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El Alamein

The Battle of El-Alamein started on the 22nd October, 1942, and the Regiment’s part in it is fully described in the book Yeoman Yeoman which is the history of the Regiment from 1920-1956.  The following brief account of it does not really do justice to the great gallantry of the Regiment in the battle.

On the night of the 2nd November began the shattering barrage that heralded the battle of El-Alamein. For five days the Yeomanry blasted their way through the enemy minefields in support of the New Zealanders.  As the New Zealand forces reached their objective, Miteriya Ridge, the Yeoman were held up by a further minefield. On the 24th, a gap was cut in the minefield and they passed through without support to “roll up” the enemy flank.

They were ordered, however to return to the ridge and there they stayed  for three days and nights, to rest and refit for the next offensive. On the 1st November, 1942 they were lined up for the second attempt. This was a “do or die” effort that had been made clear by General Montgomery for he said that the operation must succeed even if no man came out of the battle alive.

At 0105 hours on the 2nd November, began a barrage lasting four hours during which 15,000 rounds of ammunition were poured by the artillery into a front of 4,000 yards. Delayed again by minefields the Yeoman were caught by the rising sun as the advance towards the enemy lines began. By 1000 hours only seven tanks out of fifty-two were left in running order. The attack was successful, two days later the advance through the lines began.  By the 8th November Rommel had withdrawn to reform in Tunis where of course the Germans were finally thrown out of Africa.

The Regiment gained its unique battle honour of the New Zealand Fern Leaf to be worn on its vehicles as a sign of valour, awarded by General Bernard Freyberg VC, the General Officer Commanding, New Zealand Forces. 

Ties & Badges

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Italy

Following El-Alamein the  Regiment spent 15 months refitting and training in Egypt and Palestine. 

 On the 4th May 1944 they joined the campaign in Italy, landing at Taranto.  Moving through close hilly country to Cassino and after the fall of Cassino pursued the enemy through Rome into the rough hilly country beyond Orvieto and Lake Trasimento .  The Regiment was in action many times in this campaign and fought with great determination and courage.

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Published Works – Warwickshire Yeomanry

The following list of publications is by no means exhaustive:

Regimental History:

History of the Warwickshire Yeomanry Cavalry

compiled by The Hon. H.A.Adderley (Lieutenant, W.Y.C.)
published May 1896.

History of the Warwickshire Yeomanry Cavalry
compiled by The Hon. H.A. Adderley (Late Captain W.Y.C.)
published August 1912.

The Warwickshire Yeomanry in the Great War
compiled by The Hon.  A.A. Adderley (Late Captain W.Y.C.)
published May 1922.

With the Warwickshire Yeomanry in South Africa
by Meynell Hunt
published in 1902.

Yeoman Yeoman - The Warwickshire Yeomanry 1920-1956
compiled by Paul Baker.
published October 1971.


Pamphlets:

Dugdale Society Occasional Papers No.36 - The Warwickshire Yeomanry in the 19th Century:

Some Fresh Aspects by Paul Morgan, M.A., F.S.A.
published in 1994.

Campion’s War - Being the Experiences of a Warwickshire Yeoman, 1914 -1918
published by the Warwickshire Yeomanry Museum Trust in 2003
and reprinted in 2008.

The Teddy Bear Lancers -
The Experiences of a Warwickshire Yeoman in the Second World War

by Nigel Flanakin
published in 2004 by the Warwickshire Yeomanry Museum Trust
and reprinted in 2010.

The Uniforms of the British Yeomanry Force 1794-1914
No.9 Warwickshire Yeomanry

by L.Barlow and R.D.Smith.
published by the Robert Ogilby Trust in 1987.

The Warwickshire Yeomanry

published in 1982 by the Warwickshire Yeomanry Museum Trust.

Other Useful Background Reading Material:

Diary of a Yeomanry M.O. Egypt, Gallipoli, Palestine and Italy
by Captain O.Teichman, D.S.O., M.C., Royal Army Medical Corps (TF) first published in 1921.

The Palestine Campaigns
by Colonel A.P.Wavell
first published in 1928.

The Last Crusade – The Palestine Campaign in the First World War
by Anthony Bruce
first published in 2002.

The Last Crusade – A Novel

by Colin Smith
published in 1991.

The Yeomanry Cavalry of Worcestershire 1914-1922
by C.
published in 1926.

The Diary of the Late Pte. R.C. Burbage, Warwickshire Yeomanry  see  anolan@ashgatepub.co.uk.

http://www.greatwar.co.uk/organizations/centre-ww1-studies.htm

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