13 June 2014

Queen's Own Royal West Kent Yeomanry 1908-1914

This post will look at numbering in the Queen’s Own West Kent Yeomanry between 1908 and 1914.

When, on 1st April 1908, it became the Queen’s Own West Kent 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.

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

A Squadron: Bromley
B Squadron: Dartford
C Squadron: Tunbridge
D Squadron: Maidstone

219 joined on 23rd May 1908
378 joined on 1st January 1909
542 joined on 2nd April 1910
638 joined on 19th May 1911
731 joined on 10th July 1912
863 joined on 30th June 1913
922 joined on 9th January 1914
1001 joined on 4th August 1914

In August 1914 the 2/1st Queen’s Own West Kent Yeomanry was formed at Maidstone. A 3/1st battalion was formed – earlier than many other yeomanry regiments’ 3rd line units - at Canterbury at the end of 1914. All three yeomanry regiments drew their regimental numbers from the same regimental number series.

The image (which is Crown Copyright and reproduced with the permission of the National Archives) shows the March 1902 Imperial Yeomanry attestation of 445 William Skelton. He was one of the men who, in 1908, would transfer to the newly formed Royal West Kent Yeomanry. He was given the number 36.

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