A Short History of the Royal Devon Yeomanry
96th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery (Royal Devon Yeomanry)
96th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery (Royal Devon Yeomanry) started the outbreak of the war as part of 45th Division. Initially commanding two batteries the 381st from Tiverton and 382nd from Totnes. The 96th Field Regiment served most of the war in the UK as part of the Home Front forces but in June 1944 the 96th Field Regiment were transferred to 61st Division, shortly after this the 61st Division were posted to India during this time they supported the 81st Division and 25th Indian Division in preparation for Operation Zipper.
142nd Field Regiment, Royal Artillery (Royal Devon Yeomanry)
142nd Field Regiment started the war serving in the Home Front Forces before being deployed to the Sicily campaign from July 1943.
142nd Field Regiment fought through Sicily from July 1943 and into Italy, the 142nd took part in most of the major actions of the campaign including the landings in Sicily and Anzio and the Battle of Monte Cassino.
For its support to the Canadian Division during part of the Battle of Monte Cassino it was awarded the right to wear the Maple Leaf of Canada.
The 142nd Field Regiment was armed with Bishop self-propelled guns during the Sicilian campaign and the early part of the Italian campaign in early 1944 the Regiment was re-equipped with the American M7 Priest self-propelled gun.
Both Regiments reformed in 1947.
In 1950, 342nd Medium Regiment was amalgamated into 296th Field Regiment and in 1956 the Regiment also absorbed 256th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RA. The 296th Field Regiment survived until 1967.
On 1 April 1967 the regiment was amalgamated with the 4th Battalion, The Devonshire Regiment to form The Devonshire Territorials which included Royal Devon Yeomanry and The 1st Rifle Volunteers.
With a change of government policy, in 1971 the Territorials were again reformed, and on 1 April 1971 a new regiment was born The Royal Wessex Yeomanry. It incorporated
- “A” Squadron The Royal Dorset Yeomanry
- “B” Squadron The Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry
- “C” Squadron The Royal Gloucestershire Hussars
- “D” Squadron The Royal Devon Yeomanry
The Royal Devon Yeomanry now serves as D Squadron with in Royal Wessex Yeomanry based in North Devon (Barnstaple) and South Devon (Exeter).