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Composite Yeomanry regts in Egypt


stevenbecker
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Mates,

Can anyone inform me about the Three Composite Yeomanry Regt's raised in Nov 1915 in Egypt to fight the Senussi in the Western desert.

Do you know the comanding officers and how these Regt's were made up from the Yeomanry Brigades either at Gallipoli or Egypt.

I notice a small bit in the Offical History and a little in Anglesey's book but they don't mention any of the above details.

Having read Chris's great articale of the Western Frontier Force, he mentions a number of Yeomanry Regt's from the 2nd Mounted Div. But how were they part of the Composite regt's and which Regt's was where.

Another one was the mention of the Nth Midlands Mounted Brigade how was this part of the Compostie Mounted Brigade or was it?

Thanks for any help.

S.B

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Steve,

Judging from James' "British Regiments 1914 - 1918", by best guess is that the 1st North Midland Mounted Brigade became this Composite Yeomanry Brigade. All other mounted brigades in the theatre were still in Gallipoli, or being underway to Egypt from there.

This 1st North Midland Mounted Brigade comprised

1/1st Lincolnshire Yeomanry

1/1st Staffordshire Yeomanry

1/1st East Riding Yeomanry

and arrived late November 1915 in Egypt.

Please note however that James does not mention a Composite Yeomanry Brigade, nor these regiments being engaged against the Senussi.

My second guess is that this Composite Yeomanry Brigade was formed from elements of the 1st and 2nd Composite Mounted Brigades. These two were formed September 1915 in Gallipoli by reducing five brigade into five regiments. These two brigades were returned late November 1915 to Cairo; there reorganisation of the brigades took place. So, it might very well be the case that from these two brigades another brigade was created for the action against the Senussi.

So, basically the two options you gave make perfectly sense. I hope the above does add some to what you already know.

Cheers,

Wienand

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Mate,

You could be right as per Chris articale this Brigade (1st Nth Midlands) appears around the same time as the Composite Brigade in the WFF.

But what then draws elsewhere is mixed?

Chris mentions parts of some 20 Yeomanry Regt's in tthe WFF of which I can see the following from his story;

Duke of Lancaster's from 1st Mounted Div,

Derbyshire from 3rd Notts and Derby Brig,

City of London from 4th London Brig,

Hertford from 5th Mounted Brig,

Dorest from 2nd Sth Midland Brig,

Bucks from 2nd Sth Midland Brig,

Hampshire from 1st Mounted Div,

Now in Feb 1916 the 2nd Sth Midland replaced the Composite Brigade which would account from the Dorsets and Bucks.

Now did the three Composite Yeomanry regts have Troops or Sqn's from their original Regt's.

My understanding of the 2nd Mounted Div on Gallipoli leads me to some 11 Yeomary Brigades with it including the 1st to 5th Mounted Brigades, the 1st and 2nd Eastern, 2nd Sth Western, 1st Scottish, Lowland and Highland Brigs.

Were all these Regts from those Brigades part of the WFF and the Composite Yeomanry Regts.

And to confuze you why the two 1st Mounted Div Yeomanry Regts in the mix?

Cheers

S.B

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Hello Steve,

Interesting topic. You must know I am "addicted" to lineages, especially of lesser known units. So these three "Composite Yeomanry Regiments" alerted me!

I have consulted several books, but unfortunarely nothing is to be found in James' British Regiments, nor in Frederick's lineage book.

In Chris' account ot the WFF, I read that the Composite Yeomanry Brigade was commanded by Tyndale-Biscoe. He was the commander of 5th Mounted Brigade. This brigade became part of 2nd Mtd DIvision in August 1915, and left the division on 7 December 195 for the Western Frontier of Egypt.

Probably this brigade formed the kernel of the Composite Yeomanry Brigade. What I make up of Chris' story is that the three regiments were more of a mixture of whatever yeomanry available that was fit for duty. The 2nd Mtd Division and 5th Mtd Brigade just came from Gallipoli, and was very weak and understrength. So, given the state of the troops, and the urgent need to have some units for the Senussi operation, by guess is that at most troops from one separate regiment were formed. But I have no evidence on that.

