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 British Yeomanry Cavalry , Palestine 1918.

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Tony Barton


MessageSujet: British Yeomanry Cavalry , Palestine 1918.   Ven 31 Mai 2013 - 19:42

Un trompettiste de la Royal Gloucestershire hussards, qui était un régiment de cavalerie de la milice de l'ouest de l'Angleterre.
Ils ont servi avec distinction pendant la campagne d'Egypte et de la Palestine de 1917/1918.
Dans les espaces ouverts du désert, la cavalerie était assez efficace, fonctionnant infanterie vraiment comme monté.
Général Allenby a soulevé une grande force de cavalerie de l'Empire britannique, y compris les Indiens. Australiens, Néo-Zélandais, ainsi que des régiments britanniques.
"Gendarmerie Desert Corps" Cela a été utilisé pour tourner le flanc intérieur de la ligne turc, puis attaquer leurs communications dans la zone arrière, tandis que la partie d'infanterie de son armée lieu et agressé leur front.
Le RGH étaient dans la même formation que l'Australian Light Horse, célèbre pour leur charge à Beersheba (le film " The Light Horsemen " recrée cette bataille).
La campagne a été couronnée de succès, en battant l'armée turque, et la capture de Jérusalem et finalement Damas.

La figure montre un trompettiste, Stan Carter, qui était à l'escadron "B", et qui dans sa vieillesse m'a appris à jouer de la trompette. C'était un ami de mon enfance, et me dit de nombreuses histoires de cette campagne.

Tout est construit sur mesure, à l'exception du fusil.


Yeomanry cavalry, Palestine 1918.

I previewed this figure last year when I was still struggling to complete some of the detail.
He’s a Trumpeter from the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars , a Yeomanry cavalry regiment that saw service through the Palestine campaign, for the most part as one of three brigades in the Australian Mounted Division
The RGH were a classic English Yeomanry outfit , officered by Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire gentry ( some of them titled ) , obsessed with foxhunting and rural sports .The troopers varied widely in social background , from gentry sons and wealthy farmers , to poor but horse-wise countrymen .


I have known about this campaign since I was twelve, when I started music lessons with a man who had been there : Stan Carter , then a rotund 60-something baker in Somerset. I had recently toured Egypt, Sinai and Palestine with my family, so the landscape was very familiar .
He had had the time of his life as a trumpeter in the RGH , serving throughout the campaign, from Egypt up to Damascus .
My Thursday afternoon sessions with him mostly dissolved into reminiscence , about the Arabs, the desert, shooting down a German plane, charging Johnny Turk (they thought highly of their opponents ) , seeing Lawrence of Arabia in Damascus ( “ a very small man, which was a great surprise “ ).
I was enraptured…...he was a sweet man , and I remember him with great affection.
Unfortunately I don’t have a pic of him , so the “portrait” is an act of reconstructive memory, imagining how he might have looked at twenty.


On the Western Front in WW1, the Cavalry were effectively obsolete. Despite some dashing skirmishes in the first month before the front disappeared into trenches, the machine gun , barbed wire, and the sheer density of the armies in the obstacle-strewn countryside condemned them to impotence , waiting behind the lines for the breakthrough that never came .
Their only role was as mounted infantry, since the opportunities for a proper charge in the face of modern weapons were vanishingly small.
It happened, but the cost was ghastly .

The situation in the war against the Turks in Egypt was slightly different.
By late 1917 , there was stalemate along a trenched front at Gaza , where two offensives by the British Empire forces had failed, for the same reasons as in France .
But the desert flank was open…

Enter Major-General Allenby .
Allenby’s desert campaign is now regarded as a textbook example of how to outmanouvre a more static enemy, a sort of horsed blitzkrieg .
Despite the appearance of a few tanks at Gaza ( they broke down ) Allenby’s weapon of manouvre was cavalry .
He created the Desert Mounted Corps , made up of no less than 30 mounted regiments from ANZAC and British Yeomanry units .
The Australian 4th Light Horse Brigade famously charged and captured the desert end of the Turkish line at Beersheba in October 1917 ( see “The Lighthorsemen “ film ).
The RGH were brigaded with the Warwicks and Worcesters in the Fifth Mounted Brigade in the same Division .

Once round and through the Turkish Line, the mounted columns could always move faster to vital road and rail junctions than the Turkish Infantry, and were strong enough to hold their objectives until Infantry arrived .
Jerusalem fell in December.
The terrain in the desert was good for cavalry, being open and very difficult to dig trenches into ; once into the settled villages of the Judean hills, the broken nature of the country often allowed covered approaches to many positions.
There were several charges, including one at Huq , which captured twelve guns,( RGH in support ) and at El Mughar , which was more in the nature of a fast mounted advance, the troopers dismounting to attack with rifles and bayonets.The charges were expensive in horses and men, and the vast bulk of their fighting was as mounted infantry .
The RGH had a success at Romani, but a disaster at Qatia, where “A” Squadron was overwhelmed and almost entirely killed or captured by a much larger Turkish force.( Stan was I think in “B” Squadron ).

