A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE R.B.Y (1794-1939

 

A significant date is May 3rd 1794 when a public meeting was held in Aylesbury which resolved to open a subscription to raise troops of armed Yeomanry. The Earl of Chesterfield and the Marquis of Buckinghamshire bore most of the cost involved and Yeomanry troops were established at Amersham, Aylesbury, Buckingham, Burnham, High Wycombe, and Newport Pagnell. There role was to ensure peace at home by dispersing riots and quelling unrest and to play a part in the event of an invasion threat.

By 1803 three Regiments of Yeomanry were in existence in Southern, Mid, Northern areas of Buckinghamshire. The Regiments were known as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Regiments of Bucks Yeomanry Cavalry. In April 1828 the 1st and 3rd Regiments were disbanded but 2nd Hussars Regiment of Bucks Yeomanry Cavalry was kept in existence by financial support from the Marquis of Chandos. Later it was involved in controlling riots which partly resulted from the introduction of farm machinery. This had caused unemployment, poverty, and distress amongst the farmin communities. as a result the Regiment was restored to the pay list by the Government in 1830 but it lost some of its seniority and was reduced to 21st position on the Yeomanry list.

In 1843 the Regiment became the Royal Bucks Regiment of Yeomanry Cavalry, the title being cinfered by Queen Victoria on the occasion of her visit to Stow Park. In 1848 the Regiment took over the gaurd duties at Winsor Castle from the Household Cavalry when Chartist demonstions were being organised in London.

 

The(Commity 0n Yeomanry) recomended, in 1875, that all cavalry shoud be light cavalry only but thr Prime Minister Benjamin Diraieili, because it meant the loss of their six pounder guns with whitch they had been equipped since 1820. Although the Regiment retained two troops it lost the day and the guns were handed in

In 1836 Nathaniel Mayer Rothschild, 1st Lord Rothschild, had entered the Yeomanry where he eventually became a Captain. Lord Chesham joined the Regiment in 1879 and he was evenyually to become Commanding Officer in 1889 with thr rank of Lieutenant Colonel and he remained C.O, until 1907. He it was who intruced uniform changes with a closely braided jscket and busby. In 1889 the Regiment was known as the Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars Yeomanry Cavalry. Brigades were being introducedand the Regiment entered the 2nd Yeomanry Brigade. In 1889Harry W, Lawson, the son of the first Lord Burnham was commissioned into the Regiment.

In 1897 a detatchment escorted Queen Victoria from Slough to Windsor castle on her return from the Dimond Jubilee celibrations in London.

Following the outbreak of the Boer War in South Africa. Lord Chesham appealed for recruits to join the Imperial Yeomanry in 1899. Eventually the 10th Battalion commanded by Lord Chesham was raised consisting of the 37th Squadron (Buckinham), C.O. Capt W. de Winton, and the 38th (High Wycombe), C.O. Capt Hon. W.A.Lawson. In South Africa they were used as an advance guard an for scouting. Their actions included Boshof on April 5th 1900. In 1901 the regiment was known as the Royal Bucks. Hussars Imperial Yeomanry and the battle honour " South Africa" had been attached to their flag. Lord Chesham died in 1907, folloing a riding accident. and a ststue was later ereced in 1910 to his memory in Aylesbury Market Place.

During Wold War 1 the Royal Bucks, Hussars raised three Regiments of which 1/1st saw service overseas in Gallipoli, having landed at Suvla Bay in August 1915. They were involved in the attack on Chocolate Hillon the 21/22nd August when 107 casualties were sustained. They wre withdrawn to Egypt in November 1915 and operated against the pro-Turkish Senussi, tribesmen along the Libyan frontier. Later  they served in the Sinai Peninsular with the Mounted Brigade against the Turks and wre involed in battles at Gaza in March and April 1917. in 1917 they moved with General Allenby`s forces into Palestine and were involved in the charge at El Mughar on 13th November 1917. The C.O. Lt Col the Hon f.H. Cripps was awarded the D.S.O.

Cyprus Perkins who died aged 90, was probably the last survivor of the Royal Bucks Hussars six Mounted Brigade which led the famous cavalry charge at El Mughar in the Palestine campaign of 1917. He was detailed to carry out reconnasisance before the charge and is decribed in the ofrficial war memoirs as moving under a hail of Turkish Machine gun fire which "followed him as a spotlight follows a dancer on stage".

He was awarded the Military Cross for this, though he had immediately to join the charge which followed without rest for him or his horse. James Beadle the military artist painted the picture of the charge to comemerate the calvalry of the 1914-1918 War. The original is at Imperial Staff Collage, Camberly. Lieutenant later Captain C. H Perkins is on the right of the painting and the left hand officer is Magor Crocker Bulteel 

The Regiment sailed for France in the S.S.Leasowe Castle but the ship was torpedoed on the 26/27th May 1918 with the loss of two men and all the equipment. It sailed again June and became part of the 101st (Bucks and Berks) Battalion Machine Gun Corps. it was at Oudenarde in Belgium at the time of the Armistice'

The 2/1st and 3/1st, Regiments had remained inEngland and their role was mainly trainning men for the front line units.

In March1921 the Regiment was converted to Artillery and was formed into 99th (Bucks and Berks. Yeomanry) Brigade R.F.A.,whitch was later changed to R.A. in 1925. Each county had a battery of 18 pounders and one battery of 4.5 Howitzers. Bucks had 393 with 18 pounders at Aylesbury, Buckinham, and Wing, and 394 with 4.5" Howitzers at High Wycome, Chesham and Taplow whilst Berks had 395 based on Newbury/Windsor and 396 at Wantage. The Regiment was part of the 48th (South Midlands) Division and so it remained until 1940. The C.O. was Lt Col the Hon D.A. Forbes DSO MVO.

In 1924 the war Office allowed 20 horses to be bought, boarded out and used for training. This did not work too well and the hired horses working in untrained teams were not very successful either. On 25th September 1925 Lt Col C.T.J.G. Walmsley DSO MC TD assumed command and the Regiment became a Filed Brigade RA.

The Regiment remained horse drawn until 1926 but became mechanised over the following two years with the purchase of Morris six-weeler tractors to tow the guns.

In March 1930 Lt Col E.F. Lawson D.S.O. M.C. T.D. took over command. In the 30s mony was short for annual camps but there was an affilliation with a regular unit, the 3rd Brigade R.H.A., based at Aldershot.Their barracks were used when the regulars were on summer block leavw to cut costs. By the end of 1932 the horses had been sold off and one staff car per Battery was bought by T.A.A. 393 Battery was by this tim now based on Aylesbury and Bletchley. In 1933 Lt Col H.P. Crossland M.C. T.D. D.L. assumed control of the Regiment followed by Lt Col H.P. Crossland T.D. on September 17th 1938.

Prior to the out break of the Second World War the Regiment was known as 99th (Bucks and Berks Yeomanry) Field Regiment. RA, but eventually the Berkshire Yeomanry became a Regiment in its own rightand was designated the 145 Field Regiment R.A.  At the commencement of war in September 1939the 99th (Royal Bucks Yeomanry) Field Regiment.R.A.was allso independent and the C.O. was Lt Col F.W. Watson. R.H.Q. was at Aylesbury 393 with 18pounders Mk 11 was at Aylesbury and Bletchley,while 394 with 4.5" howitzers was at Taplow.

Embodiment of the Territorial Army Began on September 1st 1939 and it is at this point in time that the War Diaries of 99th(R.B.Y.) Field Regiment R.A. begin