• Title
    Northamptonshire Yeomanry
  • Reference
  • Date
    1794 - 2001
  • Date
    Early: 1794
    Late: 2005
  • Creator
  • Scope and Content
    The archive is particularly rich in pictorial material, containing the official photograph albums for both the 1st and 2nd World Wars, and many others illustration the activities of the regiment on active service and during training. Regimental scrapbooks give further information in the form of photographs, newspaper cuttings and other papers. The archive contains the official war diary of 1/1 Northamptonshire Yeomanry for June 1916 - November 1918, with additional pages for A,B and C Squadrons November 1914 - May 1916 and a number of unofficial diaries covering the period up to and including the 2nd World War. Together with the nominal rolls and orders of battle, it is often possible to discover a lot of information about the service history of individuals as well as about the Yeomanry in general. There are a few records from the 18th and 19th centuries in the collection, but the majority cover the period from the 1st World War to the present day. They include diaries, scrapbooks, correspondence, films, official and unofficial papers.
  • Exent
    c. 250 Items
  • Archival history
    The Northamptonshire yeomanry was formed in 1794 to counter the threat of invasion by the French. The regiment was disbanded in 1828 as a result of Treasury cuts but smaller troops remained active around the county before it was re-formed in 1902, becoming formally recognised as part of the Territorial Force of the country in 1908. the TF was intended to be a home defence force for service during wartime and members could not be compelled to serve outside the country. However, on the outbreak of war on 4 August 1914, many members volunteered for Imperial Service. Therefore, TF units were split in August and September 1914 into 1st Line (liable for overseas service) and 2nd Line (home service for those unable or unwilling to serve overseas) units. Later, a 3rd Line was formed to act as a reserve, providing trained replacements for the 1st and 2nd Line regiments. This was the case with the Northamptonshire Yeomanry, where the regiment was divided into three 'lines' with the first and second on active service in France and Italy during the First World War. On 7 February 1920, the Regiment was reconstituted in the Territorial Army with HQ at the Old Militia Barracks in Clare St, Northampton. It was initially established with three Squadrons. Following the experience of the war, it was decided that only the fourteen most senior yeomanry regiments would be retained as horsed cavalry, with the rest being transferred to other roles. As a result, on 1 March 1922, the Regiment was one of eight converted and reduced to 7th (Northamptonshire) Armoured Car Company, Tank Corps. In 1922, it was renumbered as 25th (Northamptonshire Yeomanry) Armoured Car Company, Tank Corps, in October 1923 as 25th (Northamptonshire Yeomanry) Armoured Car Company, Royal Tank Corps, and in April 1939 it was transferred to the Royal Armoured Corps. During World War II, 1st Northants Yeo (TA) remained in the United Kingdom and from 1941 - 1942 were part of the Coats Mission, the plan to evacuate the Royal Family in the event of a German invasion. In 1944, now as a part of the 33rd Armoured Brigade, they participated in the Normandy Landings on D Day, 6 June. The brigade's three regiments, which included the East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry and the 144 Regiment RAC, landed on Gold Beach in Normandy. Their role was to support any infantry who were in need of armour support, therefore the Brigade rarely fought as one entity. One of the occasions when the Brigade did undertake an operation on its own was at Le Mesnil-Patry, Rots on 11 June 1944. Further battles they were involved in were around Caen, including Operation Charnwood 7 July, the battle to capture Caen. On 16 July 1944, it was involved in Operation Pomegranate, where it come under the command of the 59th (Staffordshire) Infantry Division. On 8 August 1944, it was involved in Operation Totalize, a planned breakout from the Caen Salient. It was during Operation Totalize that Joe Ekins, a Sherman Tank gunner of the Northamptonshire Yeomanry, gained recognition for killing the renowned German tank commander, Michael Wittmann, the 4th top scoring tank ace in history, near St. Aignan de Cramesnil, France. The regiment was briefly attached to the 51st (Highland) Division for the actions around the Battle of the Bulge. The Regiment was reformed and re-equipped with LVT 4 Buffalo amphibious armoured fighting vehicles, for the Rhine crossing and was placed under the command of the 79th Armoured Division. The 2nd Northamptonshire Yeomanry landed in Normandy in June 1944. In August, it was disbanded and it members were drafted to other regiments. The 1st and 2nd Northamptonshire Yeomanry (TA) were both demobilised by 1946 and for a short period remained in a state of suspended animation. Then, on 1 January 1947, the TA was reconstituted, the 1st and 2nd Northants Yeo were amalgamated and reformed as The Northamptonshire Yeomanry, RAC (TA). The Regiment was assigned to 44th (Home Counties) Infantry Division (TA) as its Divisional Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment. Recruiting for the Regiment began in May 1947 and by 1949. In 1950, the Regiment assumed the role of a mobile Anti-Tank Regiment, equipped with self-propelled anti-tank guns. Reorganisations of the TA in 1956 resulted in the Regiment being reduced to a single Squadron as "D" (Northamptonshire Yeomanry) Squadron, The Inns of Court Regiment, RAC (TA). The Headquarters of this Regiment was in the City of London, whilst "D" Sqn was centred on Northampton. This state of affairs lasted until April 1961, when "D" Squadron was transferred to the Corps of Royal Engineers and reorganised to form 250th (Northamptonshire Yeomanry) Independent Field Squadron, RE (TA). It was assigned a role in support of the British Army of The Rhine (BAOR) and had its Squadron Headquarters and No.1 Troop at Northampton, No.2 Troop at Kettering and No.3 Troop at Brackley. When the TA was reorganised into the Territorial & Army Volunteer Reserve (T&AVR) in April 1967, the Northamptonshire Yeomanry formed a successor unit as "A" (Northants Yeo) Company, The Northamptonshire Regiment Territorials. It continued the traditions of the old Regiment until 1969, when the Northants Territorials was reduced to a Cadre, effectively ending the history of the Yeomanry. In 1971, the cadre was reconstituted as part of the Royal Anglian Regiment
  • Existance and location of originals
    Please see the attached box lists for details of additional accessions
  • External document

    Accession 2012/117

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    Unknown Accession

    <Digital_reference><digital_reference weburl="/Files/Box Lists\NY\Unknown Accn Northamptonshire Yeomanry (additional deposits).docx">G:\FTPDATA\Files\Box Lists\NY\Unknown Accn Northamptonshire Yeomanry (additional deposits).docx</digital_reference><digital_reference.description><value lang="">Unknown Accession</value></digital_reference.description></Digital_reference>
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