Unit History: Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars
The Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars are a Signals troop of the Royal Signals Regiment, in the Territorial Army.
The regiment shares its origins with a number of other Yeomanry Cavalry regiments formed in 1794. They were created for use by local councils to quell riots and in the event of a foreign invasion, assist in the defence.
By 1803 three regiments had been formed in Buckinghamshire, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd.
The 1st and 3rd Regiments were disbanded in 1827 with the Duke of Buckingham privately funding the 2nd Regiment.
In 1845 Queen Victoria conferred the title of “Royal” on the regiment, its name changing to The 2nd Royal Bucks Regiment of Yeomanry.
In 1889 the regiment was re-titled again to Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars Yeomanry.
Upon the reforming of the TA, only the 14 senior Yeomanry regiments remained as Horsed Cavalry. The Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars were amalgamated with the Berkshire Yeomanry and re-roled as Artillery becoming 99th (Bucks and Berks Yeomanry) Brigade. The Buckinghamshire Hussars provided 393 and 394 Batteries in the new unit.
This amalgamation was reversed in 1939 when war looked increasing likely. The Royal Buckinghamshire was re-constituted as the 99th Field Regiment.
The Regiment was reformed in 1947 as the 299th (Royal Buckinghamshire Yeomanry) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery.
In 1950 they were amalgamated with the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars to form the 299th (Bucks and Oxfordshire Yeomanry) Field Regiment.
In 1954 on the formation of the Territorial and Army Voluntary Reserve, the regiment became “P” Battery (Royal Bucks Yeomanry) The Buckinghamshire Regiment, Royal; Artillery (T).
Following a further amalgamation, they became 299th (Royal Bucks Yeomanry, Berkshire Yeomanry and Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars) Field Regiment, RA (TA).
A number of name and role changes followed in the ensuing years. In 1961 they became 299th (Royal Bucks Yeomanry, Queens Own Oxfordshire Hussars and Berkshire) Field Regiment, RA (TA). This unit was then disbanded in 1967.
In 1971 the regiment was re-roled as infantry, becoming the 2nd Battalion, The Wessex Regiment. On the disbandment of that Battalion the Royal Buckinghamshire title was adopted by the present day army unit 1 Signal Squadron (Special Communications) in 1996.
Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars during the Boer War
The Royal Buckinghamshire Yeomanry took part in the Second Anglo-Boer War. 37th Squadron of 10th battalion Imperial Yeomanry under the command of Lord Chesham deployed, representing the Royal Bucks. Notable actions included Boshof April 5th 1900, when a British column ambushed and defeated approximately 90 Boer Republican and Foreign Volunteer soldiers.
Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars during WW1
The Regiment became 1/1st Royal Buckinghamshire Yeomanry with the creation of two additional units, 2/1st and 3/1st.
The 1/1st were mobilised in August 1914 and attached to the 2nd South Midland Mounted Brigade of the 1st Mounted Division. In September 1914, the brigade was transferred to the 2nd Mounted Division and moved to Egypt.
In August 1915, the regiment went into action in Gallipoli participating in the attack on Chocolate Hill.
After the evacuation from Gallipoli, the Regiment returned to Egypt in December 1915.
In 1916, the Regiment and the 2nd South Midland Mounted Brigade were re-designated as the 6th Mounted Brigade, becoming an independent command. They operated on the Libyan frontier and later the Sinai Peninsula, taking part in actions around Gaza in 1917.
The Regiment and 6th Mounted Brigade joined the Imperial Mounted Division in February 1917, but were transferred once again in June to the Yeomanry Mounted Division.
The Regiment was again moved in April 1918, being amalgamated with the Berkshire Yeomanry to form a Battalion of the Machine Gun Corps. They were then moved to France and renumbered 101 Battalion (Bucks and Berks) Machine Gun Corps. The regiment remained in France and Belgium until the armistice on 11 November 1918.
2/1st Buckinghamshire Yeomanry remained in the UK as a training unit providing men for the frontline. It was converted to a cyclist unit on August 1917.
3/1st Buckinghamshire Yeomanry was formed in April 1915 and also remained in the UK until they were absorbed by the 3rd Reserve Cavalry Regiment.
Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars during WW2
The Regiment in its’ new guise as the 99th Field Regiment mobilised in September 1939.
In January 1940 they deployed to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force. They came under the command of Major General H C Lloyd’s 2nd Infantry Division, HQ Royal Artillery.
The Regiment was evacuated from Dunkirk and based in Yorkshire until 1942 when they were sent to the Far East with the 2nd Infantry Division in preparation for a Japanese Invasion.
Until 1944, the regiment was involved in Internal Security and amphibious training.
The Japanese invaded India in March 1944 as part of Operation U-Go and the Regiment as part of 2nd Infantry Division was sent to counter at the town of Kohima. The Battle of Kohima is often dubbed the “Stalingrad of the East”.
The 2nd Infantry Division counter attacked and pursued the retreating Japanese forces with the 99th Field Regiment taking part in the battles of Arakan, Imphal, Rangoon and Mandalay.
The 2nd Infantry Division and the Regiment were withdrawn from the frontline in March 1945 for re-building. It was intended to go back into battle in a number of planned amphibious assaults but the war ended before the regiment saw any further action.
The 2nd Infantry Division and the 99th Field Regiment were disbanded in India in October 1945.