24 June 2014

Leicestershire Yeomanry (Prince Albert's Own) 1908-1914

This post will look at numbering in the Leicestershire Yeomanry between 1908 and 1914.

In common with many Yeomanry regiments, the Leicestershire Yeomanry can trace its origins back to the French Revolutionary Wars and 1794 when it was formed as a volunteer cavalry unit. It was re-raised in 1803 as the Leicestershire Yeomanry Cavalry and by 1908 had become the Leicestershire Yeomanry (Prince Albert's Own).

The majority of the men who joined in that year were former Imperial Yeoman, joining the newly constituted regiment with their old Imperial Yeomanry numbers. 

By 1914 the regiment was headquartered at Leicester, with its four squadrons disposed as follows:

A Squadron: Melton Mowbray
B Squadron: Leicester
C Squadron: Loughborough
D Squadron: Lutterworth

The regiment formed part of the North Midland Mounted Brigade which was administered from Leicester.

1504 joined on 28th May 1908
1620 joined on 6th April 1909
1649 joined on 1st February 1910
1753 joined on 27th January 1911
1846 joined on 5th March 1912
1950 joined on 19th May 1913
2043 joined on 4th April 1914
2101 joined on 6th August 1914
2161 joined on 21st September 1914
2200 joined on 10th October 1914

Two reserve units, the 2/1st and 3/1st, were formed during the First World War and both drew their numbers from the same series above.

The photo above shows C Squadron, Leicestershire Yeomanry assembled outside the Bull's Head stable yard on 6th August 1914. 1756 Henry Thirlby Hack MM who I interviewed at his home in Sutton Bonington in 1985 stands in the third row from the front, second from the left. On the far left of the second row is Sergeant Major Diggle. His son, 1760 Bertie Diggle, would be killed in action at Frezenberg near Ypres on 13th may 1915.  Pictured below, Thirlby Hack in bath-chair recovering from his wounds in England after the same action at Frezenberg. Thirlby's number indicates that he joined the regiment in February 1911 (although he recalled his joining date as 1910). He can be forgiven, he was recalling events seven decades later.

Read the interview I conducted with Henry Thirlby Hack MM on my World War 1 veterans' blog.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The numbering is interesting, but matching the numbers with attestation date gives me a problem. William Frederick Lee, of Leicester, attested on 22 September 1915, and was given number 1818 (the numbers were pre-printed in the Other Ranks book), but a Squadron was not shown. He was discharged on 12 February 1917.

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