I am just reading Josef Zaluski's memoirs. He served in the Polish Light Horse of the Guard. After the fall of Madrid in December 1808 he has the following to say:
"Close to this town [Tordesillas] our regiment was directed to the left to observe the movements of the English army which Napoleon was already pursuing. Here we had a test against the English cavalry, which consisted mostly of Hanoverians, close to the village of Servinianos. From this village I was sent on patrol by the adjutant Major Duvivier with a platoon from the 5th Company, and was led into an English ambush by a Spanish guide. Having split my platoon into two units, the first one I sent to the right under the command of Sergeant [Józef] Waligórski, newly decorated with the Legion of Honour for having captured a flag at Somosierra, whilst the second one I sent a little to the left, having under me a Sergeant Wojnarowski, not yet decorated, but an old soldier. Soon we were attacked and chased back by superior English forces. In the confusion, young [Roch] Rzuchowski, brother of the famous colonel of Krakus Horse, had his saddle slip off his horse. It was almost a miracle that I with Wojnarowski managed to save this young man from English captivity. Then Squadron Commander Tomasz Łubieński and Captain [Seweryn] Fredro came to our rescue and repulsed the English horse, though Captain Fredro was wounded by an English sword, and Private [Michał] Żwan was taken captive by the English."
Is this skirmish ever mentioned by British eyewitnesses?
Depending on who is making the statement, such as the French, it was. Comments should be taken in the context of the times, and by who is saying it-not is what is accurate or not in the early 21st century.
I don't believe that there were any other Hanoverian units in the British Army other than the KGL.
great stuff - so officers of the Guard with British fur caps.
Could be. One Pole calls them Hanoverians. Another officer in the Polish Guard cavalry, Major Dautancourt, has this to say:
“On 30 December the regiment began its march along the river Céa, going along roads the condition of which was, due to the continuously falling rain, lamentable. The regiment reached Fuentes-de-Ropel, where we found Colonel Krasiński, and the detachment that had been sent off on the 26th under the orders of General Durosnel. That same evening, this unit clashed with a regiment of English hussars, crushed it, made good use of its sabres and sent if off in confusion. During the skirmish about 40 colpacks were captured (these were extremely beautiful hats ornamented with grey fur) and more or less the same number of beautiful and impressive sabres were also seized, and so, from that moment on, several of our officers began to use these instead."
so most likely the Königlich Deutsche Legion?