29 August 2011

Hertfordshire Yeomanry 1908-1914



I've just added a post to my World War 1 Veterans' blog about Frederick Mason Matthews who served in Gallipoli with the Hertfordshire Yeomanry and was later commissioned with the 2/1st Essex Yeomanry. I've already partially covered Essex Yeomanry numbers on this blog, so here are some sample numbers from an incomplete sequence for the Hertfordshire Yeomanry.

When, on 1st April 1908, it became the Hertfordshire Yeomanry, the regiment continued with the numbering series which it had used when it was the Imperial Yeomanry. Men who transferred from the Imperial Yeomanry to the Yeomanry retained their Imperial Yeomanry numbers and the majority of 1908 enlistments were men who had formerly served in the Imperial Yeomanry. For instance, 803 Henry Bridger joined the Hertfordshire Yeomanry on 8th April 1908 “to complete present engagement”, which in his case was eleven months. His number dates to when he first joined the Hertfordshire Imperial Yeomanry on the 14th February 1906

By 1914 the regiment formed part of the Eastern Mounted Brigade and had its headquarters at Hertford. Its four squadrons were disposed as follows:

A Squadron: Watford
B Squadron: Hertford
C Squadron: St Albans
D Squadron: High Barnet

1090 Clifford Alfred Watkins joined on 20th February 1909
1257 James Dubbin joined on 23rd March 1910
1315 Philip Clark joined on 31st January 1911
1413 Reginald Goodyer joined on 13th February 1912
1570 Douglas Brydon joined on 1st November 1913
1649 Charles William Beeton (aged 43) joined on 25th July 1914
1681 Thomas Carruthers joined on 3rd August 1914 (the day before war was declared)
1772 William Frederick Marshall Blyth joined on 2nd September 1914
2118 Edgar Ralph Braggins joined on 3rd October 1914

On its page dedicated to the Hertfordshire Yeomanry, The Long Long Trail website notes:

1/1st Battalion

August 1914: Hertford, part of the Eastern Mounted Brigade.
10 September 1914: sailed for Egypt.
19 January 1915: joined the Yeomanry Mounted Brigade. This was originally an independent command. It moved in August 1915 to Gallipoli as dismounted troops, was placed under command of 2nd Mounted Division and was retitled as 5th Mounted Brigade.
December 1915: withdrew from Gallipoli and returned to Egypt.
March 1916: was split up

2/1st and 3/1st Battalions were raised in September 1914 and 1915 respectively.

When it was re-numbered in 1917, Hertfordshire Yeomanry men were given numbers within the range 105001 to 110000.

Pictured above, Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Gurney Sheppard in an undated photo. He won the DSO whilst serving with the Imperial Yeomanry during the Second South African War and died of wounds whilst leading the Hertfordshire Yeomanry at Gallipoli on the 21st August 1915.

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