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History

In 1947 the Territorial Army was reconstituted, but the subsequent history of the Yeomanry regiments continued to be one of constant change.

There were 26 regiments of the reformed Royal Armoured Corps, TA, and 24 regiments of the Royal Artillery, TA (there had been altogether 53 regiments of Yeoman gunners during the war).

Major re-organisations of the TA took place in 1951, 1956 and 1961 - many of the Royal Armoured Corps regiments were amalgamated as were most Gunner regiments.

During the National Service years a number of regiments provided the continuation training for both national servicemen and reservists.

The greatest re-organisation of all however took place in 1967.

The majority of Territorial Army regiments were then reduced or disbanded and those which remained were divided into four categories of the Territorial Army and Volunteer Reserve (TA & VR), with different Terms of Service and commitment.

Some Yeomanry regiments struggled on as TA&VR III regiments but, starved of equipment and funding, they inevitably dwindled.

Others, however, managed to retain cadres - establishments of a few officers and NCOs - but most of the remaining Yeomanry establishments were of sub-unit size.

A new major unit of the RAC was formed, named The Royal Yeomanry Regiment and was given an Armoured Reconnaissance role.

In 1971 a second Yeomanry Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment was formed - The Queen's Own Yeomanry, along with three new Royal Armoured Corps Home Defence Infantry regiments.

The first of the three new regiments, The Royal Wessex Yeomanry (or The Wessex Yeomanry as it was then known) was formed on 1 April 1971 by the re-raising of squadrons from the cadres of The Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry (RWY), The Royal Gloucestershire Hussars (RGH) and the Royal Devon Yeomanry (RDY)/1st Rifle Volunteers.

At that time the Regiment comprised of a Regimental Headquarters and four squadrons roled as Infantry. In the early 1980s it was re-roled to carry out reconnaissance and became the Military Home Defence Reconnaissance Regiment for parts of southern and eastern England. The Regiment was granted its Royal title on 8 June 1979.

Following a Defence Review in the early 1990s the Regiment was re-organised and re-roled. The number of Reconnaissance squadrons was reduced to three and a new Headquarters Squadron was formed.

In July 2014, A (RWY) Squadron of the Royal Yeomanry joined the Regiment and became Y (Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry) Squadron of The Royal Wessex Yeomanry. Tracing its origins back to 1794, Y (RWY) Sqn were the first Reserve unit to receive a Regimental Battle Honour, for service in Iraq, since World War 2.

The Royal Wessex Yeomanry of today consists of a Regimental Headquarters and five sabre squadrons, located across the South West of England and is the only Army Reserve Regiment in the British Army to operate the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank.


Regimental Insignia

In July 2014, the Regiment adopted a single, unifying, Cap Badge. Prior to this, each Squadron wore its antecedent Regiments Cap Badge.  

The Cap Badge consists of a Rampant Wessex Dragon, surrounded by the Order of the Garter and surmounted with by the Coronet of His Royal Highness, the Earl of Wessex; the Regiments Royal Honorary Colonel. The Badge is mounted on a scroll inscribed: Royal Wessex Yeomanry. The use of his Coronet and Garter are kindly granted by His Royal Highness, the Earl of Wessex.




Tactical Recognition Flash

The TRF is based on the old 74th (Yeomanry) Division flash, the original Regimental TRF being a ‘Broken Spur’ on a Red and Buff diamond.  

The Broken Spur signified that the 74th Division had re-rolled from a Mounted to an Infantry Division during the Great War.In 2016, the Regiment adopted the new ‘Complete Spur’ TRF, on a Badminton Blue and Buff diamond. The adaptation of the Spur was made to signify the Regiments re-rolling to an Armoured (Mounted) Unit once again.

Our equipment

Challenger 2

Challenger 2 is the British Army's main battle tank. It is based on the Challenger 1 tank and served with distinction on operations in the Gulf War and the Balkans.

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