Monday, 01 March 2021

THE 39th annual meeting was held at Badgemore Park Golf Club on May 9. Officers elected included Tony Clark as president and chairman Viv Emerson.

Following this, the monthly meeting took place with a talk by Colonel John Bridgeman on the Oxford Yeomanry.

Col Bridgeman explained that the yeomanry had been in existence for more than 600 years and that they were freemen, such as farmers, who were not conscripted but volunteered for war.

Oxfordshire Yeomen were first recorded at the battle of Crecy in 1346.

It was there that the latest weapon used by the English was introduced and used to great effect, namely the longbow.

The long bow required a pull of 100lb and the yeomen bowmen could launch up to 10 arrows per minute.

Over the years the Oxfordshire yeomanry has served during the civil war and at the First and Second World Wars.

In 1794 the yeomanry reformed as the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars, named by Queen Adelaide.

When Winston Churchill returned from South Africa in 1902 he joined the Henley Squadron and in 1910 the Member of Parliament for Henley, Valentine Fleming, also joined.

The Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars were one of the first units into battle at the start of the Great War and Maj Fleming lost his life at Erquelinnes on May 20, 1917.

Sir Winston Churchill, as one of his final wishes, wanted the yeomanry to lead his funeral procession.

In recent times units have served in the Falklands, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan and they also supported the 2012 Olympics.

In conclusion, Col Bridgeman told the meeting about the new regimental museum at Woodstock and it was decided that the club would pay a visit there when it could be arranged.

The vote of thanks was given by Brig Malcolm Page.

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