Yeomanry is a designation used by a number of units or sub-units of the British Territorial Army, descended from volunteer cavalry regiments. Today Yeomanry units may serve in a variety of different military roles.


In the 1790s, the threat of invasion of the Kingdom of Great Britain was high, after the French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte. In order to improve the country's defences, volunteer regiments were raised in many counties from yeomen. The word "yeoman" refers to small farmers who owned the land they cultivated, but the officers were drawn from the nobility and many of the men were their tenants. These regiments became known collectively as the Yeomanry. Members of the yeomanry were not obliged to serve overseas without their individual consent.

During the first half of the nineteenth century, Yeomanry Regiments were used extensively in support of the civil authority to quell riots and civil disturbances (including the Peterloo Massacre), but as police forces took over this role, the Yeomanry concentrated on local defence.

During the Second Boer War, companies of Imperial Yeomanry were formed to serve overseas from volunteers from the Yeomanry. In 1901 all yeomanry regiments were redesignated as "Imperial Yeomanry", and reorganised.

In 1908, the Imperial Yeomanry was merged with the Volunteer Force to form the Territorial Force, of which it became the cavalry arm. The "Imperial" title was dropped at the same time.

Following the First World War the Territorial Force was redesignated as the Territorial Army. Following the experience of the war, only the fourteen senior yeomanry regiments retained their horses, with the rest being reroled as armoured car companies, artillery, engineers or signals. Two regiments were disbanded. The converted units retained their yeomanry traditions, with some artillery regiments having individual batteries representing different yeomanry units.

On the eve of the Second World War the Territorial Army was doubled in size, with duplicate units formed, this led to some regiments being de-amalgamated. The last mounted regiment of yeomanry was the Queen's Own Yorkshire Dragoons, who were converted to an armoured role in March 1942. Volunteers from the Yeomanry served in the Long Range Desert Group from 1940 through to 1943, incorporated into "Y Patrol". [Arthur Taylor, "Discovering British Cavalry Regiments", Aylesbury, 1973]

There were reductions in the size of the TA in 1957 and 1961 and this led to amalgamation of some pairs of yeomanry regiments. There was a major reduction in reserve forces in 1967 with the formation of the Territorial and Army Volunteer Reserve, and all existing yeomanry regiments were reduced to squadron, company or battery sub-units. A number of further reorganisations have taken place in the intervening years.

Current Yeomanry Regiments

Today, in the modern Territorial Army, there are many former Yeomanry regiments serving in one form or another, usually as a squadron/battery that is part of a larger unit:

Royal Armoured Corps

;Royal Yeomanry
*Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry (Prince of Wales's Own)
*Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry
*Leicestershire and Derbyshire (Prince Albert's Own) Yeomanry
*Kent and Sharpshooters Yeomanry
*Westminster Dragoons
*Inns of Court and City Yeomanry

;Royal Wessex Yeomanry
*Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry (Prince of Wales's Own)
*Royal Gloucestershire Hussars
*Royal Devon Yeomanry
*Queen's Own Dorset Yeomanry

;Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry
*Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire Yeomanry
*Shropshire Yeomanry
*Cheshire Yeomanry (Earl of Chester's)
*Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry

;Queen's Own Yeomanry
*Yorkshire Yeomanry
*Ayrshire (Earl of Carrick's Own) Yeomanry
*Northumberland Hussars
*Fife and Forfar Yeomanry/Scottish Horse
*North Irish Horse


;Royal Regiment of Scotland
*Lovat Scouts;Royal Welsh
*Denbighshire Hussars

=Royal Signals=

;Independent Squadrons
*Royal Buckinghamshire Yeomanry (Royal Bucks Hussars)

;32 (Scottish) Signal Regiment
*Lanarkshire and Glasgow Yeomanry;33 (Lancashire and Cheshire) Signal Regiment
*Cheshire Yeomanry (Earl of Chester's)

;35 (South Midlands) Signal Regiment
*Shropshire Yeomanry;36 (Eastern) Signal Regiment
*Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars;37 (Wessex and Welsh) Signal Regiment
*Queen's Own Warwickshire and Worcestershire Yeomanry;39 (Skinners) Signal Regiment
*Middlesex Yeomanry (Duke of Cambridge's Hussars)
*North Somerset Yeomanry
*Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars
*Berkshire Yeomanry;40 (Ulster) Signal Regiment
*North Irish Horse;71 (Yeomanry) Signal Regiment
*Essex Yeomanry
*Inns of Court and City Yeomanry
*Kent and County of London Yeomanry

