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Cavalry Recruits.Where Trained?


tony paley
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Help from any Cavalry experts. I have always taken pride in my encyclopedic knowledge of the British Army,( I wish), however although I could recite all the Cavalry Regiments in precedence and probably list the Depots of line regiments etc. I must confess to a complete blank on the recruiting and training of men enlisting in the Cavalry. I am particularly interested in a soldier who joined the 3rd Kings Own Hussars, probably in 1914 or early 1915. His details were Trooper 15304 Harold LAMB. He actulally entered France in July 1915 by then Pte G or L/16741 9th Royal Fusiliers, in a replacement draft. My query is did Cavalry recruits attend a central or regional depot, before joining their Regiment, or would they join their regiment for training, although this seems unlikely. I had always assumed that , unlike line regiments, there was no territorial link. Although we had 8th Irish Hussars, 4th R.Irish Dragoon Gds, Inniskilling Dragoons, 5th Irish Lancers, Scots Greys . One would assume that some lads would choose regiments due to a family link or a persuasive recruiting Sgt. It is probably fairly common for men, having joined the Cavalry, to find themselves transferred to Infantry units as replacements or perhaps volunteered. I have visited The Long Long Trail first but it didn't cover this aspect re Cavalry training.

tony P

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Interesting question, Tony. My Grandafther was in the 19th Hussars and in an excellent book about regimental life "Hussar of the Line", it is clear that they did much of their training in house. Of course, the main area of basic training was to get the men's riding up to standard and the riding master was an important man in the regiment. Of course, the NCO's would also do traditional square bashing and specialist musical training was very important.

I think a lot of recruitment followed family traditions and was based on the various cavalry stations that the regiments served in - the 19th Hussars appear to have got a lot of men from Norwich and Ireland.

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Glen is quite correct. He weould have done his training with 9th Cavalry Resrve Regt. As to why he ended up in the 9th Royal Fusiliers, in the early summer of 1915 the fourteen Reserve Cavalry Regts were over swollen in men, but, with the onset of trench warfare the scope of horse cavalry on the Western Front became very limited. Consequently a considerable number of cavalrymen under training were transferred to the infantry.

Charles M

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Thanks for all the info. It makes sense because the Battalion that he transferred into was part of the 12th (Eastern)Div. who hads two brigades stationed at Shorncliffe, a station where the Kings Own Hussars were based at that time. I know its off period.but I was norn in St.Helena Mil.Hospital at Shorncliffe when my father was stationed there with the Royal Field Art.

Tony P

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When the 2nd Canadian Division was forming in England early in 1915, the Cavalry Squadron was sent to train at DIBGATE CAMP near SHORNCLIFFE. Apparently this was a major, if not the principal, cavalry training area before the War. Although SHORNCLIFFE was soon allocated to the Canadians, when the 2nd Divn Cavalry was there they were still just visitors. Their War Diary records their training as being "under Imperial Supervision". The Diaries include sylibusses (if that is a word) of training, which may be of interest to some.

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jhill, thanks for that all the info fits and has been a great help. Incidentally they were still accomodating horses as late as 1938.

Tony P

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For the record, my grandfather and his brother both enlisted in 20th Hussars in Aug 1914. Training for this regt. was in barracks at Colchester. My great uncle was killed in 1916 with 7th Suffolks - another example of a cavalryman being transferred to the infantry.

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Chrisp,

Thanks for that. my original visit to LLT was cursory to Kings Own hussars. Second visit as per your link provided the answer. Thanks forthat.

tony

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