Unit History: Sussex Yeomanry

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Sussex Yeomanry
The Sussex Yeomanry was raised as a unit of the British Army forming a volunteer Cavalry Regiment sometime in 1794.
The last remnants disbanding finally in 1999.
Yeomanry Regiments were raised as a Home Defence force  during the French Revolutionary Wars.

Sussex Yeomanry during WW1

1/1st Sussex Yeomanry

When mobilised The Sussex Yeomanry now known as the 1/1st Sussex Yeomanry moved to Canterbury sometime during August 1914.

On 24 September 1915 the Regiment dismounted, and they sailed with the brigade on the "Olympic" from Liverpool to Gallipoli, landing on 8 October 1915 and once there placed under the command of 42nd (East Lancashire) Division.

By 8 January 1916 the Regiment was evacuated from Gallipoli and moved to Mudros, aftyer a short stay in Mudros the unit embarked for Egypt in Feb 1916. On arrival in Egypt the Regiment was used on the Suez Canal defences.

The whole of 42nd Bde moved to join the Western Frontier Force during July 1916, by
3rd January 1917 the Regiment had re-roled to infantry, becoming 16th (Sussex Yeomanry) Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment and came under orders of 230th Brigade in 74th (Yeomanry) Division.

7 May 1918 : landed at Marseilles and spent rest of war on Western Front.

During WW I the Sussex Yeomanry also formed the following Regiments:

2/1st Sussex Yeomanry
This Regiment was formed as a Second-Line Regiment in September 1914 and remained at home throughout World War 1.
Early 1915 saw the unit move to Maresfield, where it was placed under the command of 2/1st Southern Mounted Brigade.
In July 1916 the Regiment re-roled to a cyclist unit in 5th Cyclist Brigade, under 2nd Cyclist Division, and in November that year amalgamated with 2/1st Surrey Yeomanry to form 8th (Surrey and Sussex) Yeomanry Cyclist Regiment, under command of 3rd Cyclist Brigade.
Early 1917 the Regiment resumed original identity but remained in 3rd Cyclist Brigade.
In April 1918 the Regiment moved to Ireland, where it then remained until the end of WW1.

3/1st Sussex Yeomanry
This 3rd unit formed as a Third-Line training unit in July 1915, in January 1917 the Regiment disbanded sending its men to either 2/1st Regiment or 4th Reserve Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment.
Between the wars
On reforming the TA, the 14 senior Yeomanry Regiments remained horsed cavalry regiments (6 forming the 5th and 6th Cavalry Brigades) while the remaining Yeomanry Regiments were re-assigned as artillery. In 1922 the Sussex Yeomanry was amalgamated with the Surrey Yeomanry and re-formed as the 98th (Surrey and Sussex Yeomanry) Brigade, Royal Field Artillery.

Sussex Yeomanry during WW2

During the Second World War there were 2 Regiments associated with the Sussex Yeomanry

98 Field Regiment R.A. (Surrey & Sussex Yeomanry)
144 Field Regiment R.A. (Surrey & Sussex Yeomanry)

98 Field Regiment (Surrey & Sussex Yeomanry Queen Mary's)

On mobilisation in 1939, the Regiment was part of the British Expeditionary Force (B.E.F.) that was sent to France, initially attached to the 1st Infantry Division in the Lille area.

In May 1940 it would be attached in turn to the 46th Infantry Division and the 44th infantry Division during the German advance the regiments Guns and vehicles were caught in a traffic jam and had to be destroyed, with the troops proceeding on foot to Dunkirk for evacuation.

Back in the United Kingdom the regiment was attached to the 1st Infantry Brigade while it reformed.

It remained in the United Kingdom until September 1942 when it was sent out to the Middle East and attached to the 10th Armoured Division in Egypt where it participated in the Second Battle of El Alamein.

When 10th Armoured was disbanded the regiment was part of the 8th Army Artillery and served in Sicily and Italy being involved in the Battle of Monte Cassino amongst others before leaving Italy in March 1945 and joining the 2nd Army in France and Belgium ending the war in Holland.

In April 45 the Regimentt moved to the Lübeck area of Germany as occupation forces and demobilisation was started in October 1945 with the Regiment being placed in suspended animation in June 1946.

144 Field Regiment (Surrey & Sussex Yeomanry Queen Mary's)

The 144 Field Regiment remained in the United Kingdom in the early war years as part of the 12th (Eastern) Infantry Division and later the British 4th Infantry Division.

In November 1940 they were sent to Egypt and then attached to the 5th Indian Division seeing service in the Sudan, Abyssinia and Eritrea it was at Keru Gorge that 390 Battery were charged by about 60 Eritrean cavalry, almost certainly the last cavalry charge on the British Army.

The Regiment returned to Egypt with the division before being attached to the 70th Infantry Division during the Siege of Tobruk in September 1941.

After being withdrawn from Tobruk they were briefly attached to the 4th Indian Division in early 1942 and the British 1st Armoured Division in February to April 1942.

In May 1942 they were sent to Iraq with the 10th Army attached to the 17th Indian Infantry Brigade, 31st Indian Armoured Division they remained with this formation until the end of the war serving in Syria, Persia, Egypt, Palestine and Lebanon.

Post war

In 1947 the Regiment was reformed as a separate Regiment.

This reformation lasted until April 1, 1967 when they were once again amalgamated with other Yeomanry Regiments to become the 100 (Eastern) Medium Regiment Royal Artillery (Volunteers).

Batteries for the Regiment are located as follows:

HQ (Home Counties) Battery at Grove Park, London from 'R' (Surrey) Battery 265 Light Air Defence Regiment RA (TA) and HQ RA 44 (Home Counties) Division/District.

200 (Sussex Yeomanry) Medium Battery at Brighton and Reigate from 257 (Sussex Yeomanry) Field Regiment RA (TA).

201 (Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Yeomanry) Medium Battery at Luton and St Albans from

286 (Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Yeomanry) Field Regiment RA (TA).

202 (Suffolk and Norfolk Yeomanry) Medium Battery at Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich, Norwich and Swaffham from 308 (Suffolk and Norfolk Yeomanry) Field Regiment RA (TA).

They were again re-titled as the 100th (Yeomanry) Regiment Royal Artillery (Volunteers) in September 1976.

In April 1993 200 Battery was converted to 127 (Sussex Yeomanry) Field Squadron 78 (Fortress) Engineer Regiment Royal Engineers in support of 3rd UK Division.

The 78 (Fortress) Engineer Regiment was disbanded on July 1, 1999 as a result of the Options for Change restructuring programme.

The title Sussex Yeomanry, 1 (Sussex Yeomanry) Field Troop, 579 Field Squadron (EOD). Part of 101 (London) Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) (Volunteers), based at Brighton TA centre.

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