1/1st Pembroke Yeomanry

Pembroke Yeomanry
Active1794 – present
Country Kingdom of Great Britain (1794 – 1800)
 United Kingdom (1801 – 1993)
Branch British Army
Yeomanry (First World War)
Royal Artillery (Second World War)
Royal Logistic Corps (current)
SizeOne Squadron
Battle honoursFishguard
South Africa 1901
First World War
Egypt 1916–17
Palestine 1917–18
Somme 1918
Bapaume 1918
Hindenburg Line
Pursuit to Mons
France and Flanders 1918
Second World War
No battle honours were awarded. It is tradition within artillery units that the Regiment's guns represent its colours and battle honours.

The Pembroke Yeomanry was a regiment of the British Army formed in 1794. It saw action in the Second Boer War, the First World War and the Second World War. The lineage is maintained by 224 (Pembroke Yeomanry) Transport Squadron, part of 157 (Welsh) Regiment RLC.


Formation and early history[]

The regiment was originally formed by Lord Milford as part of the response to the French Revolutionary Wars in 1794. The Prime Minister, William Pitt the Younger, proposed that the English Counties form a force of Volunteer Yeoman Cavalry that could be called on by the King to defend the country against invasion or by the Lord Lieutenant to subdue any civil disorder within the country.[1] One troop was formed at Castlemartin on 22 April 1794, and then four more formed the Pembroke Yeomanry Cavalry.[2] Eighty members of the Pembrokeshire Yeomanry were present at the Massacre of Tranent in Scotland in 1797.[3]

In 1797 the French Republican Légion Noire landed off Carregwastad Point, in what would be the last invasion of Britain, only to surrender to a much smaller force including the Pembroke Yeomanry hastily assembled under Lord Cawdor.[4] Two of the French frigates involved were captured and one was re-commissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Fisgard.[4] In 1853 Queen Victoria awarded the battle honour Fishguard upon the Regiment.[4] The unit became the first volunteer unit to receive a battle honour and remains the only unit still serving in the British Army to bear the name of an engagement on British soil.[4]

The Yeomanry was reduced to one troop at Haverfordwest by 1810. In 1827 the Castlemartin and Haverfordwest troops were officially disbanded, but continued without pay as the Pembroke Yeomanry Cavalry (Castlemartin).[2]

Second Boer War[]

During the Boer War the Yeomanry provided the 30th (Pembrokeshire) Company of the 9th (Welsh) Battalion of the Imperial Yeomanry, landing in South Africa in 1900 to fight as Mounted infantry. After their year's tour of duty a second 30th Company replaced them in 1901; both companies saw considerable action.[5] The mounted infantry experiment was considered a success, and all the existing yeomanry regiments were converted in 1901, the Pembrokeshire unit becoming the Pembroke Imperial Yeomanry (Castlemartin).[2]

Creation of The Territorial Force[]

The regiment transferred to the Territorial Force (TF) in April 1908, dropping the 'Imperial' part of ts ititle. It was placed under orders of the South Wales Mounted Brigade.[6] The regiment was based at the Norton in Tenby at this time.[7]

First World War[]

In accordance with the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act 1907 (7 Edw. 7, c.9) which brought the Territorial Force into being, the TF was intended to be a home defence force for service during wartime and members could not be compelled to serve outside the country. However, on the outbreak of war on 4 August 1914, many members volunteered for Imperial Service. Therefore, TF units were split in August and September 1914 into 1st Line (liable for overseas service) and 2nd Line (home service for those unable or unwilling to serve overseas) units. Later, a 3rd Line was formed to act as a reserve, providing trained replacements for the 1st and 2nd Line regiments.[8]

1/1st Pembroke Yeomanry[]

The 1/1st Pembroke Yeomanry was mobilised on 4 August 1914 as part of the South Wales Mounted Brigade on the outbreak of the First World War. The brigade was assembled at Hereford and moved to East Anglia by the end of August 1914. It joined the 1st Mounted Division in August 1914,[9] replacing 1st South Midland Mounted Brigade[10] which moved to 2nd Mounted Division.[11] In November 1915, the brigade was dismounted. It was replaced in 1st Mounted Division by 2/1st Eastern Mounted Brigade when it departed for Egypt.[10]

With the brigade, the regiment was posted to Egypt in March 1916. On arrival a detachment from the regiment formed part of the Imperial Camel Corps.[4] On 20 March, South Wales Mounted Brigade was absorbed into the 4th Dismounted Brigade[12] (along with the Welsh Border Mounted Brigade[12]). In March 1917 they were re-roled as infantry and together with the Glamorgan Yeomanry were converted into the 24th (Pembroke & Glamorgan) Battalion, The Welsh Regiment. They joined 231st Brigade in the 74th (Yeomanry) Division.[13] In May 1918, the Division moved to France, and the battalion saw action on the Western Front.[6]

