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Hampshire Yeomanry
Hampshire Carabiniers badge and service cap.jpg
Badge and service cap as worn at the outbreak of World War II
Active 1794 – present day
Country  Kingdom of Great Britain (1794 – 1800)
 United Kingdom (1800 – 1969)
Branch  British Army
Type Artillery, historically Cavalry
Role Yeomanry
Size One Regiment
Engagements Second Boer War
First World War
Second World War
See battle honours below

The Hampshire Yeomanry was a yeomanry cavalry regiment formed by amalgamating older units raised between 1794 and 1803 during the French Revolutionary Wars. It served in the Second Boer War, the First World War and the Second World War. The lineage is continued by 295 (Hampshire Yeomanry) Battery and 457 (Hampshire Carabiniers Yeomanry) Battery, batteries of 106 (Yeomanry) Regiment Royal Artillery, part of the Army Reserve.


Formation and early history

Between 1794 and 1803, a large number of cavalry units such as the North Hampshire Yeomanry Cavalry, the New Forest Volunteer Cavalry, the Fawley Light Dragoons and the Southampton Cavalry were raised in southern England as independent groups of Yeomanry. 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] These units were brought together under the collective title of North Hampshire Regiment of Yeomanry Cavalry in 1834,[2] renamed Hampshire Regiment of Yeomanry Cavalry by 1848.[2] The Regiment adopted the title 'Carabiniers' in 1887.[2]

In 1908, after the formation of The Territorial Force, the regiment became known as the Hampshire Yeomanry (Carabiniers) with detachments in Winchester, Portsmouth, Bournemouth and Southampton.[2]

Second Boer War

On 13 December 1899, the decision to allow volunteer forces serve in the Second Boer War was made. Due to the string of defeats during Black Week in December, 1899, the British government realized they were going to need more troops than just the regular army, thus issuing a Royal Warrant on 24 December 1899. This warrant officially created the Imperial Yeomanry. The Royal Warrant asked standing Yeomanry regiments to provide service companies of approximately 115 men each. In addition to this, many British citizens (usually mid-upper class) volunteered to join the new regiment.[3]

The first contingent of recruits contained 550 officers, 10,371 men with 20 battalions and 4 companies,[4] which arrived in South Africa between February and April, 1900.[5] Upon arrival, the regiment was sent throughout the zone of operations. The Hampshire Yeomanry raised the 41st Company, 12th Battalion,[6] and the first company left Southampton on 31 January 1900, bound for Cape Town.[7]

The regiment was based at Hyde Close in Winchester at this time.[8]

First World War

1st South Western Mounted Brigade
Organisation on 4 August 1914
Assigned units
A Squadron at Warminster
B Squadron at Chirton
C Squadron at Chippenham
D Squadron at Swindon
A Squadron at Bath
B Squadron at Weston-super-Mare
C Squadron at Shepton Mallet
D Squadron at Bristol
  • Hampshire Yeomanry, Winchester
A Squadron at Portsmouth
B Squadron at Winchester
C Squadron at Southampton
D Squadron at Bournemouth
  • Brigade troops
Hampshire RHA, Southampton
Ammunition column, Basingstoke
Transport and Supply Column, ASC,
Training attachments
A Squadron at Dorchester
B Squadron at Sherborne
C Squadron at Blandford
D Squadron at Gillingham

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.[9]

1/1st Hampshire Yeomanry

The 1st Line regiment mobilized at Winchester in August 1914 as part of the 1st South Western Mounted Brigade and moved to the Portsmouth defences. In October it moved with the brigade to the Forest Row area, and in October 1915 to Eastbourne. In March 1916, the regiment was split up as divisional cavalry squadrons:[10]

  • Regimental HQ and B Squadron joined 60th (2/2nd London) Division at Warminster on 26 April 1916 and landed at Le Havre on 25 June. Three days later, the RHQ joined IX Corps Cavalry Regiment along with C Squadron and A and B Squadrons, Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry at Bailleul. B Squadron was attached to XVII Corps Cavalry Regiment from 8 July and Cavalry Corps Troops from 5 September. It rejoined the regiment on 19 January 1917.
  • A Squadron joined 58th (2/1st London) Division at Ipswich on 21 March 1916. It moved to the Sutton Veny area in July 1916 and landed at Le Havre on 20 January 1917. Five days later it rejoined the regiment in IX Corps Cavalry Regiment at Bailleul.
  • C Squadron joined 61st (2nd South Midland) Division at Ludgershall on 18 March 1916 and landed at Le Havre on 25 May. From 31 May to 16 June it was attached to the 1st Cavalry Division before rejoining the regiment.

