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Suffolk Yeomanry / Loyal Suffolk Hussars photos

Suffolk Yeomanry / Loyal Suffolk Hussars photos

Posted: 1301159918000
Classification: Military
Edited: 1338189384000
My great-grandfather preserved several postcard photographs of the Suffolk Yeomanry (or the Duke of York's Own Loyal Suffolk Hussars) dating from the early 20th century. These four examples show Squadrons A, B, C and D during their annual training camp at Lowestoft in May 1913. The following officers and NCOs are listed in Kelly's 1912 directories of Suffolk (e.g. pages 7, 45, 84, 95, 207 & 390) and Cambridgeshire (p. 51). The officers are not in these photographs but the squadron sergeant majors for all except B Squadron are present, wearing four-bar chevrons on their lower sleeves.

A Squadron (Cambridge)
Major [James William] Royce TOMKIN [of Norton (1868-1945)], commanding
Capt. Bateman HOPE [of Essex & later Melton in Suffolk; b. Cheshire 1865; d. Vancouver Island, Canada, 1943], second in command
Squadron-Sergt.-Major Thomas [William] SUMMERTON [of Cambridge (1874-1946)], drill instructor

B Squadron (Bury St Edmunds & Stowmarket)
Major the Hon. [Walter Edward] GUINNESS M.P. [later Lord MOYNE (1880-1944)] officer in command
Capt. [Frank (Francis Benedict Hyam or Hayum)] GOLDSMITH [b. Frankfurt, Germany, 1878; M.P. for Stowmarket 1910-1918; d. Paris, France, 1967; father of financier James GOLDSMITH], second in command
Staff Sergt.-Major (Squadron-Sergt.-Major) James Henry SQUIRE [of Bury St Edmunds (1868-1945)], drill instructor

C Squadron (Ipswich)
Capt. Sir [William Eley] Cuthbert QUILTER bart. [of Bawdsey (1873-1952); M.P. for Sudbury 1910-1918; son of Sir (William) Cuthbert QUILTER (1841-1911)] commanding
Lieut. [John Stuart] AGNEW [of Rougham (1879-1957); later Major & Baronet], second in command
Squadron Sergt.-Major Henry [Stephen] PANTING [of Ipswich & Felixstowe (1875-1949)], drill instructor

D Squadron (Beccles & Lowestoft)
Major [Miles] BARNE [of Sotterley Hall (1874-1917); fatally wounded in action; grave in Mendinghem Military Cemetery, Belgium] commanding
Capt. [Hugh Ferrers] COURAGE [b. Leatherhead, Surrey, 1874; drowned at sea 1938], second in command
Squad.-Sergt.-Major William James DODGSON [b. Stonehouse, Devon, 1873 (registered as DODSON); joined the King’s Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard 1919 (Sergeant Major 1945); d. Richmond, Surrey, 1959], drill instructor

The corporal at the centre of A Squadron in 1913 (holding a cane or riding crop, separated from Squadron Sergeant Major SUMMERTON by a private, a sergeant, and a sergeant major) is among 42 faces in a similar (but copyright-protected) Yeomanry group at the Suffolk Record Office in Bury St Edmunds (ref. GB 554/Q5/1: a bundle of more than a hundred photographs of individuals, horses, ships etc. in the vicinity of the Suez Canal or Britain, c.1912-1919). In that smaller group (possibly at Grantchester in 1911 or Hengrave in 1912) he wears no chevrons on his uniform but stands next to a corporal who looks like the man behind the intervening private and sergeant here in 1913. The tall man standing on the right in 1913 (with a broad moustache rivalling those of his sergeant majors) seems to resemble Oliver BAKER of Grantchester (1883-1915), whose rather indistinct portrait is in the Grantchester Roll of Honour at His biography there claims that he had joined the 2/1st Suffolk Yeomanry in 1905, whereas other sources (such as Chris Baker's "The Long, Long Trail": indicate that this "second-line regiment" was not formed until 1914, so I think he would have been with A Squadron until then.

