Primus in Armis

An Illustrated History of The Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry

Stephen Keoghane

Primus in armis (‘first in arms') the motto of the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, Britain's senior regiment of volunteer cavalry raised in 1794 against the threat of French invasion. This new, illustrated history is an important military and social record of 200 years of service and will appeal to anyone with an interest in the British Army.
Date Published :
September 2020
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Illustration :
437 color and black and white
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781781557891
Pages : 360
Dimensions : 9.76 X 6.77 inches
Stock Status : In stock


Primus in armis ('first in arms’) is the motto of the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, Britain’s senior Regiment of volunteer cavalry raised in 1794 against the threat of French invasion. The Wiltshire Yeomanry has served for over 200 years and fought in South Africa, the First and Second World Wars and more recently as individuals in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of the places where the Regiment fought in the Second War will be familiar to modern readers including Aleppo, Palmyra, Baghdad, and more bizarrely, meeting the Russian army on friendly terms in Tehran. The battle of El Alamein in the western desert was possibly their finest hour. The author has accessed the extensive Regimental archives and interviewed many families of veterans to obtain a glimpse into the personalities of these soldiers. A wealth of unseen material from around the world has surfaced including stories concerning the aristocracy of the inter-war years and the previously forgotten service of the Regiment’s most famous officer. This first, illustrated history of ‘The Royal Wilts’ will appeal to anyone with an interest in the British Army.

About The Author

Lt-Col. Stephen Keoghane joined the Royal Wessex Yeomanry in 1994 and served as the Regimental Medical Officer for 22 years in both Gloucestershire Hussar and Wiltshire Yeomanry Squadrons. He has soldiered in the UK, Germany and the USA and served in Afghanistan as a trauma surgeon. Whilst at Regimental duty, he represented the RWxY in polo and alpine ski racing.¶ The author is a consultant urological surgeon in Bury St Edmunds and has published extensively in the scientific literature. He has a lifelong passion for regimental history, alpine skiing, art and horse racing.


Introduction; Foreword; 1 The First Hundred Years of the Yeomanry Cavalry in Wiltshire; 2 The Early 1900s and the South African War; 3 The Great War; 4 1918–1939; 5 Mobilisation and the Middle Eastern Adventure; 6 El Alamein: The Finest Hour; 7 The Italian Campaign; 8 Yeomanry Tales; 9 The Post-war Era; 10 A (RWY) Squadron The Royal Yeomanry; 11 B (RWY) Squadron The Royal Wessex Yeomanry; 12 Freedom Parades and the RWY Squadrons Reunite Under A New Cap Badge; Appendix: Tank Markings in the Middle East and Italy; Bibliography.

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