Suffolk Yeomanry

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Duke of Yorks Own Loyal Suffolk Hussars
Loyal Suffolk Hussars Badge and Service Cap.jpg
Loyal Suffolk Hussars badge and service cap
Active 1793–present
Country Great Britain
Allegiance British Army
Type Yeomanry
Size Squadron
Part of Cavalry (First World War)
Royal Artillery (Second World War)
Army Air Corps (Present)
Motto(s) CONSTANTIA LEVANDI (Steadfast in support)
Battle honours The Great War:
Somme 1918, Bapaume 1918, Hindenberg Line, Epehy, Pursuit to Mons, France & Flanders 1918, Gallipoli 1915, Egypt 1915-17, Gaza, Jerusalem, Tell ‘Asur, Palestine 1917-18[1]
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Brigadier-General Ned Baird

The Duke of Yorks Own Loyal Suffolk Hussars was a Yeomanry regiment of the British Army from 1794 to 1961.

Originally formed as a volunteer cavalry in 1794, the Suffolk Yeomanry was again raised as the Loyal Suffolk Hussars and fought in the Second Boer war as part of the Imperial Yeomanry. In the First World War they fought at Gallipoli, Palestine and the Western front. They were subsequently converted to artillery, serving in this role during the Second World War North Africa, Italy and France. In 1961 they were amalgamated with the Norfolk Yeomanry to form the Suffolk and Norfolk Yeomanry.

History[edit]

Formation and early history[edit]

Group portrait of the Suffolk Yeomanry

The regiment was formed as volunteer cavalry in 1794, during the French Revolutionary Wars. A Yeomanry regiment was continued in Suffolk under the name The Loyal Suffolk Hussars, and from 1892 the Duke of York (later King George V) was Honorary Colonel, allowing the regiment to add the Duke of York′s Own to their name.

Following the outbreak of the Second Boer War, Yeomanry regiments all over the United Kingdom were mobilized as part of the Imperial Yeomanry fighting in South Africa. A company of the Loyal Suffolk Hussars first left Southampton on 31 January 1900, bound for Cape Town.[2]

First World War[edit]

Eastern 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.[3]

1/1st Duke of Yorks Own Loyal Suffolk Hussars[edit]

The 1/1st was embodied in August 1914 at Bury St. Edmunds and became part of the Eastern Mounted Brigade, 1st Mounted Division.[4]

In September 1915, they were dismounted and moved to the ANZAC bridgehead at Gallipoli and came under the command of the 54th (East Anglian) Division.[4] After they were withdrawn from Gallipoli they moved to Egypt in December 1915, the first party being evacuated to Mudros on 14 December and the rest following five days later.[4] They were next attached to the 3rd Dismounted Brigade on Suez Canal defences, from 22 February 1916.[5]

Headquarters officers of the 15th (Suffolk Yeomanry) Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, 74th (Yeomanry) Division. Near Carvin 14 August 1918. The battalion was formerly known as the 1/1st Duke of Yorks Own Loyal Suffolk Hussars.

In January 1917, they were converted to an infantry battalion and formed the 15th (Suffolk Yeomanry) Battalion, the Suffolk Regiment in the 74th (Yeomanry) Division, which moved to France in May 1918.[4]

2/1st Duke of Yorks Owns Loyal Suffolk Hussars[edit]

The 2nd Line regiment was formed in 1914 and by January 1915 it was in the 2/1st Eastern Mounted Brigade at Ely.[6] On 31 March 1916, the remaining Mounted Brigades were ordered to be numbered in a single sequence;[7] the brigade was numbered as 13th Mounted Brigade and joined 4th Mounted Division in the Wivenhoe area.[6]

In July 1916, the regiment was converted to a cyclist unit in 5th Cyclist Brigade, 2nd Cyclist Division, still in the Wivenhoe area. In November 1916, the division was broken up and regiment was merged with the 2/1st Norfolk Yeomanry to form 7th (Suffolk and Norfolk) Yeomanry Cyclist Regiment in 3rd Cyclist Brigade, in the Ipswich area. In March 1917 it resumed its identity as 2/1st Suffolk Yeomanry, still at Ipswich in 3rd Cyclist Brigade. By July 1917 the regiment had moved to Woodbridge. In May 1918 the regiment moved to Ireland and was stationed at Boyle and Collooney, still in 3rd Cyclist Brigade, until the end of the war.[6]

3/1st Duke of Yorks Own Loyal Sufolk Hussars[edit]

