The Cheshire Yeomanry

The Cheshire Yeomanry of the Great War was a descendant of a volunteer tradition that dates back to 1797, when six independent mounted troops were raised in the county during the crisis of the Napoleonic era. In 1803 they were formed into the Western Cheshire Yeomanry Cavalry and by 1908, were the Earl of Chester's Regiment of Yeomanry Cavalry. In common with all such units, they were absorbed into the Territorial Force, when it was established in 1908 as part of wide-ranging reforms of the British Army in the light of experience of the South African war, and the growing international tension in Europe. The newly-named “Cheshire Yeomanry (Earl of Chester’s) (Hussars)” was composed of part-time soldiers. It was headquartered in the Old Bank Buildings in Chester, with squadron drill stations at Knutsford, Eaton, Northwich and Macclesfield.

1/1st

August 1914 : in Chester. Part of the Welsh Border Mounted Brigade in the Mounted Division.
November 1915 : became a dismounted unit.
March 1916 : moved to Egypt and formed 4th Dismounted Brigade with the South Wales Mounted Brigade.
The regiment has left a war diary but it covers only the period between 1 March 1916 and 15 November 1916. It was in billets in Lowestoft when it received orders to embark for overseas service, and left from Devonport on His Majesty’s Transport “Haverford” on 3 March 1916. 25 officers and 451 other ranks sailed, disembarking at Alexandria on 15 March and proceeding to Beni Salama Camp.
18 April 1916 : the regiment entrained at Wardar and moved to Minia Lower Camp. Here, towards the end of May, 2 officers and 35 other ranks were posted to join the 6th Imperial Camel Corps.
1 June 1916 : one Troop was posted to canal transport guard duties at Samalita and the other Troops took over this position in rotation for a considerable period. The first significant move from here was on 14 November 1916 when the regiment moved to El Alamein.
March 1917 : merged with 1/1st Shropshire Yeomanry to form the 10th (Shropshire and Cheshire Yeomanry) Bn, the King's Shropshire Light Infantry and came under orders of 231st Brigade in 74th (Yeomanry ) Division. Moved to France in May 1918.

2/1st

Formed as a Second-Line regiment in September 1914 and remained at home.
July 1916 : converted into a Cyclist unit, moved to Ireland in early 1918.

3/1st

Formed as a Third-Line training unit in 1915.
Remained in United Kingdom until disbanded in early 1917.