Unit History: Bedfordshire Yeomanry
In 1794, in the face of the revolutionary army of France that numbering half a million men, the counties formed a force of Volunteer Yeoman Cavalry which 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.
The Bedfordshire Yeomanry was raised and formed as a volunteer cavalry unit back in 1797 as a body of independent troops of the British Army.
Though the Bedfordshire Yeomanry cavalry was later disbanded shortly after the Napoleonic Wars, and then briefly reformed from 1817 to 1827.
The Bedfordshire Yeomanry was later re-constituted as the Bedfordshire Imperial Yeomanry in 1901 for service in the Second Boer War, South Africa.
As part of a Territorial Force the Bedfordshire Yeomanry in 1908 trained as Lancers, with the Head Quarters at Bedford and sub-unit detachments as follows:
A Squadron - Bedford
B Squadron - Biggleswade
C Squadron - Dunstable
D Squadron – Godmanchester
In 1961 it was amalgamated to become the 286th (Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Yeomanry) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
Bedfordshire Yeomanry during WW1
During the Great War of 1914-1918 the 1/1st Bedfordshire Yeomanry, in Bedford was moved to the shores of France and served in the 9th Cavalry Brigade in 1st Cavalry Division. Though by March 1918 they left the Brigade to become a Cyclist unit then join the Essex Yeomanry as a machine gun battalion. They saw action in the Battle of the Somme, Battle of Cambria and the hundred day offensive in 1918.
Bedfordshire Yeomanry during WW2
After World War I, It had become clear that cavalry was obsolete and it was announced that some Yeomanry Regiments were to become Royal Artillery regiments.
From 5th August 1920 the Bedfordshire Yeomanry converted to the 10 (Bedford) Army Brigade Royal Field Artillery. Then on the 15th June 1921 they it was renamed the 105 (Bedfordshire Yeomanry) Field Regiment Royal Artillery, in which form it was out World War II.