Yeomanry
Overview
 
Yeomanry is a designation used by a number of units or sub-units of the British Territorial Army, descended from volunteer cavalry
Cavalry
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the third oldest and the most mobile of the combat arms...

 regiments. Today, Yeomanry units may serve in a variety of different military roles.
In the 1790s, the threat of invasion of the Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 was high, after the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 and the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte. To improve the country's defences, volunteer regiments were raised in many counties from yeomen
Yeoman
Yeoman refers chiefly to a free man owning his own farm, especially from the Elizabethan era to the 17th century. Work requiring a great deal of effort or labor, such as would be done by a yeoman farmer, came to be described as "yeoman's work"...

.
Encyclopedia
Yeomanry is a designation used by a number of units or sub-units of the British Territorial Army, descended from volunteer cavalry
Cavalry
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the third oldest and the most mobile of the combat arms...

 regiments. Today, Yeomanry units may serve in a variety of different military roles.

History

In the 1790s, the threat of invasion of the Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 was high, after the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 and the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte. To improve the country's defences, volunteer regiments were raised in many counties from yeomen
Yeoman
Yeoman refers chiefly to a free man owning his own farm, especially from the Elizabethan era to the 17th century. Work requiring a great deal of effort or labor, such as would be done by a yeoman farmer, came to be described as "yeoman's work"...

. While the word "yeoman
Yeoman
Yeoman refers chiefly to a free man owning his own farm, especially from the Elizabethan era to the 17th century. Work requiring a great deal of effort or labor, such as would be done by a yeoman farmer, came to be described as "yeoman's work"...

" in normal use meant a small farmer who owned his land, Yeomanry officers were drawn from the nobility or the landed gentry, and many of the men were the officers' tenants or had other forms of obligation to the officers. These regiments became known collectively as the Yeomanry. Members of the yeomanry were not obliged to serve overseas without their individual consent.

During the first half of the nineteenth century Yeomanry Regiments were used extensively in support of the civil authority
Civil authority
Civil authority is that apparatus of the state other than its military units that enforces law and order. It is also used to distinguish between religious authority and secular authority...

 to quell riots and civil disturbances, including the Peterloo Massacre
Peterloo Massacre
The Peterloo Massacre occurred at St Peter's Field, Manchester, England, on 16 August 1819, when cavalry charged into a crowd of 60,000–80,000 that had gathered to demand the reform of parliamentary representation....

; as police forces were created and took over this role, the Yeomanry concentrated on local defence.

During the Second Boer War
Second Boer War
The Second Boer War was fought from 11 October 1899 until 31 May 1902 between the British Empire and the Afrikaans-speaking Dutch settlers of two independent Boer republics, the South African Republic and the Orange Free State...

 companies of Imperial Yeomanry
Imperial Yeomanry
The Imperial Yeomanry was a British volunteer cavalry regiment that mainly saw action during the Second Boer War. Officially created on 24 December 1899, the regiment was based on members of standing Yeomanry regiments, but also contained a large contingent of mid-upper class English volunteers. In...

 were formed to serve overseas from volunteers from the Yeomanry. In 1901 all yeomanry regiments were redesignated as "Imperial Yeomanry", and reorganised.

In 1908 the Imperial Yeomanry was merged with the Volunteer Force
Volunteer Force (Great Britain)
The Volunteer Force was a citizen army of part-time rifle, artillery and engineer corps, created as a popular movement in 1859. Originally highly autonomous, the units of volunteers became increasingly integrated with the British Army after the Childers Reforms in 1881, before forming part of the...

 to form the Territorial Force
Territorial Force
The Territorial Force was the volunteer reserve component of the British Army from 1908 to 1920, when it became the Territorial Army.-Origins:...

, of which it became the cavalry arm. The "Imperial" title was dropped at the same time.

Following the First World War the Territorial Force was redesignated as the Territorial Army. Following the experience of the war, only the fourteen senior yeomanry regiments retained their horses, with the rest being reroled as armoured car companies, artillery
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

, engineers, or signals. Two regiments were disbanded. The converted units retained their yeomanry traditions, with some artillery regiments having individual batteries representing different yeomanry units.

On the eve of the Second World War the Territorial Army was doubled in size, with duplicate units formed; this led to some regiments being de-amalgamated. The last mounted regiment of yeomanry was the Queen's Own Yorkshire Dragoons
Queen's Own Yorkshire Dragoons
The Queen's Own Yorkshire Dragoons was a unit of the British Army from 1794–1956.The regiment was formed as volunteer cavalry in 1794 during the French Revolutionary Wars. It was converted to an armoured role during World War II. In 1956 it merged with two other Yorkshire yeomanry regiments...

