The Royal Wessex Yeomanry is the nation’s armoured Reserve regiment. It uses armoured vehicles like the Challenger 2 main battle tank to support its fellow armoured regiments in the Army’s Reaction Force.
8 June 1979
The Royal Wessex Yeomanry trains Challenger 2 commanders, gunners and drivers. The regiment also trains personnel in more general roles, such as medical technicians, administration specialists and chefs.
The regiment supplies trained tank crews to the armoured regiments of the Regular Army.
The Royal Wessex Yeomanry recruits from Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. As Reservists, its soldiers are drawn from many professions and walks of life, from apprentice mechanics to nuclear researchers.
The Royal Wessex Yeomanry consists of a regimental headquarters and five sabre squadrons, located across the South West of England. The Regiment's squadrons operate from Army Reserve Centres in Bovington, Cirencester, Exeter, Salisbury and Swindon as well as a troop who maintain the Precision Gunnery Training Equipment Suite in Telford, Shropshire.
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The Royal Wessex Yeomanry supports the Regular armoured regiments of the British Army by providing fully trained Challenger 2 main battle tank crews on operations and exercises across the world.
The role of armoured regiments like the Royal Wessex Yeomanry is to defeat the enemy using shock action: the sudden and overwhelming application of controlled violence. The Royal Wessex Yeomanry also provides close support to infantry units in offensive and defensive operations.
As reservists, soldiers in the Royal Wessex Yeomanry complete all of their training in their spare time.
The Royal Wessex Yeomanry was formed in 1971 through the amalgamation of three historical regiments; the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars and the Royal Devon Yeomanry. They were joined in 1999 by the Dorset Yeomanry and in 2014 by A Squadron of the Royal Yeomanry.
The Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry and the Queen’s Own Dorset Yeomanry are formed
The Royal Gloucestershire Hussars are formed
All three regiments fight in the First World War
The Royal Devon Yeomanry is formed
All four regiments fight in the Second World War
The regiment is re-rolled to provide Challenger 2 tank crews