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I am starting this thread as a first point for queries about the Berkshire Yeomanry.

My previous thread on the Berkshire Yeomanry was deleted some time ago due to my not posting regularly enough.

I will now try and post regularly as nearly as possible items that are relevant to the Berks Yeomanry 100 years ago.

To start here is a photo of Lance Corporal William Bond of B (Reading) Squadron seen here in blues at Camp at Patcham in 1913. The white leather cross-belt had been provided in the spring of 1913 to replace the brown leather bandolier for the substitute full dress. William Bond had been promoted to Lance Corporal in 1912. William Bond signed for imperial service with the regiment and went overseas to Egypt and Gallipoli. Following the death of his SSM (Bill Cox) at Matruh on 11th December 1915. Sgt WE Bond was promoted to Squadron Sergeant Major of the B Sqn, a post which he held until 1917. He was with regiment when it was converted to MGC in 1918 but it then unclear what unit her served with. He survived the war.

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Steven Broomfield

Thanks Andrew - beautiful picture.

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Thanks Steven, the first in what I hope will be many posts. The camp being near Brighton was frequented by a lot of photographers, so we have a reasonable selection of images for 1913.

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Also at Patcham Camp in 1913, is Trooper GL Wallis No. 1652, an articled solicitor of the B (Reading) Sqdn in service dress with the characteristic Stohwasser brown leather gaiters.

In April 1905 George was articled to be a solicitor to his father E.L. Wallis of Hereford. This is what he wrote "Then in May 1909 I got a job with Brain & Brain of Reading, the leading law firm of that large town. I spent two happy years with them and was beginning to gain some experience and confidence in myself, when my father made me resign and go back to his office. While in Reading, being convinced that there would soon be war with Germany, I had joined the Berkshire Yeomanry, B Squadron which was made up of young men out of banks, businesses & offices amongst whom I had many friends. Yeomanry House where we did our riding-school and drills, was much like a club. We never saw the officers except at the annual camps; all training was done, and interest kept up by the Regimental & Squadron Sergeant Majors. All my spare time not spent at Yeomanry House I spent on the River Thames"

He was mobilised in August 1914 and accompanied the regiment to Egypt. He was then commissioned into the Hereford Regiment and served with Hereford at Gallipoli in November 1915 and subsequently in Egypt and Palestine

George Wallis survived his war service and settled in Africa to make his life

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  • 1 month later...

I am trying to find out any information about a former Reading FC footballer, Sergeant Leonard Hawes, who served with the Berkshire Yeomanry and appears to have "died at sea" on 25 August 1915. I deduce that this means that he was wounded (Scimitar Hill?) and died on either a hospital or transport ship. If you are able to help or can point me in the right direction I shall be grateful.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Paul

Len Hawes lived in Twyford and was a Sergeant in the 2nd Troop of A (Windsor) Squadron.

You are right that unfortunately he died of wound sustained on the attack on Scimitar Hill on 21st August 1915

From his number 949 we can say he enlisted into the regiment in about 1909

Sergeant LN Len Hawes. (A2) - Today everybody has been visiting their horses and saying good-bye; a bit rough after having them a year. Letter Home -

Sergeant LM Hawes (A2) There are no casualties in the Berkshire Yeomanry, but all other units except Bucks have landed under heavy fire. I have not had a shave for nearly a week and about one wash. I am afraid to look at my self in our looking glass - Biscuit tins. Our Colonel is leaving us, and is being invalided home. He have had a very heavy shrapnel fire all day and night. You are under fire everywhere here and anywhere in fact. I am fit and well. Water is very scare here and very dirty at that, I would not think of washing in it home, let alone drink it! We have had to dig ourselves in everytime we move. It is hard work and blisters are numerous, but with it all it is very exciting and nice to be in it. Letter to parents from the late Serjeant Len Hawes dated 20-8-1915 published in the Reading Standard

Regards

Andrew

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Time for another picture of a mounted trooper I think

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Trooper Hugh Patterson "Pat" Dymore-Brown of 1st Troop, B (Reading) Squadron. This photo taken on the 6th December 1914 while the regiment was stationed at Fakenham. On the off-side he carries a newly issued cavalry sabre of an obsolete pattern.

As is evident I have rather roughly coloured this image to see if it "lifts" the image.

Pat Dymore Brown was commissioned into the Royal Berkshire Regiment in January 1915 and initially posted to the 9th Bn. Posted overseas in 1916 he was then with the 5th Bn. He was invalided from the Army in Feb 1918 due to the loss of an eye and died in February 1919 aged just 22, quite possibly taken by the flu epidemic. He is buried in Earley, Churchyard on the outskirts of Reading. The CWGC site lists his secondary regiment as Grenadier Guards which I find puzzling.

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And a couple of Len Hawes

Taken in the summer / autumn of 1914 as the 2nd Sergt of the 2nd Troop of A (Windsor) Sqn Berks Yeo

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This one taken on board the SS Menominnee en route for Alexandria in April 1915

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Hi Paul

Len Hawes lived in Twyford and was a Sergeant in the 2nd Troop of A (Windsor) Squadron.

