Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry
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|Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry|
|Country|| Kingdom of Great Britain (1794–1800)
United Kingdom (1801– )
|Size||World War One
World War Two
|Part of||Territorial Force
Royal Armoured Corps
|Motto||Loyal unto Death|
|Lt Colonel Francis Willey, 2nd Baron Barnby
Lt Colonel Sir Albert Bennett, 1st Baronet
Colonel E O Kellett DSO MP
Lt Col S D Christopherson DSO MC US Silver Star
The Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry (SRY) is one of the five squadrons of the Royal Yeomanry (RY), a light cavalry regiment of the Army Reserve. Designated as 'S' Squadron, the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry's current role is to support the Formation Reconnaissance Regiments on operations by providing skilled reconnaissance soldiers.
Originally raised as the Nottinghamshire Yeomanry in 1794, the Regiment was used on several occasions in the 19th Century to maintain law and order. Since 1900, the Regiment has seen overseas service during the Second Boer War and both World Wars, earning 44 battle honours during these campaigns. The Squadron has contributed to the Royal Yeomanry's operational deployments to Iraq from 2003 to date. The squadron is currently supporting operations in Afghanistan, reinforcing regular regiments of the Royal Armoured Corps.
The Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry was raised in the summer of 1794 as the Nottinghamshire Yeomanry Cavalry, and is the fourth senior regiment of Yeomanry.
In the First World War the 1/1st Sherwood Rangers served in the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Mounted Brigade (later 7th Mounted Brigade) in Egypt as cavalry. In 1915 it was despatched to Gallipoli performing an infantry role and served as such for three months, receiving the "King's Colour" in recognition of its gallantry. The Regiment then returned to Egypt as cavalry, serving thereafter in North Greece and Palestine, taking part in the great cavalry advance from Gaza to Aleppo. The Sherwood Rangers won 13 battle honours for the First World War. The 2/1st Sherwood Rangers remained in Britain throughout the war, initially as part of the 2/2nd Mounted Division later as bicycle troops.
Between the wars the Regiment continued as a cavalry unit, mobilising in that role in 1939 to move to Palestine. However, in 1940 it converted to Artillery and took part in the defence of both Tobruk and Benghazi as well as the battle for Crete. In 1941 the Regiment converted to armour initially with M3 Grant, M4 Sherman and Crusader tank and served in most of the major 8th Army tank battles in North Africa, including Alam El Halfa and El Alamein. The Regiment landed in France on D-Day equipped with swimming DD Sherman and Sherman Firefly tanks and was in the thick of the fighting in Normandy and on the advance across northern France and Belgium. The recce troop was the first British unit to fight on German soil in 1944.
The Sherwood Rangers were involved in further hard fighting around the Rhine and had pushed onto Bremen and beyond by the end of the war. The Regiment's record in the Second World War is evidenced by 30 battle honours and 159 awards to its Yeomen.
In 1947 the Sherwood Rangers were revived as an armoured regiment, converting to reconnaissance in 1961. In 1964 the Regiment converted back to tanks before, in 1967, being reduced and reformed as a reconnaissance squadron of the newly created Royal Yeomanry. Fighting (Sabre) Troops (1-5) were equipped with, initially, a combination of Ferret armoured car and Alvis Saladin armoured cars and later with Fox Armoured Reconnaissance Vehicle. SHQ troop started in Alvis Saracen later having available FV105 Sultan ACV and FV104 Samaritan Armoured Ambulance. Support (Boot) Troop were initially equipped with Saracen and then CVR(T) Spartan APCs. This lasted for 25 years until 1992 when the Sherwood Rangers were moved to become B Squadron of the Queen's Own Yeomanry, where they operated as recce for the ACE Rapid Reaction Corps, during which period sabre troops were re-equipped with CVR(T) Scimitar and Sabre.The squadron rejoined the Royal Yeomanry as Challenger 2 reserves in 1999 and converted to the formation CBRN reconnaissance role in 2006.
Operating with logistical support provided by an Admin troop equipped with "4 tonners" and Land Rovers, the Unit, also had an element of REME LAD (Light Aid Detachment) who were equipped with first a Scammel then Foden recovery vehicle, then a Spartan (which ought to have been a Samson) CVRT recovery vehicle.
- Lindsay TM, Sherwood Rangers, Burrup Mathieson and Co., 1952
- Douglas Keith, Alamein to Zem Zem, Bantam books, 1985
- Hills Stuart, By Tank into Normandy, Cassell, 2003