Title: History of the 6th Cavalry Brigade 1914 – 1918

Author: Lt J.B Bickersteth

Condition: Mint

Edition: 2nd Edition

Publication Date: 2003

ISBN: 9781843426127

Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 124 pages and 15 maps

Comments: The record of a cavalry brigade which served on the Western front for four years and took part in many actions. No roll of honour but officer casualties named in the text, no list of awards, no index.

The 6th Cavalry Brigade (6 Cav Bde) began to form in England on 19 September 1914, part of the new 3rd Cavalry Division. The first two regiments to join were the 1st R Dragoons (1D) and 10th R Hussars (10H), both from S Africa where they were stationed when war broke out, and they constituted the brigade when it embarked for France during the first week in October 1914.

The following month they were joined by 3rd Dragoon Guards (3DG) and ten days later by the North Somerset Yeomanry (N Som Yeo). After about a week 10H were transferred to 8th Cavalry Brigade in the same division, and from then for over three years 3DG, 1D and N Som Yeo constituted 6 Cav Bde. In March 1918, shortly before the German offensive N Som Yeo were withdrawn and converted to a MG role; they were replaced by 10H.

The brigade saw a great deal of fighting both mounted and dismounted – First and Second Ypres, Loos, Arras, Epehy, the March offensive in which heavy casualties resulted in the N Som Yeo being returned to the brigade, back in the mounted role, as reinforcements. The regiment was broken up and personnel distributed among the other regiments in the brigade which took part in the the advance to victory, the Hindenburg Line fighting and the final advance. In his introduction the author states that the book is a simple, unvarnished narrative of the chief events in the history of the brigade, a record that does not include personal anecdotes such as may be seen in regimental histories.

Although there is no Roll of Honour nor list of awards, the narrative has plenty of references to casualties (officers named), postings in and out, apointments to the staff and changes in command but no mention of awards or decorations other than the one VC, a posthumous award to 2Lt J.S Dunville,1D, for which the citation is given in full. The five photos are portraits of the five brigade commanders; the maps are very clear and informative.