Blagdon Hall and its surrounding park is situated near Cramlington in Northumbria. It has been owned by the same family since 1698 and before the Great War its extensive grounds were used by the local Northumberland Yeomanry for training. Today’s postcard depicts the Yeomanry training in 1913, just before the outbreak of war:
Here we can see one member of the yeomanry practicing jumping hedges or gates whilst at the gallop:
As this is a training day the men are wearing a mixture of service dress and overalls, rather than the much grander home service uniforms worn for parade duties before World War One. Here a dismounted man can be seen wearing the white cotton drill fatigues uniform:
Other members of the Yeomanry watch on, on horseback, presumably waiting their turn to take the jumps:
Yeomanry regiments had come into their own in the Boer War when there was a desperate need for horsed troops to fight war on the vast plains of the South African Veldt. This would change dramatically in the Great War where there was little opportunity for cavalry to be used in their traditional manner and many yeomanry units were used as dismounted infantry instead. The Northumberland Hussars (also known as the Northumberland Yeomanry) were moved to the 7th Infantry division in September of 1914 and in 1915 the regiment was split into squadrons each of which was attached to a different infantry division on the Western Front before being reformed as a single cavalry unit in May 1916 and attached to XIII Corps. This swapping and changing of roles and attachment was not unique to the Northumberland Hussars and clearly there was some difficulty in easily slotting these yeomanry units into the broader army structure.