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East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry
East Riding Yeomanry badge and service cap.jpg
Badge and service cap as worn at the outbreak of World War II
Active 1794–1956
Country  Kingdom of Great Britain (1794–1800)
 United Kingdom (1801–1956)
Branch  British Army
Type Yeomanry
Size One Regiment
Engagements The Great War
France and Flanders 1918
Egypt 1915-17
El Mughar
Nebi Samwil
Palestine 1917–18
The Second World War
Withdrawal to Escaut
St Omer-La Bassée
Normandy Landing
Bourguebus Ridge
La Vie Crossing
Foret de Bretonne
Lower Maas
Venlo Pocket
North West Europe 1940, 1944 45
Pegasus Bridge

The East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry was a unit of the British Army formed in 1794. The regiment was formed as volunteer cavalry in 1794 during the French Revolutionary Wars. It was converted to an armoured role in 1920. In 1956, it merged with two other Yorkshire yeomanry regiments to form the Queen's Own Yorkshire Yeomanry. Its lineage is continued today by the Queen's Own Yeomanry.


Formation and early history

In 1793, the prime minister, William Pitt the Younger, proposed that the English Counties form a force of Volunteer Yeoman Cavalry that could be called on by the king to defend the country against invasion or by the Lord Lieutenant to subdue any civil disorder within the country.[1] The unit was raised as a number of independent troops in 1794 but disbanded again in 1801.[2] The independent troops were raised again in 1802 but disbanded again in 1814.[2]

Second Boer war

The formation of a regiment of Imperial Yeomanry, known as the East Riding of Yorkshire Imperial Yeomanry, was approved on 15 April 1902.[3] The regiment was based at the Army Riding School in Walton Street in Kingston upon Hull at this time (since demolished).[4]

First World War

Yorkshire Mounted Brigade
Organisation on 4 August 1914
Assigned units
A Squadron at Leeds
B Squadron at York
C Squadron at Knaresborough
D Squadron at Middlesbrough
A Squadron at Sheffield
B Squadron at Wakefield
C Squadron at Doncaster
D Squadron at Huddersfield
  • East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry, Beverley
A Squadron at Kingston upon Hull
B Squadron at Beverley
C Squadron at Fulford
D Squadron at Driffield
  • Brigade troops
West Riding RHA, Rotherham
Ammunition column, Rotherham
Transport and Supply Column, ASC,
Field Ambulance, RAMC, Wakefield
Training attachments
A Squadron at Newcastle-on-Tyne
B Squadron at South Shieldsa
C Squadron at Morpeth
D Squadron at Hexham

  • a County Durham.

In accordance with the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act 1907 (7 Edw. 7, c.9) which brought the Territorial Force into being, the TF was intended to be a home defence force for service during wartime and members could not be compelled to serve outside the country. However, on the outbreak of war on 4 August 1914, many members volunteered for Imperial Service. Therefore, TF units were split in August and September 1914 into 1st Line (liable for overseas service) and 2nd Line (home service for those unable or unwilling to serve overseas) units. Later, a 3rd Line was formed to act as a reserve, providing trained replacements for the 1st and 2nd Line regiments.[5]

1/1st East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry

The 1/1st moved north in November 1914 as Divisional Cavalry for the 2nd Northumbrian Division. On 20 May, the regiment formed part of a parade of some 40,000 men before H.M. The King and Lord Kitchener. The regiment was then ordered south to Filey and then to East Anglia, to form part of the 1/1st North Midland Mounted Brigade. In October 1915, it set sail for Alexandria.[6]

In 1916, the regiment was part of the Western Frontier Force, a dreary job, causing a number of NCOs and men to join the newly formed Imperial Camel Corps and 120 officers and men to be detached for service under T. E. Lawrence. In December 1916, the 22nd Mounted Brigade moved to the Suez Canal Zone to form part of the ANZAC Mounted Division. The regiment first saw action during the First Battle of Gaza, a hard engagement for both the men and the horses, and in the Second Battle of Gaza it was posted to the far right flank. In General Allenby's reorganisation 22nd Mounted Brigade transferred to the Yeomanry Mounted Division.[6]