You are right that unfortunately he died of wound sustained on the attack on Scimitar Hill on 21st August 1915

From his number 949 we can say he enlisted into the regiment in about 1909

Sergeant LN Len Hawes. (A2) - Today everybody has been visiting their horses and saying good-bye; a bit rough after having them a year. Letter Home -

Sergeant LM Hawes (A2) There are no casualties in the Berkshire Yeomanry, but all other units except Bucks have landed under heavy fire. I have not had a shave for nearly a week and about one wash. I am afraid to look at my self in our looking glass - Biscuit tins. Our Colonel is leaving us, and is being invalided home. He have had a very heavy shrapnel fire all day and night. You are under fire everywhere here and anywhere in fact. I am fit and well. Water is very scare here and very dirty at that, I would not think of washing in it home, let alone drink it! We have had to dig ourselves in everytime we move. It is hard work and blisters are numerous, but with it all it is very exciting and nice to be in it. Letter to parents from the late Serjeant Len Hawes dated 20-8-1915 published in the Reading Standard

Regards

Andrew

Many thanks Andrew - also for the images.

Regards

Paul

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello Andrew,

I am researching the men on Newbury war memorial, which includes a number of Yeomanry. Currently I am looking at Alfred Brindley (3815) who moved on to the Royal Berkshire Regiment (41830) and died with their 5th Btn in 1918.

Can you give me any idea whether Alfred was a pre-war trooper or when he might have enlisted? Was there a bulk transfer of men to the R Berks at any time, or would this have been at Alfred's instigation?

In hope,

Phil

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  • 2 months later...

Andrew

As I was checking some information on the Yeomanry I was surprised to come across the picture of Trooper Bond, he was my paternal grandfather and that photo hung in the hall of my grandparents house in Tokers Green.. Fortunately I do have a copy. I think the house was named after where he was stationed in Egypt. Granpy never talked about his experiences although I do know he was devastated to leave his horse in Egypt and despite having horsey granddaughters did not offer any instruction.

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Mate,

Any more details on the men I listed in the Camel Corps (I think I gave you some time ago?) would help if you can.

Cheers

S.B

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Steve Phi & GBond

Very sorry I've not checked the forum for a few weeks. Going like crazy to finish power-points to deliver the to the Museum of English Rural Life and the Gallipoli Association but that's behind me now.

Bond

I have letters from William Bond regarding the death of his predecessor as SSM of B Sqn in Dec 1915 also his photo album

This is from that album taken Prior to their deployment on 13th Aug 1915

I live in Sonning Common which is about 2 miles from Tokers Gn.

Regard

Andrewpost-7967-0-84144300-1403472640_thumb.jp

Steve and Phil I will answer your queries in the next day or two


Just in case there's any doubt Sergt Bond in sitting centre man

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Hi Phil

Alfred Brindley No.3815. The nearest number we have is for 3748 for Pte Hicks who was conscripted into the army and posted into the regiment in Feb 1917. So we can assume Brindley was conscripted Spring 1917 (probably on his 18th birthday) He would have served with the 2/1st Berks Yeomanry which had a dual role of being a home defence regiment (bicycle rather than horse-borne by now). Also they prepared drafts to send out to the infantry.

Transfers en-mass would occur as these men / boys passed out of their training and were sent overseas.

The war diary of the 5th Bn R Berks might mention reinforcements but the 2/1st did not keep a diary after 1916

Regards

Andrew


Hi Steve

Could you let me know again which men you are interested in please

Cheers

Andrew

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Here is a picture of the sergeant of the B Sqn Berks Yeomanry taken at Camp June 1914

Rear (L-R) HC Blyde, F Palmer, WE Bond, F Cusden Mayo, Pinker, SG Kerry

Front (L-R) SQMS Bradbury, SSM AT Trowbridge, RSM Seal, SSM WC Cox

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Thank you Andrew - very useful.

Phil

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Here is a picture of "Lady" the mare belonging to Sergeant WE Bond. I can understand his being heartbroken - a lovely horse.

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Time for another mounted trooper I think

This fellow in the Norfolk mud is Trooper HT Dicky Hart of D (Wantage) Sqn. He ended the war as Sergeant HT Hart DCM MM. The DCM won at Gallipoli and the MM for the Second Battle of Gaza in APril 1917

Shown in the photo he still has the butt bucket for his SMLE on the nearside with the obsolete 1899 patt curved sword on the offside.

These swords were issued in Mid October 1914 to the Regiment

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Just found this thread Andrew-after contacting you re Great War badges and regiment connections to Lambourn. Great images. I'm disappointed I missed your talk at the MERL. My grandfather was a young timber hauler in the Windsor Forest who enlisted into 2nd Life Guards in 1918. Regards, Paul.

PS Can you confirm which troop of C Squadron were based a Lambourn?

