It's back to the past for army reservists from C (Cheshire Yeomanry) Squadron who paraded in a special ceremony as the unit reverted to the control of the Queen’s Own Yeomanry (QOY) Regiment.
Latterly the squadron, based at Fox Barracks, Chester, had been part of the Royal Lancastrian and Mercian Yeomanry (RMLY), with the change brought about by the re-organisation of the Army Reserve which will see numbers rise nationally to 30,000 by 2020.
The move harks back to when the squadron originally came under the Queen’s Own Yeomanry, an association which ended in 1999 following the Strategic Defence Review. The Duke of Westminster began his military career at Chester with the QOY.
During the parade, on Thursday, May 15, the squadron ceremonially changed their cap badges back to those of their old regiment.
The Army Reservists were addressed by OC C Sqn Maj Will Bankes and Honorary Colonel C Sqn Col Nigel Hill TD before receiving their new cap badges and Tactical Recognition Flashes (TRFs) from CO Queen’s Own Yeomanry (QOY) Lt Col Hugh Campbell-Smith MBE.
The historic Cheshire Yeomanry was raised in 1797 and the unit has over 200 years’ history of volunteer part time service, fighting on horseback in South Africa in the early 1900s and then in Egypt, Palestine and France during the First World War.
In the 1990s members of the squadron saw operational service with the United Nations in Cyprus, and in Bosnia and Kosovo.
In 1996 the squadron was granted the freedom of the City of Chester. In 2003 members of the squadron mobilised during the second Gulf War, and the squadron continued to serve in Iraq until 2008.
To date more than 57 operational tours have been completed in Iraq and Afghanistan by the Cheshire Yeomanry.
Local Army Cadets from Northwich and Frodsham Detachments, Cheshire ACF, who are affiliated with the Cheshire Yeomanry, were also present at the parade, and were presented with new cap badges by Lt Col Hugh-Campbell-Smith along with the squadron.
OC C (Cheshire Yeomanry) Sqn QOY Maj Will Bankes said; “This parade marks a new phase in the history of the Cheshire Yeomanry.
"The unit has been part of the Cheshire community for over two centuries, and today gives us an opportunity to recognise the commitment and professionalism of our Reservists; men and women from across the county who dedicate their time and their energy to the Army Reserve.
"I'm also delighted to welcome the younger generation of local Army Cadets who are also celebrating with us today.
“C (Cheshire Yeomanry) Sqn QOY is now growing, and I encourage anyone who's interested in the opportunities of doing something different and gaining invaluable skills to join us next Thursday for an open evening to learn more about what we do.”
If you’d like to find out more about the Army Reserve, C (Cheshire Yeomanry) Sqn QOY will be holding an open evening at Fox Barracks on Thursday, May 22 from 7pm . All are welcome to attend. Call 01244 381 050 for more information.