The yeomanry were the part time horsed soldiers of the British Army. Every year they would have a camp as part of their training requirements and like their infantry brethren this was a popular occasion with as much emphasis on comradeship and having an enjoyable time as soldiery. For many men this would be the only holiday they would have in a year and so it was looked forward to by most. As might be expected, men wanted a souvenir of their annual camp and so photographers did a brisk trade capturing groups of friends on film and then selling copies of the postcards to these men. Today we are looking at a fine example of one such postcard, capturing some members of the yeomanry during a quiet moment away from their duties:
From the uniform of the man standing with his jacket undone, we can identify the unit as the Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry who were described as having a uniform consisting of “a khaki frock similar to that of the officers but with a full white stand collar, a trefoil on the cuffs and the letters ‘WCIY’ in bronze on the shoulder straps. Riding breeches with white piping down the side seams.”
The men are holding different items related to their trade such as stirrups and horse bits. The man on the far left has a full length white apron, and is possibly in the middle of a particularly dirty cleaning job as he has some item of tack in his hands:
As is typical for this pre-war era, many of the men wear waistcoats or sleeveless cardigans as they would in civilian life to add a little extra warmth under their tunics and when relaxing around camp.