Royal Artillery

;100 Regiment
*Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Yeomanry
*South Nottinghamshire Hussars Yeomanry;104 Regiment
*Glamorgan Yeomanry;106 (Yeomanry) Regiment
*Hampshire Yeomanry (Carabiniers)

=Army Air Corps=

;6 Regiment, Army Air Corps
*Suffolk and Norfolk Yeomanry

Royal Engineers

;101 (City of London) Engineer Regiment
*Surrey Yeomanry (Queen Mary's Regiment);71 Engineer Regiment
*Lovat Scouts

Royal Logistic Corps

;157 Transport Regiment
*Pembroke Yeomanry

Army Medical Services

*First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (Princess Royal's Volunteer Corps)

Yeomanry Regiments with more than one unit

Most of the old yeomanry regiments are perpetuated through a single unit, be it an armoured, engineers or signal squadron, or an artillery battery. However, there are seven yeomanry regiments that maintain more than one unit:

*Cheshire Yeomanry (Earl of Chester's)
**Challenger 2 Replacement Squadron
**Signals Squadron
*Inns of Court and City Yeomanry
**Signals Squadron
**Regimental Band
*Kent and Sharpshooters Yeomanry
**NBC Recce Squadron
**Signals Squadron
*North Irish Horse
**Armoured Reconnaissance Squadron
**Signals Squadron
*Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry
**NBC Recce Squadron
**Armoured Replacement Squadron
*Shropshire Yeomanry
**Challenger 2 Replacement Squadron
**Signals Squadron
*The Scottish Horse
**Armoured Reconnaissance Squadron (now part of Fife and Forfar Yeomanry/Scottish Horse)
**Army Air Corp Squadron (Regular)


See also

:Imperial Yeomanry:Yeomanry order of precedence: List of Yeomanry Regiments 1908

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  • Yeomanry — Yeo man*ry, n. 1. The position or rank of a yeoman. [Obs.] His estate of yeomanry. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] 2. The collective body of yeomen, or freeholders. [1913 Webster] The enfranchised yeomanry began to feel an instinct for dominion. Bancroft …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • yeomanry — ● yeomanry nom féminin (anglais yeomanry) Ensemble des yeomen. Formation territoriale de cavalerie anglaise, créée à la fin du XVIIIe s. et utilisée ensuite comme infanterie montée. yeomanry [jɔmanʀi] n. f. ÉTYM. 1799, in Rey Debove et Gagnon; de …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Yeomanry — (spr. Johmännrih), 1) s.u. Yeoman 2); 2) (Y. Cavalry), eine Art bewaffneter u. berittener freiwilliger Miliz, welche während der ersten Französischen Revolution u. des Kaiserreichs zum Schutze der Küsten errichtet wurde u. auch noch jetzt besteht …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Yeomanry — (spr. jōmänrĭ), Milizkavallerie in Großbritannien (s. d., S. 376) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • yeomanry — (n.) late 14c., from YEOMAN (Cf. yeoman) + RY (Cf. ry) …   Etymology dictionary

  • yeomanry — ► NOUN (treated as sing. or pl. ) historical ▪ a body of yeomen, or yeomen collectively …   English terms dictionary

  • yeomanry — [yō′mənrē] n. 1. yeomen collectively 2. a British volunteer cavalry force organized in 1761 as a home guard, but since 1907, a part of the Territorial Army …   English World dictionary

  • Yeomanry — La Yeomanry désigne certaines unités de l armée de terre britannique, qui descendent de l ancienne milice à cheval. Cette milice montée fut créée à l époque de la Révolution française pour se protéger d une éventuelle invasion française, à partir …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Yeomanry — Als Yeomanry bezeichnet man Territorialverbände der britischen Kavallerie, deren Mannschaften sich ursprünglich primär aus Yeomen rekrutierten. Adel und Besitzbürgertum stellten die Offiziere. Die Yeomanry wurde in den Koalitionskriegen aus Angst …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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