Royal Yeomanry

The Royal Yeomanry

Cap badge of the Royal Yeomanry
Active 1 April 1967–
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type Yeomanry
Role Light Cavalry
Size One Regiment
Part of Royal Armoured Corps
Garrison/HQ RHQ – London
C&S Squadron – Fulham
A Squadron – Nottingham
B Squadron – Dudley
C Squadron – Croydon
C Squadron Detachment – Windsor
D Squadron – Telford
E Squadron – Leicester
March The Farmers Boy
Engagements Iraq 2003
Lt Col Simon McMenemy
Royal Honorary Colonel HRH Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy LG GCVO
Honorary Colonel Lt-General Sir BWB White-Spunner KCB CBE
Tactical Recognition Flash

The Royal Yeomanry (RY) is the senior reserve light cavalry regiment of the Army Reserve. The Regimental Headquarters is located at Fulham in London.


Fuchs CBRN Reconnaissance Vehicle
Y Squadron at the Duke of York's HQ, Chelsea, January 2003

The Royal Yeomanry was formed in 1967, following the amalgamation of six distinguished county yeomanry regiments, as a medium reconnaissance regiment equipped with armoured cars.[1] It continued in this role until 1996, when it became the British Army's NBC defence regiment. It served exclusively in this role until 1999, when the Joint NBC Regiment was formed.[2]

Two of the Royal Yeomanry's squadrons (A and W) were retained in the NBC role to provide reserves for front line NBC troops. The remaining three converted to Challenger 2 to serve as reserves for armoured regiments. In January 2003, A and W Squadrons were mobilised for Operation TELIC, the war in Iraq. The two squadrons were amalgamated with a number of augmentees from the other three squadrons and from the Royal Logistic Corps to form a much-enlarged "Y" Squadron of the Joint NBC Regiment. This was the first deployment of a formed TA unit (TA soldiers under TA command) for combat operations since the Suez crisis in 1956.[1] During the war, officers and soldiers of the Royal Yeomanry found themselves serving with 16 Air Assault Brigade, 7 Armoured Brigade (the Desert Rats) and 3 Commando Brigade as NBC specialists, before switching roles to infantry peace support operations once Saddam Hussein’s regime had collapsed.[3]

The Royal Yeomanry has maintained a constant presence in Iraq since March 2003. The regiment's soldiers have been mobilised for each of the subsequent TELICs. Since 2007, the Royal Yeomanry has provided upwards of 500+ officers and soldiers as individual replacements on Operation HERRICK in Afghanistan.[4]


Under Army 2020, it is proposed that the Royal Yeomanry will lose two squadrons (D and E).[5] The Royal Yeomanry will be paired with 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards and be under the command of 7th Infantry Brigade.[6] The regiment's main equipment will be the Land Rover RWMIK reconnaissance vehicle.


Royal Yeomanry Squadrons

The regiment consisted of six squadrons and a military band:[7] In July 2014 'A (Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry) Squadron (Swindon)' transferred to the Royal Wessex Yeomanry,[8] and two Squadrons transferred in from the Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry, leaving the following:

The Royal Yeomanry's role is light cavalry: providing a rapidly deployable force with fast mobility and substantial firepower as part of the British Army's combat arm. Its soldiers provide reconnaissance, reassurance, security and, if the situation demands it, decisive tactical effects by raiding and attacking the enemy.[7]

Battle honours

As a result of the Regiment's initial service during the Iraq war, in 2005 the Royal Yeomanry was awarded the theatre honour "Iraq 2003", the first battle honour the regiment has won since its formation, and the first – so far the only – battle honour awarded to an Army Reserve regiment since the Second World War.[10]

The squadrons forming the Royal Yeomanry also hold hundreds of battle honours won by their predecessors.


The Royal Yeomanry
The Leicestershire and Derbyshire Yeomanry (Prince Albert's Own) The Leicestershire Yeomanry (Prince Albert's Own)
The Derbyshire Yeomanry
The Kent and Sharpshooters Yeomanry The Kent Yeomanry The Royal East Kent Mounted Rifles (Duke of Connaught's Own)
The West Kent Yeomanry (Queen's Own)
The 3rd/4th County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters) The 3rd County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters)
The 4th County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters)
The Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry
The Westminster Dragoons The Berkshire and Westminster Dragoons The Berkshire Yeomanry
The Westminster Dragoons (2nd County of London Yeomanry)
The Inns of Court and City Yeomanry

Order of precedence

For the purposes of parading, the Regiments of the British Army are listed according to an order of precedence. This is the order in which the various corps of the army parade, from right to left, with the unit at the extreme right being the most senior.

Preceded by
Honourable Artillery Company
British Army
Order of Precedence
Succeeded by
Royal Wessex Yeomanry


  1. 1 2 "Royal Yeomanry: History". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
  2. "Biological and Chemical Weapons". Hansard. 7 March 2000. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
  3. Ministry of Defence, "Future Reserves 2020 Study (FR20): final report", 1 July 2011, page 12.
  4. "Freedom of the Borough for Royal Yeomanry". The Cowan Report. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
  5. Ministry of Defence, "Summary of Army 2020 Reserve Structure and Basing Changes", pp 1 and 2.
  6. Army 2020 Report, page 9, 11
  7. 1 2 "Royal Yeomanry – British Army Website". Retrieved 2014-05-04.
  8. "New leadership at Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry as B Squadron prepares expansion". Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  9. "Army Reserve Bands". Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  10. "Our history – British Army Website". 1967-04-01. Retrieved 2014-05-04.
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