Each squadron had two Maxim or later Hotchkiss machineguns for fire support , and often for anti-aircraft work , since they suffered a lot from strafing by German aircraft .
The chief problems were getting enough water and food, and maintaining communications in a world without radios .Disease was a constant hazard, and in this theatre more men were affected with various tropical ailments than battle wounds.

The campaign took several spasms, particularly after the German Spring 1918 offensive forced the return to France of half the troops .
There was also the overriding problem of supply , since everything had to come from Egypt , and it was necessary to build a railway , and a pipeline to bring up water.
But the advance restarted later in the summer, culminating in the capture of Damascus in September 1918 , and the Turks suing for an Armistice.

The Figure :

The horse ( “ Binky “ ) is a rebuilt Cindy Horse : split lengthways and horizontally, made longer and wider with sheets of Foamex( foamex is expanded polystyrene sheet used for making signs, which glues together with liquid poly ).
Legs lengthened with inserts . Newly modelled head and neck, using Efaplast Light air-drying clay over a foamex armature.
All rubbed down, coated with fine-surface Polyfilla , then painted.

The horses were all originally brought from Britain, but losses were inevitable in the climate , and replacements were Australian Walers, not very big but extremely tough , and perfectly suited to desert conditions .

The basic saddle ( 1902 Universal Pattern ) is by Cesar Dubon , with all fittings and equipment added by me. I had a fit of the horrors after commissioning this that they might have used the Yeomanry pattern saddle instead ; then reassured myself when I found a couple of original pics clearly showing the UP .
The front wallets contained spare personal clothing.
Leather from Paris, all fittings modelled and cast in pewter or brass.

Attached to the saddle or horse : flyveil ,UP bridle , 90 rd. bandolier, rifle in leather bucket with canvas breech cover . Messtin, 1908 sword, shoecase , picket peg and rope, canvas bucket, nosebag , haynet, heel shackle, two cornsacks, respirator , steel helmet, greatcoat, groundsheet, two blankets under the saddle .

On the man :
1903 bandolier equipment, waterbottle,
Trumpet and Bugle ( brass castings to my own pattern ).

Trumpeters officially carried pistols, but all the WW1 pics I have found show them carrying rifles and bandoliers like the troopers, so that’s what I’ve done here.
The Wolseley helmet has the blue and yellow pagri edge , and the portcullis Regimental badge ( from the Duke of Beaufort’s arms ) which the RGH used as distinctions, along with the RGH shoulder titles.
The KD hot weather jacket is from BGT, with the brass trumpeter badge. In the colder weather they of course wore serge SD , and often caps instead of helmets , and in hot weather mostly shirtsleeves and shorts .

The Royal Livery trumpet cords are plaited from embroidery silks.
I made them before seeing this pic, which suggest ordinary green cords ! Nobody seems to know which they officially used. Oh well…

Stan himself is a Soldier Story body with shortened legs , and narrowed shoulders . The squishy bottom and leg articulation make them my favourites for cavalry , since you can make them sit in the saddle quite realistically , something quite impossible with a Dragon body , for example .


Getting together accurate information on the RGH has been a struggle, despite extensive digging in the usual places. Eventually I bought the pictorial history of the Regiment . I have also used pics of other Yeomanry units serving in the same Brigades and Divisions as reference .
The pics available suggest that they seem to have stowed their horses any way that suited .
The horses were overloaded, as always , but they just managed to stay operational by very careful management.
The British had learnt their lesson about looking after horses in the Boer War , where they lost about a quarter of a million .


Thanks to the many people who have helped with this model …
Cesar for the saddle. PAD75 for the leather .
John Morgan for invaluable details about the tack .
Bob Bennett and Eric LeBlond for badge and uniform info.
Rollo Clifford for the useful RGH book. Allan W for the pic of the “Judean hills “.

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MessageSujet: Re: British Yeomanry Cavalry , Palestine 1918.   Ven 31 Mai 2013 - 21:08

cheers cheers Bnjour Mr BARTON TONY,

Pour La FIGURINE & Le CANASSON, Tres Belle Ensemble, Harnachement De Qualité, Travail Tres Soigneux; L'Uniforme De Ce Trompette Est Tres Beau, Ainsi Que Le Clairon hand
Pour La Partie Historique De Cette Unitée De CAVALERIE De 1918

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MessageSujet: Re: British Yeomanry Cavalry , Palestine 1918.   Sam 1 Juin 2013 - 0:55

cheers hand One more time a magnificent work and still this lot of details you've got the secret!

pale and of course bowdown bowdown Ô big boss ... the whole in full scratch amazing!
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MessageSujet: Re: British Yeomanry Cavalry , Palestine 1918.   Lun 3 Juin 2013 - 16:21

Wonderful job for this original figure

With best regards

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MessageSujet: Re: British Yeomanry Cavalry , Palestine 1918.   Lun 3 Juin 2013 - 19:43

Congratulation Mister Barton . You have done a wonderfull job... one more time !!!

Always a plaisure to look at your fabulous work.

What an inspiration for all of us !

(greetings and congrats from Mr Fernand Backaert also)

Serge Labrune.

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