Corporal Henry Moyse GOBBITT (1877-1963) can be seen in C Squadron (towards the left, apparently with another man's hand round his arm). He sent this card to his wife Ruth at Drinkstone on Friday 16 May 1913, asking her to forward a letter from his employers (Osmonds, purveyors of veterinary specialities) and telling her "I asked for leave but cannot get it until next week as General Inspection is on Tomorrow." The photo is badly creased and also marred by a ghostly vertical shift, probably caused by movement of the camera. Does anyone have a better copy?

David Gobbitt

Re: Suffolk Yeomanry / Loyal Suffolk Hussars photos

Posted: 1301219574000
Classification: Military
Edited: 1338190697000
Here are two more postcards from my great-grandfather Henry Moyse GOBBITT (1877-1963). He's the fourth man from the left in the group photograph, postmarked Ipswich 2 Aug. 1910 (a Tuesday, when they were going out to Wickham Market district). I have no information about his four comrades. The dark breeches (with no scarlet welt) and khaki puttees are consistent with the kit issued c.1909, as described on page 33 of an article by D. J. Knight and R. J. Smith entitled "The Uniforms and History of the Suffolk Yeomanry: Part Five, 1900-1914" in the Bulletin of the Military Historical Society (Aug. 2005, vol. 56, no 221). These authors explain on page 27 that the Yeomanry's annual fortnight of training started later than usual in 1910 (on 23 July) to enable them to share their manoeuvres with a massive concentration of 4,000 volunteers at Bixley Heath, to the east of Ipswich.

On page 25 of that article is an account of the long and distinguished career of Honorary Captain William Henry HEAL (c.1858-1937?) of Cambridge, who is shown on the other postcard in 1906 at Thetford Camp (L.S.H. I.Y. = Loyal Suffolk Hussars Imperial Yeomanry). He retired from the Yeomanry in 1909, having served as Regimental Quartermaster and also bandmaster since the mid-1890s, after many years with the 20th Hussars. Unfortunately, he seems to have been ill-equipped for civilian life. His three-year prison sentence for financial forgery in 1913 (with defalcations dating back to about 1900) was widely reported in the press, e.g. The Times (3 April 1913 p. 3 col. f) and New Zealand's Northern Advocate (30 April 1913 p. 6 col. 3: The news of his arrest was said to have filled thousands of Cambridge residents with grief, as they had long known of the good work he had done for the local community. In 1914 he told a bankruptcy court that he had been born a soldier and his lack of business experience had caused him to err in his attempts to further the interests of his employers, brewers Lacon & Co. (The Times, 30 Jan. 1914 p. 18 col. f).

David Gobbitt

Re: Suffolk Yeomanry / Loyal Suffolk Hussars photos

Posted: 1301332319000
Classification: Military
Edited: 1351241598000
I hope someone will recognize more faces than I can in these unmarked postcards.

1. The first photograph has four officers and 53 members of other ranks of the Suffolk Yeomanry in four rows. Corporal Henry Moyse GOBBITT (1877-1963) is at the left end of the third row from the front, not far from several of his colleagues who are also with him in the 1913 photo of C Squadron (see earlier post) so this is presumably the same squadron.

The "other ranks" are wearing the hussar-style "full dress" uniform that was introduced in 1912, as mentioned in an article by D. J. Knight and R. J. Smith entitled "The Uniforms and History of the Suffolk Yeomanry: Part Five, 1900-1914" in the Bulletin of the Military Historical Society, Aug. 2005 (vol. 56, no 221, pp. 17-37). Lieutenant Hugh Ferrers COURAGE (1874-1938) is identified in a photo on page 20 of that article (together with Captain Miles BARNE and Lieutenant Walter HERVEY) at a camp in 1905. He looks very much like the senior officer in the front row of this group, who has a gold band on the peak of his cap, designating him as a field officer (e.g. a major or a lieutenant colonel). Notices in the London Gazette show that Lieutenant COURAGE was promoted to Captain in Dec. 1907 and Major in Oct. 1913, then transferred to the Shropshire Yeomanry in Oct. 1914. I therefore think this photo was taken at Ipswich during the Suffolk Yeomanry's last annual training before the Great War, from 8 to 22 May 1914. Since full dress uniform was reserved for special occasions, such as church parades, a Sunday between those two Fridays is not unlikely.

