Denbighshire Hussars

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Denbighshire Hussars
DenbighshireHussars.jpg
Denbighshire Hussars Sergeant, 1907
Active 1870 – 1921
Country  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type Yeomanry
Role Yeomanry Cavalry
Size Up to three Regiments
Engagements

Second Boer War
First World War

Egypt 1916–17
Palestine 1917–18
France and Flanders 1918

Second World War

North-West Europe 1940 '44–45
North Africa 1942–43
Italy 1943–45
Battle honours See battle honours below

The Denbighshire Hussars was a unit of the British Army from 1794 to 1921. It saw service in the First World War before being merged into a unit of the Royal Artillery.

History[edit]

Formation and early history[edit]

Formed as a volunteer cavalry unit in 1794 during the French Revolutionary Wars.[1]

In 1830 it was used to quell colliery workers in Rhosllannerchrugog. The colliery workers were angered by the truck shop system that forced them to spend their wages in shops owned by their employers. They planned to destroy a truck shop owned by the British Ironworks Company. The Regiment was ordered out on patrol to 'terrify the mob.'[1] At an incident in Rhosllannerchrugog, known as the Battle of Cinder Hill, overzealous troops had to be brought under control after a demonstrator threw a firework at the soldiers.[1]

The Regiment became the Denbighshire Hussars in 1876. It trained at Hightown Barracks in Wrexham for the Boer War and the two World Wars.[1]

Second Boer War[edit]

The Yeomanry was not intended to serve overseas, but 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. A Royal Warrant was issued on 24 December 1899 to allow volunteer forces to serve in the Second Boer War. The Royal Warrant asked standing Yeomanry regiments to provide service companies of approximately 115 men each for the Imperial Yeomanry.[2] The regiment formed the 29th (Denbighshire) Company of the 9th Battalion in 1900.[3]

In 1911 the Regiment had the honour of being the escort to the Prince of Wales to his Investiture at Caernarfon Castle.[1]

First World War[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.[4]

1/1st Denbighshire Hussars[edit]

The 1/1st Denbighshire Hussars was mobilised with the Welsh Border Mounted Brigade on 4 August 1914 at the outbreak of the First World War. It moved to East Anglia where it joined the 1st Mounted Division in September 1914.[5] In November 1915, the brigade was dismounted.[6]

The regiment was posted with the brigade to Egypt in March 1916. On 20 March, Welsh Border Mounted Brigade was absorbed into the 4th Dismounted Brigade (along with the South Wales Mounted Brigade).[7]

The brigade was with the Suez Canal Defences when, on 14 January 1917, Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) Order No. 26 instructed that the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Dismounted Brigades be reorganized as the 229th, 230th and 231st Brigades.[8]

Between January and March 1917 the small Yeomanry regiments were amalgamated and numbered as battalions of infantry regiments recruiting from the same districts.[a] As a result, the 1/1st Denbighshire Hussars was converted to 24th (Denbighshire Yeomanry) Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers (24th RWF) in February 1917.[10][11]

On 23 February, the General Officer Commanding the EEF, Lieutenant-General Sir A.J. Murray, sought permission from the War Office to form the 229th, 230th and 231st Brigades into a new division. On 25 February, the War Office granted permission and the new 74th (Yeomanry) Division started to form. The 231st Brigade joined the division at el Arish by 9 March.[8]

It took part in the invasion of Palestine in 1917 and 1918, including the Second (17–19 April 1917) and Third Battles of Gaza (27 October–7 November) – including the capture of Beersheba on 31 October and the Sheria Position on 6 November. At the end of 1917, it took part in the capture and defence of Jerusalem and in March 1918 in the Battle of Tell 'Asur. On 3 April 1918, the division was warned that it would move to France and by 30 April 1918 had completed embarkation at Alexandria.[8]

In May 1918, the battalion landed at Marseilles, France with 74th (Yeomanry) Division. Due to a lack of replacements, British[b] infantry divisions on the Western Front had been reduced from 12 to nine battalions in January and February 1918.[12] To conform with this new structure, on 21 June, 12th (Ayrshire and Lanarkshire Yeomanry) Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers (of 229th Brigade), 12th (Norfolk Yeomanry) Battalion, Norfolk Regiment (of 230th Brigade) and 24th RWF left the 74th (Yeomanry) Division.[13] They were used to reconstitute 94th Brigade of 31st Division which was renamed the 94th (Yeomanry) Brigade on that date.[14]

It remained with the 94th (Yeomanry) Brigade, 31st Division for the rest of the war, taking part in the latter part of the Battle of the Lys (Le Becque, 28 June), the Capture of Vieux-Berquin (13 August) and the Final Advance in Flanders (Fifth Battle of Ypres, 28 September – 2 October).[15] By the Armistice of 11 November 1918, the battalion was in Belgium, moving from Avelghem to Renaix.[16]

2/1st Denbighshire Hussars[edit]

