Leicestershire Yeomanry on inspection, Oct 1914.

The Leicestershire (PAO) Yeomanry's finest action. One LY Squadron doing the job of its whole Brigade and holding the line. The stubborn courage of the Yeomanry against the odds.


To make best use of the information given below please download and print the map given below and use as a reference guide whilst reading through the headings below.


B (LDY PAO)  Squadron, RY on remembrance day  14th May 2008


Note: For those of us that have done "Battle Group Trainers" in Catterick then you will appreciate the subtle confusions that take place during battle (and that's with good modern communications). Brigade HQ's had to rely on observations made under intense fire and signals and messages in this engagement took an average of 1.5 hours to get through due to distance of Brigade HQ's and the intense shelling, rifle fire and the fact that Tele' Comms were cut within 30 minutes of the start of battle .


"My impression of the accounts that you have put together regarding Frezenberg is one of balance, which I commend strongly, and certainly no criticism: the accounts allow the reader to form his or her own views based on various perspectives. Your comments are entirely fair: the authors of the accounts had neither leisure to reflect nor more than quite narrow perspectives based on very limited information. What I hope that the website will do is to allow people - descendants, members of the regiment today, old comrades, local historians and young people - to build up their own picture and work out their own history, from a cast of 'players' on the stage each of whom is able to contribute a certain amount, some of which may be misunderstood, wrong etc. In other words, to see how history is written and interpreted. Brilliant!"


Col. Hugh Boscawen, April 2009.



Major General Hon J.H.G. Byng
Julian Byng was born in 1862. He joined the British Army and as a member of the 10th Hussars served in the Sudan (1884) and the Boer War (1899-1901). On the outbreak of the First World War Byng was placed in command of the 3rd Cavalry Division of British Expeditionary Force. He led his troops at Gallipoli (1915) and organised the successful withdrawal from Sulva Bay.

Byng fought at
Arras and his forces captured Vimy Ridge in April 1917. As commander of the 3rd Army he organised the first large-scale tank attack at Cambrai in November 1917. His growing reputation was enhanced during the victories he achieved on the Western Front in the autumn of 1918.

Rewarded with a peerage Byng served as Governor-General of Canada (1921-26) and Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police (1928-31). Sir Julian Byng died in 1935


3rd Cavalry Division - Major General Hon J.H.G. Byng.

  • 6th Cavalry Brigade - Brigadier General D Campbell - 3/Dragoon Guards.     1/Royal Dragoons.     North Somerset Yeomanry.

  • 7th Cavalry Brigade - Brigadier General A A Kennedy - 1/Life Guards.     2/Life Guards.     The Leicestershire (P.A.O) Yeomanry.

  • 8th Cavalry Brigade - Brigadier General C B Bulkeley-Johnson - Royal Horse Guards.     10/Hussars.     Essex Yeomanry.

  • Royal Horse Artillery Brigade - XV ( C. K and G Batteries)

  • Royal Engineers - 3rd Field Squadron RE.

The evacuation of the advanced position of the V. Corps may be taken as ending the first stage of the battle. Fighting continued, however, for another three weeks during which the Germans delivered three major attacks, on May 8, May 13 and May 24 1915. The first of these broke through the 28th Div. near Frezenberg and resulted despite a counter-attack in the loss of most of that division's front line, though on its left the 4th Div., which had replaced the Canadians, maintained its position. Between May 8 and May 13 there was particularly bitter fighting round Hooge where the 27th Div. was posted astride the Menin road. After repeated attacks the Germans contrived to make a few lodgments in the line, but their advances in mass formation had given good targets and they lost heavily, more than one local counter-attack meeting with success. South of the road against the 81st Bde. they gained nothing substantial, though N. of it the front trenches had to be evacuated in favour of a line just W. of the Bellewarde wood. The attack of May 13 extended from Hooge to the left of the British line.

The exhausted infantry of the 28th Div. had now been relieved by the 1st and 3rd Cav. Divs. (the 3rd CD being 1st & 2nd Life Guards and The Leicestershire (PAO) Yeomanry) acting as infantry on whom fell the brunt of the exceedingly heavy bombardment. This was followed up by infantry attacks which had little difficulty in occupying positions which had been almost obliterated. A Counterattack by the 8th Cavalry Brigade (Royal Horse Guards, 10th Hussars and The Essex Yeomanry) reached the front line only to be forced back again by the violence of the bombardment and lack of front line trenches, and the day resulted in the establishment of a new line some 500 yards in rear of the original position, while the hamlet of Valorenhoek passed into German keeping and the left of the troops in the Bellewarde position had to be flung back to connect up with the cavalry's new line. On the other flank, however, in front of Wieltje the 4th Div. held firm and inflicted heavy losses on the enemy, retaking such portions of the line as the Germans had temporarily captured.