Essex Regiment & Essex Militia History

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3/1st 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 3rd line unit was formed in 1915 at Colchester with the intention of serving abroad.

The first commander was Lt Colonel E Moore Tennant although he was quickly succeeded by Major P C G Hayward MBE.

By 1915 the number of volunteers had slowed and Major Hayward employed the unusual tactic of instructing 3 officers and 100 men to march through Essex recruiting men as they went.

Many of these new recruits were posted to the 2/1st Essex Yeomanry and the transfer overseas was cancelled with the 3/1st being reduced to 2 Squadrons and allocated a recruiting role to fill vacancies in the main Yeomanry and the 2/1st.

Subsequently it was used for the reception of officers and men who had returned from the front after being wounded or suffering illness.

The 3/1st was initially posted to Stanway, Colchester but in April 1916 it was posted to Aldershot as part of the 2nd Reserve Cavalry Brigade although its duties remained unchanged in recruiting and rehabilitation.

In 1917 there was another reorganisation of the Cavalry Units and the 3/1st was disbanded and the men were moved to other units within the 2nd Reserve Cavalry Brigade.