The 3rd Line regiment was formed in 1915 and in the summer it was affiliated to a Reserve Cavalry Regiment in Eastern Command. In 1916 it was dismounted and attached to the 3rd Line Groups of the East Anglian Division at Halton Park, Tring. Early in 1917 the regiment was disbanded and its personnel were transferred to the 2nd Line regiment and the 4th (Reserve) Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment at Halton Park.[6]

Between the wars[edit]

On 31 January 1920 the War Office announced that recruitment for the reconstituted Territorial Army (as it was now known) would begin, but that only 16 out of the 55 existing Yeomanry regiments would be retained in their traditional mounted role.[8] The remainder were converted to other roles, and the Suffolk Yeomanry provided two batteries in 103rd (Suffolk) Brigade, Royal Field Artillery (RFA).[9][10][11][12][13] However in 1923 the two Suffolk Yeomanry batteries transferred to the 108th (Norfolk Yeomanry) Brigade, and after the RFA was merged into the Royal Artillery (RA) in 1924 the unit was constituted as follows:[11][9][14]

108th (Suffolk and Norfolk Yeomanry) Field Brigade, RA

  • HQ at Swaffham
  • 411 (Suffolk Yeomanry) Bty at Old Barracks, Bury St Edmunds
  • 412 (Suffolk Yeomanry) Bty at Beccles, later at the Drill Hall, St Peter's Street, Lowestoft
  • 429 (Norfolk Yeomanry) Bty at Swaffham, later at Cattle Market Barracks, Norwich
  • 430 (Norfolk Yeomanry) Bty (Howitzer) at Swaffham

The unit was an 'Army' field brigade in 54th (East Anglian) Divisional Area.[14]

In 1938 the RA was reorganised, 'brigades' became 'regiments', and some field regiments were converted to the anti-tank (A/T) role. 108th Field Brigade became 55th (Suffolk and Norfolk Yeomanry) Anti-Tank Regiment, RA and the batteries were renumbered 217–220.[11][9][15] The unit became the divisional A/T regiment of 54th (East Anglian) Division.[16]

World War II[edit]

Mobilisation[edit]

By 1939 it became clear that a new European war was likely to break out and, as a direct result of the German invasion of Czechoslovakia on 15 March,[17] the doubling of the Territorial Army was authorised, with each unit and formation forming a duplicate.[18] When the TA was mobilised on 1 September, the Norfolk and Suffolk Yeomanry 'Duplicate and Original Regiments' were on annual training at Chiseldon Camp, and the 'Norfolk Duplicate Batteries' and 'Lowestoft Contingent' returned to Swaffham. The following day, orders were issued to split the unit into 55th (Suffolk Yeomanry) A/T Rgt at Bury St Edmunds as part of 54th Division, and 65th (Norfolk Yeomanry) A/T Rgt at Swaffham as part of the duplicate 18th Infantry Division. The Suffolk Yeomanry part was organised as follows:[15][19][20]

55th (Suffolk Yeomanry) Ant-Tank Regiment, RA

  • HQ at Bury St Edmunds
  • 217 Bty at Bury St Edmunds
  • 218 Bty at Lowestoft
  • 219 Bty at Bury St Edmunds and Brandon
  • 220 Bty at Beccles

The Regiment was attached to various Divisions during the war[21]

54th (East Anglian) Infantry Division, September 1939
79th Armoured Division, September 1942 – April 1943
49th (West Riding) Infantry Division, July 1943 – August 1945

From July 1943 until after the end of the war, the regiment served with the 49th (West Riding) Division and fought in the North-Western Europe from June 1944 to May 1945. Between 1944 and 1950 Brian Gooch served as Brevet-Colonel of the regiment.

Post war[edit]

During the major reorganisation of the Territorial Army that took place in 1967, "202 (The Suffolk and Norfolk Yeomanry) Battery" Royal Artillery was formed out of the old "308 Regiment Royal Artillery". The new Battery became part of "100 (Medium) Regiment Royal Artillery (Volunteers)". At the time the Battery was equipped with the BL 5.5 inch Medium Gun. In 1980 the Battery re-equipped with the 105mm Light Gun, then to the much larger FH70 155mm Gun in 1992.

On 1 July 1999, the Battery yet again began re-roling as an Air Defence Battery affiliated to 12th Regiment Royal Artillery in Paderborn, Germany, with the Lightweight Multiple Launcher (LML) High Velocity Missile (HVM) system.