Major COURAGE had evidently replaced Sir Cuthbert QUILTER (1873-1952) as commanding officer of C Squadron soon after the compilation of Kelly's 1912 county directory. Sir Cuthbert's resignation was announced in the London Gazette in May 1913 (mid-way through the Lowestoft camp). He returned to the Suffolk Yeomanry in Aug. 1914, having spent over a year in the Territorial Force Reserve, which he re-joined in March 1915. This was little more than a register of officers who had served their terms in the Territorial Force (which had absorbed the Yeomanry regiments in 1908) and agreed to be recalled if required, but its few recruits could seek permission to participate in drills and training camps.

Captain COURAGE was among 21 Suffolk Yeomanry officers photographed at the Grantchester camp in 1911. That image was reproduced on page 28 of the above-referenced MHS Bulletin article and a much clearer version is accessible at Wikipedia ( His signed portrait has been published by St Albans Museums at I have yet to find any authenticated photos of Sir Cuthbert QUILTER from this period. He should be one of the five captains in the 1911 group, unless his duties as an M.P. prevented his attendance at camp.

2. The Reverend Ernest POWLES (1867-1931) of Snailwell, Cambridgeshire, is almost certainly the chaplain in the next photo, which looks contemporaneous with the first one. I believe he is being watched by the Suffolk Yeomanry's commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Frederick William JARVIS (1866-1954), from a wicker chair next to Major COURAGE, who is looking towards the camera (as is my great-grandfather, Corporal GOBBITT, from a nearby bench). If the houses on the skyline are still standing, perhaps they will enable local residents to determine the exact location on Foxhall Heath, Ipswich. The camp was extensively reported in the Suffolk Chronicle and Mercury on 15 and 22 May 1914. Photographs on page 10 of the latter edition are not very distinct on microfilm at the Suffolk Record Office but they include two shots of a strikingly similar drumhead service conducted by the Reverend E. POWLES "at nine o’clock on Sunday morning" (probably 17 May) as well as a panoramic view of the tents from a higher vantage point.

3. These two staff sergeant majors in their pre-1912 uniforms may be C Squadron's Henry PANTING of Ipswich and B Squadron's James SQUIRE of Bury St Edmunds, who were both Boer War veterans. I understand that their caps with shiny black leather peaks were first issued in 1909 but not compulsory until 1912. Army records (TNA refs WO 364/2820 and WO 364/3900) reveal that grey-eyed Henry Stephen PANTING (1875-1949) had served with the 13th Hussars and was awarded the Queen's South Africa Medal (QSA) with four clasps and also the King's South Africa Medal with two clasps, while blue-eyed James Henry SQUIRE (1868-1945), who was in South Africa with the 17th Lancers, received the QSA with four different clasps and, in 1906, a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. James SQUIRE later joined the Suffolk Yeomanry's 2/1st unit (formed Sept. 1914) and was acting as Regimental Sergeant Major by Nov. 1915 in the new 3/1st unit. The record of his discharge in April 1916 (to go to the Territorial Force Reserve as Quartermaster with the honorary rank of Lieutenant) was signed by Major Henry HOARE (1866-1956), who may be the senior officer in a photo of 16 soldiers dated c.1914 at the Suffolk Record Office in Bury St Edmunds (ref. K997/58/7).