As part of the 74th Yeomanry Division they were involved in the following battles Second Battle of Gaza, Third Battle of Gaza, Battle of Beersheba and the Battle of Epehy.[6] The 24th Welch entered Ath on 11 November 1918, only two and a half hours before hostilities ceased.[4]

2/1st Pembroke Yeomanry[]

The 2nd Line regiment was formed in 1914. Early in 1915 it joined the 2/1st South Wales Mounted Brigade at Carmarthen and later moved to Llandilo and Dorchester. In September 1915, it moved with the brigade to the Yoxford area and joined the 1st Mounted Division.[14] On 31 March 1916, the remaining Mounted Brigades were ordered to be numbered in a single sequence and the brigade became 4th Mounted Brigade.[12] The regiment was based at Southwold during the raid by Admiral Boedicker's battle cruisers on Lowestoft in 1916.[4]

In July 1916 there was a major reorganization of 2nd Line yeomanry units in the United Kingdom. All but 12 regiments were converted to cyclists[12] and as a consequence the regiment was dismounted and the brigade converted to 2nd Cyclist Brigade (and the division to 1st Cyclist Division). Further reorganization in November 1916 saw the regiment departing for the 1st Cyclist Brigade where it was amalgamated with the 2/1st Glamorgan Yeomanry as the 2nd (Pembroke and Glamorgan) Yeomanry Cyclist Regiment.[a] The regiment resumed its separate identity as 2/1st Pembroke Yeomanry in March 1917 at Aldeburgh. It moved to Benacre in July and to Lowestoft at the end of the year. It was still at Lowestoft in 1st Cyclist Brigade at the end of the war.[14]

3/1st Pembroke Yeomanry[]

The 3rd Line regiment was formed at Carmarthen in 1915 and moved to Brecon. In the summer of 1915 it was affiliated to a Reserve Cavalry Regiment in Ireland. In the summer of 1916 it was attached to the 3rd Line Groups of the Welsh Division at Oswestry as its 1st Line was serving as infantry. The regiment was disbanded in early 1917 with personnel transferring to the 2nd Line or to the 4th (Reserve) Battalion of the Welsh Regiment at Milford Haven.[17]

Between the Wars[]

The Pembroke Yeomanry was reformed on 7 February 1920.[2] However, when the TF was reorganised as the Territorial Army (TA) the following year, only the 14 senior Yeomanry Regiments remained as horsed cavalry regiments (6 forming the 5th and 6th Cavalry Brigades); the remainder were re-roled in the Royal Field Artillery (RFA).[18] The Pembroke Yeomanry became the 102nd (Pembroke and Cardigan) Brigade, RFA with the following organisation:[2][19][20]

In 1924 the RFA was subsumed into the Royal Artillery (RA), and the unit was redesignated as an 'Army Field Brigade, RA', serving as 'Army Troops' in 53rd (Welsh) Divisional Area.[19][23] There were further minor changes in title: in 1937 'Cardigan' became 'Cardiganshire' and in 1938 RA 'brigades' became 'regiments'.[2][19]

After the Munich Crisis the TA was doubled in size, and the 102nd Field Regiment was split in 1939, the Pembroke batteries remaining with the parent regiment, and the Cardiganshire batteries forming a new 146th Field Regiment. In 1942 the latter was officially designated 146th (Pembroke and Cardiganshire) Field Regiment, which did not reflect the actual split.[19][22][4]

Second World War[]

102nd Medium Regiment (Pembroke Yeomanry), with 5.5-inch medium gun, Italy 1944 (IWM NA12381)

102nd Regiment, Royal Artillery[]

The 102nd Field Regiment landed at Algiers in February 1943 as part of the British First Army. After the fall of Tunis and the end of the Tunisia Campaign they converted into 102nd (Pembroke Yeomanry) Medium Regiment, RA, and landed in Italy with the British Eighth Army, in December 1943. They fought in the Italian Campaign and by the end of the war they were on the banks of the River Po.[19][4]

25-pounder guns of 408 Battery, 146th Field Rgt at Littlehampton, 14 November 1941.

