Royal Gloucestershire Hussars
||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (January 2013)|
|Royal Gloucestershire Hussars|
|Part of||Royal Wessex Yeomanry|
|Motto||Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense|
|Colors||Beaufort Blue, Buff and Crimson|
|March||Quick: D'ye ken John Peel?|
|Anniversaries||Katia Day - 23 April 1916,
Bir El Gubi - 19 November 1941
|Capt MG Lloyd-Baker,
Lt Col NA Birley DSO,
Lt Col Anthony Kershaw MC
The Royal Gloucestershire Hussars (RGH) was a unit of the British Army.
Raised in 1795 following William Pitt's 1794 order to raise volunteer bodies of men to defend Great Britain, through various re-organisations, the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars remain today on the establishment of the Territorial Army as C (RGH) Sqn Royal Wessex Yeomanry. Their main function is to provide Tank Replacement Crew for the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank. They also train in a forward reconnaissance role on the Land Rover Defender. They continue to have strong ties with the King's Royal Hussars.
- 1 History
- 2 Guidon
- 3 Items of interest
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 Bibliography
Formation and early years
In 1795 Captain Powell Snell raised the First Troop of Gloucestershire Gentleman and Yeomanry at the Plough Inn in Cheltenham. By 1797, troops had been raised at Minchinhampton, Wotton Under Edge, Stow on the Wold, Henbury, Bristol, and Gloucester. In 1798 Stroud had also raised a troop. Following the 1802 Peace of Amiens, all except the Cheltenham Troop under Major Snell were disbanded.
Following the end of the Napoleonic Wars, all Yeomanry Troops were disbanded, either voluntarily or by order, in 1827. In 1830, responding to unrest amongst agricultural workers, Yeomanry Troops were raised again. The First Troop was established by Mr Codrington of Dodington Park, quickly followed by troops from Fairford, Cirencester, Stroud, Tetbury, Gloucester, and Bristol. In 1834, the captains of all Gloucestershire troops met in Petty France and combined to form one regiment, known as the Gloucestershire Yeomanry Cavalry. The Marquis of Worcester was appointed as the first Commanding Officer and the band was established.
In 1900, 123 members of the RGH under Capt WH Playne left for Cape Town, forming C Coy 1 Bn Imperial Yeomanry.
World War I
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.
1/1st Royal Gloucestershire Hussars
On 15 April 1915, the RGH sailed to Egypt and was almost immediately dispatched as dismounts to Gallipoli. On return to Egypt, they took part in many of the battles that formed the Sinai and Palestine Campaign, primarily as part of the Imperial Mounted Division, including the Battle of Beersheba.
During The Great War, the RGH were placed under command of the following formations:
- 1st South Midland Mounted Brigade, British 2nd Mounted Division (Gallipoli only)
- 5th Mounted Brigade, Imperial Mounted Division
- 13th Cavalry Brigade, 5th Cavalry Division
2/1st Royal Gloucestershire Hussars
3/1st Royal Gloucestershire Hussars
World War II
During the Second World War, three lines of RGH existed:
- 1st RGH guarded the South West of England after Dunkirk. Due to leave for Africa as part of British 6th Armoured Division, a last minute change saw the unit spend the majority of the war as a UK Defence / Training regiment. After VJ Day, 1st RGH were sent to Austria and took part in the Musical Ride at the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna.
- 2nd RGH reached Egypt in October 1941 as part of British 22nd Armoured Brigade. The unit took part in many of the key battles in Operation Crusader. In subsequent engagements, the RGH suffered many casualties and was re-equipped on two occasions. 2nd RGH fought its final action at Battle of Alam el Halfa, on 31 August to 5 September 1942. Expecting to be re-equipped, the regiment was instead disbanded with 'F', 'G' and 'H' Squadrons transferred to the 4th Hussars, Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry and the 8th Hussars respectively. HQ Squadron was divided between the 5th Royal Tank Regiment and the 3rd Hussars.
- 3rd RGH, consisting of the equivalent of a single troop of one officer and 30 men, was at various times either a training 'regiment', a trials unit or a decoy unit.
Late 20th Century
In keeping with many Territorial Army units, the RGH was reduced to a cadre of three officers and four NCOs between 1969 and 1971.
The RGH forms C (RGH) Sqn Royal Wessex Yeomanry as an Armoured Replacement Squadron. It is also the parent unit of the army section of Pate's Grammar School Combined Cadet Force, whose members wear the cap badge of the RGH.
- South Africa 1900-01
The Great War
The Second World War
Items of interest
Lance Corporals and Corporals in the RGH have slightly different badges of rank compared to other similar units within the British Army. A Lance Corporal has two chevrons and a Corporal has two chevrons topped with a cloth crown. This crown is lost when the Corporal is promoted to Sergeant. In keeping with all armoured and cavalry units, rank is only worn on the right sleeve.
The origin of this arrangement is unclear. Suggestions vary from 'Queen Victoria preferred all NCOs to wear two chevrons minimum' to the practice of Lance Corporals removing the single chevron from the left sleeve of the dolman as this would be covered by the pelisse. As the RGH does not form part of the Household Division and the pelisse was not worn by NCOs from 1882 (and cavalry wear rank on only one arm in the first instance), both these explanations are probably incorrect.
- Royal Wessex Yeomanry
- Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry
- Royal Devon Yeomanry
- Dorset Yeomanry
- Imperial Yeomanry
- King's Royal Hussars
- Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars
- Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum
- Mileham, Patrick (1994). The Yeomanry Regiments. Edinburgh: Canongate Academic. ISBN 1-898410-36-4.
- Royal Review of Serving Yeomanry Regiments & Old Comrades by Her Majesty The Queen. 1994.
- Pitman, Stuart (1950). Second Royal Gloucestershire Hussars. London: St Catherine Press.
- Clifford, Rollo (1991). The Royal Gloucestershire Hussars. Stroud: Alan Sutton. ISBN 0-86299-982-0.
- Year of the Yeomanry. Winchester: Army Museum Ogilby Trust. 1994. ISBN 0-9515714-8-6.
- Morgan, Paul; Capt T McMahon, SSgt D Bird (1995). A Short History of the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars. Gloucester: Royal Gloucestershire Hussars.