4. Here is Major Hugh Ferrers COURAGE again, wearing khaki service dress on horseback in 1914 or late 1913.

5. If I'm not mistaken, Lieutenant Colonel Frederick William JARVIS (sporting the new khaki service dress with three cuff rings plus a crown and a star) is addressing C Squadron's leaders, possibly at the Ipswich camp in May 1914 or at Woodbridge a few months later, after mobilization. The adjacent officer, in an older dark-green uniform with a white cap cover, looks a little too old to be the Adjutant, Captain Ernest NORTHEN (1877-1942). The equipment laid out on the ground, apparently for a kit inspection, suggests that this could be Captain or Major John O’DONNELL, alias Click-Tooth, who was Quartermaster from Aug. 1914 to Oct. 1915. He is adopting a similar stance in a photo on page 20 of "Under Fire in the Dardanelles: The Great War Diaries & Photographs of Major Edward Cadogan" (2006) and is described as a wonderful old man of about seventy on page 26 of "Staff Officer: The Diaries of Walter Guinness …" (1987). Major GUINNESS (who was second-in-command of the regiment, under Freddy JARVIS) admired Click-Tooth's astounding energy but criticized his talkativeness, which "increased the difficulty of getting Jarvis ever to come to any quick decision".

Lieutenant Colonel JARVIS is partially blocking the camera's view of Squadron Sergeant Major Henry Stephen PANTING and perhaps a sergeant. Major Hugh Ferrers COURAGE blurs his solitary crown with a pointing finger, shielded by a sergeant and one or two second lieutenants, the shorter of whom may be a lieutenant, his star(s) being out of sight. If this is the training camp in Ipswich, the lieutenant keeping a safe distance at the back (wearing one cuff ring with two stars) could well be C Squadron’s second-in-command, John Stuart AGNEW of Rougham (1879-1957). He was made Captain when the camp ended on 22 May 1914, and on the following day Second Lieutenant Eric William PATERSON (c.1888-1945) was promoted to Lieutenant (London Gazette, 14 July). I think that makes Eric PATERSON likely to be the young second lieutenant (with one cuff ring and one star) on the far right. They appear to be the officers flanking Major COURAGE in the front row of the first of these five images, close to Squadron Sergeant Major PANTING and the sergeant major we see here near the wheelbarrow.

David Gobbitt

Re: Suffolk Yeomanry / Loyal Suffolk Hussars photos

Posted: 1302793279000
Classification: Military
Surnames: BENDALL
The name of the Suffolk Yeomanry corporal in the attached photograph is not known. He was previously thought to be Jack Bendall of Woolpit, whose wife Grace (1868-1934) was the postmistress in that village for some 40 years. But a grandson of John Ranson Granville Bendall (1872-1947) has recently identified him as the big fellow in the middle of B Squadron at Lowestoft in 1913 (extract also attached). Army pension records (TNA ref. WO 364/216; e.g. Ancestry image number 278) confirm that Private John R. G. Bendall served in the Yeomanry from 1910 to 1916 and attended these annual training camps:

1910 Ipswich
1911 Grantchester [Cambridgeshire]
1912 Hengrave
1913 Lowestoft (9-23 May)
1914 Ipswich

Most of those pension documents were destroyed by an air raid on the War Office in 1940 but the surviving 40% probably include records of many Suffolk Yeomanry servicemen, who are no doubt featured in a lot of other photographs in private hands, in addition to the collections held by the Suffolk Record Office at Bury St Edmunds ( It would be good to see more of them here.

