Unit History: Worcestershire Yeomanry
Worcestershire Yeomanry was formed in 1794, as volunteer cavalry in 1794, during the French Revolutionary Wars.
In 1887, Queen Victoria altered the title of the regiment which was for the future to bear the designation of the Queen's Own Worcestershire Hussars.
Between the First and Second World Wars
The Regiment returned from Palestine in 1919, under strength but were quickly reformed and brought up to strength.
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 Worcestershires were to become a Royal Artillery Regiment.
Tasked to provide two batteries of horsed field artillery along with two batteries of the Oxfordshire's this would form 100th Field Brigade Royal Artillery and again in 1938 would re-title, please read on:
The Regiment was to re-title to the 33rd Airborne Light Regiment (Worcestershire Yeomanry) R.A. just prior to the Regiment's posting in January 1948 to Schleswig-Holstein in Germany.
It was equipped with six-pounder anti-tank guns and later 17-pounder self-propelled guns.
In 1950 the Regiment re-roled to cavalry and re-titled to The Queen's Own Worcestershire Hussars.
1956 saw the Government announced a reduction to the size of the T.A.
November 1956 it was announced that the Warwickshire Yeomanry and The Queen's Own Worcestershire Hussars were to be amalgamated.
The new Regiment was named "The Queen's Own Warwickshire and Worcestershire Yeomanry" (QOWWY) the following year.
The Regiment continued as a Cavalry Regiment in the Royal Armoured Corps, equipped with the Comet tank until 1962. The Regiment re-roled to an Armoured Car Reconnaissance Regiment and in 1966 it became a light Reconnaissance Regiment equipped with Dinger Scout cars.
In 1969 the T.A. was once again reduced by the Labour Government and except for one Yeomanry Regiment, with all other Regiments disbanding and retaining a small cadre of five members for possible expansion in later years.
The Regiment formed a Signals Squadron, 67 (QOWWY) Signal Squadron at Stratford-on-Avon and Stourbridge with a Royal Signals role. This Squadron was raised from former members of the QOWWY.
In 1971 the T.A. Yeomanry cadres were authorised to expand to Squadron strength (120 men). The regiment raised three squadrons in total and the Staffordshire Yeomanry and the Shropshire Yeomanry were formed into a new Regiment this regiment was titled "The Queen's Own Mercian Yeomanry" and they carried out a reconnaissance role.
With the defence cuts of 1992 The Queen's Own Mercian Yeomanry were amalgamated with The Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry and this new regiment was titled The Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry (RLMY) with H.M. The Queen as its Colonel in Chief.
It had carried out a medium reconnaissance role and was equipped with Land Rovers. In October 2006, the RMLY became a single cap badge regiment, when the individual cap badges of each squadron were replaced by the newly designed RMLY cap badge.
The Queen's Own Warwickshire and Worcestershire Yeomanry has two serving successor Squadrons in 1994 as follows:-
A (QOWWY) Squadron of the Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry based at Stourbridge with 2 Troops at Coventry
67 (QOWWY) Signal Squadron of 37 Signal Regiment, based at Stratford-on-Avon and Stourbridge.
Worcestershire Yeomanry during the Boer War
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.
Lord Windsor, the Commanding Officer asked for volunteers for a newly formed Imperial Yeomanry Cavalry and was able to select 129 men from the 3,021 men who offered their services.
The Worcestershire contingent formed the 6th Squadron of the 5th Regiment of the Imperial Yeomanry Cavalry under the command of Colonel Meyrick. The Squadron was tasked with protecting the railways, pacifing the local Boer farmers and to capture the Boer forces their supplies, arms and equipment.
The Boer War ended in June 1902 and the Squadron returned to a home having lost 16 killed in action and 20 wounded.
Worcestershire Yeomanry during WW1
The First World War
The Earl of Dudley took command of the Worcestershire Yeomanry Cavalry in November 1913, The Earl was foresaw that another European war was approaching and he appointed a permanent staff of instructors who trained the Regiment in musketry.
During WW1 the Regiment raised 3 Units, these being listed below:
The Regiment was headquartered in Worcester, with the squadrons dispersed in the following locations:
A Sqn: Kidderminster
B Sqn: Camp Hill, Birmingham
C Sqn: Malvern
D Sqn: Worcester
1/1st Worcestershire Yeomanry
This was the Regiments Front or First Line Regiment, mobilising in August 1914, they deployed to Bury St Edmunds.
sailed from Avonmouth for Egypt on 11 April 1915 and was based in Chatby Camp, close to Alexandria, by 22 April 1915.
By the 18 August 1915 the Regiment had landed at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli as dismounted cavalry and then took part in the attacks on Chocolate Hill and Hill 112 in August 1915.
Early September 1915 saw members of the Regiment suffer severe sickness, this together with battle casualties resulted in reorganisation and the regiment merging with 1/1st Gloucestershire and 1/1st Warwickshire Yeomanry to form 1st South Midland Regiment placed under the command of 1st Composite Mounted Brigade.
The regiment was evacuated to Mudros by late October 1915, by December they were evacuated back to Egypt.
By 5 May 1918 the regiment was placed under the command of XX Corps and became the XX Corps Cavalry Regiment.
2/1st Worcestershire Yeomanry
This was the Regiments second Line unit.
In April 1915 the 2/1st had moved to Cirencester and was placed under the command of 2/1st Mounted Brigade, then in June moved with the Brigade to King’s Lynn and the whole brigade was placed under the command of 2/2nd Mounted Division.
By the end of April 1916 the 2/1st Mounted Brigade was redesignated 10th Mounted Brigade and placed under the command of 3rd Mounted Division, moving to Tunbridge Wells. By July the Regiment had re-roled to a Cyclist Battalion and placed under the command of 8th Cyclist Brigade.
November 1916 saw the Regiment become half of the 12th (Gloucestershire and Worcestershire) Yeomanry Cyclist Regiment, and moving to come under the command of the 4th Cyclist Brigade at Ipswich.
March 1917, the Regiment resumed its original title in the 4th Cyclist Brigade, and they moved to Wivenoe in April of that year. By November 1917 the regiment had moved to Manningtree.
The Regiment deployed to Dublin in April 1918 and remained there until after WW1.
3/1st Worcestershire Yeomanry
Formed as a Third-Line training unit at Worcester in June 1915, the 3/1st moved to Tidworth in 1916 and remained there as a Training Regiment until the end of the war.
The units above were reduced until finally there was only the one original unit.
Worcestershire Yeomanry during WW2
By 1938 the Regiment was converted into an Anti Tank Regiment. Its eighteen-pounders were replaced by two-pounders and the Regiment re-titled to:
53rd Worcestershire Yeomanry Anti-Tank Regiment R.A. To view the Unit during WW2 please Click here