Sussex Yeomanry

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Sussex Yeomanry
Active 1794 - today
Country  Kingdom of Great Britain (1794–1800)
 United Kingdom (1801–Present)
Branch  British Army
Type Yeomanry
Size Regiment
Engagements Gallipoli
First Battle of Gaza (26 March 1917)
Second Battle of Gaza (19 April 1917)
Third Battle of Gaza (31 October – 7 November 1917)
Jerusalem
Battle of the Somme 1918
World War II
No battle honours were awarded. It is tradition within artillery units that the Regiment's guns represent its colours, the Royal Regiment of Artillery has but one battle honour 'Ubique', meaning 'Everywhere'.

The Sussex Yeomanry is a yeomanry regiment of the British Army formed in 1794. It was initially formed when there was a threat of French invasion during the Napoleonic Wars, after seeing action in the Second Boer War, it served in the First World War and the Second World War. The lineage is maintained by 1 (Sussex Yeomanry) Field Troop, 579 Field Squadron (EOD), part of 101 (London) Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) (Volunteers).

History[edit]

Formation and early history[edit]

In 1793, the prime minister, William Pitt the Younger, proposed that the English Counties form a force of Volunteer Yeoman Cavalry that could be called on by the king to defend the country against invasion or by the Lord Lieutenant to subdue any civil disorder within the country.[1] The Sussex Troops of Gentlemen and Yeomanry Cavalry was formed at Petworth in 1794 but disbanded in 1828.[2] It was raised for a second time as the Sussex Yeomanry Cavalry in 1831 and disbanded in 1848; it was then raised for a third time as the 1st Sussex Light Horse Volunteer Corps in 1871 and disbanded in 1875.[2]

Second Boer War[edit]

The Sussex Imperial Yeomanry was formed 14 June 1901 as one of the Imperial Yeomanry regiments created to serve in the Second Boer War in South-Africa.[3]

First World War[edit]

South 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.[4]

1/1st Sussex Yeomanry[edit]

The 1st Line regiment was mobilised on 4 August 1914 at the outbreak of the First World War and was in the Canterbury area (under Second Army of Central Force[5]) until September 1915,[6] it was dismounted and left Kent for Liverpool; on 24 September it boarded RMS Olympic and sailed the next day. It arrived at Lemnos on 1 October, the regiment landed in Gallipoli on 8 October and was attached to the 42nd (East Lancashire) Division.[7] Within days of the landing the Regiment reported many men suffering from enteritis. While at Gallipoli they spent time in the trenches at Border Barricade and Fusilier Bluff, on 30 December it was evacuated to Mudros with 42nd Division; it left the Division at Mudros on 2 January 1916.[8]

The brigade, with the regiment, was withdrawn to Egypt in February 1916[6] and formed part of the Suez Canal Defences. On 22 February, South Eastern Mounted Brigade was absorbed into the 3rd Dismounted Brigade (along with the Eastern Mounted Brigade),[8] the brigade served as part of the Suez Canal Defences from 14 March to 26 July attached to 42nd (East Lancashire) Division;[8] it then joined the Western Frontier Force.[9] By the end of the year, it was back on the Suez.[10]

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.[10] The brigade units were reorganized in January and February 1917, as a result, the 1/1st Sussex Yeomanry was converted to infantry at Mersa Matruh[11] on 3 January 1917 and redesignated 16th (Sussex Yeomanry) Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment.[12]

On 23 February, the GOC EEF (Lt-Gen Sir A.J. Murray) sought permission from the War Office to form the 229th, 230th and 231st Brigades into a new division. The War Office granted permission and the new 74th (Yeomanry) Division started to form, the 230th Brigade joined the division at Deir el Balah between 9 and 13 April.[10] The battalion remained with 230th Brigade in 74th (Yeomanry) Division for the rest of the war.[13]

With the 74th Division, the battalion took part in the invasion of Palestine in 1917 and 1918, it fought in the Second and Third Battles of Gaza (including the capture of Beersheba and the Sheria Position). 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.[10]

