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4th County of London (King's Colonials) Imperial Yeomanry

Click to enlarge Origin - In the year 1901, at a time when the Boer War was still dragging on and the British home garrisons were cut to the bone, a decision was made to raise a Yeomanry Regiment from overseas volunteers in order to bolster the home defences. 

This resulted in November 1901 with the formation of the grandly titled:-

4th County of London 

(King's Colonials) 

Imperial Yeomanry

(Definition) imperial yeomanry

Yeomanry \Yeo"man*ry\, n. A British volunteer cavalry force, growing out of a royal regiment of fox hunters raised by Yorkshire gentlemen in 1745 to fight the Pretender, Charles Edward. The members furnish their own horses, have fourteen days' annual camp training, and receive pay and allowance when on duty. In 1901 the name was altered to Imperial Yeomanry in recognition of the services of the force in the Boer war.

  • The Regiment originally consisted of four (4) Squadrons:-
    • A. Squadron - British Asians, (mostly Indian) whose Squadron badge depicted a large Elephant. 
    • B. Squadron - British Americans (actually Canadians) whose Squadron badge showed a beaver chewing a branch set against a maple leaf.
    • C. Squadron - Australasian, (Australian & New Zealanders) whose Squadron badge was a kangaroo and tree fern set against a rising sun.
    • D. Squadron - British African, (South African & Rhodesian) who wore as a Squadron badge, an Ostrich set against a rising sun.
      1. Note 1: There were very few New Zealanders living in UK in 1901 so the term "Australasian " was used to include New Zealanders in "C" Squadron.
      2. Note 2: This old English word Australasian, now rarely used, means, according to the Collins Dictionary, "of Australia, New Zealand and neighbouring Islands".
Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

A Sqn King's Colonials (British-Asians i.e. Indians)

B Sqn Kings Colonials (British American i.e.Canadians) Image F Green

Click to enlarge

C Sqn  King's Colonials (Australia version 2). Image Frank Green D Sqn King's Colonials (British African i.e. South Africans and Rhodesians) 
HUGE 3 long FERNLEAF hat badge of the NZMR

5th Squadron (New Zealand) the King's Colonials.


1903 -A fifth (5th) Squadron was formed in 1903 to accommodate the, by then, increased numbers of New Zealanders living in the UK. Their Squadron badge consisted of a single fern leaf (see above). Accordingly, C Squadron's badge was re-issued to display just the Kangaroo above a title bar reading "Australia".  See above left.
Sterling silver oak leaf badge possibly from the 5th Sqn Kings Colonials

1904 -Although I can't find a reference as to why, the New Zealand Squadron was disbanded in 1904.

<<< King's Colonials shoulder title

Collar badges of A Squadron

King's Edward's Horse, King's Overseas Dominions Regiment shoulder title

The original King's Colonials wore a strange head-dress, best described in "Kipling & King Volume 1", as a tall felt hat rather like an inverted flower pot with a broad brim turned up and fastened to the left of the crown.

This flamboyant head-dress, probably the first true slouch hat, bore a plume of scarlet feathers at the front and three cap badges.  

In addition to the Squadron badges, described above, which were worn on the front of the hat band, a Regimental badge in the form of the British Coat of Arms (St Edward's Crown) above a title scroll reading "The King's Colonials" in brass, was worn at the top front of the crown. 


To complete the trio, a badge displaying the initials "KC" below the Prince of Wales plumes, coronet and motto in brass, was used to secure the turned up left brim.

Click to enlarge

1905 - In 1905, the regimental title was shortened to the more simple "King's Colonials Imperial Yeomanry" and a less flamboyant head-dress was introduced in the form of a slouch hat with a lower crown bearing, on the left side turned up brim, a bunch of black cock feathers and a single smaller version of the "KC" monogram badge.

1909 - In 1909, due the Crown Colonies having gained Dominion status, the term "Colony Squadrons" was abolished and of a consequence, the Squadron badges were made redundant. All ranks now wore the smaller "KC" badge on the slouch hat and the newly introduced khaki service-dress cap.

1910 - Following the death of King Edward VII in 1910 it was decided that, due to the self governing dominions dislike of being referred to as colonials, the regiment be renamed:

King Edward's Horse The King's Overseas Dominions Regiment 

This led to the regiment being commonly referred to by the initials KODR. A new badge was issued in White Metal depicting wreaths of oak and laurel carrying the scrolls: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, S.Africa and India above a title belt inscribed "KODR"

1914/1918 - During the First World War, the regiment served in France, Italy and Ireland but sadly to relate, due to the increasing mechanisation of warfare were often relegated to the role of mounted divisional messengers. 

This led to the Infantry soldiers, always ready to take the Mickey out of the mounted regiments, insisting that KODR stood for "the Kings Own Despatch Riders".

1924 - The "King Edward's Horse" was officially disbanded in March 1924.

Frank Green

1st & 2nd King Edward's Horse

Now a cavalry regiment of the Special Reserve (UK)

1st King Edward's Horse

August 1914 : in Chelsea. Temporarily attached to 4th Cavalry Brigade.

In April 1915, the regiment was split up.

A Squadron (Asians) was attached to 12th Division in May 1915, but moved to join IV Corps in June 1916.

B Squadron (Canadians) moved to France on 22 April 1915, and joined 48th (South Midland) Division, but moved to join IV Corps in June 1916.

C Squadron, (Australasian) together with HQ, moved to France on 22 April 1915, and joined 47th (London) Division, but moved to join IV Corps in June 1916.

The three Squadrons moved from IV to XVIII Corps in July 1917, returning to IV in November 1917. (This Corps then moved to Italy). In March 1918, the Squadrons moved back to France with XI Corps. In May 1918, A Squadron stayed with XI Corps, while B went to I and C to XIII.

2nd King Edward's Horse

Formed in London in August 1914. Joined the Eastern Brigade in 1st Mounted Division in December 1914. 

Left to join Canadian Cavalry Brigade in March 1915, and moved to France as a dismounted unit 5 May 1915.

  • On the badge, note the 

    • the addition of "2nd"

    • removal of the Crowned Lion 

    • the badge is brass, not whitemetal 

    • it is of a slightly different shape 

      • (not as tall and broader).



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