Our Affiliated Regiment

The Royal Wessex Yeomanry

The Royal Wessex Yeomanry has been affiliated to the Company for 8 years.

How the Company supports the Royal Wessex Yeomanry

The Weavers’ were initially affiliated with the Dorset Yeomanry but since 2014 this was widened to include the whole of The Royal Wessex Yeomanry. Since that time, young Weavers have been to visit the Regiment and the Company has entertained members of the Regiment in London. More importantly, the Weavers’ Scholarship is an annual award made to the Royal Wessex Yeomanry by the Company. The scholarship is provided to support any member of the Regiment to further their education in order to make the Regiment more efficient.

History of the Regiment

The Royal Wessex Yeomanry (RWxY) was formed in 1971 from three antecedent regiments: the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry (RWY), the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars (RGH), and the Devon Yeomanry (DY). These were joined in 1999 by the Dorset Yeomanry. These antecedent regiments now form the basis of the current five-Squadron Order of Battle, with each Squadron named after an antecedent regiment and very much keeping their proud, separate histories and traditions alive.

These proud histories and traditions extend back to the 18th century, when the first Yeomanry Cavalry regiment was raised in Wiltshire, eventually becoming the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry. The RWxY’s antecedent regiments fought with distinction on horseback through the 19th century and during the Great War. In WWII the RWY and RGH fought in armour, notably in North Africa and Italy, while the Devon and Dorset Yeomanries took a field artillery role. After the war the regiments went through various permutations leading up to the reform of the Territorial Army in 1971.

Initially in 1971 the Regiment was roled as infantry, before becoming a light reconnaissance regiment in the 1980s. In 1997 the RWxY swapped its Land Rovers for Challenger 2 tanks, becoming an Armoured Replacement regiment, a role which it has continued – and expanded – to this day.

The Regiment Today

The Wessex Yeomanry’s current role is as the sole Reserve armoured regiment of the British Army. This entails the provision of trained tank crews and Individual Crew Replacements to the Army’s three Regular armoured regiments. RWxY soldiers train as Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank crew members, starting as either a Driver or Gunner and gaining experience in those positions. They then progress on to become a trained Loader and full crewman, with a wealth of expertise on operating and maintaining the vehicle. After promotion to Corporal they may attempt to qualify as a Challenger 2 Commander, one of the greatest responsibilities afforded to Junior NCOs anywhere in the Army.

The RWxY provides crews and individuals to supplement their partner Regiments’ (the Queen’s Royal Hussars, King’s Royal Hussars, and the Royal Tank Regiment) orders of battle, including deploying on operations and partnered training activities. The RWxY also has a thriving community of attached arms, with medics, clerks and chefs providing excellent support to the Sabre Squadrons.

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