IX Corps Cavalry Regiment was formed on 28 June 1916 with the RHQ and C Squadron of the Hampshire Yeomanry, and A and B Squadrons, Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry at Bailleul. In November the Wiltshire squadrons departed and A and B Squadrons, Hampshire Yeomanry joined in January 1917 to complete the regiment.[10]

The regiment left IX Corps on 25 July 1917 and on 26 August it was dismounted and sent to No. 3 Infantry Base Depot at Rouen for training as infantry.[10] On 27 September 1917, 12 officers and 307 men were absorbed into the 15th (Service) Battalion (2nd Portsmouth), Hampshire Regiment at Caëstre which became 15th (Hampshire Yeomanry) Battalion, Hampshire Regiment. The Battalion was in 122nd Brigade, 41st Division. On 12 November 1917, it moved to the Italian Front with the division, arriving at Mantua on 17 November. It returned to the Western Front in between 1 and 5 May 1918 and remained there, in 122nd Brigade, 41st Division, until the end of the war. By the Armistice it was at Neukerke, south of Audenarde, Belgium.[11]

2/1st Hampshire Yeomanry

The 2nd Line regiment was formed at Winchester in October 1914. In May 1915 it was with 2/1st South Western Mounted Brigade at Calne and moved in September to Canterbury, to Maresfield in October and to Tiptree in March 1916.[10] On 31 March 1916, the remaining Mounted Brigades were ordered to be numbered in a single sequence[12] and the brigade became the 15th Mounted Brigade and joined 4th Mounted Division.[10]

In July 1916, the regiment was converted to a cyclist unit in 6th Cyclist Brigade, 2nd Cyclist Division; in August it was at Preston near Canterbury. In November 1916 it moved to Ipswich and the regiment was merged with the 2/1st Berkshire Yeomanry to form 11th (Hampshire and Berkshire) Yeomanry Cyclist Regiment in 4th Cyclist Brigade. In February 1917 it was at Coltishall and was part of 5th (Hampshire and West Somerset) Yeomanry Cyclist Regiment (with 2/1st West Somerset Yeomanry) in 2nd Cyclist Brigade. In March 1917 it resumed its identity as 2/1st Hampshire Yeomanry and by October 1917 it was at Reepham, Norfolk. On 16 May 1918, the regiment landed in Dublin and was posted to Maryborough (now Port Laoise) with companies at Tullamore and Birr, still in 2nd Cyclist Brigade; there was no further change before the end of the war.[10]

3/1st Hampshire Yeomanry

The 3rd Line regiment was formed in 1915; in the summer it was affiliated to the 11th Reserve Cavalry Regiment at Tidworth. Early in 1917 it was absorbed into the 4th Reserve Cavalry Regiment, at Aldershot. By 1918 it had left the 4th Reserve Cavalry Regiment when the 1st Line had been converted to infantry. It joined the 4th (Reserve) Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment at Larkhill.[10]

Between the wars

On 1 June 1920, the Regiment was reconstituted in the Territorial Army with HQ at Winchester. Following the experience of the war, it was decided that only the fourteen most senior yeomanry regiments would be retained as horsed cavalry,[13] with the rest being transferred to other roles.[14] As a result, 1n 1921, the Regiment was amalgamated with the Hampshire Royal Horse Artillery and simultaneously transferred to the Royal Artillery to form 95th (Hampshire Yeomanry) Brigade, RFA.[2]

