Imperial Yeomanry

For all discussions relating to the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902.

Imperial Yeomanry

Postby WANDADOG » 18 Sep 2012 23:41

Could someone please explain the Imperial Yeomanry, I recall first reading that these were volunteers, mounted soldiers yet elsewhere I have read this evening they were mainly mid-upper class volunteers rather than 'ordinary' folk. My ancestor would have been of the simple country folk - see photo of hospital group I posted earlier. He has a large moustache - would that have been an indication of regiment or anything as the other guys don't have one or simply a personal choice?
WANDADOG
New Member
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 18 Sep 2012 19:40

Re: Imperial Yeomanry

Postby QSAMIKE » 19 Sep 2012 01:37

Some of the IY units were made up of common men and some of toffs..... Some were made up of law clerks and others of men under 5 foot 6......

My suggestion if you really wish to learn about the yeomanry get a copy of the book:

ABSENT-MINDED BEGGARS, The History of the Yeomanry and Volunteers in the Boer War by Will Bennett.
ISBN 0-85052-685 X
Publiahed 199

Mike
Mike C.
Past - President Calgary Military Historical Society
Member OMRS 1591
QSAMIKE
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 549
Joined: 31 Aug 2008 01:44
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Re: Imperial Yeomanry

Postby trooper » 19 Sep 2012 08:03

The yeomanry were first formed in 1793 when there was a threat of Napoleonic invasion. Various bodies volunteered to raise troops of cavalry, many of them landowners who could call on their tenants to help swell the ranks. Over the course of the years many of these troops either disbanded or amalgamated with other troops to form regiments on a county basis. During the Boer War it soon became evident that the British army was lacking in mobility and the conflict needed more infantry. The Imperial Yeomanry was an effort by the government to address this problem and consequently some dozen extra yeomanry regiments were raised and the function of the force was directed to the role of mounted infantry rather than cavalry. The drafts that volunteered to go to South Africa were raised from all the yeomanry regiments and so would represent a complete cross section of society, townspeople and countryfolk, artisans and clerks, labourers and engineers.This was the first time that reserve troops had been asked to serve overseas in an active combat role. Your ancestors moustache would have been a personal choice and not an indication of regiment. Hope this helps. Trooper
User avatar
trooper
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 733
Joined: 20 Dec 2011 13:28
Location: Leicestershire

Re: Imperial Yeomanry

Postby WANDADOG » 24 Sep 2012 23:24

Thank you both for your replies, I feel sure this would have been the unit he was in at the time. I have learnt a great deal from reading the forums on this site, all very helpful and not a period of history I was ever taught at school either - many thanks
WANDADOG
New Member
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 18 Sep 2012 19:40

Re: Imperial Yeomanry

Postby walrus » 13 Mar 2013 02:33

trooper wrote:The yeomanry were first formed in 1793 when there was a threat of Napoleonic invasion. Various bodies volunteered to raise troops of cavalry, many of them landowners who could call on their tenants to help swell the ranks. Over the course of the years many of these troops either disbanded or amalgamated with other troops to form regiments on a county basis. During the Boer War it soon became evident that the British army was lacking in mobility and the conflict needed more infantry. The Imperial Yeomanry was an effort by the government to address this problem and consequently some dozen extra yeomanry regiments were raised and the function of the force was directed to the role of mounted infantry rather than cavalry. The drafts that volunteered to go to South Africa were raised from all the yeomanry regiments and so would represent a complete cross section of society, townspeople and countryfolk, artisans and clerks, labourers and engineers.This was the first time that reserve troops had been asked to serve overseas in an active combat role. Your ancestors moustache would have been a personal choice and not an indication of regiment. Hope this helps. Trooper

Hello,
Have just read this post. Correct me if wrong, but I have a print of Yeomanry on parade during 1692 for King Williams InspectionMaybe the Cavalry units of Yeomanry came into being during 1793?
Cheers
walrus
New Member
 
