Unit History: Duke of Lancaster's 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.
In June 1828 the Lancashire Corps of Yeomanry Cavalry assembled and by special act, King William IV , granted the title Duke of Lancaster’s Corps of Yeomanry Cavalry in 1834, and the Sovereign, as the Duke of Lancaster, has traditionally been Colonel-in-Chief.
The Regiment sent mounted infantry for service in the Boer War as the Imperial Yeomanry , between 1900 and 1902.
In World War One the Regiment formed three units the 1/1st , 2/1st and the 3/1st.
1/1st Duke of Lancaster’s Own Yeomanry
Formed in August 1914, in Manchester and became part of the Welsh Border Mounted Brigade. The Regiment was then split up with RHQ and C Squadron joining the 23rd Division in April 1915 , after being briefly attached to 1st Cavalry Division in late April to early May 1916. A Squadron joined East Lancashire Division then it moved to the 53rd Division while in Egypt on January 29, 1917 , and moved to XXI Corps Cavalry in Palestine in August 1917 D Squadron joined the 14th Division.
Then on May 14, 1916 , all the units except A Squadron reformed in France , where together with ’C’ Squadron the Surrey Yeomanry they formed III Corps Cavalry. On July 24, 1917 they were dismounted and became G.H.Q troops.
Then on September 24, 1917, after infantry training, the Regiment joined a battalion of the Manchester Regiment , which was redesignated 12th (Duke of Lancaster’s Own Yeomanry) Bn, the Manchester Regiment.
2/1st Duke of Lancaster’s Own Yeomanry
Formed in September 1914 , they remained in the United Kingdom until, July 1916 , when they converted into a Cyclist unit and moved to Ireland in May 1918.
3/1st Duke of Lancaster’s Own Yeomanry
The 3/1st were formed in 1915. They also remained in United Kingdom until absorbed by the 6th Reserve Cavalry Regiment in early 1917.
World war II
During World War II the Regiment was mobilised as horsed cavalry but in 1940 , then converted to form the 77th Medium and 78th Medium Regiments of Royal Artillery. The 78th went on to serve in Palestine , Syria and Italy as part of 6 AGRA..
The 77th remained in Northern Ireland until early 1944 when it prepared for the invasion of Europe. Landing in Normandy on D Day , plus 6 , attached to 8 |AGRA , it fought for the Odon Bridgehead and in the battle of the Falaise Gap They also provided support for the Arnhem Operation Market Garden in September 1944.
In 1947 the Duke of Lancaster’s Own Yeomanry was reformed as an armoured regiment. In 1956 its role changed to reconnaissance, equipped with armoured cars, but on April 1, 1967 it combined with the 40th/41st Royal Tank Regiment. Two years later the combined Regiment was reduced to a cadre until 1971 when it was reformed as an infantry unit. On April 1, 1983 it rejoined the Royal Armoured Corps as a home defence reconnaissance unit equipped with Land Rovers.
On November 1, 1992 the Regiment disbanded as a result of the Options for Change and units amalgamated with The Queen’s Own Mercian Yeomanry to form The Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry and formed ’D’ (Duke of Lancaster’s Own Yeomanry) Squadron