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Better by Far a Cumberland Hussar:

A History of the Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry


About this book:

  • ISBN: 095 407 1123 (hardback) 095 407 1115 (paperback)

  • Published 2001

  • Price £30.00 or £19.500 (hardback or paperback, including post and packing)

  • 96 pages

  • Illustrated with black and white photographs.




About the Book:
Anyone interested in local, military or family history will find this book a mind of information. From the early days of the Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry in the 18th century this book traces the story of some of the north's finest young men.

The Boer War and the First World War are well documented with personal stories which highlight the bravery of the Troopers as well as the many tragedies. The author has throroughly researched his subject to make a fascinating read.

In addition the 96 page, A4 size book, is illustrated with nearly 80 photographs which in themselves give a marvellous insight into the life and times of a Westmorland and Cumberland Yeoman.


The story of the men who served in the Westmorland and Cumberalnd Yeomanry, a volunteer force made up of friends and countrymen, is part of the county's history which has so far been available only in piecemeal snatches of information. Colin Bardgett's account brings together many strands into a concise and readable account. Robert Hasell-McCosh, Dalemain

The postman and the heroes

ON WHIT Tuesday, 1839, a troop of mounted cavalry in full regalia proceeded down Castle Street towards Carlisle Castle. Facing them was a procession of Chartists with flags and benners flying. They had marched up from Caldewgate as part of a campaign demanding universal voting rights.

There was a tense moment and then the crowd stood aside and the cavalry moved on to the Castle. The cavalry was composed of volunteers from the Penrith and Appleby area who had enlisted in the Westmorland Yeomanry.

Three months later they were called to a more serious incident in Botcherby when officers faced a hostile mob of stone-throwing Chartists. But, staying cool and well disciplined under the assault, the Yeomanry made thei way into the Bull Inn where they had their temporary headquarters.

They were uneasy times. Troops of yeomanry had been established up and down the country after the Peterloo riots in Manchester 20 years earlier. After meeting at various places the Cumberland and Westmorland made their headquarters in Penrith.

For most of the period their duties consisted of fortnightly assemblies for squad drill. There appears to have been a strong spirit of camaraderie and the drilling was a good excuse for a day out with the lads. But matters were also taken very seriously and there was pride in discipline.

Apart from such incidents as the Penrith navvy riots in 1846, the Yeomanry saw little active service until the Boer War. In the two world wars, large numbers of Yeomanry gave their lives.

Colin Bardgett has assembled the history of the Cumberland and Westmorland Yeomanry from regimental records and old newspaper reports. It is the story of a developing military tradition. There are full listings of Rolls of Honours and medals but there are also contemporary first-hand accounts of the soldiers' experiences at home and abroad. Cumberland News, December 2001


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To Order:

Hayloft has no copies left of this book but, if you would like to buy one it is still available from the Yeomanry Museum at Dalemain, near Penrith, Cumbria. If you have any questions, please email books@hayloft.eu






Copyright © Hayloft Publishing Ltd