53rd Worcestershire Yeomanry Airlanding Light Regiment R.A.
The Worcestershire Yeomanry Cavalry have a long and illustrious history stretching back some two hundred years. It was first formed in the year 1794 in response to the recent French revolution.
The Worcestershire Yeomanry susequently served in the Boer and First World Wars. During the First World War it was in action in the Gallipoli campaign against the Turkish Army. This included the gallant defence of the small garrision at Qatia in the Suez Canal Zone when all officers were killed but one - Major W H Wiggin.
With the advent of the Second World War, the Worcestershire Yeomanry was converted into an Anti-Tank Regiment. It became the 53rd Worcestershire Yeomanry Anti-Tank Regiment in 1938 and was equipped with two-pounder Anti-Tank guns.
The Regiment consisted of the following four batterys: 209 Battery was based at Kidderminister; 210 and 212 Battery's at Kings Heath; and 211 Battery at Bewdley.
The Regiment participated in the British Expiditionary Force (BEF) and departed for France in January 1940. On the 10th May 1940 the expected German attacks commenced and the Regiment was tasked with protecting the British 48th Division. After a series of German breakthroughs the Batterys took up defensive positions, as part of the 48th Division, to protect the Western flank. Large enemy losses were inflicted by 210 and 211 Battery's. Orders were then given from the brigade for the guns to be destroyed and to proceed to Dunkirk. The Regiment put up two very spirited and valiant actions at Oost-Cappell by 212 Battery and at Cassel by 209 Battery. The remainder of the Regiment was forced to escape to the beaches of Dunkirk and only five officers and 284 men were rescued during Operation Dynamo. It is to the Regiment's credit that they destroyed more tanks than any other Anti-tank regiment.
Post Dunkirk the Regiment was forced into a Home Defence Company under Major W.H.Wiggin due to the precarious nature of Britain's then defences. Shortly after the Regiment received a new commanding officer Lt Colonel A.C. Savill. The regiment continued training from this time onwards until August 1943 when the current commanding officer Lt Colonel Tony Teacher was asked by the War Office if the Regiment would care to join the newly formed 6th Airborne Division as it's only Field Regiment this invitation was accepted with willingless.
The Regiment was formed at Marlborough Barracks, Bulford, Wiltshire on the 27th October 1943 for conversion and became the 53rd Worcestershire Yeomanry Airlanding Light Regiment under authority HOFOR GO 1195 of 211925. The regiment's primary role was to support 6th Airborne Divison with Light Artillery.
Go to the War Diary page for 53WY AL Regt or click here to go straight there.
Click on the links below to access the accounts:
by Leslie Allsopp, 53rd Worcestershire Yeomanry Airlanding Light Regiment R.A. and 2nd Forward Observer Unit (Airborne) R.A.
by David "Dai" King, F Troop, 212 Battery, 53rd Worcestershire Yeomanry Airlanding Light Regiment R.A. and 2nd Forward Observer Unit (Airborne) R.A.
by Peter Jordan, C Troop, 211 Battery, 53rd Worcestershire Yeomanry Airlanding Light Regiment R.A.
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