The 20th Light Dragoons sailed from the Cove of Cork to Portugal with Wellington’s expeditionary force.

Sergeant Lansheit, leading a 20th Light Dragoons’ patrol, discovered the French army on the march towards Vimiera Hill, which Wellington’s force was occupying. Landsheit reported personally to Wellington, thus sparking the first engagement of the Peninsular War on 21st August 1808. The Regiment charged infantry and cavalry successfully, but inexperience led them to charge too far and they were saved by the 50th Regiment of Foot. The 20th Light Dragoon’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Taylor, was killed in the charge.