Unit History: Yorkshire Hussars
The Yorkshire Hussars was a unit of the British Army from 1794 to 1956.
The regiment was formed as volunteer cavalry in 1794 during the French Revolutionary Wars.
Re-Titled Yorkshire Hussars in 1819 and in 1864, to mark the Queen’s Jubilee, the Yorkshire Hussars became Yorkshire Hussars (Alexandra Princess of Wales' Own) or Yorkshire Hussars (APWO).
In 1908, The Territorial Forces Act for Home Defence, came into being and the Yeomanry formed the mounted branch of theTerritorial Army.
On reforming the TA, the 14 senior Yeomanry Regiments remained horsed cavalry regiments The Yorkshire Hussars became 3rd in seniority, coming under the command of the 5th Cavalry Brigade (with its headquarters in York).
After the second world war the yeomanry regiments in Yorkshire were amalgamated into The Queen's Own Yorkshire Yeomanry, which was formed on April 1, 1967 as a TAVR III unit with the RHQ and 'A' Squadron at York, 'B' Squadron at Doncaster and 'C Squadron at Hull, then on April 1, 1969, they were reduced to cadre and finally reformed on April 1, 1971, as 'A' Squadron The Queen's Own Yeomanry.
In 1956 it merged with two other Yeomanry Regiments to form the Queen's Own Yorkshire Yeomanry.
It continues today under the title of: Queen's Own Yeomanry.
Yorkshire Hussars during the Boer War
The outbreak of the Boer War in the autumn of 1899, 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 volunteers from the Yorkshire Yeomanry Regiments assembled at Sheffield Cavalry Barracks, forming 9th (Yorkshire Hussars) Squadron and 11th (Yorkshire Dragoons) Squadron, 3rd Imperial Yeomanry.
Due to the excess of Yorkshire Volunteers, an additional Squadron was formed, the 66th Imperial Yeomanry Squadron, this was then sent to join 16th Imperial Yeomanry.
January 1901, with the South African war continuing the original Imperial Yeomanry was reinforced and replaced, the new Yeomanry formed into 9th and 11th Squadrons, and, because of the number of volunteers, re-dividing and creating two additional Squadrons, 109th and 111th.
Yorkshire Hussars during WW1
During WW1 the Regiment raised 3 Units, these being listed below:
The Regiment had its headquarters in York, with it’s the squadrons being based in the following Locations:
A Sqn: Leeds
B Sqn: York
C Sqn: Knaresborough
D Sqn: Middlesbrough
1/1st Yorkshire Hussars
During April of 1915, the Regiment was split between 3 different Divisions, to provide Cavalry support:
B Squadron was placed under the command of 46th (North Midland) Division. Deploying to Le Havre 28 February 1915.
HQ and A Squadron was placed under the command of 50th (Northumbrian) Division. and the deployed to Le Havre on 18 April 1915.
C Squadron was placed under the command of 49th (West Riding) Division. Deploying to Le Havre on 16 April 1915.
D Squadron was disbanded and used to reinforces the other squadrons on their deployments.
A Squadron seeing action at the Second Battle of Ypres, B at the Battle of Loos and C at the Battle of Aubers Ridge.
In May 1916, the Regiment reformed and was placed under the command of XVII Corps and was designated as the Corps Cavalry Regiment.
The Regiment was dismounted and re-roled as infantry in August 1917 and was deployed to Etaples for training in the Infantry role.
With training completed in November 1917, approximately 400 men were sent to the 9th (Service) Battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment, which was retitled to the 9th (Yorkshire Hussars Yeomanry) Battalion.
2/1st Yorkshire Hussars
Raised in September 1914 as a Second-Line unit.
Placed under the command of 2/1st Yorkshire Mounted Brigade in 1915, by March 1916they were based in the Beverley area, brigade was redesignated 18th Mounted Brigade.
The Regiment re-roled to a cyclist unit by July 1916 and placed under the command of 11th Cyclist Brigade.
Brigade retitled as 7th Cyclist Brigade in November 1916, various locations within the UK until April 1918, when the brigade as a whole was deployed to Ireland, with the Regiment based at Fermoy and Fethard until the end of WW1.
3/1st Yorkshire Hussars
Formed as a Third-Line training unit in 1915, this regiment did not deploy, in February 1917 merged with 5th Reserve Cavalry Regiment and retained the 5th Reserve Cavalry Regiment title and based in Tidworth.
In early 1918 this Regiment was detached from Reserve Cavalry and men transferred to 5th Reserve Battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment at Rugeley.
At the end of WW1 the Regiments were disbanded and reverted back to the one original Regiment of Yorkshire Hussars (APWO)
Yorkshire Hussars during WW2
In World War II the Regiment was under the command of the 6th Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, which later became the 10th Armoured Division. To full fill its role with this Division the Regiment re-roled to armour and started tank training with Stuart tanks as part of the 9th Armoured Brigade.
In March 1942 the Regiment became the Armoured Striking Force in Cyprus with Cruiser and Valentine tanks, and moving from there to Egypt in January 1943. The Regiment re-equipped with Sherman and Crusader tanks. They returned to at the end of the year.
In 1944, the Regiment re-roled again to be come an Infantry Division Reconnaissance Regiment, it was placed under the command of 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division, it was next placed under the command of 61st (South Midland) Infantry Division and missed out on deploying for the D-Day Landings.
The Regiment then became the unit responsibel for running several D-Day Embarkation Camps, with each Squadron running one.
During August 1944, the Regiment Reformed as a whole and was placed as a Reconnaissance Holding Unit, responsible for refresher courses and drafting of returned wounded personnel who were trained in Reconnaissance.
In June 1945, the Regiment reorganised as a Light Armoured Regiment (Churchills). It was placed in ‘suspended animation’ March 1946.