Hampshire Yeomanry

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Hampshire Yeomanry (now 457 Battery RA)
Active 1794 -
Country Great Britain
Allegiance British Army
Branch Yeomanry
Size One Regiment
Battle honours

Boer War
South Africa 1900-1902
World War I
Battle of Messines
Battle of the Somme
Battle of Arras
Battle of Ypres
Battle of Flanders

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 Hampshire Yeomanry (Carabiniers) can trace its formation to the late 18th century. King George III was on the throne, William Pitt the Younger was Prime Minister of Great Britain, and across the English Channel, Britain was faced by a French nation that had recently guillotined its King and which possessed a revolutionary army numbering half a million men. The Prime Minister proposed that the English 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]

History[edit]

Formation and early history[edit]

Between 1794 and 1803, a large number of cavalry units such as the North Hampshire Yeomanry Cavalry, the New Forest Volunteer Cavalry, the Fawley Light Dragoons and the Southampton Cavalry were raised in southern England as independent groups of Yeomanry, but were brought under the collective title of North Hampshire Regiment of Yeomanry Cavalry in 1834, the title "North" was dropped by 1848. A Troop of Yeomanry existed on the Isle of Wight for many years. The Regiment adopted the title 'Carabiniers' in 1884.

Over the next 60 years the name changed several times, but always maintained a link with both Hampshire and the Yeomanry until in 1908, after the formation of The Territorial Force, the regiment became known as the Hampshire Yeomanry (Carabiniers) with detachments in Winchester, Portsmouth, Bournemouth and Southampton.

Boer War[edit]

On 13 December 1899, the decision to allow volunteer forces 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, 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 4 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 Hampshire Yeomanry raised the 41st Company, 12th Battalion.[6]

World War I[edit]

1st South Western 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.[7]

1/1st Hampshire Yeomanry[edit]

The 1st Line regiment mobilized at Winchester in August 1914 as part of the 1st South Western Mounted Brigade and moved to the Portsmouth defences. In October it moved with the brigade to the Forest Row area, and in October 1915 to Eastbourne. In March 1916, the regiment was split up as divisional cavalry squadrons:[8]

IX Corps Cavalry Regiment was formed on 28 June 1916 with the RHQ and C Squadron of the Hampshire Yeomanry, and A and B Squadrons, Wiltshire Yeomanry at Bailleul. In November the Wiltshire squadrons departed and A and B Squadrons, Hampshire Yeomanry joined in January 1917 to complete the regiment.[8]

The regiment left IX Corps on 25 July 1917 and on 26 August it was dismounted and sent to No. 3 Infantry Base Depot at Rouen for training as infantry.[8] On 27 September 1917, 12 officers and 307 men were absorbed into the 15th (Service) Battalion (2nd Portsmouth), Hampshire Regiment at Caëstre which became 15th (Hampshire Yeomanry) Battalion, Hampshire Regiment. The Battalion was in 122nd Brigade, 41st Division. On 12 November 1917, it moved to the Italian Front with the division, arriving at Mantua on 17 November. It returned to the Western Front in between 1 and 5 May 1918 and remained there, in 122nd Brigade, 41st Division, until the end of the war. By the Armistice it was at Neukerke, south of Audenarde, Belgium.[9]

2/1st Hampshire Yeomanry[edit]

The 2nd Line regiment was formed at Winchester in October 1914. In May 1915 it was with 2/1st South Western Mounted Brigade at Calne and moved in September to Canterbury, to Maresfield in October and to Tiptree in March 1916. At this time, the brigade was redesignated as 15th Mounted Brigade and joined 4th Mounted Division.[8]

In July 1916, the regiment was converted to a cyclist unit in 6th Cyclist Brigade, 2nd Cyclist Division; in August it was at Preston near Canterbury. In November 1916 it moved to Ipswich and the regiment was merged with the 2/1st Berkshire Yeomanry to form 11th (Hampshire and Berkshire) Yeomanry Cyclist Regiment in 4th Cyclist Brigade. In February 1917 it was at Coltishall and was part of 5th (Hampshire and West Somerset) Yeomanry Cyclist Regiment (with 2/1st West Somerset Yeomanry) in 2nd Cyclist Brigade. In March 1917 it resumed its identity as 2/1st Hampshire Yeomanry and by October 1917 it was at Reepham, Norfolk. On 16 May 1918, the regiment landed in Dublin and was posted to Maryborough (now Port Laoise) with companies at Tullamore and Birr, still in 2nd Cyclist Brigade; there was no further change before the end of the war.[8]

