The original proposal to organise regiments of Yeomanry for service in the Boer War was made by Lord Chesham and other Yeomanry officers in Oct 1899.  On 13 Dec 1899, the War Office decided it would allow a contingent of volunteer forces based on the standing yeomanry regiments to serve overseas. 

Under a Special Army Order of 4 Jan 1900, a committee of Yeomanry officers was constituted to administer the force.  The committee was dissolved in May 1900, the administration being taken over by the War Office.

The standing Yeomanry regiments were asked to provide service companies of around 121 men each. The new Imperial Yeomanry (IY) were to be raised on a county basis with the core being the men of the existing volunteer units.  The remaining numbers were to be recruited from individuals that met the necessary service criteria.

Simultaneously with the establishment of the IY, Volunteer Service Companies, each of which contained 116 men, territorially affiliated the the Infantry, were also established.  66 Volunteer Service Companies (7,427 men) served during the Boer War.

There were 3 contingents:


First Contingent

10,242 men

Early 1900


Second Contingent


Spring 1901


Third Contingent


Dec 1901

The medal entitlement can be found in the book "The Roll of the Imperial Yeomanry, Scottish Horse and Lovat's Scouts.  2nd Boer War.  Being an alphabetical list of the 39,800 men of these volunteer forces who enlisted for the 2nd Boer War.  Listing regimental details, clasps to Queen's South Africa Medal and casualty status".  Compiled by Kevin J Asplin.  Second edition available from DP&G Publishing, PO Box 186, Doncaster, S Yorkshire, DN4 0HN.

The awards received by the IY were: 1 VC, 10 CB, 1 CMG, 96 DSO, 113 DCM.

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