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The City of London Yeomanry (Rough Riders)
COLY cap badge.jpg
Active 23 July 1901-1 May 1961
Country United Kingdom
Branch Army
Type Yeomanry
Role Cavalry (1901)
Artillery (1920)
Anti-aircraft (1938)
Armour (1947)
Infantry (1956)
Signals (1969)
Garrison/HQ The Guildhall, Finsbury Square
Nickname(s) Rough Riders
Motto(s) Domine Dirige Nos (Lord, direct us)
Mascot(s) The Lobster
Commanders
Ceremonial chief HRH Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother (1952)
Notable
commanders
R.B. Colvin; Frederick Colin Maitland, 14th Earl of Lauderdale
Goland Vanhalt Clarke

COLY Cap Badge

The City of London Yeomanry (Rough Riders) was a yeomanry regiment of the British Territorial Army, formed in 1901 and amalgamated in 1961.

The unit had originally been formed in 1900 as the 20th Battalion, Imperial Yeomanry, and designated for service in the Second Boer War. The battalion's adopted nickname of the "Rough Riders" was taken from the US cavalry regiment that fought in the Spanish-American War. An additional battalion, the 22nd Rough Riders, was then formed in 1901, when the 20th Battalion was disbanded and the new regiment was formed from Boer War veterans. This regiment was retitled the City of London Imperial Yeomanry (Rough Riders), with its headquarters at the Guildhall. The HQ later transferred to Finsbury Square, and the regiment, upon joining the newly established Territorial Force in 1908, was again retitled as the 1st City of London Yeomanry (Rough Riders). By the beginning of the First World War, the regiment consisted of four squadrons attached to the London Mounted Brigade. Two duplicate battalions were raised in 1914 and 1915, designated as the 2/1st and 3/1st respectively. The 2/1st served with the 2/2nd Mounted Division, and the original 1/1st initially served as dismounted infantry in Gallipoli, where it fought in the Battle of Scimitar Hill. The battalion suffered heavy casualties before it was evacuated to Egypt, after which it moved to Salonika in 1916. Following its return to Egypt in 1917, the COLY participated in the Allied advance into Ottoman-controlled Palestine. In 1918, it again expanded to form E Battalion, Machine Gun Corps, which served on the Western Front.

After reconstitution in the Territorial Force in 1920, the unit was reduced to a battery of the 11th (Honourable Artillery Company and City of London Yeomanry) Regiment, RHA. In 1938, as World War II approached, the battery was then split off to form the 11th (City of London Yeomanry) Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RA, part of which served in a defensive role at Bentley Priory, the RAF's Fighter Command headquarters in Stanmore, Middlesex. The rest of the regiment remained in London during the Blitz. Service in North Africa and Italy followed from 1942 to the end of the war.

The City of London Yeomanry was reconstituted in 1947 as an armoured regiment within the Royal Armoured Corps. A further conversion to infantry occurred in 1956, when it became a battalion of the Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own). On 1 May 1961, and given their geographical proximity, the Rough Riders amalgamated with the Inns of Court Regiment, to form the Inns of Court and City Yeomanry. In April 1967, the Territorial and Army Volunteer Reserve (TAVR) replaced the old Territorial Army. Through Denis Healey's Defence Cuts, the new unit was then reduced in size to form 68 (Inns of Court & City Yeomanry) Signal Squadron, within the 71st (Yeomanry) Signal Regiment, Royal Corps of Signals. Although the new squadron did not inherit the freedoms of the boroughs that its predecessors had been awarded, it has maintained the Rough Riders' rare privilege of providing a mounted escort to the Lord Mayor of London at the annual Lord Mayor's Show. The COLY heritage can also be seen in both the officers' metal cap badge (which shows the four Inns of Courts' coats of arms overlaid by those of the City of London); and in the cloth cap badge (which shows the Inns of Court Regiment's Devil holding the Rough Riders' cavalry spur).

In 2009, the IC&CY in turn merged with The Essex Yeomanry to form The Inns of Court & City and Essex Yeomanry (ICCEY).

Battle honours[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links last verified on 19 January 2009


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