War Diaries Talk

Brigade Galloper ?

  • deehar by deehar

    In a nominal roll of the 4th Dragoon Guards one officer is described as Brigade Galloper. Anyone know what this means?
    I have found a reference to a 'galloper' as a light artillery piece used to protect cavalry in the 1800s. Is this it?


  • marie.eklidvirginmedia.com by marie.eklidvirginmedia.com

    'Gallopers' were light horsemen seconded to work as despatch riders, and a bit of a misnomer, there was no galloping. The rider had to hold his nerve, a horse needed to be allowed to choose its footing on the broken ground. See following link on google. Go down the article until you come to the heading Bullecourt and you will find the entry. Link: http://www.lancers.org.au/site/Light_Horse_France.asp

    A tip for finding a reference in a long article: On the page of article, Press Control key then F key, (Find). At the top right hand side of the article it will show a long white blank square. type in the word, for example (galloper) or what word reference you need, then press Enter and the word galloper will now be highlighted in colour in the text, enabling you to find it quickly.


  • deehar by deehar in response to marie.eklid@virginmedia.com's comment.

    Many thanks for the link. I hadn't found anything relevant. It is strange to see that the gallopers for the 4th Dragoon Guards were officers whereas the gallopers mentioned in your reference were ordinary troopers. You would have thought that it was unwise to send officers on risky and relatively low-level missions. Good tip about Control-F. I generally go to the browser menu!


  • ral104 by ral104 moderator, scientist

    The only references I can find to gallopers are just as Marie describes, although I have found one where the galloper is a Lieutenant.


  • David_Underdown by David_Underdown moderator

    A galloper (when an officer - I think an OR would normally just be referred to as an orderly) had a bit more discretion in carrying out his orders, historically it was almost being a temporary ADC, and as such representing the general an order issued by the galloper would be taken as the order fo the officer he was serving. This could have its problems, some say it was the additional verbla instructions given by the galloper Nolan in the Crimea that led to teh (in)famous Charge of the Light Brigade, with the general originally intending only that the cavalry should retake some guns the Russias had captured on the heights above them, instead, Nolan indicated that they should charge the Russian guns at the other end of the valley.


  • deehar by deehar in response to David_Underdown's comment.

    Thanks David. That makes sense for my galloper who appears to be one of the up-and-coming young lieutenants in the 4th Dragoon Guards.