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Title: Polish style helmet
Item Name: Military and Wartime


Blue and black square topped, leather and cloth helmet (modelled on the Polish "czapka"), large brass badge at front decorated with fluting and scrolls with lettering "East Riding of Yorkshire Imperial Yeomanry", also a running fox with monogram and crown above. Attached to helmet a blue feather plume. Gilt linked chain chinstrap. This is a pre WWI dress uniform helmet, the design reflecting the fact that the ERY were technically part of the Corps of Lancers. Worn by Gerald Herbert Woodhouse, who was an officer in the ERY before and during the war.

Year: 1906-1914(c)
Materials: leather; textile; organic
Measurements: Ht:26cm
ID_Number: ERYMS : 1995.730.2

Related Exhibitions

Forrard! The East Riding Yeomanry in World War I
This display at the Treasure House, Beverley, looked at the East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry (ERY), a territorial unit in the British Army which took part in the campaign in Egypt and Palestine in 1915-1917. The campaign saw the British (and their Arab allies) fighting against the Turks and led ultimately to the British marching into Jerusalem. The political consequences of this campaign are with us to this day. It also saw the last successful mounted charge by British troops (at El Mughar on 13th November 1917, during the 3rd Battle of Gaza), in which the ERY took part. Though lacking the horrors of trench warfare, it was a hard campaign against tough opponents, with intense heat, water shortages, sand, flies and disease being amongst the other difficulties. Later the ERY was largely dismounted and served as infantry on the western front.

The ERY has its origins in volunteer cavalry units raised during the Napoleonic wars, but as a standing unit its true history begins with the Boer War in South Africa (1899-1902). This conflict had shown the British were lacking in mounted troops and efforts were made to remedy this. Recruitment to the ERY began in April 1902, with public meetings at Hull, Driffield and Beverley organised by Lord Wenlock (the unit became popularly known as “Wenlock’s Horse” as a result). Four squadrons were eventually raised (totalling just under 600 men), with one based in Railway Street, Beverley and another in Bridlington. As a Territorial unit, the Yeomanry were raised (in theory) for home service only and men volunteered on that basis. During World War I though, Yeomanry regiments saw active service just like regular army units and their fighting record was every bit as good. In the years before the war, annual camps at places such as Scarborough and York gave the ERY the chance to train together as a unit and sharpen their skills.

This display draws on material from the Sewerby Hall and Treasure House collections. In particular we are fortunate to have photographs and notes compiled by Sergeant Harold W. Lyon of Market Weighton (see below, centre) who served in the ERY and the Machine Gun Corps during WWI and who lectured on the subject himself during later life. Uniforms and other items of kit mainly relate to a Major Gerald Herbert Woodhouse (born in Hull in 1889).
The ERY became The Queen’s Own Yeomanry as a result of mergers after the Second World War.