Royal Yeomanry

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The Royal Yeomanry
Cap badge of the Royal Yeomanry
Active 1 April 1967–
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type Yeomanry
Role Light Cavalry
Size One Regiment
Part of Royal Armoured Corps
Garrison/HQ RHQ – Fulham House, London
C&S Squadron – Fulham
A Squadron – Nottingham
B Squadron – Dudley
C Squadron – Croydon
C Squadron Detachment – Windsor
D Squadron – Telford
E Squadron – Leicester
Band - London
March The Farmers Boy
Engagements Iraq 2003
Lt Col Conn MacEvilly
Royal Honorary Colonel HRH Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy LG GCVO
Honorary Colonel Major General Simon Howe Brooks-Ward CVO OBE TD VR
Tactical Recognition Flash Royal Yeomanry TRF 2nd pattern.svg

The Royal Yeomanry (RY) is the senior reserve light cavalry regiment of the Army Reserve. 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. The regiment is part of the Royal Armoured Corps and is paired with the 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards.


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.

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.[2]

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.

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.[1]

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.[4] It continues to provide officers and soldiers in support of the British Army's current operations, including Operations TOSCA and SHADER.

Equipment and Role[edit]

The regiment's main equipment is the Land Rover RWMIK reconnaissance vehicle 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 imaging.[5]

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.[6]

Soldiers in the Royal Yeomanry are trained in mounted manoeuvre and dismounted combat skills. All Royal Yeomanry soldiers are expected to master all of the skills required of an armoured crewman as well as dismounted infantry skills appropriate to the role. When dismounted, Royal Yeomanry soldiers carry out localised tasks where organic ISTAR and communications capabilities can be used or re-positioned at speed. When mounted, troops can conduct numerous tasks in open or complex terrain. Examples include low level attacks and raids, feints and demonstrations, ambush, screen and infiltration.


Royal Yeomanry Squadrons

Under Army 2020, in July 2014 'A (Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry) Squadron (Swindon)' transferred from the Royal Yeomanry to the Royal Wessex Yeomanry,[7] 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.[8] In December 2016 under Army 2020 Refine it was announced that the D and E Squadrons, which had been due to be disbanded, would be retained.

The regiment currently consists of six squadrons and a military band:[6]

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.[10]

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.

Battle Honour Date
South Africa 1900-02 1900
Gallipoli 1915 1915
Scimitar Hill 1915
Sulva 1915
Frezenberg 1915
Egypt 1915-17 1917
Gaza 1917
Nebi Samwil 1917
Broodseinde 1917
Jerusalem 1917
France & Flanders 1916-18 1918
Macedonia 1916-18 1918
Palestine 1917-18 1918
Bapaume 1918 1918
Hindenberg Line 1918
Pursuit to Mons 1918
Somme 1918 1918
Bailleul 1918
Lys 1918
Kemmel 1918
Palmyra 1941
Alam El Halfa 1942
El Alamein 1942
Advance on Tripoli 1942
Tunis 1943
North Africa 1940-43 1943
Normandy Landing 1944
Citta Della Pieve 1944
Cassino II 1944
Monte Cedrone 1944
Italy 1943, '44 1944
Tebaga Gap 1943
Geilenkirchen 1944
Advance to Florence 1944
Villers Bocage 1944
N.W. Europe 1944-45 1945
Rhine 1945
Rhineland 1945
Roer 1945
Iraq 2003 2003


The Royal Yeomanry
The Leicestershire and Derbyshire Yeomanry (Prince Albert's Own) The Leicestershire Yeomanry (Prince Albert's Own)
The Derbyshire 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 Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry
The Westminster Dragoons The Berkshire and Westminster Dragoons The Berkshire Yeomanry
The Westminster Dragoons (2nd County of London Yeomanry)
The Inns of Court and 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 "Royal Yeomanry: History". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Biological and Chemical Weapons". Hansard. 7 March 2000. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  3. ^ Ministry of Defence, "Future Reserves 2020 Study (FR20): final report", 1 July 2011, page 12.
  4. ^ "Freedom of the Borough for Royal Yeomanry". The Cowan Report. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  5. ^ The British Army, cgsmediacomma-amc-dig-shared@mod uk (2017-05-09). "The British Army - Royal Yeomanry". Retrieved 2017-05-09. 
  6. ^ a b "Royal Yeomanry – British Army Website". Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  7. ^ "New leadership at Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry as B Squadron prepares expansion". Retrieved 12 October 2016. 
  8. ^ Army 2020 Report, page 9, 11
  9. ^ "Army Reserve Bands". Retrieved 12 October 2016. 
  10. ^ "Our history – British Army Website". 1967-04-01. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  11. ^ Administrator. "Royal Guidon Parade Buckingham Palace and Cavalry Memorial Parade". Retrieved 2017-05-09. 

External links[edit]