David Gobbitt

Re: Suffolk Yeomanry / Loyal Suffolk Hussars photos

Posted: 1338459903000
Classification: Military
Edited: 1349881179000
As noted previously, the uniforms and history of the Suffolk Yeomanry (SY) in the 1900s are featured in the Aug. 2005 Bulletin of the Military Historical Society. Lance Corporal Charles Harry Gordon SHARPE of Thetford (1885-1949) is mentioned on page 27 of that edition, being one of five SY members to receive the Coronation Medal in 1911. His service record shows that he attended all the annual training camps of the SY from 1902 to 1914 (WO 364/3649; Ancestry image 15888):

1902 Lowestoft 13 to 29 May
1903 Bromeswell Heath [near Woodbridge] 4 to 21 May
1904 Bury St Edmunds [Grange Farm?] 9 to 26 May
1905 Ipswich [Gippeswyk Park] 8 to 25 May
1906 Thetford Bridge 7 to 24 May
1907 Beccles [Roos Hall + Beccles Common + Sotterley Park] 13 to 30 May
1908 Churn [Berkshire (now Oxfordshire)] 19 May to 2 June
1909 Lowestoft 18 May to 1 June
1910 Ipswich [Bixley Heath] 23 July to 6 Aug.
1911 Grantchester [near Cambridge] 16 to 30 May
1912 Hengrave [near Bury St Edmunds] 14 to 28 May
1913 Lowestoft 9 to 23 May
1914 Ipswich [Foxhall Heath] 8 to 22 May

My great-grandfather, Henry Moyse GOBBITT, must have forgotten some of these dates or locations in later decades, when he sent the attached photographs as postcards. Writing to his son Herbert or Don (who had emigrated to Australia) in 1927, he captioned the first as Thetford Camp, 1904. If he was right about the place, this was in fact 1906. His uniform is no great help here, as light Bedford cord breeches with scarlet welts were worn with blue puttees and black ankle boots from about 1901 until 1909, and his long-barrelled rifle and webbing bandolier were also in use throughout that period. I've copied the sergeant separately from another example of this picture, only half of which has survived.

The later scene, showing Corporal GOBBITT (1877-1963) in field service order, was recalled in 1944 (when he sent it with happy birthday wishes to my father) as Grantchester, Cambs., 1906. But the khaki uniform was not issued to the SY before 1908 or perhaps 1909, so this photo seems more likely to date from 1911. The phantom legs on the other side of his horse are not so easily explained, and I don't know whether the man at the rear was training for a suicide mission or simply oblivious to the danger of playing with a rifle.

David Gobbitt

Re: Suffolk Yeomanry / Loyal Suffolk Hussars photos - Arrival of Suffolk Yeomanry at Tadworth, Surrey, 1915 or earlier

Posted: 1339563926000
Classification: Military
Does anyone know why the Suffolk Yeomanry would need to take their horses as far as Tadworth? It's on the other side of London, beyond Croydon, between Epsom and Reigate. I'm sure they could have found plenty of pedestrians to harass in their own county.

Estate agent Harrie STACEY, whose surname is visible in this picture, was listed at Station Approach, Tadworth, in Kelly's 1913 directory of Surrey (p. 284, under Kingswood).

The back of the postcard states that Moore's Studio at 61 Denmark Hill, Camberwell, [London] S.E. had been established for 14 years. George S. MOORE, who was at that address by 1904 (Kelly's P.O. London County Suburbs Directory, part 1, p. 126), was described as a photographer in the 1901 census, working on his own account at home (living at 210 Southampton Street, Camberwell, with his parents, who were apparently not involved in his business). George was not among the photographers listed in Kelly's London Suburban Directory for 1901 but he may have had some kind of studio even before then. (His brother John, three years younger than him, was working as a butcher at the age of 16 in 1901.)

That doesn't reveal much more than the photograph itself about the date, which must have been between c.1909 (when the khaki uniforms were issued) and September 1915 (when my great-grandfather and his comrades in the 1/1st Suffolk Yeomanry left their horses at home and embarked for Gallipoli from Liverpool).

David Gobbitt

Re: Suffolk Yeomanry / Loyal Suffolk Hussars photos - Thetford 1906?

Posted: 1339565305000
Classification: Military
These unknown soldiers are wearing pre-1909 Suffolk Yeomanry uniforms, possibly at the Thetford Bridge training camp in May 1906. Three of the four riders in the third photograph have a new style of webbing bandolier, while one has an older type with a flap and three leather fasteners.

