Royal Wessex Yeomanry
|The Royal Wessex Yeomanry|
Cap badge of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry
|Active||1 April 1971–Present|
|Part of||Royal Armoured Corps|
|Garrison/HQ||A Squadron – Bovington
B Squadron – Salisbury
C Squadron – Cirencester
D Squadron – Barnstaple
Y Squadron – Swindon
|Mascot||Ramrod Darcy, Dorset Ram|
|Lt Col J Godfrey|
|Royal Honorary Colonel||HRH The Earl of Wessex|
|Honorary Colonel||Lt Gen Sir Richard Shirreff KCB CBE|
|Tactical Recognition Flash|
The Royal Wessex Yeomanry (RWxY) is a Reserve armoured regiment of the British Army Reserve consisting of five squadrons. Formerly part of 43 (Wessex) Brigade, the regiment joined 3rd (UK) Division in July 2014, to provide armoured (main battle tank) resilience to the three armoured regiments within the Reaction Force.
The Wessex Yeomanry was formed on 1 April 1971 by re-raising cadres from the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars and the Royal Devon Yeomanry to form four squadrons. The regiment was granted its royal title on 8 June 1979. Initially roled as infantry, in the 1980s it was re-roled as a reconnaissance regiment and became one of the Military Home Defence Reconnaissance Regiments. Following the Strategic Defence Review, the regiment merged with the Dorset Yeomanry in July 1999 and was reorganised and re-roled into its current ORBAT.
Before the Army 2020 plan, the regiment had three roles:
- The training of Challenger 2 main battle tank crewmen as Turret Crew Replacements. This commitment is provided by B (RWY), C (RGH) and D (RDY) Squadrons.
- Armour Replacement. This role is provided by A (DY) Squadron.
- The provision of skilled officers and senior non-commissioned officers to support the Regular Army on operations as watchkeepers and liaison officers. This is provided by all four squadrons.
From 2013, the Regiment has been the UK's only Armoured Reinforcement Regiment, providing armoured (Main Battle Tank) resilience to the three remaining regular Army Armoured Regiments: the Queen's Royal Hussars (QRH), the King's Royal Hussars (KRH) and the Royal Tank Regiment (RTR). All four Squadrons train Challenger 2 crewmen. The RWxY have been driving the Challenger 2 (CR2) out on Salisbury Plain Training Area in Wiltshire and firing them at Lulworth Ranges in Dorset.
Each squadron maintains t tradihetions of its forebear regiment, maintaining a sense of pride and rivalry. In 2011, there was a Regimental Celebration of 40 years since the founding of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry, although, at this time, the Dorset Yeomanry was not part of the regiment. HRH Earl of Wessex, the Regimental Colonel, visited, met with members of the regiment and their families and also participated in a private guided tour of the neighbouring Tank Museum.
Each squadron keeps within its title the name of its antecedent, county, yeomanry regiment:
- B (Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry) Squadron
- A (Dorset Yeomanry) Squadron
- C (Royal Gloucestershire Hussars) Squadron
- D (Royal Devon Yeomanry) Squadron
- Y (Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry) Squadron
Unusually, B Sqn is the senior of the regiment's four squadrons. This is because the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry is the senior Yeomanry regiment in the Yeomanry Order of Precedence, having been raised in 1794. It is not designated as A Sqn (which would be the usual practice) because there was already an A (Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry) Sqn in the Royal Yeomanry with which it could be confused. In summer 2014, this Royal Yeomanry Sqn joined the RWxY, becoming Y Sqn. Under Army 2020, A Squadron will become a HQ squadron to reflect the same structure as the future Type 56 Challenger 2 Regiments.
The Royal Wessex Yeomanry TRF is taken from the 74th (Yeomanry) Division, whose insignia was a broken spur in a black diamond during World War I. It is used to signify that its units were once mounted but now served as infantry. The TRF takes its colour scheme from the facings of the collars and cuffs of the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars (buff), Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, Dorset Yeomanry and the Royal Devon Yeomanry (all scarlet).
The regiment wears a brown beret, similar to that worn by the Kings Royal Hussars, with a square black patch behind the cap badge to represent the RTR affiliation. Until July 2014, each squadron wore the cap badge of its antecedent Yeomanry regiment, meaning that, unlike most other British Army regiments, the RWxY still had four cap badges. On July 5, 2014 all squadrons, including Y Squadron (formerly A Squadron the Royal Yeomanry), adopted a single unifying cap badge featuring a Wessex Wyvern rampant.
- 2012–2015: Lt Col C MacGregor
- 2015–present: Lt Col J Godfrey
- 1971–1984: Col The Duke of Beaufort KG PC GCVO 
- 1984–1989: Maj The Hon James Ian Morrison TD DL 
- 1989–1992: Maj Gen Sir Sir John Acland KCB CBE DL 
- 1992–1997: Gen Sir John Waters KCB CBE 
- 1997–2000: Col JEB Hills TD DL 
- 2000–2003: Lt Col JG Peel TD DL 
- 2003–2010: Maj Gen Arthur Denaro CBE 
- 2010: Lt Gen Sir Richard Shirreff KCB CBE 
Order of precedence
For the purposes of parading, the Regiments of the British Army are listed according to an order of precedence. This is the order in which the various corps of the army parade, from right to left, with the unit at the extreme right being the most senior.
Order of Precedence
Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry
- Bastin, Maj JD (1980). The Historical Journal of The Royal Wessex Yeomanry.
- "Royal Wessex Yeomanry History". Retrieved 9 February 2012.[dead link]
- "RWxY Role". Retrieved 9 February 2012.
- "TA soldiers undertake tank training". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "Prince visits museum". Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- Summary of Reserve Structure and Basing changes
- "History of the RWxY TRF". Retrieved 9 February 2012.
- "13 March 2012 - Association Meeting at The Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum" (PDF). The Donkey Walloper. p. 3. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "Allied Regiments & Affiliations". The King's Royal Hussars Association. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
- "Allied & Affiliated Regiments". The Royal Tank Regiment Association. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
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