146th Regiment, Royal Artillery[]

Having reformed as field artillery between the wars, the Pembroke Yeomanry's Cardiganshire Battery became a separate regiment at the start of the Second World War. The 146th Field Regiment landed at Suez in September 1942, joining the Eighth Army and participated in the Battle of El Alamein, as part of the 7th Armoured Division's Artillery Group. When 7th Armoured returned to England from Italy in 1944 to prepare for the Normandy landings, the regiment was also converted to medium artillery as 146th (Pembroke and Cardiganshire) Medium Regiment, RA. The Regiment returned to France with 8th Army Group Royal Artilleryin July 1944 for the first time since the end of World War I. It participated in Operation Bluecoat and fought throughout the campaign in North West Europe crossed the Rhine into Germany in March the following year having acquired, from its badges, the nickname of the 'Fishguard Express'.[22][4][24]

Post war[]

In 1946 the Pembroke Yeomanry received the Freedom of the Town and County of Haverfordwest.[4]

The unit was re-formed as the 302nd (Pembroke Yeomanry) Field Regiment, RA, in 1947 and absorbed the Pembroke batteries of the 408th (Glamorgan and Pembroke) Coast Regiment, RA, in 1956. [2][19][25]

In 1961 the regiment re-roled again as an independent reconnaissance squadron in the Royal Armoured Corps as The Pembroke Yeomanry, affiliated to the Shropshire Yeomanry.[2][19][25] It was re-constituted as A Troop (Pembroke Yeomanry), 224 (South Wales) Squadron, 157 (Wales and Midlands) Transport Regiment, Royal Corps of Transport in 1967 and expanded to squadron size as 224 (West Wales) Transport Squadron, 157th (Wales and Midlands) Regiment, RCT in 1969.[2] It was re-designated as 224 (Pembroke Yeomanry) Transport Squadron in 1993.[2] It remains part of 157 (Welsh) Regiment RLC, an Army Reserve unit.[26]

Uniforms and insignia[]

The parade and walking out uniform of the Pembroke Yeomanry worn prior to World War I, consisted of a dark blue peaked cap, tunic and overalls (tight cavalry trousers). The Prince of Wales's feather crest was worn as insignia on both cap and collar. Cap band, shoulder straps and trouser stripe were white. Officers were distinguished by silver shoulder cords and white pouch belts.[27]

The plain khaki service dress of the regular cavalry was worn from 1908 onwards, replacing the blue uniform for all occasions after 1914. The service dress was in turn replaced by battle dress, or other standard British Army uniforms during and after World War II.[28]

See also[]


  1. ^ James also names the combined unit as 2nd (Pembroke and Glamorgan Yeomanry) Cyclist Battalion[15] which agrees with Frederick.[16]
  2. ^ The 1st Cardiganshire Battery of 2nd Welsh Brigade, RFA, at Aberystwyth was not reformed in 1920, but there was no direct link between this unit and the new Cardigan batteries.[21][22]


  1. ^ "Worcestershire Yeomanry Cavalry (1794-1994)". Archived from the original on 11 October 2003. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "The Pembroke Yeomanry (Castlemartin)". Regiments.org. Archived from the original on 17 October 2007. Retrieved 4 November 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  3. ^ M'Neill, p. 138-158
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "A brief history of the Pembroke Yeomanry". Ministry of Defence. Archived from the original on 14 March 2006. Retrieved 4 November 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  5. ^ "Imperial Yeomanry". Anglo Boer War. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  6. ^ a b c Baker, Chris. "The Pembroke Yeomanry". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  7. ^ "Tenby". The Drill Hall Project. Retrieved 25 December 2017.
  8. ^ Rinaldi 2008, p. 35
  9. ^ Rinaldi 2008, p. 60
  10. ^ a b Becke 1936, p. 6
  11. ^ Becke 1936, p. 14
  12. ^ a b c d James 1978, p. 36
  13. ^ Becke 1937, p. 117
  14. ^ a b James 1978, pp. 26–27
  15. ^ James 1978, p. 19
  16. ^ Frederick 1978, p. 23
  17. ^ James 1978, p. 27
  18. ^ "History of Royal Buckinghamshire Yeomanry". Ministry of Defence. Archived from the original on 9 January 2007. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g Litchfield, p. 203.
  20. ^ Army List.
  21. ^ "Cardiganshire Artillery Volunteers at Regiments.org". Archived from the original on 27 December 2005. Retrieved 27 December 2005.
  22. ^ a b c Litchfield, p. 30.
  23. ^ Titles and Designations, 1927.
  24. ^ Anon, Bluecoat, Appendix A.
  25. ^ a b 289–322 Rgts RA at British Army 1945 onwards.
  26. ^ "157 (Welsh) Regiment RLC". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  27. ^ Smith, R.J. (December 1987). The Uniforms of the British Yeomanry Force 1794-1914. 10: The Yeomanry Force at the 1911 Coronation. p. 24. ISBN 0-948251-26-3.
  28. ^ "Yeomanry". Uniformology. Retrieved 1 June 2020.


External links[]