Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry

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Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry
Duke Of Lancasters Yeomanry Badge.jpg
Badge of the Duke Of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry
Active 1798–present
Country  United Kingdom
Allegiance Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Branch Cavalry
Type Yeomanry
Size Squadron
Part of Royal Armoured Corps
Battle honours
  • Boer War
    *World War I
    *World War II
    No battle honours were awarded. It is tradition within artillery units that the Regiment's guns represent its colours and battle honours.[1]
Commanders
Colonel of
the Regiment
H.M Queen Elizabeth II {as Duke of Lancaster}

The Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry has its origins in the various troops of light horse raised in the eighteenth century in the county of Lancaster, the earliest of which was the Bolton Light Horse formed in 1798.[2]

In June 1828 the Lancashire Corps of Yeomanry Cavalry assembled and by special act, the king, William IV, granted the title Duke of Lancaster’s Corps of Yeomanry Cavalry in 1834, and the Sovereign, as the Duke of Lancaster, has traditionally been Colonel-in-Chief.[3]

The regiment sent mounted infantry for service in the Boer War as the Imperial Yeomanry, between 1900 and 1902.[4]

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.[5]

1/1st Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry[edit]

Formed in August 1914, in Manchester, the regiment became part of the Welsh Border Mounted Brigade.[5] It was then split up with RHQ and 'C' Squadron joining the 23rd Division in April 1915, after being briefly attached to the 1st Cavalry Division in late April to early May 1916.[5] 'A' Squadron joined the East Lancashire Division; then it moved to the 53rd Division while in Egypt on 29 January 1917, and moved to XXI Corps Cavalry in Palestine in August 1917 [5] 'D' Squadron joined the 14th Division.[5]

On 14 May 1916, all the units except 'A' Squadron reformed in France, where together with 'C' Squadron of the Surrey Yeomanry, they formed III Corps Cavalry.[5] On 24 July 1917 they were dismounted and became G.H.Q troops.[5]

On 24 September 1917, after infantry training, the regiment joined a battalion of the Manchester Regiment, which was redesignated 12th (Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry) Bn, the Manchester Regiment.[5]

2/1st Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry[edit]

The 2nd line regiment was formed in September 1914. By July 1915, it was under the command of the 2/1st Western Mounted Brigade (along with the 2/1st Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry[6] and the 2/1st Lancashire Hussars[7]) and in March 1916 was at Cupar, Fife.[8] On 31 March 1916, the remaining Mounted Brigades were numbered in a single sequence and the brigade became 21st Mounted Brigade, still at Cupar under Scottish Command.[9]

In July 1916 there was a major reorganization of 2nd line yeomanry units in the UK. All but 12 regiments were converted to cyclists[9] and as a consequence the regiment was dismounted and the brigade converted to 14th Cyclist Brigade. Further reorganization in October and November 1916 saw the brigade redesignated as 10th Cyclist Brigade in October 1916, still at Cupar.[10]

By January 1918, 10th Cyclist Brigade had moved to Lincolnshire with the regiment at Alford and Skegness.[8] About May 1918 the Brigade moved to Ireland[10] and the regiment was stationed at Tralee, County Kerry. There were no further changes before the end of the war.[8]

3/1st Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry[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 affiliated to 10th Reserve Cavalry Regiment, also at The Curragh. It was absorbed by the 6th Reserve Cavalry Regiment at Tidworth in early 1917.[8]

World War II[edit]

During World War II the regiment was mobilised as horsed cavalry but in 1940, it converted into and formed the 77th Medium and 78th Medium Regiments of Royal Artillery. The 78th went on to serve in Palestine, Syria and Italy as part of 6th Army Group Royal Artillery (6 AGRA).[11]

The 77th remained in Northern Ireland until early 1944 when it prepared for the invasion of Europe. Landing in Normandy on D Day plus 6, it was attached to 8 AGRA and fought for the Odon Bridgehead and in the battle of the Falaise Gap. It also provided support for the Arnhem Operation Market Garden in September 1944.[11]

Post war[edit]

In 1947 the Duke of Lancaster’s Own Yeomanry was reformed as an armoured regiment. Its role changed to reconnaissance in 1956, when it was equipped with armoured cars, but on 1 April 1967, it combined with the 40th/41st Royal Tank Regiment. Two years later, the combined regiment was reduced to a cadre until 1971 when it was reformed as an infantry unit. On 1 April 1983, it rejoined the Royal Armoured Corps as a home defence reconnaissance unit, being equipped with Land Rovers.[12]

The regiment disbanded as a result of the Options for Change on 1 November 1992 and units amalgamated with The Queen's Own Mercian Yeomanry to form The Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry and formed 'D' (Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry) Squadron.[13]

Honorary colonels[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "mod.uk". 
  2. ^ "army.mod.uk". 
  3. ^ "army.mod.uk". 
  4. ^ "army.mod.uk". 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Baker, Chris. "The Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 12 February 2014. 
  6. ^ Baker, Chris. "The Westmorland & Cumberland Yeomanry". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 12 February 2014. 
  7. ^ Baker, Chris. "The Lancashire Hussars Yeomanry". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 12 February 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c d James 1978, p. 22
  9. ^ a b James 1978, p. 36
  10. ^ a b James 1978, pp. 21,22,30
  11. ^ a b Barton, Derek. "78 (Duke of Lancasters Own Yeo) Medium Regiment RA(TA)". The Royal Artillery 1939-45. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  12. ^ "army.mod.uk". 
  13. ^ "win.tue.nl". 
  14. ^ The London Gazette: no. 26720. p. 1614. 10 March 1896. Retrieved 8 December 2009.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Brereton, John (1992). Chain Mail; the History of the Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry 1798-1991. Chippenham: Picton Publishers. ISBN 094825167-0. 
  • James, Brigadier E.A. (1978). British Regiments 1914–18. London: Samson Books Limited. ISBN 0-906304-03-2.