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Royal Wessex Yeomanry
Country United Kingdom
Branch Territorial Army
Service history
Active 1 April 1971-Present
Role Armour Replacement
Size One regiment
Part of Royal Armoured Corps
Commanders HRH The Earl of WessexLt Gen Sir Richard Shirreff KCB CBE
Insignia Royal Wessex Yeomanry TRF

The Royal Wessex Yeomanry (RWxY) is an armoured regiment of the British Territorial Army consisting of four squadrons. Currently part of 43 (Wessex) Brigade, they will support the Reactive Brigades under the Army 2020 plan as replacements for any of the 3 Type 56 Armoured Regiments. Unlike any other regiment in the British Army, each of the squadrons wear a different cap badge - that of their antecedent yeomanry regiments:

Unusually, B Sqn is the senior of the four squadrons of the regiment. This is because the RWY is the senior Yeomanry regiment in the Yeomanry Order of Precedence, having been raised in 1794. It is not designated as A Sqn (which would be the usual practice) because there is an A (Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry) Sqn of the Royal Yeomanry with which it could be confused.

Under Army 2020, A Squadron will become a HQ squadron to reflect the same structure as the future Type 56 Challenger 2 Regiments.[1]

HRH The Earl of Wessex is the Royal Honorary Colonel of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry.


The Wessex Yeomanry was formed on 1 April 1971 by re-raising cadres from the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars and the Royal Devon Yeomanry to form four squadrons. The regiment was granted its royal title on 8 June 1979.

Initially roled as infantry, in the 1980s it was re-roled as a reconnaissance regiment and became one of the Military Home Defence Reconnaissance Regiments. Following the Strategic Defence Review, the regiment merged with the Dorset Yeomanry in July 1999 and was reorganised and re-roled into its current ORBAT.[2][3]

The regiment currently has three roles:

  • The training of Challenger 2 main battle tank crewmen as Turret Crew Replacements. This commitment is provided by B (RWY), C (RGH) and D (RDY) Squadrons.
  • Armour Replacement. This role is provided by A (DY) Squadron.
  • The provision of skilled officers and senior non-commissioned officers to support the Regular Army on operations as watchkeepers and liaison officers. This is provided by all four squadrons.[4]

Each squadron maintains its own traditions of their forebear regiments, maintaining a sense of pride and rivalry. In 2011 there was a Regimental Celebration of 40 years since the founding of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry, although at this time, the Dorset Yeomanry was not part of the regiment. HRH Earl of Wessex the Regimental Colonel visited, met members of the regiment and their families and also participated in a private guided tour of the neighbouring Tank Museum


The Royal Wessex Yeomanry TRF is taken from the 74th (Yeomanry) Division, whose insignia was a broken spur in a black diamond during World War I, used to signify that its units were once mounted but now served as infantry. The TRF takes its colour scheme from facings of the collars and cuffs of the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars (buff), Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, Dorset Yeomanry and the Royal Devon Yeomanry (all scarlet).[5]

The regiment wears a brown beret, similar to that worn by the Kings Royal Hussars, with a square black patch behind the cap badge to represent the RTR affiliation. Each squadron wears the cap badge of its antecedent Yeomanry regiment, meaning that unlike any other British Army regiment, the RWxY still has 4 cap badges. The squadrons also retain their own stable belts and mess dress. In barrack (Number 13) dress the regiment wear a green fleck v-neck jumper. As the British Army reforms towards its Army 2020 and Future Reserves 2020 design, there is a keen aspiration among the serving soldiers to unite the squadrons under one, Regimental, cap badge - this may happen in 2013.


Regular Commanding OfficersEdit

2010-2012: Lt Col R Trant QRL

2012–present: Lt Col C MacGregor KRH

Honorary ColonelsEdit


  2. Bastin, Maj JD (1980). The Historical Journal of The Royal Wessex Yeomanry. 
  3. "Royal Wessex Yeomanry History". Retrieved 9 February 2012. [dead link]
  4. "RWxY Role". Retrieved 9 February 2012. 
  5. "History of the RWxY TRF". Retrieved 9 February 2012. 
  6. "Allied Regiments & Affiliations". Retrieved 9 February 2012. 
  7. "Allied & Affiliated Regiments". Retrieved 9 February 2012. 
  8. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 45569. p. 348. 11 January 1971. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  9. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 49787. p. 8742. 26 June 1984. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  10. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 51718. p. 5217. 28 April 1989. Retrieved 2 November 2009.
  11. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 52792. p. 492. 14 January 1992. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  12. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 54788. p. 6737. 9 June 1997. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  13. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 56078. p. 14611. 2 January 2001. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  14. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 57122. p. 14548. 25 November 2003. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  15. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59492. p. 13805. 20 July 2010. Retrieved 9 February 2012.

External linksEdit

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