Essex Regiment & Essex Militia History

  badge56 badge44 badgeer badgeey badgevb  

2/1st Essex Yeomanry

The need for trained reserves to be available for duty in France with the main Essex Yeomanry plus the large number of volunteers wishing to enlist led to the development of  2nd and then a 3rd Essex Yeomanry Unit.

The 2/1st Essex yeomanry was formed in Colchester at the outbreak of the Great War in 1914.

The first Commander was Colonel R B Colvin with Captain W R Hadler the Quartermaster.

After a spell at Wickham Market the 2nd Essex Yeomanry joined the main Yeomanry at Melton.

In January 1915 the unit was transferred to Huntingdon and command switched to Lt Colonel Alwyne H F Greville CVO.

Recruits continued to be supplied to the main unit especially after the heavy loss of life in their famous charge in May 1915.

By June 1915 the 2/1st Essex Yeomanry was given a role in coastal defence and moved to the Cavalry Barracks at Hounslow.

In March 1916 saw a move to the little village of Great Bentley where the men were billeted in huts.

In July 1916 yet another move, this time to Leybourne Park, Kent where the men were quartered in tents.

The men were pleased to move to Brasted , Kent in October 1916 and escape from living under canvas in the coming winter. This coincided with a change of Adjutant from Captain Gepp to Captain H W de Zoete.

With the spring of 1917 another move to the Wilderness at Sevenoaks and even more radical move for a Yeomanry Regiment the horses were replaced with cycles.

In January 1918  the 2/1st moved to Ireland where they were stationed at Castlebar with a detachment at Westport.

In July 1916 to Regiment moved to the Curragh and the men moved back into huts during the autumn and winter until February 1919 when the Regiment was disbanded.