Sunday 5 March 2017

Welsh Yeomanry at War

The 24th (Pembroke & Glamorgan) Yeomanry Battalion, Welsh Regiment came into being in February 1917 with the merger of two very distinct Yeomanry regiments, the 1/1st Pembroke (Castlemartin) Yeomanry and the 1/1st Glamorgan Yeomanry. This new title from Pen & Sword Books picks up the story at this point and sheds new light on an aspect of the war - the war in Palestine - that has been largely neglected. Not that the men serving with this regiment did not also get a taste of the horrors of trench warfare either, for that matter; in May 1918 the regiment embarked for France with the rest of the 74th Division and took part in the final 100-day offensive against the German Army.

For anyone with an interest in this particular unit this will be essential reading. There is a roll call of regimental dead, potted biographies of officers, and details of honours and awards. This, in addition to the main narrative, follows the well-worn pattern of regimental histories published in the 1920s and 30s. In addition though, and as exemplified here, today's historian has access to far more resources: newspapers, personal archives, service records published online by Ancestry and Findympast, not to mention the willing assistance of archivists and others. In this particular case that all comes together very well in this long overdue history of the 24th Welsh Regiment.

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