In May 1918, the battalion landed at Marseilles, France with 74th (Yeomanry) Division, it served in France and Flanders with the division for the rest of the war. By 18 May, the division had concentrated around Rue in the Abbeville area. Here the dismounted Yeomanry underwent training for service on the Western Front, particularly gas defence.[13]

On 14 July 1918 the Yeomanry Division went into the line for the first time, near Merville on the right of XI Corps, from September 1918, as part of III Corps of Fourth Army, it took part in the Hundred Days Offensive including the Second Battle of the Somme (Second Battle of Bapaume) and the Battles of the Hindenburg Line (Battle of Épehy). In October and November 1918 it took part in the Final Advance in Artois and Flanders. By the Armistice it was near Tournai, Belgium, still with 74th (Yeomanry) Division.[13]

With the end of the war, the troops of 74th Division were engaged in railway repair work and education was undertaken while demobilisation began, the division and its subformations were disbanded on 10 July 1919.[13]

2/1st Sussex Yeomanry[edit]

The 2nd Line regiment was formed at Brighton in September 1914 and remained there until May 1915, it then moved to Maresfield and joined 2/1st South Eastern Mounted Brigade; there it took over the horses of 2nd King Edward's Horse who were going dismounted to the Western Front. In October 1915 the regiment was at Canterbury,[6] on 31 March 1916, the remaining Mounted Brigades were ordered to be numbered in a single sequence;[14] the brigade was numbered as 14th Mounted Brigade and joined 4th Mounted Division.[6]

In July 1916, 4th Mounted Division became 2nd Cyclist Division and the regiment was converted to a cyclist unit in 5th Cyclist Brigade at Great Bentley. In November 1916 the division was broken up and the regiment was merged with the 2/1st Surrey Yeomanry to form 8th (Surrey and Sussex) Yeomanry Cyclist Regiment in 3rd Cyclist Brigade at Ipswich. In March 1917 it resumed its identity as 2/1st Sussex Yeomanry at Ipswich, and later moved to the Woodbridge area; in April 1918, the regiment moved with 3rd Cyclist Brigade to Ireland, landing in Dublin on 21 April. Initially it was stationed at Clandeboye and in September 1918 to Boyle; there was no further change before the end of the war.[6]

3/1st Sussex Yeomanry[edit]

The 3rd Line regiment was formed in July 1915 at Brighton and affiliated to the 3rd Reserve Cavalry Regiment at Canterbury; in the summer of 1916 it was dismounted and attached to the 3rd Line Groups of the Home Counties Division at Crowborough as its 1st Line was serving as infantry. The regiment was disbanded in January 1917 with personnel transferring to the 2nd Line regiment or to the 4th (Reserve) Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment at Tunbridge Wells.[6]

Between the wars[edit]

On reforming the Territorial Army, the 14 senior Yeomanry regiments remained horsed cavalry regiments (6 forming the 5th and 6th Cavalry Brigades) while the remaining Yeomanry Regiments were reassigned as artillery. In 1922 the Sussex Yeomanry was amalgamated with the Surrey Yeomanry and reformed as the 98th (Surrey and Sussex Yeomanry) Brigade, Royal Field Artillery.[2]

Second World War[edit]

98th Field Regiment (Surrey & Sussex Yeomanry Queen Mary's)[edit]

On mobilisation in 1939, the Regiment was part of the British Expeditionary Force (B.E.F.) that was sent to France, initially attached to the 1st Infantry Division in the Lille area. In May 1940 it would be attached in turn to the 46th and 44th Infantry Divisions during the German advance the regiments Guns and vehicles were caught in a traffic jam and had to be destroyed, with the troops proceeding on foot to Dunkirk for evacuation.[15] Back in the United Kingdom the regiment was attached to the 1st Infantry Brigade while it reformed it remained in the United Kingdom until September 1942 when it was sent out to the Middle East and attached to the 10th Armoured Division in Egypt where it participated in the Second Battle of El Alamein, when 10th Armoured was disbanded the regiment was part of the 8th Army Artillery and served in Sicily and Italy being involved in the Battle of Monte Cassino amongst others before leaving Italy in March 1945 and joining the 2nd Army in France and Belgium ending the war in the Netherlands. In April 1945 the Regiment moved to the Lübeck area of Germany as occupation forces and demobilisation was started in October 1945 with the Regiment being placed in suspended animation in June 1946.[15]

