Glamorgan Yeomanry

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Glamorgan Yeomanry
Active 1797 - 1908
Country Great Britain
Allegiance British Army
Branch Yeomanry
Size One Regiment
Battle honours Boer war
South Africa 1900 - 1902
World War I
Second Battle of Gaza
Third Battle of Gaza
Battle of Beersheba
Battle of Epehy
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]

The Glamorgan Yeomanry was originally raised in the late eighteenth century as a result of concern over the threat of invasion by the French. It also saw service in the Boer War, First World War, Second World War and is today part of a Royal Artillery Territorial Army (TA) unit.

Early years[edit]

The Glamorgan Yeomanry were formed in 1797, when King George III was on the throne, William Pitt the Younger was the Prime Minister of Great Britain, and across the English Channel, Britain was faced by a French nation that had recently guillotined its King and possessed a revolutionary army numbering half a million men. The Prime Minister proposed that the British counties form a force of Volunteer Yeoman Cavalry that could be called-on by the King to defend the country against invasion or by the Lord Lieutenant to subdue any civil disorder within the country.[2]

Boer War[edit]

On 13 December 1899, the decision to allow volunteer forces to serve in the Second Boer War was made. Due to the string of defeats during Black Week in December 1899, the British government realized they were going to need more troops than just the regular army, thus issuing a Royal Warrant on 24 December 1899. This warrant officially created the Imperial Yeomanry.

The Royal Warrant asked standing Yeomanry regiments to provide service companies of approximately 115 men each. In addition to this, many British citizens (usually mid-upper class) volunteered to join the new regiment.[3] Although there were strict requirements, many volunteers were accepted with substandard horsemanship/marksmanship skills, however they had significant time to train while awaiting transport.

The first contingent of recruits contained 550 officers, 10,371 men with 20 battalions and four companies,[4] which arrived in South Africa between February and April 1900.[5] Upon arrival, the regiment was sent throughout the zone of operations.
The Glamorgan Yeomanry provided troops for the 4th Company, 1st Battalion.[6]

World War I[edit]

South Wales 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 (TF) 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. A 3rd Line was later formed to act as a reserve, providing trained replacements for the 1st and 2nd Line regiments.[7]

1/1st Glamorgan Yeomanry[edit]

The 1/1st Glamorgan Yeomanry was mobilised on 4 August 1914 as part of the South Wales Mounted Brigade on the outbreak of the First World War. The brigade was assembled at Hereford and moved to East Anglia by the end of August 1914. It joined the 1st Mounted Division the same month,[8] replacing 1st South Midland Mounted Brigade[9] which then moved to the 2nd Mounted Division.[10] In November 1915, the brigade was dismounted. It was replaced in 1st Mounted Division by 2/1st Eastern Mounted Brigade when it departed for Egypt.[9]

With the brigade, the regiment was posted to Egypt in March 1916. On 20 March, the South Wales Mounted Brigade was absorbed into the 4th Dismounted Brigade[11] (along with the Welsh Border Mounted Brigade[11]). In March 1917 the regiment was re-roled as infantry and together with the Pembroke Yeomanry was converted into the 24th (Pembroke & Glamorgan) Battalion, The Welsh Regiment. It joined 231st Brigade in the 74th (Yeomanry) Division.[12] In May 1918, the Division moved to France, where the battalion saw action on the Western Front.[7]

As part of the 74th Yeomanry Division it was involved in the following battles Second Battle of Gaza, Third Battle of Gaza, Battle of Beersheba and the Battle of Epehy.[7]

2/1st Glamorgan Yeomanry[edit]

Formed in September 1914, it joined 2/1st South Wales Mounted Brigade in January 1915. The brigade was redesignated 4th Mounted Brigade in 1st Mounted Division in April 1916. It converted into a Cyclist unit in November 1917.[7]

3/1st Glamorgan Yeomanry[edit]

This regiment was formed in 1915. It remained in the United Kingdom until it was disbanded in early 1917.[7]

Glamorgan Yeomanry memorial

Between the Wars[edit]

On the reforming of the TA, the 14 senior Yeomanry Regiments remained as horsed cavalry regiments, (six forming the 5th and 6th Cavalry Brigades) the remaining Yeomanry Regiments would be re-roled as Artillery.[1] The Glamorgan Yeomanry were one of the regiments that now formed part of the Royal Artillery forming 81 (Welsh) Field Regiment RA (TA) in 1922.

World War II[edit]

At the start of World War II, the Glamorgan Yeomanry, now known as 81 (Welsh) Field Regiment RA (TA), consisted of two batteries, 323 (Glamorgan) and 324 (Glamorgan); they would serve in the northwest Europe campaign from June 1944. The two sub-units were attached to the 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division.[13]

A second line regiment formed in 1939, 132 (Welsh) Field Regiment RA (TA). This new Regiment included 322 (Glamorgan), 321 (Glamorgan) and 496 Batteries, all equipped with 25 pounder field guns. They were deployed on active service as part of the 38th (Welsh) Infantry Division and the 78th Infantry Division, in North Africa, at Tebourba and Tunisia, in Sicily and in Italy, taking past in the Monte Cassino battles; at the end of the war they were in Austria.[14]

Post war[edit]

The Glamorgan Yeomanry is perpetuated in the present day Territorial Army, by C (Glamorgan Yeomanry) Troop, 211 (South Wales) Battery Royal Artillery (Volunteers), who are based at Ty Llewellyn Territorial Army Centre.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "mod.uk". 
  2. ^ "worcestershire". [dead link]
  3. ^ "Boer War Notes". Retrieved 2007-06-11. 
  4. ^ Imperial Yeomanry at regiments.org by T.F.Mills at the Wayback Machine (archived 29 May 2007)
  5. ^ "Boer War - Imperial Yeomanry Battalions". Retrieved 2007-07-03. 
  6. ^ "anglo boer war". 
  7. ^ a b c d e Baker, Chris. "The Glamorgan Yeomanry". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  8. ^ Rinaldi 2008, p. 60
  9. ^ a b Becke 1936, p. 6
  10. ^ Becke 1936, p. 14
  11. ^ a b James 1978, p. 36
  12. ^ Becke 1937, p. 117
  13. ^ Barton, Derek. "81 (Welsh) Field Regiment RA(TA)". The Royal Artillery 1939-45. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  14. ^ Barton, Derek. "132 (Welsh) Field Regiment RA(TA)". The Royal Artillery 1939-45. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  15. ^ "mod.uk". [dead link]

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.