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
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
"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
(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
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)
8th Cavalry Brigade
- Brigadier General C B Bulkeley-Johnson - Royal Horse
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.
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