As for regiments you mentioned, I doubt whether parts of the Hampshire Yeomanry were in the Composite Regiments. This regiment did not go overseas until March 1916.

As for the Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry, this regiment was split up in 1915 to provide divisional cavalry. Its A Sqn was attached to 42nd Division, and as such ended up in the region. The other squadrons went to France.

For the other troops:

All brigades of 2nd Mounted Division are likely to have contributed: this are

1st Mtd Bde (1st S Midland)

2nd Mtd Bde (2nd S Midland)

3rd Mtd Bde (Notts and Derby)

4th Mtd Bde (London)

5th Mtd Bde

Scottish Horse Mtd Bde

Highland Mtd Bde

Lowland Mtd Bde participation is doubtful as the brigade didn't arrive in Egypt until January 1916

2nd South Western Mtd Bde's involvement is doubtfull for the same reason.

Eastern Mtd Bde is unsure, but probably arrived late December in Egypt only.

(note that there was no 2nd Eastern Mtd Bde, unless the 2nd line brigade is meant which stayed in the UK).

Unfortunately no definite answer, but I hope that the information available is a little ordered. Looking forward what else comes up!

Cheers,

Wienand

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Guys,

Brilliant thread and very interesting - and I surmise that lineages - especially of composite units, is about as difficult a brain teaser as you can set yourself. they are hard enough to follow in modern regiments, let alone those which faded into history some considerble time ago.

On that note, and forgive me if I am teaching grandmothers to suck eggs here, many former yeomanry regiments were retained within the TA - and not always within there former Arm, ie the cavalry. I know of various former YEOMANRY who are now Signals, Artillery and even engineer units within the modern TA. Many of these have proud and well documented histories which their modern descendants both guard and maintain to high standards if my experience is anything to go by. Are the history rooms and small barrack museums therefore a potential source of information to fill in the blanks you have so studiously identified?? if so I can try and help you loicate some of them.

just a thought - hope it helps

regards

David

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David, Steve,

Speaking of regimental histories, in the history of the Berkshire Yeomanry (1994) I found the following:

2nd Composite Yeomanry Regiment: formed in December 1915 containing a squadron each of Berkshire, Dorset and Buckinghamshire Yeomanry.

So I need to correct my previous remark that the regiments were a mere mixture with regimental identity at troop level at most.

Another interesting remark in said history is that the yeomanry regiments destined for Gallipoli left behind in Egypt quite a large part of the regiment. The part to Gallipoli was of double squadron strength, and some 135 Yeomen were left behind. I suspect that this rear party was used most to form the composite regiments.

Anyway, one regiment seems to be more clear, or less unclear, two more to go.

Cheers,

Wienand

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Mates,

Thanks for your replys.

The 2nd Eastern Mounted Bde I refered to is the 1st South Eastern Mounted Bde sory if I miss led you.

It appears the three Composite Yeomanry Regt's were like the Composite LH regt attached to that Bde.

In that it had soldiers from all Thirteen LH regt's in there of which no formal unit from any Regt's was part and was adhoc. Like wise this was disband as quickly as possible and is but briefly mentioned in the Australian History.

It may appear that these Yeomanry Regt's were made up or filled out with soldiers from the Replacement depots in Egypt at first untill the formed units returned to Egypt from Gallipoli.

It also appears that most Yeomanry Regt's on return to Egypt were very low in strenght and needed time to fill up the ranks. So these small units were added together to make up a whole regt.

I refer to Bde's like the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Mounted Bde's and others (5th Mounted) that were hit hard on Gallipoli reducing them down to a Sqn strenght.

What I mean is:

1st Composite Yeomanry Regt (2nd Sth Midland Bde)

1 composite Sqn each from the 1st Bucks, 1st Dorset and 1st Berks Regt's, and

2nd Composite Yeomanry Regt (3rd Notts and Derby Bde)

1 composite Sqn from each of the 1st Sherwood, 1st Notts and 1st Derby regt's

The third composite yeomanry Regt could be based on the 4th or 5th Mounted Bde's or both or none

That is of cause a guess on my part.

