Unit History: Warwickshire Yeomanry
The Warwickshire Yeomanry was a volunteer Cavalry Regiment of the British Army, first raised in 1794. Raised to defend the United Kingdom against invasion by the French during the Napoleonic Wars.
The Regiment was first formed as the Gentlemen and Yeomanry of Warwickshire in 1794, four troops of yeomanry were raised in 1796 and re-titled the Warwickshire Regiment of Yeomanry Cavalry.
The Regiment raised a 5th Troop in 1813, and by 1831 raised a 6th.
At the time of the Crimean War 1854 with sentiment for service high they raised a further 2 Troops.
The regiment sponsored two companies of the Imperial Yeomanry in 1900, for service in the South African War, and in 1901 was itself re-roled as mounted infantry and re-titled as the Warwickshire Imperial Yeomanry
In 1901 Queen Victoria died and the Regiment played a prominent part in her funeral procession.
In 1908 it was transferred into the Territorial Force, returning to a cavalry role and equipping as hussars, and re-titled The Warwickshire Yeomanry.
During WW1 the Regiment served as Cavalry and dismounted Infantry.
During WW2 the Regiment served as Cavalry and Armoured.
The regiment was amalgamated with The Queen's Own Worcestershire Hussars into The Queen's Own Warwickshire and Worcestershire Yeomanry in 1956.
Warwickshire Yeomanry during the Boer War
Originally Yeomanry Regiments were only required to serve in their respective counties or any adjoining County but in 1900 the terms of service were altered to permit them to volunteer for full time overseas service in time of War.
Two Squadrons of the Warwickshire Yeomanry volunteered for service in the Boer War and served as Imperial Yeomanry in South Africa with considerable success.
The Imperial Yeomanry comprised mainly of one volunteer Squadron from each Yeomanry Regiment and these were grouped into battalions.
The Warwickshire Yeomanry Squadron became 5th Company, 2nd Battalion Imperial Yeomanry consisting of five Officers and 116 Ors and sailed for South Africa on the 1st February 1900.
There was a second contingent of Warwickshire Imperial Yeomanry of 146 men sent to South Africa to replace losses through illness, wounds and death.
In May of that 1901 they received orders to return home; returning to a rapturous welcome on the Warwick Market Square.
Warwickshire Yeomanry during WW1
1/1st Warwickshire Yeomanry
in August 1914 the regiment mobilised, but remained in England until 1915, when they sailed for Egypt and placed under the command of 2nd Mounted Division.
The horse transport Wayfarer was torpedoed on 11 April 1915 having just left Avonmouth.
Although Wayfarer did not sink, the Regiments horses had to be rescued. Volunteers of the regiment saved 763 horses, for this daring act certain members of the Regiment were awarded Military Cross and twelve Meritorious Service Medals.
Arrived in Egypt on 24 April, and were moved to Gallipoli for service as dismounted infantry in Aug 1915.
Landing at Suvla Bay on 18 August and went into action at the Battle of Scimitar Hill, on 21 August.
The regiment remained in the line until withdrawn at the end of October, suffering heavy losses.
The Regiment then came under the command of the Australian Mounted Division in February 1917 and went on to serve in Palestine as cavalry. Seeing action at the First and Second Battles of Gaza, they also took part in the Charge at Huj and saw action in the Battle of Mughar Ridge and the Battle of Jerusalem.
Withdrawn from action in April 1918, the Regiment was then amalgamated with the South Nottinghamshire Hussars into B Battalion, Machine Gun Corps.
Then re-titled the 100th Battalion, Machine Gun Corps, which would serve on the Western Front for the remainder of the war.
2/1st Warwickshire Yeomanry
The regiment raised a second-line battalion, the 2/1st Warwickshire Yeomanry, in September 1914 and this Regiment remained in the United Kingdom, did not see service, and was converted into a cyclist unit in September 1917.
In October 1917 the Regiment was placed under command of 214th Brigade and was placed under notice for deployment to Murmansk.
In March 1918, the Murmansk Operation was cancelled and the unit was disbanded, with all fit men sent as replacements to units on the Western Front.
3/1st Warwickshire Yeomanry
A third-line battalion was raised in 1915, and remained in the United Kingdom and was then merged into the 4th Cavalry Reserve Regiment in sometime in1917.
3/1 Warwickshire Yeomanry was demobilised after the War, and the regiment was reconstituted in 1920 in the Territorial Army.
Warwickshire Yeomanry during WW2
The regiment was mobilised and attached to 1st Cavalry Division, moving in 1940 to the Middle East, where it saw service in Iraq and Syria in 1941.
The Regiment was not Mechanised prior to WW2 as some units were and this took place late in 1941, becoming an Armoured Regiment and transfering into the Royal Armoured Corps, with the division redesignating itself as 10th Armoured Division.
The regiment saw service in the North African Campaign, fighting at the Second Battle of El Alamein whilst attached to 2nd New Zealand Division.
It was deployed to Italy in 1944, where it saw action in June and July.
The Regiment was awarded a unique battle honour of the New Zealand Fern Leaf, to be worn on its vehicles as a sign of valour. This was awarded by General Bernard Freyberg VC, the General Officer Commanding, New Zealand Forces.
After the War, the regiment reconstituted in the Territorial Army.