Posts: 24
Joined: 09 Jan 2013 02:14

Re: Imperial Yeomanry

Postby Bushman » 13 Mar 2013 05:55

The Imperial Yeomanry were meant as successors to the Yeomanry in concept that is citizen soldiers who by their employment were familiar with horses and were available to defend the UK although the original yeomanry of the 18th century was much changed. Just prior to the South African War the CO of the Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars accosted the War Minister Lord Landsdowne in the lobby (he was also a peer) and offered to raise a 1000 man Yeomanry unit to serve. He got a sharp rebuke from the War Office and was told that such a force was not required because if it were required the War Office would have already thought of it and secondly that the next time he felt an attack of creativity coming on would he kindly submit it through the proper channels.(I like the 1904 Royal Commission conclusion that said at no point did the War Office have a clear plan of how to fight the War) By 1900 it was clear that mobility was lacking and with the army demanding more mounted troops (Roberts is reported to have said that he might as well chase the wind than chase Boers with infantry) the idea was resurrected. A new force was set up 'The Imperial Yeomanry', County regiments of horse were invited to sponsor special service companies. These Regiments were not just Yeomanry but all forms of volunteer cavalry. The companies however were formed as Mounted Rifle companies. In South Africa they were combined into battalions and given just numbers. 39 Battalions were raised by War's end along with several independent Coys (Lovat Scouts). Not all served at all points of the war. There were 3 contingents, the first being as represented ie countrymen who could ride and shoot although by the 3rd many could do neither being city dwellers and up to a third were sent back from South Africa as physically not up to standard. There was a huge amount of soul searching about this post war. Outsiders in South Africa were recruited into the ranks of mainly 2&3 contingents to make up the numbers. After the war most County regiments were converted to the Yeomanry concept by WW1
Bushman
Participating Member
 
Posts: 160
Joined: 15 Feb 2012 11:08

Re: Imperial Yeomanry

Postby brian » 17 Nov 2013 20:44

I have a five clasp medal to 28655 Pte, A H Sutherland 15th Coy Imp Yeo. who were they affiliated with?
brian
New Member
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 17 Nov 2013 00:51

Re: Imperial Yeomanry

Postby QSAMIKE » 17 Nov 2013 21:10

brian wrote:I have a five clasp medal to 28655 Pte, A H Sutherland 15th Coy Imp Yeo. who were they affiliated with?


15th Company was part of the 5th Battalion and was affiliated with Northumberland.....

There were 140 - 5 Bar medals issued to the unit.....

Mike
Mike C.
Past - President Calgary Military Historical Society
Member OMRS 1591
QSAMIKE
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 549
Joined: 31 Aug 2008 01:44
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Re: Imperial Yeomanry

Postby Alexander B » 05 Jan 2016 23:29

Hello, I have just discovered this site and hope to find some information about my Great Grandfather. I had always been told that he served in the first world war but a chance conversation about him attending an Imperial Yeomanry reunion led me to check the Boer war. I had no idea but found Pte 8704 William Archibald Meikle had been in the Queens Own Royal Glasgow and Lower Ward Of Lanark Coy and joined the 18th Company 6th Battalion Imperial Yeomanry. He was a blacksmith by trade and I have photos of him in WW1 uniform with my Granddad who was in the A.S.H) he served in France in the RFA as a Cpl Shoesmith, he was promoted to Sgt then joined the Tank Reg (bust for a drunken brawl!) he left in 1918 aged 54!.
His QSA Medal had 1901,Transval,Cape Colony and Wittebergen bars. I sadly now have no idea which family member if any ended up with is 4 medals. He was born in Linlithgow, West Lothian in 1865 which would have made him 34 in 1899 and 49 when he joined up in WW1!. Can anyone please recommend any sites or books on any relevant topics as I am fascinated in this mans time in South Africa. I will look for the book already mentioned Absent Minded Beggars by William Bennett on the Imp- Yeomanry. Many thanks.
Alex.
Alexander B
New Member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: 03 Jan 2016 15:42

Re: Imperial Yeomanry

Postby SWB » 06 Jan 2016 00:21

Hello Alex

Here are some on the Scottish Yeomanry:

Scottish Yeomanry in South African War: A. S. Orr
With the Scottish Yeomanry: Being a Reprint, Somewhat Altered & Extended, of Letters Written from South Africa During the War of 1899-1901. T Buncle & Co, Arbroath 1901
The Proud Trooper : The History of the Ayrshire (Earl of Carrick`s Own) Yeomanry from its raising in the Eighteenth Century till 1964. W. Steel Brownlie, Collins 1964

Regards
Meurig
Researcher. Owner: The Register of the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902. Interests: 24th Foot/South Wales Borderers/RRW/RW. South Africa generally. War memorials
User avatar
SWB
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 915
Joined: 20 Dec 2008 12:43

Re: Imperial Yeomanry

Postby Alexander B » 06 Jan 2016 20:29

Hello Meurig

Thank you very much for the information, I will start looking and doing some research.
I have always loved the Victorian Empire period and grew up on films like Zulu, The Four Feathers and Charge of the Light Brigade.
Reading through these posts is like opening a whole treasure chest of information.
Many thanks

Regards

Alex
Alexander B
New Member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: 03 Jan 2016 15:42


Return to Boer War 1899-1902

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest