A typical yeomanry regiment at the outbreak of WW1 is represented. At that stage no tin hats were worn – only soft peaked. Also, only 50 rounds of ammunition were carried in a bandolier by the riders. Horses were at a premium – the front line regiments had priority which meant that finding mounts for the Yeomanry posed a problem. The Sussex were lucky in that a large proportion of their horses were hunt horses of the East Sussex, Crawley and Horsham Hounds.
Pre-war First Aid Nursing Yeomanry is also represented. An interesting article entitled “A Women’s Nursing Yeomanry Corps at Work” was written by Lynette Beardwood who has been instrumental in helping Joyce of Sussex Yeomanry have made (by The Cavalry Workshop) an accurate copy of one of the uniforms that was worn by Lilian Franklin who was one of the founder members of FANY [now FANY (PRVC). The intention is for Joyce to wear the uniform at Sussex Yeomanry WW1 demonstrations/displays.
NB Whilst the WW1 uniforms that are worn are based on/copied from WW1 uniforms and are as accurate as possible, it should be borne in mind that primarily the purpose of Sussex Yeomanry is to demonstrate the equestrian sport of mounted skill-at-arms. As such, sometimes the carrying of weapons by some members of the Group is not historically correct.
We have a gallery showing some of skills we demonstrate together with a selection of our uniforms, click here to have a look
Three regiments of the Napoleonic period are represented, two of which are British (3rd/King’s Own Dragoons [heavy cavalry] and 18th Light Dragoons/Hussars [light cavalry]) and one of which is French (1st Chasseurs à Cheval). The 3rd Dragoons are of the Peninsular War period. The 18th Light Dragoons and the 1st Chasseurs à Cheval encompass the period from the Peninsular War through to Waterloo.
All uniforms and saddlery is of a very high standard, much of which has been made by John and Celia Norris of Solent Saddlery/The Cavalry Workshop.
We have a gallery showing some of skills we demonstrate together with a selection of our costumes, click here to have a look
Medieval Equestrian Skill-at-Arms
In the Medieval period, jousting tournaments were held not only for sport and entertainment but also to keep horses and men trained and ready for war. The tournaments involved not only jousting but also exercises that do not involve the use of armour.
Sussex Yeomanry as a Group tries to give a flavour and feeling for the type of exercises that Medieval men on horseback took part in which involved the use of the quintain, lances, swords and daggers.
Hunting was also good training for war and some of the Group’s demonstrations are based on the horse and weapons-handling skills needed for hunting.
We have a gallery showing some of skills we demonstrate together with a selection of our costumes.
The Battle Proms are an exciting yet informal open air picnic concerts to which people take their own food and picnic equipment and create their own space in the auditorium. The concerts have been staged since 1997 and provide an evening of exceptional entertainment that encompasses sublime music, stunningly choreographed aerial displays, thunderous cannon fire, dramatic cavalry displays and fantastic fireworks. Sussex Yeomanry members have taken part in the cavalry displays (under the banner of Crown & Empire) for in excess of 12 years.
In 2016 Sussex Yeomanry were responsible for putting on a display at the Festival which was in a larger arena than before – we expanded upon our display of cavalry skills and add a display of our tent pegging skills!
We now look forward to again taking part in the Festival in the future – hopefully in 2018 (the 2017 Festival having been cancelled).