The 2nd Line regiment was formed in 1914 and joined the 2/1st Welsh Border Mounted Brigade in the Newcastle area of Northumberland in January 1915[17] (along with the 2/1st Shropshire Yeomanry[18] and the 2/1st Cheshire Yeomanry[17]). The brigade was placed under the command of the 63rd (2nd Northumbrian) Division.[19] On 31 March 1916, the remaining Mounted Brigades were ordered to be numbered in a single sequence and the brigade became 17th Mounted Brigade, still in Northumberland under Northern Command.[7]

In April 1916, it moved with its brigade to East Anglia where it joined the 1st Mounted Division; it replaced its 1st Line which had departed (dismounted) for Egypt.[6] By July it had left with its brigade for the Morpeth, Northumberland area.[17]

In July 1916 there was a major reorganization of 2nd Line yeomanry units in the United Kingdom. All but 12 regiments were converted to cyclists[7] and as a consequence the regiment was dismounted and the brigade converted to 10th Cyclist Brigade. Further reorganization in October and November 1916 saw the brigade redesignated as 6th Cyclist Brigade in November, still in the Morpeth area.[20] At this time the regiment departed for the 1st Cyclist Brigade at Beccles in Suffolk where it was amalgamated with the 2/1st Montgomeryshire Yeomanry as the 3rd (Montgomery and Denbigh Yeomanry) Cyclist Battalion.[c][17] The regiment resumed its separate identity as 2/1st Denbighshire Hussars in March 1917. It moved to Worlingham (near Beccles) in July, to Aldeburgh in January 1918 and back to Worlingham in April. It was still in 1st Cyclist Brigade at the end of the war.[17]

3/1st Denbighshire Hussars[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 dismounted and attached to the 3rd Line Groups of the West Lancashire Division as its 1st Line was serving as infantry. The regiment was disbanded early in 1917 with personnel transferring to the 2nd Line regiment or to the 4th (Reserve) Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Oswestry.[17]

Between the wars[edit]

Post war, a commission was set up to consider the shape of the Territorial Force (Territorial Army from 1 October 1921). The experience of the First World War made it clear that cavalry was surfeit. The commission decided that only the 14 most senior regiments were to be retained as cavalry (though the Lovat Scouts and the Scottish Horse were also to remain mounted as "scouts"). Eight regiments were converted to Armoured Car Companies of the Royal Tank Corps (RTC), one was reduced to a battery in another regiment, one was absorbed into a local infantry battalion, one became a signals regiment and two were disbanded. The remaining 25 regiments were converted to brigades[d] of the Royal Field Artillery between 1920 and 1922.[25]

The Denbighshire Yeomanry were one of the regiments transferred to the Royal Artillery; it was re-roled as a medium artillery formation, and amalgamated with the 61st Medium Brigade Royal Garrison Artillery (the former Carnarvonshire Artillery Volunteers), to form 61 Medium Regiment R.A. (Caernarvon and Denbigh Yeomanry).[26][27]

Second World War[edit]

61st (Caernarvon & Denbigh Yeomanry) Medium Regiment, RA[edit]

61st Medium Regiment saw service in France during the phoney war (1939–1940); after the Dunkirk evacuation, it would remain in the United Kingdom until returning to Europe in June 1944 with 21st Army Group.[28]

69th (Caernarvon & Denbigh Yeomanry) Medium Regiment, RA[edit]

In 1939, 61st Medium Regiment formed a duplicate unit, 69th Medium Regiment, RA which in February 1942 was designated as 69th (Caernarvon & Denbigh Yeomanry) Medium Regiment, RA.[29] It also saw service with the BEF in 1940, before being sent to North Africa in 1942, where it took part in the Battle of El Alamein. It joined the 2nd AGRA (Army Group Royal Artillery) and took part in the Italian Campaign from 1943 to 1945. It ended the war in North-West Europe with the 2nd Army.[30]

Post war[edit]

In 1947 the regiment reformed as an artillery formation as 361st (Carnarvonshire and Denbigh Yeomanry) Medium Regiment. In 1956 this was merged with the 384th Light Regiment (formerly 5th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers) to become the 372nd (Flintshire and Denbighshire Yeomanry) Regiment. The Regiment effectively ceased to exist in 1968, although it continued in name as a cadre until it was amalgamated in 1971 with the Welsh Volunteers to become the 3rd (V) Bn Royal Welch Fusiliers, in which form its lineage was continued until 1999 as a unit of the Territorial Army. In 1969, Cadre members formed part of the military route-lining party for the Investiture of the Prince of Wales at Caernarfon.[27][31]

On 1 April 2014, the unit became 398 (Flint & Denbighshire Yeomanry) Squadron, The Royal Logistic Corps(RLC) and took on a new primary role as Drivers within the Welsh Transport Regiment. They have other secondary duties and can be trained as Ammunition Technicians; Logistic Specialists; Logistic Communications Specialists; Chefs, among 17 other trades open to all with the RLC.

