1st King Edward’s Horse
August 1914 : based in Chelsea, the regiment was a unit of the Special Reserve but dated back to formation as Imperial Yeomanry for the Second Boer War. Most of its officers and men were Britons who had settled or seen service in the colonies of in the Empire. It was mobilised on declaration of war and temporarily attached to 4th Cavalry Brigade. In April 1915, the regiment was split up as follows:
“A” Squadron was attached to 12th (Eastern) Division in May 1915 but moved to join IV Corps in June 1916.
“B” Squadron moved to France on 22 April 1915 and joined 48th (South Midland) Division, but moved to join IV Corps in June 1916.
“C” Squadron, together with HQ, moved to France on 22 April 1915 and joined 47th (London) Division, but moved to join IV Corps in June 1916.
The three Squadrons moved from IV to XVIII Corps in July 1917, returning to IV in November 1917. This Corps then moved to Italy. In March 1918, the Squadrons moved back to France with XI Corps.
The regiment is perhaps best remembered for its magnificent defence of the area of Huit Maisons and Vieille Chapelle on 9-11 April 1918, facing the German onslaught in the opening phase of the Battle of the Lys. In this action it fought dismounted.
In May 1918 it was once again split up, “A” Squadron stayed with XI Corps, while “B” went to I Corps and “C” to XIII Corps.
2nd King Edward’s Horse
Raised by private subscription under the leadership of Sir John Norton-Griffiths on 24 August 1914. It later served with XIV Corps in France but was disbanded in August 1917. At that point many of its troops were transferred to theTank Corps. It appears that the original members of the KEH never recognised that this was a unit of the same regiment and did not refer to the original as the 1st KEH.
“The history of King Edward’s Horse (The King’s Oversea Dominions Regiment)” edited by Lieut-Col. Lionel James (London: Sifton, Praed & Co., 1921). James had commanded the regiment.
There is a memorial to the regiment in the communal cemetery at Vieille Chapelle.