In October 1917, the regiment took part in the Third Battle of Gaza, and on 13 November at El Mughar, supported a charge by 6th Mounted Brigade. 'A' Squadron, commanded by Maj. J.F.M. Robinson M.C.,[7] led 22nd Mounted Brigade, having captured their objective they pressed on to Akir and established a position on the far side of the village square, however they had to withdraw as they were unsupported by the rest of the brigade. Sadly it transpired that the village was the location of a Turkish Corps Headquarters, and had the success of the attack been exploited then a major dislocation of the enemy lines could have resulted. El Mughar was the last great cavalry charge of the British Army.[8]

In December 1917, with the exception of the machine gun section, the regiment was dismounted and sent to France.[6] Together with the Lincolnshire Yeomanry, it formed 102 Bn, Machine Gun Corps (Mobile).[6]

2/1st East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry

The 2nd Line regiment was formed in 1914.[9] In 1915 it was under the command of the 2/1st Yorkshire Mounted Brigade in Yorkshire (along with the 2/1st Yorkshire Hussars[10] and the 2/1st Queen's Own Yorkshire Dragoons[11]) and by March 1916 was in the Beverley area.[12] On 31 March 1916, the remaining Mounted Brigades were numbered in a single sequence and the brigade became 18th Mounted Brigade, still in Yorkshire under Northern Command.[13]

In July 1916, there was a major reorganisation of 2nd Line yeomanry units in the United Kingdom. All but 12 regiments were converted to cyclists[13] and as a consequence the regiment was dismounted and the brigade converted to 11th Cyclist Brigade. Further reorganisation in October and November 1916 saw the brigade redesignated as 7th Cyclist Brigade in November, now in the Bridlington area.[12]

About May 1918 the Brigade moved to Ireland[12] and the regiment was stationed at Bandon and Fermoy, County Cork. There were no further changes before the end of the war.[9]

3/1st East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry

The 3rd Line regiment was formed in 1915; that summer it was affiliated to the 5th Reserve Cavalry Regiment at York. Early in 1917, it was absorbed by the 1st Reserve Cavalry Regiment at The Curragh.[9]

Between the Wars

On 7 February 1920, the Regiment was reconstituted in the Territorial Army with headquarters at Hull. Following the experience of the war, it was decided that only the fourteen most senior yeomanry regiments would be retained as horsed cavalry,[14] with the rest being transferred to other roles.[15] As a result, on 23 August 1920, the Regiment was one of eight[lower-alpha 1] converted and reduced to the 26th (East Riding of York Yeomanry) Armoured Car Company, Tank Corps. In October 1923, it was renumbered as the 26th (East Riding of York Yeomanry) Armoured Car Company, Royal Tank Corps and on 23 August 1939 it was transferred to the Royal Armoured Corps.[2]

By 1939, it had become clear that a new European war was likely to break out, and the doubling of the Territorial Army was authorised, with each unit forming a duplicate.[17] The 1st East Riding Yeomanry was reconstituted as a Divisional Cavalry Regiment (Mechanised) equipped with 28 light tanks, 44 carriers and 41 motorcycles. At the same time, it formed its duplicate 2nd East Riding Yeomanry.[2]

Second World War

1st East Riding Yeomanry

Major W Holtby, commanding 'C' Squadron, East Riding Yeomanry, 27th Armoured Brigade, briefs troop commanders in front of his HQ Sherman tank, 28 June 1944.

In March 1940, after training at Tidworth, the 1st Regiment joined the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in France as part of the 1st Armoured Reconnaissance Brigade, initially the Corps Cavalry to III Corps. However, in May, the Regiment passed under the command of 48th (South Midland) Division, 44th (Home Counties) Division, Macforce, and finally back to 48th (South Midland) Division. The Regiment was first involved in fighting near Ath, south of Brussels, and then over the next fortnight fought seven rearguard actions before being finally surrounded at Cassel on the night of 29/30 May while acting as rearguard to 145th Infantry Brigade.[18]

The remnants of 1ERY (7 officers and 230 men) returned to Tidworth, where the Regiment was brought up to strength by drafts from the 2nd Regiment, before moving on to Bovington to rejoin 1st Armoured Reconnaissance Brigade. The regiment next deployed to Essex for anti-invasion duties, where it was equipped with Beavettes. When new material became available in Spring 1942, the Regiment reequipped with Covenanter tanks and Honeys, and formed 27th Armoured Brigade, together with the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards (replaced by the Staffordshire Yeomanry in January 1944) and the 13th/18th Royal Hussars. In April 1943, the Regiment again re-equipped, this time with Sherman Duplex Drive tanks.[18]

