Unit History: Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry
The Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry was a Yeomanry, Cavalry Regiment of the British Army formed in 1819.
Its formation in 1819 was largely a response to widespread fear in the wake of the 'Peterloo' incident of that year in which the Manchester Yeomanry had been called upon to put down a civil commotion following a Reform meeting.
A contingent of the regiment took part in celebrations in London of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee and in 1900-1902 the Yeomanry sent a company of mounted infantry to the Boer War in South Africa.
Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry during the Boer War
On 13 December 1899, the decision was made to allow volunteer forces to serve in the Second Boer War.
Due to the string of defeats during Black Week in December 1899, the HM government realised it required more troops than just the regular army. To do this a Royal Warrant was issued on 24 December 1899. This warrant officially created the Imperial Yeomanry.
The Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry provided troops for the 8th Battalion Imperial Yeomanry, 24th (Westmorland and Cumberland) Company.
In a skirmish at Faber's Put, several lost their lives. They were commemorated by the granite memorial formerly in front of Penrith Town Hall now re-located in the Castle Park.
Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry during WW1
During World War I the Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry raised 2 extra Regiments:
2/1st and 3/1st Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry.
1/1st Westmorland & Cumberland Yeomanry
Used as the First/Front Line unit, they mobilised in April 1915 the regiment was dispersed under the command of several Divisions:
Regimental Headquarters and D Squadron came under command of the 20th (Light) Div based at Larkhill. Then in July of that year they landed at Le Havre. 30 April and 14 May 1916 they were placed under the command of the 2nd Cavalry Division.
During May 1916 they took the role of XI Corps Cavalry Regiment.
A Sqn was merged with the three other squadrons, to raise manning levels.
B Sqn placed under the command of 15th (Scottish) Division at Marlborough, Wiltshire.
In July 1915, they landed in France.
During April 1916 they were placed under the command of 1st Cavalry Division, on 15 May 1916 they rejoined Regimental HQ, and carried out the role of XI Corps Cavalry Regiment alongside RHQ and D Sqn.
C Sqn joined 18th (Eastern) Division on Salisbury Plain on 15 June 1915 and then deployed to France in July 1915. During early May 1916 in France the Squadron came under the command of 1st Cavalry Division. 15 May 1916 rejoined Regimental HQ, and carried out the role of XI Corps Cavalry Regiment alongside RHQ, B and D Sqn.
The whole Regiment was now reformed and on 21 July1917 they dismounted and moved to base depot to be trained as infantry.
On 22 September 1917 officers and men transferred to Border Regiment and Regiment retitled into 7th (Westmorland & Cumberland Yeomanry) Battalion, the Border Regiment.
2/1st Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry
2/1 Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry
The 2/1st was raised in September 1914 and attached to the Western Mounted Brigade later re-titled 21st Mounted Brigade and then re-roled to a cyclist Battalion and retitled 14th Cyclict Brigade, under the command of 14th Cyclist Brigade. The Regiment remained in the UK until May 1918 when they were moved to Ireland.
3/1st Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry
raised as a Training Regiment in 1915 the regiment remained in United Kingdom until they were absorbed into 10th Reserve Cavalry Regiment in Summer 1916.
Personnel were later re-trained and re-roled as infantry then merged and retitled 5th (Reserve) Bn Durham Light Infantry in early 1918.
Inter War Years:
The post-war reorganisations of the Territorials made most of its Yeomanry Cavalry Regiments surplus to requirements and in early 1922 it was announced that the Regiment would convert to Royal Field Artillery.
Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry during WW2
51st (Westmoreland & Cumberland) Field Artillery Regiment
The 51st (Westmoreland & Cumberland) Field Artillery Regiment Territorial Army (TA) originally consisted of the 203rd (Cumberland) and 370th (Cumberland Yeomanry) Batteries.
During World War II in 1940 they served in Norway, during the Norwegian Campaign on detachment from the 42nd (East Lancashire) Division.
They were then deployed to the Western Desert where they were to see action serving with the 7th Armoured Division in November 1941 and in the siege of Tobruk with the 9th Australian Division. In February
1942, they served in Ceylon, under command of 16th Brigade.
1943 would see them deploy again to India where they joined the 70th Infantry Division, this lasted until September 1943 when they were placed in suspended animation.