, who were converted to an armoured role in March 1942. Volunteers from the Yeomanry served in the Long Range Desert Group
Long Range Desert Group
The Long Range Desert Group was a reconnaissance and raiding unit of the British Army during the Second World War. The commander of the German Afrika Corps, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, admitted that the LRDG "caused us more damage than any other British unit of equal strength".Originally called...

 from 1940 through to 1943, incorporated into "Y Patrol".

There were reductions in the size of the TA in 1957 and 1961 and this led to amalgamation of some pairs of yeomanry regiments. There was a major reduction in reserve forces in 1967 with the formation of the Territorial and Army Volunteer Reserve, and all existing yeomanry regiments were reduced to squadron, company or battery sub-units. A number of further reorganisations have taken place since then.

Current Yeomanry Regiments

Today, in the modern Territorial Army, there are many former Yeomanry regiments serving in one form or another, usually as a squadron/battery that is part of a larger unit:

Royal Armoured Corps

Royal Yeomanry
Royal Yeomanry
The Royal Yeomanry is an armoured regiment of the Territorial Army consisting of five squadrons and a military band:*A Squadron *B Squadron...

  • Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry
    Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry
    The Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry was a Yeomanry regiment of the Kingdom of Great Britain and the United Kingdom established in 1794. It was disbanded as an independent Territorial Army unit in 1967, a time when the strength of the TA was greatly reduced...

     (Prince of Wales's Own)
  • Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry
    Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry
    The Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry is one of the five squadrons of the Royal Yeomanry , an armoured regiment of the Territorial Army. Designated as 'S' Squadron, the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry's current role is to support the Formation Reconnaissance Regiments and the Joint Chemical Biological Nuclear...

  • Leicestershire and Derbyshire (Prince Albert's Own) Yeomanry
  • Kent and Sharpshooters Yeomanry
    Kent and Sharpshooters Yeomanry
    The Kent and Sharpshooters Yeomanry is a unit of the Territorial Army that was formed in 1961 as the Kent and County of London Yeomanry by the amalgamation of two yeomanry regiments, the 297 Regt, Royal Artillery and the 3rd/4th County of London Yeomanry...

  • Westminster Dragoons
    Westminster Dragoons
    The Westminster Dragoons are central London’s only Territorial Army cavalry unit. One of the Royal Yeomanry's five squadrons, their current role is to support the Formation Reconnaissance Regiments and the Joint Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Regiment on operations by providing...

  • Inns of Court and City Yeomanry
    Inns of Court and City Yeomanry
    Known by its new title since 2009, the Inns of Court & City and Essex Yeomanry is a Royal Signals squadron in the British Territorial Army with its headquarters in Chancery Lane, London...



Royal Wessex Yeomanry
Royal Wessex Yeomanry
The Royal Wessex Yeomanry is an armoured regiment of the British Territorial Army consisting of four squadrons, each of which bears the cap badge of an old yeomanry regiment:*B Squadron*A Squadron...

  • Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry
    Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry
    The Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry was a Yeomanry regiment of the Kingdom of Great Britain and the United Kingdom established in 1794. It was disbanded as an independent Territorial Army unit in 1967, a time when the strength of the TA was greatly reduced...

     (Prince of Wales's Own)
  • Royal Gloucestershire Hussars
    Royal Gloucestershire Hussars
    The Royal Gloucestershire Hussars was a unit of the British Army.Raised in 1795 following William Pitt's 1794 order to raise volunteer bodies of men to defend Great Britain, through various re-organisations, the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars remain today on the establishment of the Territorial...

  • Royal Devon Yeomanry
    Royal Devon Yeomanry
    The Royal Devon Yeomanry was a Yeomanry regiment of the British Army, first raised in 1794, it participated in the Boer War, World War I and World War II and now forms a squadron of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry.-History:...

  • Queen's Own Dorset Yeomanry
    Queen's Own Dorset Yeomanry
    The Queen's Own Dorset Yeomanry was founded as the Dorsetshire Regiment of Volunteer Yeomanry Cavalry in 1794. In response to the growing threat of invasion during the Napoleonic wars....



Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry
Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry
The Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry is a yeomanry regiment of the United Kingdom's Territorial Army. It currently serves in the armoured replacement role, providing replacement tank crews for regular armoured regiments....

  • Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire Yeomanry
  • Shropshire Yeomanry
    Shropshire Yeomanry
    The Shropshire Yeomanry was a yeomanry regiment of the British Army, first raised in 1795, which served as a cavalry and dismounted infantry regiment in the First World War and as a cavalry and an artillery regiment in the Second World War, before being amalgamated with the Shropshire Royal Horse...

