Medals of the Regiments:
2nd Life Guards

2nd Life Guards, GVR bronzed and brass cap badges. Kipling and King 728

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  2nd Life Guards
1788 - 1922
Earliest recognised formation: 1788, as the 1st Regiment of Life Guards, which came in to being during the reorganisation of the two troops of Horse Guards and two troops of Horse Grenadier Guards, the 2nd Life Guards being composed of the 2nd troop of each of these two earlier units.  These earlier units trace their origin back to 1661 as Royal mounted bodyguards.
Motto: Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense
Regimental Journal:  The Household Brigade Magazine
WWI: Battle Honours; 28 Victoria Crosses; 0 Died; 139
Amalgamated: 1922 with the 1st Life Guards to form The Life Guards

Peninsula War 1808 - 1814

Military General Service Medal 1793 - 1814 clasps:

Total Medals Max clasps
952 6478


Battle Honour: Peninsula.


Battle of Waterloo 1815

Waterloo Medal 1815

Number: 188

Casualties 16th, 17th & 18th June 1815 (extracted London Gazette 8/7/1815 & "Medals of the British Army: And how they were won" T. Carter 1861*)

Officers: 1 Captain killed, 1 Lieutenant missing

*Sergeants, Trumpeters, Drummers, Farriers and Rank and File:

Wounded Missing
Died of wounds Suffered amputation Discharged Transferred to Veteran or Garrison Battalions Rejoined the Regiment Remaining in hospitals in April 1816 Total Rejoined the RegimentNot since heard of, supposed dead.
15 7 1 5 - 44 - 57 35 63

Horses:  100,  21 wounded,  25 missing.

*Carter's figures are in turn extracted from the return prepared by the Adjutant-Generals office, 13th April 1816.

Battle Honour;  Waterloo.


Egypt Campaign 1882  (as part of the Household Cavalry Regiment with the 1st Life Guards and the Royal Horse Guards)

Egypt and Sudan Medal 1882-89

Clasp: ...none...


Total medals
Number: 58* 102 160**
View the Roll

3 dead on the roll.   

* final number may be reduced by the second campaign below.

**clasps and total corrected for forfeited

Recipients also entitled to a Khedive's Star dated 1882

Battle Honours: Tel-el-Kebir, Egypt 1882


The Nile Expedition 1884-5   49 served in the Heavy Camel Regiment.

Egypt and Sudan Medal 1882-89


The Nile 1884 -85

Abu Klea

Number: ? 38


Recipients who had not served in the earlier 1882 campaign would also be entitled to a Khedive's Star dated 1884-6



South African War 1899 - 1902 or "Boer War"  (Main Body, Dec 1899 -November 1900 as part of the Household Cavalry Regiment with the 1st Life Guards and the Royal Horse Guards)

Queen's South Africa Medal 1899-1902.



Cape Colony


Defence of Mafeking


Defence of Ladysmith

Relief of Ladysmith

number: 118 2 2 2 1 7

Tugela Heights

Relief of Kimberley


Orange Free State



number: 4 155 155 52 154 52




Diamond Hill


South Africa 1901

South Africa 1902

Total Medals
number: 122 67 111 2 12 283
View the Roll


Officers NCOs and Men
KIA & DOW Wounded Death from disease KIA & DOW Death from disease Wounded Missing / POW
1 1 2 3 11 14 (12 captured at Sanna's post and released)

Battle Honours:  Relief of Kimberley; Paardeburg; South Africa 1899-1900.


The Great War 1914 - 1918  Served France and Flanders


One squadron of the Regiment arrived  France 16th August 1914 as a component of  the Household Cavalry Composite Regiment, with squadrons from the 1st Life Guards and Royal Horse Guards. This configuration was broken up 11th November 1914 and the advance squadron reunited with the remainder of the regiment which had arrived in theatre 7th November 1914.  On the 10th March 1918 the regiment was converted to No.2 (2nd Life Guards) Battalion, Guards Machine Gun Regiment. The regiment returned to its normal cavalry designation in 1919.


Men landed France and Flanders prior to 1/1/1916 entitled to a 1914 or 1914-15 Star as appropriate. Also the British War Medal & Victory Medal


Soldiers/Officers Died records 119 other ranks and 18 officer deaths with the 2nd LG and No.2, (2LG) Btn. GMGR.

Battle Honours: Mons; Le Cateau; Marne 1914; Aisne 1914; Messines 1914; Ypres 1914, 1915, 1917; Somme 1916, 1918; Arras 1917, 1918; Hindenburg Line; France and Flanders 1914-18. Retreat from Mons; Armentières 1914; Langemarck 1914; Gheluvelt; Nonne Bosschen; St Julien; Frezenberg; Albert 1916; Scarpe 1917, 1918; Broodseinde; Poelcapelle; Passchendaele; Bapaume 1918; Epéhy; St Quentin Canal; Beaurevoir; Cambrai 1918; Selle.


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Selected Links

The Regimental Museum. (Located in )                               


Additional Bibliography for this Page.

Author/Compiler Title Publisher
Officers of the Regiment. Unpublished rolls in the care of the National Archives; WO 100/ etc. -
  Additional bibliography same as Northumberland Fusiliers page  



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Guide to British Medals

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