Royal Yeomanry

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Royal Yeomanry
Cap badge of the Royal Yeomanry
Active1 April 1967–
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch British Army
RoleLight Cavalry
SizeOne Regiment
Part ofRoyal Armoured Corps
Garrison/HQRHQ – Fulham House, London
A Squadron – Nottingham
B Squadron – Dudley
C Squadron – Croydon
C Squadron Detachment – Windsor
D Squadron – Telford
E Squadron – Leicester
C&S Squadron – Fulham
Band - London
MarchThe Farmers Boy
EngagementsIraq 2003
Lt Col Thomas WH Bragg VR
Royal Honorary ColonelHRH Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy LG GCVO
Honorary ColonelMajor General Simon Howe Brooks-Ward CVO OBE TD VR
Tactical Recognition FlashRoyal Yeomanry TRF 2nd pattern.svg

The Royal Yeomanry (RY) is the senior reserve light cavalry regiment of the British Army. Equipped with Supacat Jackal variants and the Land Rover RWMIK, the Royal Yeomanry's military role is to conduct mounted and dismounted formation reconnaissance. The Regimental Headquarters is located at Fulham in London, with squadrons in London and the Midlands at Fulham, Nottingham, Dudley, Croydon, Windsor, Telford and Leicester.[1]

The regiment is part of the Royal Armoured Corps and is paired with and supports the 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards. Together with six infantry battalions (three regular, three Army Reserve), QDG and RY form the reconnaissance component of 7th Infantry Brigade (the Desert Rats).[2]

The Royal Yeomanry is the only British Army Reserve unit to have been awarded a battle honour since the Second World War.[3]


Fuchs CBRN Reconnaissance Vehicle
Y Squadron at the Duke of York's HQ, Chelsea, January 2003

The Royal Yeomanry was formed in 1967, following the amalgamation of six distinguished county yeomanry regiments, as a medium reconnaissance regiment equipped with armoured cars.[1] It continued in this role until 1996, when it became the British Army's nuclear, biological and chemical defence regiment.[1]

The Royal Yeomanry served exclusively in the NBC role until 1999. In that year, the Joint NBC Regiment was formed as a joint regular Army and Royal Air Force unit composed of four squadrons of the 1st Royal Tank Regiment and 27 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment.[4]

The Royal Yeomanry was therefore reconfigured and partly re-roled. Two of the Royal Yeomanry's squadrons (A and W) were retained in the NBC role to provide reserves for the Joint NBC Regiment. The remaining three squadrons converted to Challenger 2 to serve as reserves for armoured regiments.[5]

In January 2003, A and W Squadrons were mobilised for Operation TELIC, the war in Iraq. The two squadrons were amalgamated with a number of augmentees from the other three squadrons of the Royal Yeomanry and from the Royal Logistic Corps to form a much-enlarged "Y" Squadron, which deployed as part of the Joint NBC Regiment. This was the first deployment of a formed TA unit (TA soldiers under TA command) for combat operations since the Suez crisis in 1956.[3]

During the Iraq war, officers and soldiers of the Royal Yeomanry found themselves serving with 16 Air Assault Brigade, 7 Armoured Brigade (the Desert Rats) and 3 Commando Brigade as NBC specialists, before switching roles to infantry peace support operations once Saddam Hussein’s regime had collapsed.[3]

The Royal Yeomanry maintained a constant presence in Iraq from March 2003 until the end of Operation TELIC. Since 2007, the Royal Yeomanry has provided approximately 400 officers and soldiers as individual replacements on Operation TELIC and Operation HERRICK in Afghanistan.[6]


The Royal Yeomanry mainly recruits from London, Nottingham, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Kent, Shropshire and Worcestershire.[7]

Equipment and role[edit]

Supacat Jackal

The regiment's main equipment is the Land Rover RWMIK CVR(W) Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Wheeled); a light armoured vehicle, equipped with the General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) and the Browning M2 .50 Heavy Machine Gun (HMG), as well as individual BOWMAN digital battlefield communications systems and specialised surveillance optics, including thermal, night, infra-red, laser range finding and targeting equipment.[1] In November 2018, the Royal Yeomanry acquired its first Supacat Jackal as part of a fielding plan which will see it gradually replace the Land Rover RWMIK.[8]

The Royal Yeomanry's role is light cavalry: providing a rapidly deployable force with fast mobility and substantial firepower as part of the British Army's combat arm. Its soldiers provide reconnaissance, reassurance, security and, if the situation demands it, decisive tactical effects by raiding and attacking the enemy.[1]


Under Army 2020, in July 2014 'A (Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry) Squadron (Swindon)' transferred from the Royal Yeomanry to the Royal Wessex Yeomanry,[9] and two squadrons transferred into the Royal Yeomanry from the Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry. The Royal Yeomanry was paired with 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards and came under the command of 7th Infantry Brigade.[2]

The regiment currently consists of six squadrons and a military band:[1]

Battle honours[edit]

As a result of the Regiment's initial service during the Iraq war, in 2005 the Royal Yeomanry was awarded the theatre honour "Iraq 2003", the first battle honour the regiment has won since its formation, and the first – so far the only – battle honour awarded to an Army Reserve regiment since the Second World War.[3]

The regimental guidon of the Royal Yeomanry, presented to the regiment on 7 May 2016,[11] also bears a selection of 40 out of the 123 battle honours won by its antecedent regiments.


The Royal Yeomanry
The Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry
The Kent and Sharpshooters Yeomanry The Kent Yeomanry The Royal East Kent Mounted Rifles (Duke of Connaught's Own)
The West Kent Yeomanry (Queen's Own)
The 3rd/4th County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters) The 3rd County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters)
The 4th County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters)
The Shropshire Yeomanry The North Salopian Yeomanry
The South Salopian Yeomanry
The Leicestershire and Derbyshire Yeomanry (Prince Albert's Own) The Leicestershire Yeomanry (Prince Albert's Own)
The Derbyshire Yeomanry
The Westminster Dragoons The Berkshire and Westminster Dragoons The Berkshire Yeomanry
The Westminster Dragoons (2nd County of London Yeomanry)
The Inns of Court & City Yeomanry

Order of precedence[edit]

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.

Preceded by
Honourable Artillery Company
British Army
Order of Precedence
Succeeded by
Royal Wessex Yeomanry


  1. ^ a b c d e f "The Royal Yeomanry". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  2. ^ a b Army 2020 Report, page 9, 11 Archived 2014-06-10 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b c d "Future Reserves 2020 Study (FR20)" (PDF). Ministry of Defence. p. 12. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  4. ^ "Biological and Chemical Weapons". Hansard. 7 March 2000. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
  5. ^ Tanner, James (2014). "The British Army since 2000". Osprey. p. 23. ISBN 978-1-78200-593-3.
  6. ^ "Freedom of the Borough for Royal Yeomanry". The Cowan Report. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
  7. ^ "Royal Yeomanry". Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  8. ^ "First Jackal Delivered To Royal Yeomanry". Forces Network. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  9. ^ "New leadership at Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry as B Squadron prepares expansion". Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  10. ^ "Army Reserve Bands". Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  11. ^ Administrator. "Royal Guidon Parade Buckingham Palace and Cavalry Memorial Parade". Retrieved 2017-05-09.

External links[edit]