  • Cheshire Yeomanry
    Cheshire Yeomanry
    The Cheshire Yeomanry was a yeomanry regiment that can trace its history back to 1797 when Sir John Fleming Leicester of Tabley raised a county regiment of light cavalry in response to the growing fears of invasion from Napoleonic France....

     (Earl of Chester's)
  • Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry
    Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry
    The Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry has its origins in the various troops of light horse raised in the eighteenth century in the county of Lancaster, the earliest of which was the Bolton Light Horse formed in 1798....



Queen's Own Yeomanry
Queen's Own Yeomanry
The Queen's Own Yeomanry is an armoured regiment of the British Territorial Army. The Queen's Own Yeomanry is the only Yeomanry regiment that serves in the formation reconnaissance role, equipped with the CVR family of armoured reconnaissance vehicles, including Scimitar and Spartan.On...

  • Yorkshire Yeomanry
  • Ayrshire (Earl of Carrick's Own) Yeomanry
    Ayrshire (Earl of Carrick's Own) Yeomanry
    The Ayrshire Yeomanry was a Regiment of the British Yeomanry and is now an armoured Squadron of the Queen's Own Yeomanry , part of the British Territorial Army...

  • Northumberland Hussars
    Northumberland Hussars
    The Northumberland Hussars is a Squadron of The Queen's Own Yeomanry is an armoured Squadron of the British Territorial Army. It is part of a Formation Reconnaissance Regiment, equipped with the FV107 Scimitar and FV103 Spartan type armoured reconnaissance vehicles...

  • Fife and Forfar Yeomanry/Scottish Horse
    Fife and Forfar Yeomanry/Scottish Horse
    The Fife & Forfar Yeomanry/Scottish Horse is a Yeomanry Squadron of the Queen's Own Yeomanry part of the British Territorial Army. It was formed following the amalgamation of the The Fife and Forfar Yeomanry and The Scottish Horse regiments....

  • North Irish Horse
    North Irish Horse
    The North Irish Horse is a yeomanry unit of the British Territorial Army raised in the northern counties of Ireland in the aftermath of the Second Boer War...


Infantry

Royal Regiment of Scotland
  • Lovat Scouts
    Lovat Scouts
    The Lovat Scouts were a British Army unit. The unit was first formed during the Second Boer War as a Scottish Highland yeomanry regiment of the British Army and is the first known military unit to wear a ghillie suit...


Royal Welsh
Royal Welsh
The Royal Welsh was formed on St David's Day, 1 March 2006. It is one of the new large infantry regiments of the British Army, and the regiment's formation was announced on 16 December 2004 by Geoff Hoon and General Sir Mike Jackson as part of the restructuring of the infantry.-Formation:The...

  • Denbighshire Hussars
    Denbighshire Hussars
    The Denbighshire Hussars was a unit of the British Army from 1794–1921. It saw service in the First World War before being merged into a unit of the Royal Artillery.-Early history:...

  • Flintshire and Denbighshire Yeomanry

Royal Signals
Royal Corps of Signals
The Royal Corps of Signals is one of the combat support arms of the British Army...

Independent Squadrons
  • Royal Buckinghamshire Yeomanry
    Royal Buckinghamshire Yeomanry
    The Royal Buckinghamshire Yeomanry was formed in 1794, when King George III was on the throne and William Pitt the Younger was the Prime Minister, of Great Britain. Across the English Channel, Britain was faced by a French nation which had recently guillotined its King and which possessed a...

     (Royal Bucks Hussars)


32 (Scottish) Signal Regiment
  • Lanarkshire and Glasgow Yeomanry

33 (Lancashire and Cheshire) Signal Regiment
  • Cheshire Yeomanry
    Cheshire Yeomanry
    The Cheshire Yeomanry was a yeomanry regiment that can trace its history back to 1797 when Sir John Fleming Leicester of Tabley raised a county regiment of light cavalry in response to the growing fears of invasion from Napoleonic France....

     (Earl of Chester's)


35 (South Midlands) Signal Regiment
  • Shropshire Yeomanry
    Shropshire Yeomanry
    The Shropshire Yeomanry was a yeomanry regiment of the British Army, first raised in 1795, which served as a cavalry and dismounted infantry regiment in the First World War and as a cavalry and an artillery regiment in the Second World War, before being amalgamated with the Shropshire Royal Horse...