Its one of these things lost to history.

My story on this time in Egypt will have to be only the briefest of our Yeomanry mates of which I am sorry.

I look forward to your observations or additons.

Cheers

S.B

Mate

You must have posted the same time as me, thanks for that its great to have some starting point.

Now you have given me one of these regts I can try to work out he rest

thanks again for that

Cheers

S.B

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Steve,

Have you tried the London Gazette for some information? Searching for "Composite Yeomanry" gives a few issues that may be helpfull.

If you found out more on the composition of the regiments, I would love to hear.

Wienand

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Sorry Mate,

I have a few sourses all of which have little on this period other then the British Offical History which as a good bit.

But like most sourses they don't given any idea of what made these formations up.

The Australian Offical History makes only a passing note of its Composite LH Regt but a nominal roll was found in our archives of this Regt.

This mentions every soldier and his LH Regt and what Sqn and Troop each man was put in the composite Regt.

Needless the say having that much information on one unit but not the other Regt's of that Bde has been a hard thing to find out about.

So far you have given me hope.

In that I have now confirmed one of these Regt's as there appears that the 2nd to 5th Mounted Bdes returned to Egypt in Dec 1915 and must have formed the bases of these Composite regt's.

As the 2nd Composite was on the 2nd Sth Midland Bde the place is to find out what Regt's were formed from the 4th London and the 3rd Notts and Derby Bde's.

My records show the 5th Bde was only two Regt's so where they fit in.

In Chris articale he mentions some of these Regt's of the 3rd, 4th and 5th Mounted Bde's on the 25th Dec 1915. But other sourses give only a general idea of what Composite Regt's they are.

What we need also how 1st Nth Midland Bde fits into the pot as Chris mentions this Bde by name not as part of the Composite Bde.

Cheers

S.B

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2nd Composite Regiment

Major Wigan ................................Commanding Officer (Berks)

Major HA Guy-Cheape...................Second in Command (Worcs)

Lieutenant ST Austin ....................Adjutant (berks)

Lt Colonel R Bullock .................... .Medical Officer (att RGH)

BerkshireSquadron Dorsetshire Squadron Buckinghamshire Squadron

Major EBG Foster OC Major CM Reeves O.C. Captain L Cheape (Worcs)

Capt GM Wilder 2ic Lt Livingston Learmouth Capt EF Lawson

2Lt JSM Ressich Lieutenant Paulet Lieutenant JD Young

SSM WC Cox 2nd Lieut Holyoak (Worcs)

SQMS Bradbury poss 2nd Lieut Pearson (Worcs)

Sergt WE Bond 2nd Lieut Keith (Derbyshire)

Sergt J Sell

Sergt AE Illman

2nd Lieut ETT Drake?

2nd Lieut WH Thomas? poss not arrived till early 1916

2Lt AHK Williams very probably

Also B Squadron of one of the composite regiment comprised = Derby Yeo troop, 2 x City of London troops and Surrey Yeo Troop under Lt Osborne + 32 ORs

Hope this is of some assistance

NB Lot of the info is out there is you read regtl histories of Yeomanry units that comprised the 2nd Mounted Division.

Andrew French

Berks Yeo Museum

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry Mate,

I've away in Canbarra for the last few weeks chasing down any sourses on this but ran into dead ends.

I was given the unit history of the 3rd LHFA (field Amblance) which formed the medical units attached to the LH Composite Regt and it givens many details of its movements and actions during this time.

But dosn't mention British Units (Yeomanry) by name only that they were Yeomanry. An aussie habit I am afraid.

I had wanted to flesh out this (partularly the Yeomanry side) for a story on the WFF for a magazine here but will have to go with only the valuable info both of you have given me and what I hope is right from what I;ve found out.

But I am open to any help to build up the British side.

Sorry but I am unable to read any Yeomanry histories down here (Australia) , can you point me in the right direction.

Cheers

S.B

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Sorry Mate,

I've away in Canbarra for the last few weeks chasing down any sourses on this but ran into dead ends.

I was given the unit history of the 3rd LHFA (field Amblance) which formed the medical units attached to the LH Composite Regt and it givens many details of its movements and actions during this time.