The other side of each postcard is identical, with the words "For Inland Postage Only this Space may now be used for Communication" (rarely specified after 1905 and never before the divided back was authorized in 1902).

David Gobbitt

Re: Suffolk Yeomanry / Loyal Suffolk Hussars photos - Grantchester 1911?

Posted: 1339566065000
Classification: Military
Surnames: GOBBITT
Some of the NCOs in the first of these photographs can be seen in the 1913 portrait of C Squadron in my initial posting. I believe this one is a little earlier, perhaps taken at Grantchester Meadows, near Cambridge, in May 1911.

The second photo shows men and horses being inspected, possibly at the same training camp. In the background on the left is the gable end of a building with white boards near the roof. This looks very similar to the buildings behind my great-grandfather, Corporal Henry Moyse GOBBITT, in the third photo (numbered 307 or 397), probably also at Grantchester in 1911.

David Gobbitt

Re: Suffolk Yeomanry / Loyal Suffolk Hussars photos - including Ipswich 1914?

Posted: 1339568335000
Classification: Military
Edited: 1349880846000
Here are some more unknown Suffolk Yeomanry men on horseback in khaki uniforms, between 1909 and 1914 or thereabouts.

1. The buildings in the first of these photographs are clearly among those visible beyond the tents in the photo of a religious service (probably on Foxhall Heath, to the east of Ipswich, in 1914) posted last year (28 Mar 2011 5:11PM GMT, second image).

2. Possibly the same man again. I'm not so sure about the horse, nor the date and place.

3 (numbered 89). I understand that the badge on this young man's arm identifies him as a 1st Class Army Scout.

4 (numbered 110). Two privates, and unfortunately two black ink marks in the sky.

5 (faintly numbered 147?). No rifle, but an empty butt bucket on a rather distinctive horse. And a rider.

David Gobbitt

Re: Suffolk Yeomanry / Loyal Suffolk Hussars photos - No 3 Troop at Ely on Easter Sunday 1915

Posted: 1349885068000
Classification: Military
Edited: 1349885213000
This photograph by T. BOLTON of Fore Hill, Ely, Cambridgeshire, shows "No 3 Troop" of the Suffolk Yeomanry at the "Cutter Hotel" in Ely on 4 April 1915. The handwriting on the back, erroneously indicating that the front row should be read from right to left, matches that of my great-grandfather's half-brother, Frederic Thomas (known as Tom) BRADY (1893-1978), who can be seen at the left end of the middle row. He was recruited by the regiment's "second line" (the 2/1st Suffolk Yeomanry) at Ely on 8 Feb. 1915 (WO 364/366; Ancestry images 23399 to 23403) but I wonder whether these troopers were part of the new "third line" or 3/1st training unit formed in that year (

Hotel proprietor Thomas Thompson HILL kept the Cutter Inn at Annesdale and Broad Street in Ely. The boy at the window may have been his son, Henry Morton T. HILL (1900-1973).

The officer is Second Lieutenant Alfred (known as Dick) ROSLING (c.1892-1955). The Staff Sergeant Major on his right (our left) is named R.S.M. (Regimental Sergeant Major) J. MANLEY in the printed caption of a September 1916 photograph of 131 members of the 2/1 Suffolk Yeomanry's "A" Squadron, which I hope to be able to post here next year.

At least two of the men at Ely wear the Imperial Service badge above the right breast pocket, signifying their agreement to serve overseas.

The names endorsed by my uncle Tom are:

Window: HILLS [HILL]



Bottom row: KINGSLEY [or HINGSLEY?], SPURGEON E, Serg. SMITH, S.S M. MANLEY, Lieut. ROSLING, L serg. [Lance Sergeant?] LUCAS, LancCpl WINK, SPURGEON H
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