Officer’s Dress Sabretache of the Artillery Troop, 2nd Regiment of Royal Bucks Yeomanry Cavalry, c 1860-76

In 1794 two six pounder artillery pieces were presented to the Royal Bucks King’s Own Militia by application of surplus funds raised in the county for the establishment of the Bucks Yeomanry. These were added to the militia’s two existing artillery pieces. In 1820 the first of two artillery troops was formed in the 2nd Regiment of Bucks Yeomanry Cavalry to make use of the county guns presented to the militia, with a second troop formed subsequently after 1852. The two artillery troops, both part of the Buckingham Squadron, became a noted feature of the regiment’s military spectacles such Queen Victoria’s brief stop at Wolverton station in December 1843 when a salute was fired and also during the Queen’s visit to Stowe in January 1845. The two original guns had been deployed when the regiment saw duty in London during the coronation of King George IV in June 1821 and again at Aylesbury Gaol during the trial of ‘Swing’ rioters in January 1831. The 2nd Regiment styled itself as hussars between 1821 and 1845 before reverting to a light dragoon uniform until 1889. Members of the artillery troops, however, continued to wear hussar style uniform dress throughout. Artillery practice was held at a range close to the Bourbon Tower at Stowe, which was used as a magazine whilst horses were requisitioned from the tenants of the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos at the White Hart and Swan and Castle in Buckingham.

In 1875 the War Office’s Stanley Committee recommended withdrawal of artillery from the yeomanry. With the 3rd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos absent as Governor of Madras, a rear-guard action was fought on behalf of the regiment by the Vice Lord Lieutenant, Lord Cottesloe, and the matter was even raised with the War Office by the Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli. As a result, at least the regiment was able to retain its two artillery troops as ordinary yeomen when the blow fell in January 1876. Fortunately, the decision did not lead to the wholesale loss of men expected. The former artillerymen retained their old uniforms until they wore out, hussar dress then being adopted by the regiment as a whole, now to be styled the Royal Bucks Hussars, in 1889. Photographs show the old artillery jacket still in evidence in 1893. As for the two county guns, they were purchased at the second sale of Stowe in 1927 and now reside at Fort Ticonderoga in New York State.


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