heath Ledger) in the 2000 film release of "The Patriot" ???
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You were well rewarded for braving the very hot weather yesterday! Great write up and very jealous about the riverside pub meal - that sounded lovely :D
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Bors
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Excellent post Efan & so interesting to read. Well done ! :thumbsup:
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Dave The Slave
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Thoroughly enjoyed reading that and the time you put into the research , Evan
Some people knock buttons, i don`t because one day apart from indiscript rust , a simple 4 hole button is welcome .
Now a button with a letter or number on, sets you off on a research journey if you are that way inclined.
The first week of January, on a freezing cold day found my only recordable item of the season, that was a button. Lucky that it had survived well and had the full inscription on the front of the Militia it represented.. No problem at all having it recorded despite being Napoleonic era, to quote the FLO, " I always record local militia buttons, as they are of considerable local interest. With regards to your example, I think the maker’s mark reads FIRMIN & WESTALL / 153 STRAND which dates it to the period you suggest, 1794-1811. The crown and lettering style is also correct for this period. There were a huge number of local volunteer militias being formed to counter the Napoleonic threat – the fact that so little is known about this unit makes the recording of this button particularly important! "
Through research still ongoing, can pinpoint the date they were raised to 1803, also have the names of the initial Officers and then subsequent ones and promotions. Working in tandem with the local Historical Group, matches have been made with local villagers.
All due to a lowly button but if we never found them or did not do research upon finding them we would not know if any information was in the public domain.
Well done on your find and as ever your extensive research. :thumbsup:
Dave.
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Saffron
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Dave The Slave wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:37 am Thoroughly enjoyed reading that and the time you put into the research , Evan
Some people knock buttons, i don`t because one day apart from indiscript rust , a simple 4 hole button is welcome .
Now a button with a letter or number on, sets you off on a research journey if you are that way inclined.
The first week of January, on a freezing cold day found my only recordable item of the season, that was a button. Lucky that it had survived well and had the full inscription on the front of the Militia it represented.. No problem at all having it recorded despite being Napoleonic era, to quote the FLO, " I always record local militia buttons, as they are of considerable local interest. With regards to your example, I think the maker’s mark reads FIRMIN & WESTALL / 153 STRAND which dates it to the period you suggest, 1794-1811. The crown and lettering style is also correct for this period. There were a huge number of local volunteer militias being formed to counter the Napoleonic threat – the fact that so little is known about this unit makes the recording of this button particularly important! "
Through research still ongoing, can pinpoint the date they were raised to 1803, also have the names of the initial Officers and then subsequent ones and promotions. Working in tandem with the local Historical Group, matches have been made with local villagers.
All due to a lowly button but if we never found them or did not do research upon finding them we would not know if any information was in the public domain.
Well done on your find and as ever your extensive research. :thumbsup:
Dave.
I love that story Dave, many thanks for sharing.

As the Flo said there were lots of local militias being formed during that period when we feared an invasion by Napoleon. These were normally formed by a member of the local gentry, who often had a miltary background, and consisted of local men (I would not use the word "volunteers"!), so by using any existing records of the militia and combining them with other local records its often possible to build up a much fuller picture of the units.

A fascinating line of research. Do please do a write up for us when the research is finished.

Evan
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Thanks for the research and write up Evan, I’d vaguely heard of the Light Dragoons but other than that, know nothing about them, very interesting.

Kev
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Ladybird66
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A few years back I had an unusual find of buttons. Several General Service buttons, different sizes, all tied together on a strip of thin leather.
They piqued my curiosity so started doing a bit of research, seems they were part of the kit allotted to the troops together with one or two others bits & pieces, all together in a kit back pack.
My attention then turned to the land itself where I’d found several domestic items which suggested a former residence.
Eventually I had, more or less, a complete picture of a house, a family, children, names and ages from 1900’s census. It was apparent from the ages that only one male would be a volunteer for WW1. And like so many, he didn’t survive. But his siblings did and I traced one through Ancestry to America.
A lady, asking for information about a family living in,,,,you know the sort of thing. I was so excited about it. I sent a reply through my Hubbies membership giving details of my research and sat back and waited for an equally excited reply.
It never came ! The Surname is one very common to the area so I held back from starting an Heir Hunters job. But I had a huge amount of enjoyment out of the experience. So no, I never knock a button find with anything on it.
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Mucky
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Very interesting and informative post.. Thanks for that. :thumbsup:
I know we all snarl a little bit when we find buttons, but the gems are in there! Personally, I don't count any button I find as a crap find.
I find it hard not to think of someone in the past looking at their jacket and thinking "Bloody hell I've lost a button!".
No matter how trivial.. If you're not finding much, sometimes a button will do. :D
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