5th Dragoon Guards: Colonels

5th Dragoon Guards


The Hon Sir William Ponsonby


Sir William Ponsonby famously led the Union Brigade in the charge of the heavies at Waterloo where he was killed by enemy lancers after being stuck in thick mud. He was born on 13th Oct 1772 the son of William Ponsonby, 1st Baron Ponsonby of Imokilly. He married Georgiana Fitzroy daughter of Lord Southampton. He was MP for Fethard, co Tipperary, and Londonderry after the Act of Union.

He commanded the 5th Dragoon Guards in the Peninsula War and took part in the charge at Salamanca in July 1812. Le Marchant was killed in the battle and Ponsonby took over command of the Heavy Brigade. He led them at Vittoria and the Battle of the Pyrenees, relinquishing command on 25th Jan 1814. The painting is by an unknown artist and is titled Major-General the Honourable Sir William Ponsonby (1772-1815) KCB. His cousin, Major-General the Honourable Sir Frederick Cavendish Ponsonby also fought at Waterloo and suffered badly after being wounded in the light cavalry action. He, however, survived.


Regimental details | Commanding Officers


Regimental details | Colonels


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by Stephen Luscombe