Reserve Recce Platoon

QRK2

LE
You mean the dashing chaps of the Yeomanry regiments of the TA/AR. There is more than one Yeomanry regiment isn´t there? Don´t tell me that they´ve all been amalgamated into one!

This lot are still keeping things clean: Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars Operational Hygiene Squadron.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
There's also the Queen's Own Yeomanry and the Wessex Yeomanry. There may be more yet.
 

Stan_Deesey

Old-Salt
This lot are still keeping things clean: Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars Operational Hygiene Squadron.
Mounted cleaners? Cavalry of the washing line?

I thought you were taking the piss, but I´ve just googled them, and they do exist - albeit as a former Yeomanry regiment that has been transferred to the RLC, but kept it´s Yeomanry title. The Royal Buckinghamshire Yeomanry had been a signal regiment since the 1960s, so even before the transfer to the RLC the Yeomanry part of it´s name was only honorific.

When I was in, (90s), there were at least four Yeomanry regiments in the TA RAC:
Royal Yeomanry
Royal Wessex Yeomanry
Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry
Queens Own Yeomanry

I´ve got it in my head that there was one other, but I might be wrong. There was a Scottish Yeomanry unit, but it might have been a squadron of one of the above. There was also the North Irish Horse, but I believe that was a squadron of the RY or QOY.
 

Stan_Deesey

Old-Salt
What does an operational hygiene squadron do anyway? I´ve never heard of such a unit. Is that a new name for laundry units?

Does it have a recce platoon???
 

QRK2

LE
Mounted cleaners? Cavalry of the washing line?

I thought you were taking the piss, but I´ve just googled them, and they do exist - albeit as a former Yeomanry regiment that has been transferred to the RLC, but kept it´s Yeomanry title. The Royal Buckinghamshire Yeomanry had been a signal regiment since the 1960s, so even before the transfer to the RLC the Yeomanry part of it´s name was only honorific.

When I was in, (90s), there were at least four Yeomanry regiments in the TA RAC:
Royal Yeomanry
Royal Wessex Yeomanry
Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry
Queens Own Yeomanry

I´ve got it in my head that there was one other, but I might be wrong. There was a Scottish Yeomanry unit, but it might have been a squadron of one of the above. There was also the North Irish Horse, but I believe that was a squadron of the RY or QOY.
 
There was a Scottish Yeomanry unit, but it might have been a squadron of one of the above. There was also the North Irish Horse, but I believe that was a squadron of the RY or QOY.
A previous incarnation the QOY had squadrons in Ayr, Cupar, and Belfast all of which are now part of the SNIY.
 

QRK2

LE
Mounted cleaners? Cavalry of the washing line?

I thought you were taking the piss, but I´ve just googled them, and they do exist - albeit as a former Yeomanry regiment that has been transferred to the RLC, but kept it´s Yeomanry title. The Royal Buckinghamshire Yeomanry had been a signal regiment since the 1960s, so even before the transfer to the RLC the Yeomanry part of it´s name was only honorific.

I found myself on a course once with a woodwork teacher who was in a Welsh TA RLC Regiment. he got very upset if described a such, his view was that he was a Master of Craft, Design and Technology who was a Yeomanry Officer.
 

stuskimac

Clanker
We did a Mobile Exercise with Yeomanry around the East Midlands over a weekend & the N.Irish were in attendance. At Endex Sunday afternoon the N.Irish loaded up there recce rovers into the back of 45ft box trailers & sent them back home. Seemed a lot of effort for a weekend exercise to me.
 

Stan_Deesey

Old-Salt
I found myself on a course once with a woodwork teacher who was in a Welsh TA RLC Regiment. he got very upset if described a such, his view was that he was a Master of Craft, Design and Technology who was a Yeomanry Officer.
So he was in an RLC unit that had once been a Yeomanry unit, and not a real Yeomanry regiment. At least he didn´t claim to be cavalry officer.
Did he also wear a tweed jacket with red trousers when in civvies?
 

QRK2

LE
So he was in an RLC unit that had once been a Yeomanry unit, and not a real Yeomanry regiment. At least he didn´t claim to be cavalry officer.
Did he also wear a tweed jacket with red trousers when in civvies?

No idea, he did have a Ruritanian mess kit though.
 
View attachment 527756
They certainly existed 40 years ago ;-)

And again, thirty years ago. London Jocks? Early 90s, they showed up at a Recce concentration sporting some shiny new LR Defenders with pintle mounts and roll bars. The rest of us turned green with envy, while they claimed they'd just gone out and bought the extra kit. When some BEME or QM type got all huffy on the H&S front, they allegedly pulled out a full safety certification from Landrover's Special Vehicles Division. Gits.