Battle honours[edit]

The Denbighshire Yeomanry was awarded the following battle honours (honours in bold are emblazoned on the regimental colours):[31]

Second Boer War South Africa 1900–01
First World War Somme 1918, Bapaume 1918, Ypres 1918, France and Flanders 1918, Egypt 1916–17, Gaza, Jerusalem, Jericho, Tell 'Asur, Palestine 1917–18
Second World War 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.[32]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The 74th (Yeomanry) Division commanded 12 infantry battalions formed from 18 yeomanry regiments.[9]
  2. ^ As distinct from the Australian, Canadian and the New Zealand divisions which remained on a 12-battalion basis.
  3. ^ James also names the combined unit as 3rd (Denbigh and Montgomery) Yeomanry Cyclist Regiment[21] which seems more plausible than 3rd (Montgomery and Denbigh Yeomanry) Cyclist Battalion given that the Denbighshire Hussars were ranked 16th in the Yeomanry order of precedence whereas the Montgomeryshire Yeomanry were ranked 35th.[22]
  4. ^ The basic organic unit of the Royal Artillery was, and is, the Battery.[23] When grouped together they formed brigades, in the same way that infantry battalions or cavalry regiments were grouped together in brigades. At the outbreak of the First World War, a field artillery brigade of headquarters (4 officers, 37 other ranks), three batteries (5 and 193 each), and a brigade ammunition column (4 and 154)[24] had a total strength just under 800 so was broadly comparable to an infantry battalion (just over 1,000) or a cavalry regiment (about 550). Like an infantry battalion, an artillery brigade was usually commanded by a Lieutenant-Colonel. Artillery brigades were redesignated as regiments in 1938.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "wrexham.gov". 
  2. ^ Mileham 1994, p. 27
  3. ^ Imperial Yeomanry at regiments.org by T.F.Mills at the Wayback Machine (archived 29 May 2007)
  4. ^ Rinaldi 2008, p. 35
  5. ^ Rinaldi 2008, p. 60
  6. ^ a b Becke 1936, p. 6
  7. ^ a b c James 1978, p. 36
  8. ^ a b c Becke 1937, p. 121
  9. ^ Becke 1937, p. 118
  10. ^ Baker, Chris. "The Denbighshire Yeomanry". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 10 January 2016. 
  11. ^ Baker, Chris. "Royal Welsh Fusiliers". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 10 January 2016. 
  12. ^ Haythornthwaite 1996, p. 217
  13. ^ Becke 1937, p. 119
  14. ^ Becke 1945, p. 16
  15. ^ Becke 1945, p. 19
  16. ^ James 1978, p. 68
  17. ^ a b c d e f James 1978, p. 17
  18. ^ James 1978, p. 27
  19. ^ Becke 1937, p. 51
  20. ^ James 1978, pp. 17,27
  21. ^ James 1978, pp. 24–25
  22. ^ Mileham 1994, p. 73
  23. ^ "The Royal Artillery". Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom). Archived from the original on 23 October 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  24. ^ Baker, Chris. "What was an artillery brigade?". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  25. ^ Mileham 1994, pp. 48–51
  26. ^ Barton, Derek. "Yeomanry converted to RA". The Royal Artillery 1939–45. Retrieved 20 January 2016. 
  27. ^ a b Mills, T.F. (10 June 2006). "Carnarvonshire & Anglesey Artillery Volunteers, Royal Artillery (Territorials) 1860–1922". Land Forces of the British Empire. Archived from the original on 29 November 2007. Retrieved 20 May 2010. 
  28. ^ Barton, Derek. "61 (Caernarvon & Denbigh) Medium Regiment RA(TA)". The Royal Artillery 1939–45. Retrieved 20 January 2016. 
  29. ^ Frederick 1984, p. 737
  30. ^ Barton, Derek. "69 Medium Regiment RA(TA)". The Royal Artillery 1939–45. Retrieved 20 January 2016. 
  31. ^ a b Mills, T.F. (18 June 2006). "The Denbighshire (Hussars) Yeomanry". Land Forces of the British Empire. Archived from the original on 20 December 2007. Retrieved 20 May 2010. 
  32. ^ Royal Regiment of Artillery at regiments.org by T.F.Mills at the Wayback Machine (archived 15 July 2007)

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. 
  • Becke, Major A.F. (1945). Order of Battle of Divisions Part 3B. New Army Divisions (30–41) & 63rd (RN) Division. London: His Majesty's Stationery Office. ISBN 1-871167-08-6. 
  • Frederick, J.B.M. (1984). Lineage Book of British Land Forces 1660–1978. Wakefield, Yorkshire: Microform Academic Publishers. ISBN 1-85117-009-X. 
  • Haythornthwaite, Philip J. (1996). The World War One Source Book. London: Arms and Armour Press. ISBN 1-85409-351-7. 
  • 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 978-0-9776072-8-0. 

External links[edit]