Staffordshire Yeomanry (Queen’s Own Royal Regiment) antique print, 1890. The Staffordshire Yeomanry (Queen’s Own Royal Regiment) was a unit of the British Army. Raised in 1794 following Prime Minister William Pitt‘s order to raise volunteer bodies of men to defend Great Britain from foreign invasion, the Staffordshire Yeomanry began as a volunteer cavalry regiment. Future Prime Minister Robert Peel was an officer in the Staffordshire Yeomanry Cavalry in 1820. It first served overseas at the time of the Boer War. Following distinguished action in Egypt and Palestine in the First World War, it developed with the deployment of artillery and tanks.
The regiment was formed on 4 July 1794 with commanding officer being Colonel George, Earl Gower. The regiment was divided into Troops associated with the Staffordshire towns of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stafford, Lichfield, Leek and Walsall. The uniform of the regiment was: a red jacket with yellow facings, white waistcoat, white leather breeches and military boots. On their head the members wore a helmet with a bearskin crest and feather at the side and were armed with a sword and pistol. The regimental motto was “Pro aris et focis” and the badge was the Staffordshire knot. The regiment was first called out in 1795 in order to support the civil powers in suppressing a bread riot. In 1842, the regiment was embodied for 6 weeks when riots took place. As a result, the regiment was presented with 12 silver trumpets inscribed “Presented by a grateful County to the Queen’s Own Royal Yeomanry for their services in 1842”. By 1875, the regiment had expanded to 12 Troops with headquarters at Lichfield. The strength on 1 December 1875 was stated to be 495 with 104 wanting to complete. At this point, the uniform was blue with scarlet facing and silver lace.