But dosn't mention British Units (Yeomanry) by name only that they were Yeomanry. An aussie habit I am afraid.

I had wanted to flesh out this (partularly the Yeomanry side) for a story on the WFF for a magazine here but will have to go with only the valuable info both of you have given me and what I hope is right from what I;ve found out.

But I am open to any help to build up the British side.

Sorry but I am unable to read any Yeomanry histories down here (Australia) , can you point me in the right direction.

Cheers

S.B

1915_C.DOC

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Thanks Mate,

Thats great, the best bit of info so far.

Its also adds a number of problems partiularly the early return of the Berks Regt and what happened to the other Regts of the Compersite Yeomanry Bde.

Do you have any access to other unit histories like this one?

Thanks again.

Cheers

S.B

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Steve

There is quite a lot of detail of the NZ Rifle Brigade role in the WFF contained in the NZRB official history - includes details on just what regiments supplied personel for the force in November & December 1915, and January 1916. I can scan and send if you PM me your e-mail.

Regards

Andrew

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Steve

Glad it was useful. As it is too long I cannot attach 1st of two of Gen Sir A Murrays despatches regarding the period. However paste this in and it will take you right there.

AndrewFrench

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/archiveVi...&selHonourType=

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Mate,

No need as I picked up these two despatches and other items from the Gazettes.

I am mean the promotions of Capt John Gillespie Warwickshire Yeo to T/Maj Composite Regt 8th Nov 1915,

Lt T/Capt Richard Birchenough Derby Yeomanry to T/Maj Composite Regt 21st Jan 1916,

Maj Henry Elwes Gloster Yeomanry to T/LtCol Composite Regt 18th Oct 1915,

Lt Ralph Barnett Herts Yeomanry to T/Capt Comp Regt 8th Nov 1915, and

Capt Chase Turner Gloster Yeomanry to T/Maj Comp Regt 8th Nov 1915.

Now what Comp Regt the Glouster Yeomary were attached is still to be found out now I see Elwes commanded one of these Compsoite Regts.

Thanks mate for the NZ contact I'll post you ASAP.

Cheers

S.B

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Guys,

When the Turks declared war against the allies. Britain immediately declared Egypt to be a British Protectorate and established positions to defend the Suez Canal. In the months that ensued many Yeomanry Regiments sailed for Egypt.

These included:-

A & B Squadrons Duke of Lancasters Own Yeomanry (42 East Lancashire Division)

The Sussex Yeomanry

2nd Scottish Horse

The Berkshire Yeomanry

The Warwickshire Yeomanry

The Worcestershire Yeomanry

The Royal Gloucestershire Hussars

The Hertfordshire Yeomanry

The Buckinghamshire Yeomanry

The Dorsetshire Yeomanry

I am not sure exactly how many there were, but when you consider that the 6th Yeomanry Brigade was part of the Yeomanry Mounted Division it makes you wonder. Many of the Regiments sent Detachments to Gallipoli in 1915 as dismounted reinforcements and indeed Tpr Potts of the Berkshire Yeomanry won the VC for rescuing a wounded comrade by dragging him back to the line with the aid of a shovel under intense enemy fire.

I do know that in October 1917 forces were reorganised for General Allenby's offensive and A & B Squadrons Duke of Lancasters Own Yeomanry linked with A & B Squadrons of the Hertfordshire Yeomanry to form the 21st Corps Composite Cavalry Regiment.

Hope this Helps, anything else I can find I will post.

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Yes the Sussex Yeomanry were part of this composite unit. The SEMB and the EMB were almalgamated at Sidi Bishr into the 3rd Dismounted Brigade which included the 1/1 Royal East Kent Mounted rifles, 1/1 West Kent Yeomanry, 1/1 Sussex Yeomanry, 1/1 Suffolk Yeomanry, 1/1 Norfolk Yeomanry and 1/1 Welsh Horse Yeomanry. Command of the new Brigade given to Brig. Gen Hodgson.

A camel corps was raised at the same time by calling for volunteers from all the Yeomanry Regiments.

Jerry

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