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I should think right wheel is about to be ordered and into the church.

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AndrewFrench

Hi Paul

Thanks for post this which is the only image I know of the Troop in Lambourn

THe C Sqn ORBAT was as follows

SHQ - Newbury

1 Tp - Newbury

2 Tp - Newbury

3 Tp - Hungeford

4 Tp - Lambourn

Sorry to say I was unable to dismount the badge and take a picture of the rear you asked.

MERL talk went well. If we were to repeat it I will let you know

Here are some photos of Corporal A Charcott of Lambourn

Regards

Andrew

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AndrewFrench

Hi Wardog

Here's something from the Berks Chronicle of 2nd January 1914 that ties in with the last two posts

YEOMANRY SMOKER

Members of the Newbury and Hungerford troops accorded loyal support to their comrades-in-arms at Lambourn on December 18th, when Host Sanson's fine billiard room was thronged with Yeoman Territorials, Reservists and civilians, all come together to enjoy a musical evening arranged by Sergeant [Alfred] Charcot [C4 Tp] on behalf of the local troop.

There was a fine array of artistes, professional and amateur, who all deserved the applause that greeted their efforts. Quarter Master Sergeant Andrews [sHQ]. Always a favourite surpassed himself on this occasion, while the brothers Rumbold and Mr. Fellows scored heavily. Miss Prosser well sustained the high reputation she holds as an accomplished vocalist. Here songs were a great treat. Of Mr. G. Nash , the well-known comedian, it might truly be said he came, sang and conquered, for he was "It" at all times. The accompaniments were in the hands of Mr. C. Maberly, who also contributed a patriotic song composed by himself.

Lieutenant AC Bishop [O.C. Machine Gun Section] officiated as chairman. With him were the Rev. R. Bagnall [Hon Regtl Chaplain]. Captain Hodding (West African Regiment), Lieutenant G.H. Bishop (3rd Royal Berkshire Regiment), Captain Hon. Rupert Craven, Captain R.L. Barnes, (4th Royal Berkshire Regiment), Surgeon Lieutenant D.G. Kennard [Regtl M.O.], Mr R.O. Bagnall, Mr E.G. Fellows, Dr Bell, and Mr. C Chandler.

A pianoforte solo, "La Mascotte," by Mr. C. Maberly, opened the proceedings.

The toast of "The Army, Navy, and Auxiliary Forces" was submitted by the Rev. R. Bagnall. All Englishmen, he said, were proud of their Army and Navy. He thought social evenings such as the present did much to promote good feeling with the Auxiliary Forces. He hoped the smoke would become a hardy annual, like the Church parade (applause)

Lieutenant. Bishop in responding, sais the Special Reserve and Yeomanry always got on well together. He regretted so many loafers stood about the corners of our big towns. They had far better join the Yeomanry

The toast of the evening, viz., "The C Squadron, " was proposed by Captain Hon Rupert Graven (in the unavoidable absence of Colonel Fairhurst). It was he said, the best squadron in the best Yeomanry Regiment in England (cheers). He rejoiced to known it was well p to strength, and trusted all would endeavour to live up to the great reputation they had earned.

Lieutenant A. C. Bishop, in responding, thanked Captain Craven for kind manner in which he had referred C Squadron. His commendation was thoroughly well deserved. Especially was this true of the Lambourn Troop, whose weekly drill he hoped now to regularly attend. They were excellent workers, capital sportsmen, and loved the girls (laughter and cheers). This year's training would take place on Salisbury Plain. Although he would not be able to lead the troop – being in charge of a gun – he felt sure they would all do credit to Lambourn and him. He regretted one of their smartest and best leaders was absent - Sergeant-Major Harris [sHQ] - all would join in hoping his illness would have a favourable and rapid termination.

“The Chairmen" was drunk with musical honours. Surgeon-Lieutenant Kennard spoke in glowing terms of Lieutenant Bishop's excellent qualities both as a chairman and an officer. He trusted Lambourn Troop might soon have such an one allotted them.

Lieutenant Bishop expressed his pleasure at being present, and complimented Sergeant Charcot on the splendid success he had engineered. He thanked Mr. Sanson for so kindly providing rooms for the occasion and for the time and trouble he had taken in arranging the very appropriate decorations. He said the company were also indented to those who had entertained them, making special mention of Miss Prosser - who had given up a Birmingham engagement in order to be present - Mr. G. Nash, and Mr. C. Maberly.

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1st picture of Cpl Charcott looks to come from the picture I posted, Would you be able to mail me a better quality full version of the full picture?

Re. the rear of the badge that cannot be removed- do you happen to know if it has lugs/loops, or a slider fitting? Thanks again for your help- Very interested to see any further Lambourn men pictures you can post or send me. Regards, Paul.

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Thanks very much for that, I'll direct the researcher in Lambourn to this thread. Sounds like a good time was had before the start of an eventful year. Regards, Paul.

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  • 1 month later...

Mobilise ....

.... and bring your horse

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