The training all came to fruition on 6 June 1944, when the Regiment landed on D Day supporting 9th Infantry Brigade in 3rd British Infantry Division,[19] and for the following 50 days they took part in the bridgehead battles. During this period, it also supported 59th (Staffordshire) Infantry Division. Because of casualties, 27th Armoured Brigade was broken up on 29 July, and on 16 August the Regiment joined 33rd Armoured Brigade, taking over the petrol Mk1 & II Shermans of 148 Regt RAC. The Regiment was now attached to 51st (Highland) Infantry Division, for the final Falaise Pocket Battles, the advance to the River Seine, its crossing and the taking of St Valery-en-Caux; after which the Regiment transferred to 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division for the Battle of Le Havre.[18]

In October, the Regiment supported 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division, in the Netherlands fighting around 's-Hertogenbosch and the later crossing of the Maas. However, during the Battle of the Bulge in the winter of 1944, it was hurried away to reinforce the pressure being put on the German "Bulge", and then in January returned to 79th Armoured Division, and re-equipped with Buffalo, to carry the troops of 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division, on the assault crossing of the Rhine (Operation Plunder) 15 March. For the last weeks of the war, the Regiment reconverted to Shermans, coming under the command of the First Canadian Army clearing the Netherlands. After the war the Regiment was stationed at Laboe (Kiel Estuary) until being placed in ‘suspended animation’ on 7 March 1946.[18]

2nd East Riding Yeomanry

The 2nd ERY was formed as a Royal Armoured Corps regiment as a duplicate of the 1st Regiment on 24 August 1939.[2] On 25 June 1940, it was converted to infantry as the 10th (East Riding) Battalion, Green Howards. From the start of 1943, it started training as parachutists and on 1 June the battalion became the 12th (Yorkshire) Parachute Battalion, of the Parachute Regiment, part of the British Army's airborne forces. The battalion was serving alongside the 7th and 13th Parachute Battalions assigned to the 5th Parachute Brigade, which itself was attached to the 6th Airborne Division.[20]

Post war

In 1956, the East Riding Yeomanry was merged with two other yeomanry regiments (the Yorkshire Hussars and the Yorkshire Dragoons) as the Queen's Own Yorkshire Yeomanry, which was formed on 1 April 1967, as a TAVR III unit with the RHQ and 'A' Squadron at York, 'B' Squadron at Doncaster and 'C Squadron at Hull. Then, on 1 April 1969, the regiment was reduced to a cadre and finally reformed on 1 April 1971 as 'A' Squadron The Queen's Own Yeomanry.[21]

See also


  1. The eight yeomanry regiments converted to Armoured Car Companies of the Royal Tank Corps (RTC) were:[16]


  1. "Worcestershire Yeomanry Cavalry (1794-1994)". Archived from the original on August 15, 2004. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "The East Riding Yeomanry at by T.F.Mills". Archived from the original on 15 July 2007. Retrieved 2014-04-21. 
  3. "No. 27425". 15 April 1902. 
  4. "Hull". The Drill Hall Project. Retrieved 28 December 2017. 
  5. Rinaldi 2008, p. 35
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Baker, Chris. "The East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  7. The Battle for Palestine, John D. Grainger
  8. "El Mughar". History of war. Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 James 1978, p. 32
  10. Baker, Chris. "The Yorkshire Hussars". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  11. Baker, Chris. "The Yorkshire Dragoons". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 James 1978, pp. 31,32
  13. 13.0 13.1 James 1978, p. 36
  14. Mileham 1994, p. 48
  15. Mileham 1994, p. 50
  16. "The Royal Tank Regiment at by T.F.Mills". Archived from the original on 3 May 2007. Retrieved 2006-01-03. 
  17. "History of the Army Reserve". MOD. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 "East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry". Wartime Memories Project. Retrieved 18 November 2017. 
  19. "The East Riding Yeomanry in Normandy 1944". BBC. Retrieved 18 November 2017. 
  20. "12th (Yorkshire) Battalion, The Parachute Regiment at by T.F.Mills". Archived from the original on 15 July 2007. Retrieved 2014-04-22. 
  21. "win.tue". Archived from the original on 11 February 2012. 


External links

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