Boer War

06_Retford_Parade

During the early part of the Boer War in South Africa, the Regular Army suffered a series of unexpected and ignominious reverses at the hands of the determined, fast moving and skilled Boer commandos, who were operating on familiar territory. Stronger cavalry forces were required to counter them, so the appeal went out to all yeomanry regiments. In response, a ‘Service Squadron’ of the Sherwood Rangers was so quickly formed from volunteers that it became the first yeomanry ever to go into action overseas.

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This squadron of Sherwood Rangers, and a second which replaced it after twelve months, spent two years  as part of the Imperial Yeomanry chasing and gradually mopping up the Boer commandos still at large, winning an excellent reputation along the way. Their service included major actions, such as holding the town of Lichtenberg against odds of 450 to 1700, where in 24 hours they won a DSO and three DCMs. The Sherwood Rangers were awarded their first Regimental Battle Honour, 'South Africa, 1900-1902'.

 

The 14 Yeomen who lost their lives are commemorated in a memorial window in the Parish Church of Retford, the site of the Regimental Headquarters at that time, and on a memorial originally erected at Serlby, by Lady Galway, and recently re-erected at the Squadron’s Training Centre at Carlton in Nottingham.