Denbighshire Hussars

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Denbighshire Hussars
DenbighshireHussars.jpg
Denbighshire Hussars Sergeant, 1907
Active 1794–1921
Country United Kingdom
Branch British Army
Type Yeomanry
Role Yeomanry Cavalry
Size One Regiment
Battle honours World War I
Second Battle of Gaza
Third Battle of Gaza
Battle of Beersheba
Battle of Epehy

The Denbighshire Hussars was a unit of the British Army from 1794 to 1921. It saw service in the First World War before being merged into a unit of the Royal Artillery.

History[edit]

Formation and Early history[edit]

Formed as a volunteer cavalry unit in 1794 during the French Revolutionary Wars.[1]

In 1830 it was used to quell colliery workers in Rhosllannerchrugog. The colliery workers were angered by the truck shop system that forced them to spend their wages in shops owned by their employers. They planned to destroy a truck shop owned by the British Ironworks Company. The Regiment was ordered out on patrol to 'terrify the mob.'[1] At an incident in Rhosllannerchrugog, known as the Battle of Cinder Hill, overzealous troops had to be brought under control after a demonstrator threw a firework at the soldiers.[1]

The Regiment became the Denbighshire Hussars in 1876. It trained at Hightown Barracks in Wrexham for the Boer War and the two World Wars.[1]

In 1911 the Regiment had the honour of being the escort to the Prince of Wales to his Investiture at Caernarfon Castle.[1]

World War I[edit]

Welsh Border Mounted Brigade
Organisation on 4 August 1914

In accordance with the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act 1907 (7 Edw.7, c.9) which brought the Territorial Force into being, the TF was intended to be a home defence force for service during wartime and members could not be compelled to serve outside the country. However, on the outbreak of war on 4 August 1914, many members volunteered for Imperial Service. Therefore, TF units were split in August and September 1914 into 1st Line (liable for overseas service) and 2nd Line (home service for those unable or unwilling to serve overseas) units. Later, a 3rd Line was formed to act as a reserve, providing trained replacements for the 1st and 2nd Line regiments.[2]

1/1st Denbighshire Hussars[edit]

The 1/1st Denbighshire Hussars in 1914, were in the Welsh Border Mounted Brigade, which in September 1914 was attached to the 1st Mounted Division. In 1916 the 1/1st, together with the rest of the Brigade and the South Wales Mounted Brigade, became a dismounted unit. In November 1915 it became a dismounted unit and moved to Egypt, forming the 4th Dismounted Brigade.

In February 1917 it went through another change. This time the unit was re-roled as infantry to become the 24th (Denbighshire Yeomanry) Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, attached to the 231st Brigade, 74th (Yeomanry) Division. As part of the 74th (Yeomanry) Division, the Battalion/Regiment was involved in the Second and Third Battles of Gaza, the Battle of Beersheba and the Battle of Epehy.[3][4]

2/1st Denbighshire Hussars[edit]

The 2nd Line regiment was formed in 1914 and joined the 2/1st Welsh Border Mounted Brigade in the Newcastle area of Northumberland in January 1915[5] (along with the 2/1st Shropshire Yeomanry[6] and the 2/1st Cheshire Yeomanry[5]). The brigade was placed under the command of the 63rd (2nd Northumbrian) Division.[7] On 31 March 1916, the remaining Mounted Brigades were ordered to be numbered in a single sequence and the brigade became 17th Mounted Brigade, still in Northumberland under Northern Command.[8]

In April 1916, it moved with its brigade to East Anglia where it joined the 1st Mounted Division; it replaced its 1st Line which had departed (dismounted) for Egypt.[9] By July it had left with its brigade for the Morpeth, Northumberland area.[5]

In July 1916 there was a major reorganization of 2nd Line yeomanry units in the UK. All but 12 regiments were converted to cyclists[8] and as a consequence the regiment was dismounted and the brigade converted to 10th Cyclist Brigade. Further reorganization in October and November 1916 saw the brigade redesignated as 6th Cyclist Brigade in November, still in the Morpeth area.[10] At this time the regiment departed for the 1st Cyclist Brigade at Beccles in Suffolk where it was amalgamated with the 2/1st Montgomeryshire Yeomanry as the 3rd (Montgomery and Denbigh Yeomanry) Cyclist Battalion.[a][5] The regiment resumed its separate identity in March 1917. It moved to Worlingham (near Beccles) in July, to Aldeburgh in January 1918 and back to Worlingham in April. It was still in 1st Cylist Brigade at the end of the war.[5]

3/1st Denbighshire Hussars[edit]

The 3rd Line regiment was formed in 1915 and in the summer it was affiliated to a Reserve Cavalry Regiment at The Curragh. In the summer of 1916 it was dismounted and attached to the 3rd Line Groups of the West Lancashire Division as its 1st Line was serving as infantry. The regiment was disbanded early in 1917 with personnel transferring to the 2nd Line regiment or to the 4th (Reserve) Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Oswestry.[5]