So, history*. Back in 1990 or so, DInf decided that Home Defence-roled TA infantry didn't need 81mm mortars nor the attendant risk of dropping mixed HE+Smk into downtown Dumbarton (it might create £100ks of improvements!); and reroled the HD mortar sections into Recce platoons. Of course, this meant that with the existing equipment stocks, that the platoons started life with a pair of 3/4t LR and a pair of 1/2t LR + tlr; no rollbars, no pintle mounts, and in our case a safety-minded QM who wouldn't let them strip down the wagons nor cover them with hessian.

Our Bn's first Recce Pl Comd went off to Sp Wpns Wing at Netheravon to do the Close Recce Comd (Non-Mech)(TA) course, and promptly failed; the CO's next choice didn't think that travelling sixty miles every training event was a workable idea; and so I got asked to be OC Recce. Which was amusing, given that I never saw myself as the "heroic, square of jaw, action hero" type - more the "scrawny git, only followed out of curiosity".

Anyway, I got packed off to Netheravon, passed the course, enjoyed it hugely once I'd recovered (I went there with a VO2Max of 67; lost half a stone in two weeks, even though we were eating three cooked meals a day whenever in camp), and returned with all sorts of ideas as to how we should try to train for this Recce stuff. We had an attendance rate that others envied, a few really good blokes in the Platoon, we trained hard, and we started to improve and grow in number.

We never got a dedicated Recce PSI, or succeeded in getting Recce vehicles, just bog-standard LR (ours weren't even FFR), so I'd reckoned we would focus on dismounted OP work - it seemed sensible, given that our war role was overwatch of KPs - so we got used to carrying bergans everywhere, and stayed quite low-profile as befits the Battalion Hide and Seek Team. This thankfully kept the poseurs away, and we eventually got reasonably capable at it.

The limitation, of course, was that Recce Platoons need to do a lot more than dismounted OPs, need more support in order to achieve it, and the limits of my experience and training plan were laid bare when we did the big Divisional exercise. My cunning plan to build up to two good sections by then wasn't fast enough for the CO, who'd decided we needed that third section right now, and that to achieve it they should be based at a TAC forty miles down the road (split locations for a platoon is not a sensible plan, but then he was the boss :( ). In the three years we'd had to set the platoon up, we hadn't managed to get the strength in depth or breadth across the full range of tasks; we did OK, with a few obvious gaps, and I came off the FTX with a whole pile of lessons learned / bright ideas for future training - just in time to hand over the Platoon to my successor.

One of my few happy moments in the workup to the big Div FTX, was after the CO announced a section competition. There was some decent money riding on the outcome, apparently - the Rifle Companies had been working up to the Cambrian Patrol competition, the PSIs had been getting a touch competitive... What they forgot, of course, was the the Bn didn't have a Support Company**, and so our Recce Platoon was officially an HQ Company team. Our Pl Sgt and I were quite busy, so without thinking too much about it, we fired the lads off to take part, stay busy, and keep out of trouble while we concentrated on all the planning and admin sh!te we had on our plates.

That evening, they come back having won - a couple of PSIs were a bit grumpy, there were mutterings that we'd "been training secretly, Not Fair!" (utterly untrue - we'd only found out about it the day before), but thankfully the Bn 2ic was a forgiving type (he was apparently out for >£100), and the CO's driver made an absolute packet.

* This kind of "no, let's rerole / relocate / add / subtract capability X and Y" is an every-few-year thing in the Infantry Reserves, driven by utter w*nker staff officers at HQ LAND whose Really Good Ideas demonstrate that they shouldn't be given anything more than crayons and a nice picture book. You've normally just got the right number of course-qualified Officers and NCOs, and have reached an initial capability, when DCbt announces that "the reserves need/don't need Recce / ATk / Mortars", and scraps whatever you've invested three years of hard graft into building. W*nkers. Our Battalion was reorganised three times in twelve years... Bitter? Me?

** "Battalion Support Group" - no establishment for ATk or Mor Pls, so just stick the MMG and Recce under HQ Coy.
 
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I was once DCOS of a predominantly TA Inf Bde. My (Irish Guards) Brigadier made it quite clear he wanted no TA COs...

The soldiers were pretty good, the officers were (mainly) pump, one of them is now a 2* - I won't comment further on how she got there.

I was also many years previously a Jock in the London Scottish while still a schoolboy - we had an excellent mix of hard work and fun with terrifying PSIs from 1 GORDONS. I don't think it's too hard to get it right if you have the right people.

If it is the one I am thinking of she looks a bit,...............errrrr,............plain.
 

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