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P.D. GRIFFIN
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MODERN BRITISH ARMY REGIMENTS

DRESS

The blue cap is distinguished by a red band with a blue strip in its centre. The infantry and band wear a grenade badge fashioned on that of the Grenadier Guards but with the monogram 'HAC entwined on the bomb. The gun troop bears the gun badge of the Royal Artillery but with the motto scroll altered to read Anna pans fulcra (Anns, the mainstay of peace). In 1953 the gunners adopted the crest from the ancient arms of the regiment for the beret: an arm embowered in armour, the gauntlet grasping a leading staff (presented to the company in 1693), between dragon's wings charged with the cross of St George.

It was King William IV who ordered the infantry section to adopt the uniform of the Grenadier Guards when he was Captain General of the HAC. Bearskins were introduced in 1855, but without the Grenadiers' plume. In 1890 the light cavalry squadron (formed in 1860) was converted to horse artillery and permitted to use the dress of the Royal Horse Artillery, although the tunic was kept and yellow cord tailored on.

In No. 1 dress 'blues' the gunners wear cavalry pattern shoulder chains and yellow cap lines. Musicians have the same uniform as Grenadier Guards musicians, except the cap has the HAC band, and lace on the scarlet tunic is silver, not gold.

MUSIC

The regimental quick march, British Grenadiers, and slow march, Duke of York, are borrowed from the Grenadier Guards; the gun troop's canter, Bonnie Dundee, trot, The Keel Row and walk, Duchess of Kent, are from the Royal Artillery.

The HAC Band has a long history and leads the company on state occasions. In orchestral mode it plays at dinners at Armoury House, the Mansion Hotise, the Guildhall and certain livery halls in the City.

TRADITIONS

The company enjoys certain ancient privileges, not least of which are the royal gun salutes at the Tower of London and the Lord Mayor's parade.

Since 1611 serving members have their names entered in the Vellum Book. Toasting a member of the mess involves a custom from the eighteenth century, in which the assembly repeats 'Zay!' nine times.

THE ROYAL YEOMANRY

A Territorial armoured medium reconnaissance regiment established in 1967 from five Yeomanry regiments descended from troops formed in 1794. The royal title came courtesy of the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, who earned the privilege in 1830 by dispersing rioters at Pyt House in Tisbury. Other battle honours date from South Africa 1900.

Regimental headquarters are at the Duke of York's Barracks in Chelsea, with squadron offices in Swindon, Nottingham, Leicester and Croydon.

Officers of the Sherwood Rangers in 1900

Officers of the Sherwood Rangers in 1900

DRESS DISTINCTIONS

Each squadron is governed by its own traditions. A Squadron (Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry (PWO)) has a squadron in two regiments. Its distinctions can be found tinder the Royal Wessex Yeomanry.

B Squadron (Leicestershire and Derbyshire Yeomanry) has, for its badge, the crest of Prince Albert on the rose part of the Derbyshires' badge. The Leicestershire Yeomanry was awarded the tide Prince Albert's Own in 1844, after escorting the Queen and Prince Consort to Belvoir Castle in the county.

The C Squadron (Kent and Sharpshooters Yeomanry) badge is the White Horse of Kent on crossed carbines under a circlet inscribed KENT & COUNTY OF LONDON YEOMANRY. This squadron upholds a strange custom in which the officers attempt to parade in as many different varieties of dress as possible.

S Squadron (Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry) has a bugle horn badge and W Squadron (Westminster Dragoons) the arms of the City of Westminster.

The regimental band parades in the lancer uniform of the Inns of Court and City Yeomanry, the Edwardian pattern, French grey with purple facings, originally worn by the City of London (Rough Riders). Its badge portrays the four shields of the four Inns of Court supporting another from the arms of the City of London.

A Daimler armoured car of the 2nd Derbyshire Yeomanry on active service in Holland 1944

A Daimler armoured car of the 2nd Derbyshire Yeomanry on active service in Holland 1944. (Derby Museums & Art Gallery LFY 518)

MUSIC

The regimental march, Farmer's Boy, is a reference to the farming stock from which yeomanry regiments originate. The Wiltshires laid claim to being the first in arms, in 1794, and paraded the motto Primus in armis.

TRADITIONS

The London-based squadrons date back to 1797 with the Westminster Troop and 1798 with the Islington Troop. These did not survive the Napoleonic Wars but a resurgence of volunteer cavalry in London took place at the time of the Boer War. In 1899 a battalion of Rough Riders was formed for South Africa, and in 1901 they returned to be transfigured into the City of London Yeomanry (the Rough Riders). Other London veterans of the war were re-formed as the 2nd County of London Yeomanry (Westminster Dragoons). This regiment subsequently played an active part in the social life of the city and received the Freedom of the City of Westminster in 1951. Ten years later the Westminsters were merged with the Berkshire Yeomanry and afterwards became HQ Squadron of the Royal Yeomanry. A battalion of sharpshooters, composed of men skilled with the rifle, was formed for the Boer War in 1900. After that conflict it continued as the 3rd County of London Yeomanry (the Sharpshooters).

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