Amalgamation[edit]

Following the experience of the First World War, it was decided that only the fourteen most senior yeomanry regiments would be retained as horsed cavalry,[13] with the rest being transferred to other roles.[14] The Denbighshire Yeomanry were one of the regiments transferred to the Royal Artillery; it was re-roled as a medium artillery formation, and amalgamated with the 61st Medium Brigade Royal Garrison Artillery (the former Carnarvonshire Artillery Volunteers), to form 61 Medium Regiment R.A. (Caernarvon and Denbigh Yeomanry). In 1939 it formed a duplicate unit, 69 Medium Regiment R.A. (Caernarvon & Denbigh Yeomanry).[4][15] It would see service in France during the phoney war (1939–1940); after the Dunkirk evacuation, it would remain in the United Kingdom until returning to Europe in June 1944 with 21st Army Group.[16]

In 1947 the regiment reformed as an artillery formation as 361st (Carnarvonshire and Denbigh Yeomanry) Medium Regiment. In 1956 this was merged with the 384th Light Regiment (formerly 5th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers) to become the 372nd (Flintshire and Denbighshire Yeomanry) Regiment. The Regiment effectively ceased to exist in 1968, although it continued in name as a cadre until it was amalgamated in 1971 with the Welsh Volunteers to become the 3rd (V) Bn Royal Welch Fusiliers, in which form its lineage was continued until 1999 as a unit of the Territorial Army. In 1969, Cadre members formed part of the military route-lining party for the Investiture of the Prince of Wales at Caernarfon.[3][4]

On 1 April 2014, the unit became 398 (Flint & Denbighshire Yeomanry) Squadron, The Royal Logistic Corps and took on a new primary role as Drivers within the Welsh Transport Regiment. They have other secondary duties and can be trained as Ammunition Technicians; Logistic Specialists; Logistic Communications Specialists; Chefs, among 17 other trades open to all with the Corps. Their fine traditions will support them well into this Century and the have much to offer the Army Reserve.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ James also names the combined unit as 3rd (Denbigh and Montgomery) Yeomanry Cyclist Regiment[11] which seems more plausible than 3rd (Montgomery and Denbigh Yeomanry) Cyclist Battalion given that the Denbighshire Hussars were ranked 16th in the Yeomanry order of precedence whereas the Montgomeryshire Yeomanry were ranked 35th.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "wrexham.gov". 
  2. ^ Rinaldi 2008, p. 35
  3. ^ a b "The Denbighshire (Hussars) Yeomanry". Land Forces of the British Empire. 18 June 2006. Archived from the original on 20 December 2007. Retrieved 20 May 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c "Carnarvonshire & Anglesey Artillery Volunteers, Royal Artillery (Territorials) 1860–1922". Land Forces of the British Empire. 10 June 2006. Archived from the original on 29 November 2007. Retrieved 20 May 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f James 1978, p. 17
  6. ^ James 1978, p. 27
  7. ^ Becke 1937, p. 51
  8. ^ a b James 1978, p. 36
  9. ^ Becke 1936, p. 6
  10. ^ James 1978, pp. 17,27
  11. ^ James 1978, pp. 24–25
  12. ^ Mileham 1994, p. 73
  13. ^ Mileham 1994, p. 48
  14. ^ Mileham 1994, p. 50
  15. ^ Barton, Derek. "Yeomanry converted to RA". The Royal Artillery 1939–45. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  16. ^ Barton, Derek. "61 (Caernarvon & Denbigh) Medium Regiment RA(TA)". The Royal Artillery 1939–45. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Becke, Major A.F. (1936). Order of Battle of Divisions Part 2A. The Territorial Force Mounted Divisions and the 1st-Line Territorial Force Divisions (42–56). London: His Majesty's Stationery Office. ISBN 1-871167-12-4. 
  • Becke, Major A.F. (1937). Order of Battle of Divisions Part 2B. The 2nd-Line Territorial Force Divisions (57th–69th) with The Home-Service Divisions (71st–73rd) and 74th and 75th Divisions. London: His Majesty's Stationery Office. ISBN 1-871167-00-0. 
  • James, Brigadier E.A. (1978). British Regiments 1914–18. London: Samson Books Limited. ISBN 0-906304-03-2. 
  • Mileham, Patrick (1994). The Yeomanry Regiments; 200 Years of Tradition. Edinburgh: Canongate Academic. ISBN 1-898410-36-4. 
  • Rinaldi, Richard A (2008). Order of Battle of the British Army 1914. Ravi Rikhye. ISBN 978-0-97760728-0. 

External links[edit]