Second World War

At the end of the 1930s when war with Germany was again imminent, it was decided that the 95th Brigade would become an Anti Aircraft Artillery Regiment and was redesignated the 72nd (Hampshire) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery in which one battery, 217 H.A.A. Battery, was designated the "Hampshire Caribineers". On the outbreak of war they were deployed to protect the docks and staging areas along the South Coast. By 1942, once the Battle of Britain was over, the Regiments was transferred overseas and served in the North African and Italian Campaigns with the 8th Army.[15]

Post war

In 1947, with the revival of the Territorial Army, the Hampshire Yeomanry was reformed as 295th (Hampshire Carabineers) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RA (TA). It formed part of 100 Army Group Royal Artillery (TA) until this formation was disbanded on 9 September 1948.[16]

In 1963 the Regiment amalgamated with the 457 (Wessex) Heavy Air Defence Regiment RA (TA). The two units were renamed the 457th (Wessex) Heavy Air Defence Regiment, RA (Hampshire Carabiniers Yeomanry), this gave the Regiment the longest title in the army, and took on a new role converting from traditional Anti-Aircraft Guns to using the Thunderbird Anti-Aircraft Missile. The Regiment had the distinction of firing the last 3 missiles in the UK before Thunderbird was decommissioned. On 31 March 1967 the Regiment was disbanded on the demise of the Territorial Army and its replacement the TAVR. The regiment was reformed in 1992 when the Hampshire Yeomanry returned as the 227 (Hampshire Yeomanry) Amphibious Engineer Squadron, Royal Engineers. Again this was a very short lived incarnation as, after the Strategic Defence Review in 1999, the unit was re-roled as artillery with the formation of 457 (Hampshire Yeomanry) Battery, 106th (Yeomanry) Regiment Royal Artillery. The battery was based at Millbrook, Southampton and equipped with high velocity missiles (HVM).[17]

Under Army 2020 457 (Hampshire Carabiniers Yeomanry) Battery was re-equipped at Southampton with high velocity missiles mounted on Stormer vehicles and 295 (Hampshire Yeomanry) Battery was formed at Portsmouth and equipped in the same way. Both batteries form part of 106 (Yeomanry) Regiment Royal Artillery.[17]

Battle honours

The Hampshire Yeomanry has been awarded the following battle honours:[2]

Second Boer War

South Africa 1900–01

First World War

Messines 1917, Somme 1918, St. Quentin, Bapaume 1918, Arras 1918, Ypres 1918, Courtrai, France and Flanders 1916–17 '18, Italy 1917–18

Second World War

The Royal Artillery was present in nearly all battles and would have earned most of the honours awarded to cavalry and infantry regiments. In 1833, William IV awarded the motto Ubique (meaning "everywhere") in place of all battle honours.[18]

See also


  1. "Worcestershire Yeomanry Cavalry (1794-1994)". Archived from the original on 15 August 2004. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "Hampshire Yeomanry (Carabiniers) at by T.F.Mills". Archived from the original on 16 April 2007. Retrieved 2014-05-10. 
  3. "Boer War Notes". Retrieved 11 June 2007. 
  4. "Imperial Yeomanry at by T.F.Mills". Archived from the original on 29 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-29. 
  5. "Boer War - Imperial Yeomanry Battalions". Retrieved 3 July 2007. 
  6. "Anglo boer war". Archived from the original on 14 July 2008. 
  7. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". 1 February 1900. 
  8. "Winchester". The Drill Hall Project. Retrieved 25 December 2017. 
  9. Rinaldi 2008, p. 35
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 James 1978, p. 20
  11. James 1978, p. 80
  12. James 1978, p. 36
  13. Mileham 1994, p. 48
  14. Mileham 1994, p. 50
  15. "British GHQ, Army Group, Army and Corps Troops Italian and Balkan Campaign 1943-1945". The Nafziger Collection of Orders of Battle. Retrieved 4 November 2017. 
  16. Norman E.H. Litchfield, The Territorial Artillery 1908–1988 (Their Lineage, Uniforms and Badges), Nottingham: Sherwood Press, 1992, p331
  17. 17.0 17.1 "106th Regiment, Royal Artillery". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 4 November 2017. 
  18. "Royal Regiment of Artillery at by T.F.Mills". Archived from the original on 29 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-15. 


External links

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