144th Field Regiment (Surrey & Sussex Yeomanry Queen Mary's)[edit]

The 144th Field Regiment remained in the United Kingdom in the early war years as part of the 12th (Eastern) Infantry Division and later the British 4th Infantry Division.[16] In November 1940 they were sent to Egypt and then attached to the 5th Indian Division seeing service in the Sudan, Abyssinia and Eritrea it was at Keru Gorge that 390 Battery were charged by about 60 Eritrean cavalry, almost certainly the last cavalry charge on the British Army.[16] The Regiment returned to Egypt with the division before being attached to the 70th Infantry Division during the Siege of Tobruk in September 1941,[16] after being withdrawn from Tobruk they were briefly attached to the 4th Indian Division in early 1942 and the British 1st Armoured Division in February to April 1942.[16] In May 1942 they were sent to Iraq with the 10th Army attached to the 17th Indian Infantry Brigade, 31st Indian Armoured Division they remained with this formation until the end of the war serving in Syria, Persia, Egypt, Palestine and Lebanon.[16]

Post war[edit]

In 1947 the Sussex Yeomanry lineage was lost when the regiment was reformed as 298th (Surrey Yeomanry, Queen's Mary's) Field Regiment,[17] however the lineage was restored when 200 (Sussex Yeomanry) Medium Battery was formed as part of 100th (Yeomanry) Regiment Royal Artillery in 1969.[2] In April 1993 200 (Sussex Yeomanry) Battery converted to become 127 (Sussex Yeomanry) Field Squadron, 78 (Fortress) Engineer Regiment Royal Engineers,[18] although the regiment disbanded in 1999, the lineage was maintained by 1 (Sussex Yeomanry) Troop, 579 Field Squadron (EOD), part of 101 (London) Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) (Volunteers) at Reigate Army Reserve Centre.[2]

Colonels-in-Chief and Honorary Colonels[edit]

Honorary Colonels

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Worcestershire Yeomanry Cavalry (1794-1994)". Archived from the original on August 15, 2004. 
  2. ^ a b c d e The Sussex Yeomanry at regiments.org by T.F.Mills at the Wayback Machine (archived 15 July 2007)
  3. ^ "No. 27323". The London Gazette. 14 June 1901. p. 4005. 
  4. ^ Rinaldi 2008, p. 35
  5. ^ Rinaldi 2008, p. 39
  6. ^ a b c d e f James 1978, p. 29
  7. ^ Westlake 1996, p. 279
  8. ^ a b c Becke 1936, p. 37
  9. ^ Chappell, PB. "3rd Dismounted Brigade". The Regimental Warpath 1914–18. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c d Becke 1937, p. 121
  11. ^ James 1978, p. 78
  12. ^ Becke 1937, p. 119
  13. ^ a b c d Becke 1937, p. 122
  14. ^ James 1978, p. 36
  15. ^ a b Barton, Derek. "98 (Surrey & Sussex Yeo Queen Marys) Field Regiment RA(TA)". The Royal Artillery 1939-45. Retrieved 18 May 2014. 
  16. ^ a b c d e Barton, Derek. "144 (Surrey & Sussex Yeo) Field Regiment RA(TA)". The Royal Artillery 1939-45. Retrieved 18 May 2014. 
  17. ^ "queensroyalsurreys". 
  18. ^ "win.tue". 
  19. ^ "No. 27359". The London Gazette. 27 September 1901. p. 6297. 

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. 
  • Davis, Lt-Col T B (1980). The Surrey and Sussex Yeomanry in the Second World War (1st ed.). Ditchling: Ditchling Press. ISBN 0-9500584-3-2. 
  • Frederick, J.B.M. (1984). Lineage Book of British Land Forces 1660–1978. Wakefield, Yorkshire: Microform Academic Publishers. ISBN 1-85117-009-X. 
  • 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. 
  • Westlake, Ray (1996). British Regiments at Gallipoli. Barnsley: Leo Cooper. ISBN 0-85052-511-X. 

External links[edit]