On 2 July 2006, 202 (The Suffolk and Norfolk Yeomanry) Battery Royal Artillery (Volunteers) re-roled to become 677 (The Suffolk and Norfolk Yeomanry) Squadron Army Air Corps (Volunteers), part of 6 Regiment Army Air Corps (Volunteers).

As part of the changes to the order of battle under Army 2020 the detachment at Swaffham closed in January 2014, and from 1 April 2014 the (Volunteers) suffix was removed from all Territorial Army titles, as the Territorial Army became the Army Reserve.

677 (Suffolk & Norfolk Yeomanry) Squadron Army Air Corps, is part of 6 Regiment Army Air Corps; with Squadron Headquarters and A Flight at Bury St Edmunds, B Flight at Norwich and C Flight at Ipswich.

Insignia[edit]

Up until the 1961 amalgamation the Suffolk Yeomanry batteries of the RA continued to wear the Loyal Sussex Hussars cap badge (in gilt or bronze for officers, bimetal for other ranks). During World War II the officers wore the badge embroidered on their side caps.[15][22]

Battle honours[edit]

The Suffolk Yeomanry has been awarded the following battle honours:[23]

Second Boer War

South Africa 1900–01

First World War

Somme 1918, Bapaume 1918, Hindenburg Line, Épéhy, Pursuit to Mons, France and Flanders 1918, Gallipoli 1915, Egypt 1915–17, Gaza, Jerusalem, Tell 'Asur, Palestine 1917–18

Second World War

None awarded to artillery. 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.[24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Battle Honours Awarded for the Great War. Naval and Military Press. p. 20. 
  2. ^ "The War - The Auxiliary Forces, Departure of Yeomanry from Southampton". The Times (36054). London. 1 February 1900. p. 10. 
  3. ^ Rinaldi 2008, p. 35
  4. ^ a b c d "warpath.orbat". 
  5. ^ Baker, Chris. "Suffolk Yeomanry". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d James 1978, p. 28
  7. ^ James 1978, p. 36
  8. ^ Sainsbury, p. 31.
  9. ^ a b c Litchfield, p. 185–7.
  10. ^ Litchfield, p. Appendix VII.
  11. ^ a b c Monthly Army List, various dates.
  12. ^ Mileham 1994, p. 101
  13. ^ Mileham 1994, p. 112
  14. ^ a b Titles and Designations.
  15. ^ a b c Litchfield, pp. 218–20.
  16. ^ Joslen, p. 89.
  17. ^ Mileham 1994, p. 51
  18. ^ "History of the Army Reserve". MOD. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  19. ^ 65 (NY) A/T Rgt War Diary 1939–40, The National Archives (TNA), Kew, file WO 166/1637. This authoritative source contradicts the statement by Mileham (pp. 101, 112) that the Suffolk and Norfolk batteries were not split until 1942 and the statement by Litchfield that the 65th did not regain its Norfolk Yeomanry title until that year.
  20. ^ 65 A/T Rgt at RA 1939–45.
  21. ^ "ordersofbattle". 
  22. ^ Anon, Badges.
  23. ^ Suffolk Yeomanry (The Duke of York's Own Loyal Suffolk Hussars) at regiments.org by T.F.Mills at the Wayback Machine (archived 16 April 2007)
  24. ^ Royal Regiment of Artillery at regiments.org by T.F.Mills at the Wayback Machine (archived 15 July 2007)

Bibliography[edit]

  • Anon, Regimental Badges and Service Caps, London: George Philip & Sons, 1941.
  • James, Brigadier E.A. (1978). British Regiments 1914–18. London: Samson Books Limited. ISBN 0-906304-03-2. 
  • Lt-Col H.F. Joslen, Orders of Battle, United Kingdom and Colonial Formations and Units in the Second World War, 1939–1945, London: HM Stationery Office, 1960/Uckfield: Naval & Military Press, 2003, ISBN 1-843424-74-6.
  • Norman E.H. Litchfield, The Territorial Artillery 1908–1988 (Their Lineage, Uniforms and Badges), Nottingham: Sherwood Press, 1992, ISBN 0-9508205-2-0.
  • 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. 
  • Lt-Col J.D. Sainsbury, The Hertfordshire Yeomanry Regiments, Royal Artillery, Part 1: The Field Regiments 1920-1946, Welwyn: Hertfordshire Yeomanry and Artillery Trust/Hart Books, 1999, ISBN 0-948527-05-6.
  • Titles and Designations of Formations and Units of the Territorial Army, London: War Office, 7 November 1927 (RA sections also summarised in Litchfield, Appendix IV).

External links[edit]