36 (Eastern) Signal Regiment
  • Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars

37 (Wessex and Welsh) Signal Regiment
  • Queen's Own Warwickshire and Worcestershire Yeomanry
    Queen's Own Warwickshire and Worcestershire Yeomanry
    The Queens Own Warwickshire & Worcestershire Yeomanry was a regiment of the Territorial Army, formed in 1956 by the amalgamation of The Warwickshire Yeomanry and The Queen's Own Worcestershire Hussars, and split up in 1971....


39 (Skinners) Signal Regiment
39 (Skinners) Signal Regiment
39 Signal Regiment is Territorial Army regiment in the Royal Corps of Signals in the British Army. The regiment forms part of 2 Signal Brigade, providing military communications for national operations...

  • Middlesex Yeomanry
    Middlesex Yeomanry
    The 47 Signal Squadron is a unit of the Royal Corps of Signals within the British Territorial Army.During the Napoleonic Wars that the Gentlemen of Uxbridge sought permission from the Government to form a Military Association to maintain law and order when the Regular Forces were sent to the coast...

     (Duke of Cambridge's Hussars)
  • North Somerset Yeomanry
    North Somerset Yeomanry
    The North Somerset Yeomanry was first raised in Frome in 1798. A condition of service was that it should not be required to march more than 10 miles from the town and it was soon disbanded in 1802...

  • Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars
    Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars
    The Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars was the designated name of a Yeomanry regiment of the British Army between 1888 and 1922. In response a call by the government for troops of volunteers to be formed in the shires, meeting of “Nobility, Gentry, Freeholders and Yeomanry” was called at the Star Inn...

  • Berkshire Yeomanry
    Berkshire Yeomanry
    94 Signal Squadron forms part of 39 Signal Regiment. They are currently based in three locations in the Home Counties...


40 (Ulster) Signal Regiment
  • North Irish Horse
    North Irish Horse
    The North Irish Horse is a yeomanry unit of the British Territorial Army raised in the northern counties of Ireland in the aftermath of the Second Boer War...


71 (Yeomanry) Signal Regiment
  • Essex Yeomanry
    Essex Yeomanry
    The Essex Yeomanry was a yeomanry regiment of the British Army raised in 1797. The regiment recruited volunteers from the county of Essex in the East of England.-Origins:...

  • Inns of Court and City Yeomanry
    Inns of Court and City Yeomanry
    Known by its new title since 2009, the Inns of Court & City and Essex Yeomanry is a Royal Signals squadron in the British Territorial Army with its headquarters in Chancery Lane, London...

  • Kent and County of London Yeomanry
    Kent and Sharpshooters Yeomanry
    The Kent and Sharpshooters Yeomanry is a unit of the Territorial Army that was formed in 1961 as the Kent and County of London Yeomanry by the amalgamation of two yeomanry regiments, the 297 Regt, Royal Artillery and the 3rd/4th County of London Yeomanry...


Royal Artillery
Royal Artillery
The Royal Regiment of Artillery, commonly referred to as the Royal Artillery , is the artillery arm of the British Army. Despite its name, it comprises a number of regiments.-History:...

100 Regiment
  • Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Yeomanry
  • South Nottinghamshire Hussars
    South Nottinghamshire Hussars
    The South Nottinghamshire Hussars were a unit of the British Army formed as volunteer cavalry in 1794. Converted to artillery in 1922, it now forms a battery of a Territorial Army regiment.-World War I:...

     Yeomanry

104 Regiment
  • Glamorgan Yeomanry
    Glamorgan Yeomanry
    The Glamorgan Yeomanry were formed in 1797, when King George III was on the throne, William Pitt the Younger was the Prime Minister of Great Britain, and across the English Channel, Britain was faced by a French nation that had recently guillotined its King and possessed a revolutionary army...


106 (Yeomanry) Regiment
  • Hampshire Yeomanry
    Hampshire Yeomanry
    The Hampshire Yeomanry can trace its formation to the late 18th century. King George III was on the throne, William Pitt the Younger was Prime Minister of Great Britain, and across the English Channel, Britain was faced by a French nation that had recently guillotined its King and which possessed...

     (Carabiniers)

Army Air Corps

6 Regiment, Army Air Corps
  • 677 Squadron AAC Suffolk and Norfolk Yeomanry
  • 655 Squadron AAC The Scottish Horse

Royal Engineers
Royal Engineers
The Corps of Royal Engineers, usually just called the Royal Engineers , and commonly known as the Sappers, is one of the corps of the British Army....

