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Remembered Today:

Farewell to the Horses – Diary of a British Tommy 1915-19


Philip Wilson

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Farewell to the Horses -Diary of a British Tommy 1915-19 (The History Press, Stroud, 2014) ISBN 978-0-7509-5222-4 by Robert ELVERSTONE which is well worth reading. 127 pages, good selection of supporting photographs.

There is clearly an error in the forward to the book as 2987 Pte C.C.HOYTE joined the Warwickshire Yeomanry (WkY) and not the Machine Gun Corps of the Warwickshire Yeomanry.

His medal index card confirms date of entry to theatre (Egypt) as 9 December 1915. He clearly served with 'C' Squadron WkY in Palestine and later with a Hotchkiss Gun Team.

His diary makes interesting reading and could have done with some footnotes to explain the significance of certain events. He was renumbered 164684,survived the sinking of the Leasowe Castle on 27 May 1918 and served with B Bn. M.G.C., which in August 1918 became 100th (Warwick and South Notts Yeo.) Battalion M.G.C .on the Western Front.

On page 46 he describes finding the following message inscribed on a wooden ammunition case at Oghretina 'Who ever shall first come to this spot Englishman, know that here was the telephone room connected with the guns which fired into your camps of Romani and Mohamadieh on August 4th.' We have this original message as a poignant reminder of the past in the WkY Museum. Unfortunately the WkY Museum remains closed due to unforeseen difficulties with structural renovations leading to further delays in refurbishing the building. The earliest we are likely to re-open is May 2014.

Philip

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Thank Philip - sounds interesting.

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Thank Philip - sounds interesting.

The narrative is easy to read and the reader 'if he has done his bit' can easily associate himself with the day to day happenings. The drill square, management of horses, periods of leave, cavalry patrols including aerial attacks and contact with enemy in Palestine are well covered. The conversion to Machine Gunners is also covered. It's very much a private soldier's account of his experiences and those of his closest pals in the Regiment during 1915-1919. Adds another dimension to our understanding.

Philip

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Philip

I look forward to reading this as I collect Yeo books especially of those units who served in same formations as the Berks Yeo. It's always good to get an O/Rs perspective for a change.

I have a picture of temp brigadier Lord Hampden, mounted, taken during the spring of 1916 in the Western Desert. I believe he was a Warwickshire Yeoman? Let me know if you want a copy

I really must try and get to the museum once you re-open.

Regards

Andrew

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Why "Farewell to the horses"??? was he a jockey, or had horses at home???

MM.

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He served in a Yeomanry Regiment with horses. The Regiment was converted to Machine Gun Bn in 1918 at which point they said farewell to their horses - see our Museum website for details.

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ach soooo ... thanks. Interesting website!!

MM.

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