- Bedfordshire Yeomanry during the Great War -
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Bedfordshire Yeomanry 1/1st btn Bedfordshire Yeomanry 2/1st btn Bedfordshire Yeomanry 3/1st btn
The HQ of the Bedfordshire Yeomanry was in Ashburnham Road, Bedford, they were part of the Eastern Mounted Brigade when war broke out in 1914. A Squadron were from Bedford, B Squadron from Biggleswade and Shefford. C Squadron from Dunstable, Leighton Buzzard, Woburn and Ampthill. D Squadron was drawn from Godmanchester, St Neots, Kimbolton, Ramsey, Somersham, Sutton and Charteriss.
1st Feb 1915 Found Brother Killed
13th June 1915 Church Parade
29th Oct 1915 Palatial Trenches
28th Jan 1916
17th October 1916 Relocations 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery marched to Aubrometz with billeting parties proceeding ahead of the column. The Bedfordshire Yeomanry were in the town, but after a little trouble the Brigade got in very comfortably.
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Those known to have served with
during the Great War 1914-1918.
- Brawn Augustus Edwin. Sjt. Attached to 15th King's Hussars
- Heygate Leonard William. Pte.
- Lovell Herbert Edward.
- Ping Aubrey Alec.
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Herbert Edward Lovell Bedfordshire YeomanryMy grandfather Bert Lovell was wounded in WW1 while serving 1915 in the Bedfordshire Yeomanry. My great uncle was also in the same unit. The family story says that he was injured while mounted on a horse and his horse was killed. Fours others accompanying him were killed along with their horses. He was the only survivor because as he was blown off his horse from the shell shockwave and impact of the explosion (the shell exploded between them) He was also shielded from some of the shrapnel by the body of his horse. He then crawled in a badly injured state to the aid station to notify them that his horse was dead; as horses were more valuable than people. Even though shielded by his horse and a survivor he still spent months in hospital with physical injuries and shell shock and thereafter had to take anti epilepsy drugs for the rest of his life. He still had unremoved metal and scars on his neck and head until he died at 82 yrs old. He never talked about the war (my grandmother said the information was relayed from his unit) and he would get very agitated if anyone whistled. He was reported to be relaying war stories to the nurses in hospital the day before he died when they had taken him off all his heavy doses of medication.Jo Bennett
Pte. Leonard William Heygate Northamptonshire YeomanryMy Grandfather Leonard William Heygate was born on the 3rd September 1889. His father, Richard Ralph Heygate (1852 to 1923) was a varnish manufacturer in Hackney and a gentleman farmer in West Haddon, Northants. Leonard had a brother Gerald Ralph (1886 to 1951)who also joined the army in the First World War. Their Mother Lizzie Emma was also from the Heygate family.
I have not been able to find very much First World War information on my grandfather Leonard, except that he joined the Northamptonshire Yeomanry as a Private and apparently, according to my Mother Margaret Ruth Heygate, he was engaged to my Grandmother Evelyn Lucy Underwood of Long Buckby, Northants. He had to go to Ireland to learn to ride horses and Evelyn, accompanied by her Mother, travelled to Ireland to see him! Leonard had been training to be an Auctioneer at Rugby but was also joint owner, with his Father of some agricultural land at West Haddon, Northants, where he lived.
I have some information that he served in France, date of entry 18.04.1915. He also seemed to have served with the Bedfordshire Yeomanry. At the Army Museum it states in the Army list February 1918 L W Heygate 333 Yeomanry Territorial Force 332, Bedforshire, Ashburnham Road, Bedford. Uniform blue. Facings white. Plume black and white. Commissioned 3/1st Beds Yeo 16.4.17, 2nd Lieutenant 17.4.1917. Reserve Brigades Artillery (TF). L W Heygate September 1918 332 (attd 2-1) York, Dns, Yeo 17 April 1917. Attached to the York Dragoons Yeomanry. On one piece of paper I have Medal 15 star, roll cc/5b page6. Also it states 'on R T or and F Roll CC/106B1/36. NW/2/3606.
My Grandfather was rather a shy, quiet gentleman and would not talk about his experiences of the First World War. Years later, my brother was on a school trip to France and he happened to send his Grandparents a postcard from Arras. The only thing my Grandfather said to my Mother was, 'I was there' and he was very sad. He apparently, on hearing that World War 2 had broken out, disappeared out of the house into the fields and probably cried. I just want to know more about where he was in France and whether he was at the Battle of Arras. I think I am right in saying that he had a wound to his face from shrapnel.
He was very fortunate to survive the war and had a pleasant life as a gentleman farmer at Creaton and West Haddon, Northants. He married Evelyn and produced three children, Margaret, Barbara and Michael John. He had five grandchildren. He died on 3rd August 1975 and is buried in West Haddon Churchyard.
The only other thing I would add about the Second World War. When Coventry was bombed, Grandpa had a bonfire in one of the fields at Creaton and to the family's horror, they saw the German aeroplanes flying overhead and the bonfire which had been earlier put out, sprang to life, so the family ran across the fields with buckets of water to put the flames out! They all survived but witnessed the sky all lit up from Coventry and could hear the bombs landing.Elizabeth Anne Heygate Gates
Want to know more about Bedfordshire Yeomanry?There are:13866 pages and articles tagged Bedfordshire Yeomanry available in our LibraryThese include information on officers, regimental histories, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Great War.
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