3/1st Hampshire Yeomanry[edit]

The 3rd Line regiment was formed in 1915; in the summer it was affiliated to the 11th Reserve Cavalry Regiment at Tidworth. Early in 1917 it was absorbed into the 4th Reserve Cavalry Regiment, at Aldershot. By 1918 it had left the 4th Reserve Cavalry Regiment when the 1st Line had been converted to infantry. It joined the 4th (Reserve) Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment at Larkhill.[8]

Between the wars[edit]

On 1 June 1920, the Regiment was reconstituted in the Territorial Army with HQ at Winchester. Following the experience of the war, it was decided that only the fourteen most senior yeomanry regiments would be retained as horsed cavalry,[10] with the rest being transferred to other roles.[11] As a result, 1n 1921, the Regiment was amalgamated with the Hampshire Royal Horse Artillery and simultaneously transferred to the Royal Artillery to form 95th (Hampshire Yeomanry) Brigade, RFA.[12]

World War II[edit]

At the end of the 1930s when war with Germany was again imminent, it was decided that the 95th Brigade would become an Anti Aircraft Artillery Regiment and was redesignated the 72nd (Hampshire) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery in which one battery, 217 H.A.A. Battery, was designated the "Hampshire Caribineers". On the outbreak of war they were deployed to protect the docks and staging areas along the South Coast. By 1942, once the Battle of Britain was over, the Regiments was transferred overseas and served in the North African and Italian Campaigns with the 8th Army.

Post war to present[edit]

In 1947, with the revival of the Territorial Army, the Hampshire Yeomanry was reformed as 295th (Hampshire Carabineers) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RA (TA). In 1963 the Regiment amalgamated with the 457 (Wessex) Heavy Air Defence Regiment RA (TA). The two units were renamed the 457th (Wessex) Heavy Air Defence Regiment, RA (Hampshire Carabiniers Yeomanry), this gave the Regiment the longest title in the army, and took on a new role converting from traditional Anti-Aircraft Guns to using the Thunderbird Anti-Aircraft Missile. The Regiment had the distinction of firing the last 3 missiles in the UK before Thunderbird was decommissioned. On 31 March 1967 the Regiment was disbanded on the demise of the Territorial Army and its replacement the TAVR. The regiment was reformed in 1992 when the Hampshire Yeomanry returned as the 227 (Hampshire Yeomanry) Amphibious Engineer Squadron, Royal Engineers. Again this was a very short lived incarnation as, after the Strategic Defence Review in 1999, the unit was re roled as artillery with the formation of 457 (Hampshire Yeomanry) Battery, 106th (Yeomanry) Regiment Royal Artillery. The battery is based at Millbrook, Southampton and equipped again with an Anti-Aircraft Missile, High Velocity Missile (HVM).[13]

Soldiers from 457 (Hampshire Yeomanry) Battery have be mobilised as individual reservists to support Op Telic (Iraq 2003-2012), the 2012 London Olympics and Op Herrick (Afghanistan 2013).

Soldiers have also been involved in peacekeeping in Cyprus and military training in Cyprus, Gibraltar, Malta, Kenya and the US.

Future Reserves 2020[edit]

Under the 2013 restructure of the British Army, following the UK governments reports of Army 2020 and Future Reserves 2020 (2011). The following changes were made to the Hampshire Yeomanry lineage

457 Battery will re-role from HVM LML to HVM SP(the 'Stormer' armoured variant) and re-named 457 (Hampshire Carabinier Yeomanry) Battery Royal Artillery remaining in Southampton.

A new Battery is to be formed in 2014 within the Portsmouth area and named 295 (Hampshire Yeomanry) Battery Royal Artillery also equipped with HVM SP.

Both Batteries will form part of 106 (Yeomanry) Regiment Royal Artillery.

Battle honours[edit]

The Hampshire Yeomanry has been awarded the following battle honours:[12]

Second Boer War

South Africa 1900–01

World War I

Messines 1917, Somme 1918, St. Quentin, Bapaume 1918, Arras 1918, Ypres 1918, Courtrai, France and Flanders 1916–17 '18, Italy 1917–18

World War II

The Royal Artillery was present in nearly all battles and would have earned most of the honours awarded to cavalry and infantry regiments. In 1833, William IV awarded the motto Ubique (meaning "everywhere") in place of all battle honours.[14]

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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]