|The First World War|
In August 1914, the Yorkshire Mounted Brigade was dispatched to patrol the Yorkshire coast, the Yorkshire Hussars between Whitby and Filey, the Yorkshire Dragoons between Filey and Withernsea and the East RidingYeomanry in reserve at Filey.
YORKSHIRE HUSSARS (APWO):
On the 1st September Lord Feversham formed a first line regiment ofYorkshire Hussars who volunteered to serve abroad, which was designated 1/1st Yorkshire Hussars. On the 15th they moved to Place Newton for training, from where they moved to Hitchin and Bishop Stortford and thence to Harlow where they passed the winter in training. The 2/1st Yorkshire Hussars remained on coastal duties until being sent to Ireland in 1918 under the command of Lord Deramore, they were mainly 45 and 50 year old men. A third line regiment, 3/1st Yorkshire Hussars was formed to supply drafts.
In February 1915, the 1/1st Yorkshire Hussars split up to be employed as Divisional Cavalry: B Squadron deployed to France in February 1915 with 46th (North Midland) Division. C Squadron deployed to France in April 1915 with 49th (West Riding) Division. A and HQ Squadrons deployed to France in April 1915 with 50th (Northumbrian) Division. A Squadron seeing action at the 2nd Battle of Ypres, B at the Battle of Loos and C at the Battle of Aubern Ridge.
Lord Feversham, deeply disappointed that he'd missed the Boer War and that his Regiment hadn't proceeded to the front as a regiment, joyfully accepted an offer from the War Office, in June 1915, to return to Hemsley to raise and command 21 K.R.R. (Yeoman Rifles), Sir Antony Eden serving as a Company Commander. The Regiment lost their gallant colonel at the Somme 15th September 1916. Capt Lord Lascelles the Yorkshire Hussars' Adjutant rejoined his old regiment the Grenadier Guards with whom he served till the end of the war, which found him in command of the 3rd Battalion decorated with the DSO and clasp, after having been twice wounded.
On 16th May 1916, the 1/1st Yorkshire Hussars reassembled under Lieutenant Colonel W Pepys as Corps Cavalry to XVII Corps and were present at the Battle of Arras. On November 10th the Regiment passed into the hands of Lieutenant Colonel Eley under whom it served until it was reorganised and reroled in August 1917. After six weeks infantry training at Etaples, the bulk of the Yorkshire Hussars were drafted to the 9th West Yorkshire Regiment. On the insistence of Captain Walker - the senior officer of the draft of 20 officers and 396 other ranks - the Battalion was titled the "9th (Yorkshire Hussars) Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment" and wore The Yorkshire Hussars cap badgeand West York collar-badges. The Battalion saw much hard fighting taking part in: the 3rd Battle of Ypres, a raid at Lens in which Lt Haslam was killed, and successful attacks at Pelves, Aubencheul-au-Bac and Marquion Quarry.
Sadly Captain Walker died of wounds 13th November 1918.
After the declaration of peace the Regiment was reconstituted under the command of Lt Col Lane-Fox andassembled in 1920 for a weeks ‘in camp’ training at Harrogate.
QUEEN'S OWN YORKSHIRE DRAGOONS:
The Yorkshire Dragoons like the Yorkshire Hussars formed a second line regiment in September 1914 that served on the east coast of Yorkshire until April 1918 when it was sent to County Cork where it remained until 1919. When the officers and men learnt that the 2nd Regiment wouldn't be going abroad they applied for transfers to other regiments, and were gradually replaced by others who were recovering from wounds and disabilities. A 3rd line regiment of Yorkshire Dragoons was raised early in 1915 to supply drafts for the other two regiments and was quartered first at York and later Tidworth.The 1/1st Yorkshire Dragoons deployed to France in July 1915, as Divisional Cavalry: A Squadron to 17th (Northern) Division, B and HQ Squadrons to 37th Division, C Squadron to 19th (Western) Division.
