Surrey Yeomanry - Shrapnel Souvenir of the Western Front, 1915
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Overall: 44cm (17.3in) x 20cm (7.8in) x 10cm (3.9in)
Large jagged steel shell fragment, mounted on a period oval oak base, and mounted with a period silver plaque inscribed ‘Piece of 15 inch shell / from Billets of / B Squadron / Surrey Yeomanry / Poperinghe. / April 26. 1915.’ Weight: 8kg (17.6 lb).
Surrey Yeomanry (Queen Mary’s Regiment) was formed on the creation of the Territorial Force in April 1908. It was headquartered at Melbourne House, King’s Avenue, Clapham Park with B Squadron headquartered at Guildford (Woking and Camberley). In 1914 1/1st Surrey Yeomanry was attached to the South Eastern Mounted Brigade for training. B Squadron came under orders of 28th Division at Winchester on 22 December 1914. B Squadron landed at Le Havre on 18 January 1915. On 10 April 1915 the squadron went into ‘disgustingly filthy’ billets near Poperinghe aerodrome, whence the present shell fragment, probably fired from a ‘Big Bertha’ howitzer, was found during the clean up. The squadron embarked at Marseilles at the end of the year for service on the Salonika Front.