101 (City of London) Engineer Regiment
  • Surrey Yeomanry
    Surrey Yeomanry
    The Surrey Yeomanry was a unit of the British Army formed as volunteer cavalry in 1794 during the French Revolutionary Wars. In 1901 the Regiment was granted the title Princess of Wales's which was changed to Queen Mary's when George V became the King...

     (Queen Mary's Regiment)
  • Sussex Yeomanry

71 Engineer Regiment
  • Lovat Scouts
    Lovat Scouts
    The Lovat Scouts were a British Army unit. The unit was first formed during the Second Boer War as a Scottish Highland yeomanry regiment of the British Army and is the first known military unit to wear a ghillie suit...


Army Medical Services
Army Medical Services
The Army Medical Services is the organisation responsible for administering the four separate corps that deliver medical, veterinary, dental and nursing services in the British Army...

  • First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (Princess Royal's Volunteer Corps)
    First Aid Nursing Yeomanry
    The First Aid Nursing Yeomanry is a British independent all-female unit and registered charity affiliated to, but not part of, the Territorial Army, formed in 1907 and active in both nursing and intelligence work during the World Wars.-Formation:It was formed as the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry in...

     (all-female unit, carried out secret intelligence, as well as nursing, duties during the Second World War).

Yeomanry Regiments with more than one unit

Most of the old yeomanry regiments are perpetuated through a single unit, be it an armoured, engineers or signal squadron, or an artillery battery. However, there are seven yeomanry regiments that maintain more than one unit:
  • Cheshire Yeomanry
    Cheshire Yeomanry
    The Cheshire Yeomanry was a yeomanry regiment that can trace its history back to 1797 when Sir John Fleming Leicester of Tabley raised a county regiment of light cavalry in response to the growing fears of invasion from Napoleonic France....

     (Earl of Chester's)
    • Challenger 2 Replacement Squadron
    • Signals Squadron
  • Inns of Court and City Yeomanry
    Inns of Court and City Yeomanry
    Known by its new title since 2009, the Inns of Court & City and Essex Yeomanry is a Royal Signals squadron in the British Territorial Army with its headquarters in Chancery Lane, London...

    • Signals Squadron
    • Regimental Band
  • Kent and Sharpshooters Yeomanry
    Kent and Sharpshooters Yeomanry
    The Kent and Sharpshooters Yeomanry is a unit of the Territorial Army that was formed in 1961 as the Kent and County of London Yeomanry by the amalgamation of two yeomanry regiments, the 297 Regt, Royal Artillery and the 3rd/4th County of London Yeomanry...

    • NBC Recce Squadron
    • Signals Squadron
  • North Irish Horse
    North Irish Horse
    The North Irish Horse is a yeomanry unit of the British Territorial Army raised in the northern counties of Ireland in the aftermath of the Second Boer War...

    • Armoured Reconnaissance Squadron
    • Signals Squadron
  • Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry
    Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry
    The Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry was a Yeomanry regiment of the Kingdom of Great Britain and the United Kingdom established in 1794. It was disbanded as an independent Territorial Army unit in 1967, a time when the strength of the TA was greatly reduced...

    • NBC Recce Squadron
    • Armoured Replacement Squadron
  • Shropshire Yeomanry
    Shropshire Yeomanry
    The Shropshire Yeomanry was a yeomanry regiment of the British Army, first raised in 1795, which served as a cavalry and dismounted infantry regiment in the First World War and as a cavalry and an artillery regiment in the Second World War, before being amalgamated with the Shropshire Royal Horse...

    • Challenger 2 Replacement Squadron
    • Signals Squadron
  • The Scottish Horse
    • Armoured Reconnaissance Squadron (now part of Fife and Forfar Yeomanry/Scottish Horse
      Fife and Forfar Yeomanry/Scottish Horse
      The Fife & Forfar Yeomanry/Scottish Horse is a Yeomanry Squadron of the Queen's Own Yeomanry part of the British Territorial Army. It was formed following the amalgamation of the The Fife and Forfar Yeomanry and The Scottish Horse regiments....

      )
    • Army Air Corp Squadron (Regular); later (Volunteer).

See also

Imperial Yeomanry
Imperial Yeomanry
The Imperial Yeomanry was a British volunteer cavalry regiment that mainly saw action during the Second Boer War. Officially created on 24 December 1899, the regiment was based on members of standing Yeomanry regiments, but also contained a large contingent of mid-upper class English volunteers. In...

Yeomanry order of precedence
Yeomanry Order of Precedence
Unlike the British Army, the Territorial Army and with respect to this page, the Yeomanry, has frequently been the subject of amalgamations and absorptions in its history...

List of Yeomanry Regiments 1908
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