In May 1916 the Regiment reassembled under Lieutenant Colonel W Mackenzie Smith and became Corps Cavalry to II Corps with whom they remained until November 1917 when they were transferred to the Cavalry Corps. Up to this time their only chance of mounted action had been during the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line in April1917, when they earned a high reputation. They were present at the battles of the Somme (1916), the Ancre, theSomme (1917) and Ypres (1917). Although in these battles there was no mounted fighting, the Regiment suffered considerable casualties and won many decorations. They were often called upon to support infantry attacks with their Hotchkiss machine guns. They did important observation work by which the Corps Headquarters were able toreceive information from the front line more quickly and accurately than by any other means. The Observation Troop took an active part in the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and again in 1917, up to the German retirement to the Hindenburg Line. Close cooperation was maintained with other arms and especially with the artillery. The Regiment also provided guards of honour to H.M. King George V and to H.M. King Albert of the Belgians and did a great variety of work such as digging, burying, despatch riding and police duties.
In December 1917, the Yorkshire Dragoons were posted to the Lucknow Brigade, 4th Cavalry Division, where they relieved the King's Dragoon Guards and took part in the Battle of Cambrai in 1917. As such they were one of only four Yeomanry Regiments posted to a Regular Cavalry Division.
The Yorkshire Dragoons were dismounted in February 1918, and returned to II Corps as Corps Cyclists. From September to November 1918, the Regiment fought brilliantly with 9th Division in the offensive east of Ypres. In action on 15th and 20th October they captured over 100 prisoners with 7 field guns, 5 heavy guns, many machine guns and much transport.
Hostilities came to an end on 11th November 1918 and in recognition of their work the Yorkshire Dragoons were selected for the army of occupation and acted as advance guard to the 9th and 29th Divisions during the advance into Germany. The Regiment was stationed in the Cologne area until demobilization in July 1919, when Lord Scarbrough received a letter of appreciation from the Corps Commander. "They have earned the gratitude of their country and county, in the way they've worked and fought all through the war, and have made a name for themselves which will never be forgotten".
The Guidon of The Queen's Own Yorkshire Dragoons was the only Yeomanry Colour to reach the Rhine. It was also carried in the Victory Parade.
EAST RIDING OF YORKSHIRE YEOMANRY:
A second and third regiment were raised and designated 2/1 stand 3/1st East Riding Yeomanry. The 2/1st converted to a Cyclist Battalion in 1916, remaining in the East Riding until May 1918 when it transferred to Ireland. It was disbanded at the end of the war. The 3/1st was raised in1915, remaining in the East Riding until 1917 when it was absorbed by the 1st Reserve Cavalry Regiment at the Curragh, in Ireland.
The 1/1st moved north in November 1914 as Divisional Cavalry for the Northumbrian Division. On 20th May the Regiment formed part of a parade of some 40,000 men before H.M. The King and Lord Kitchener. The Regiment was then ordered south to Filey and then to East Anglia, to form part of the 1/1st North Midland Mounted Brigade (renumbered 22nd in 1916) together with the Lincolnshire and Staffordshire Yeomanry.
In October 1915 they sets ail for Alexandria.
For 1916, the Regiment was part of the Western Frontier Force, a dreary job, causing a number of NCOs and men to join the newly formed Imperial Camel Corps and 120 officers and men to be detached for service under T.E.Lawrence. In December 1916, the 22nd Mounted Brigade moved to the Suez Canal Zone to form part of the ANZAC Mounted Division. The Regiment first saw action during the First Battle of Gaza, a hard engagement for both the men and the horses, and in the Second Gaza Battle it was posted to the far right flank. In General Allenby's reorganisation 22nd Mounted Brigade transferred to the Yeomanry Mounted Division.
In October 1917, the Regiment took part in the third battle of Gaza, and on the 13th November at El Mughar, supported a charge by 6th Mounted Brigade. A Squadron ERY led 22nd Mounted Brigade; having captured their objective they pressed on to Akir and established a position on the far side of the village square, however they'd to withdraw as they were unsupported by the rest of the Brigade. Sadly it transpired that the village was the location of a Turkish Corps Headquarters, and had the success of the attack been exploited then a major dislocation of the enemy lines could have resulted.
El Mughar was the last great cavalry charge of the British Army.
In December 1917, with the exception of the machine gun section the Regiment was dismounted and sent to France. Together with the Lincolnshire Yeomanry, it formed 102 Bn, Machine Gun Corps (Mobile). The Battalion saw action several times in the closing months of the war in the area around Cambrai supporting attacks by the 49th (West Riding), 51st (Highland) and 56th (1st London) Infantry Divisions.