The Queen’s Own Dorset Yeomanry (QODY) were a solely territorial regiment, the cavalry of Dorset. The first active service seen by the QODY was during the Boer War in South Africa 1899 to 1902, when they sent out volunteers as part of the Imperial Yeomanry. They formed the 26th Company of the 7th Battalion Imperial Yeomanry.
When the Great War broke out, the regiment held Squadron locations at Sherborne, Dorchester, Blandford and Gillingham. Smaller detachments of these squadrons were based further around the county.
During the Great War, the Queen’s Own Dorset Yeomanry expanded to meet the demands of wartime requirements. The regiment expanded into three lines.
1st/1st Queen’s Own Dorset Yeomanry
This ‘first line’ 0f the regiment was created from men of the QODY who were willing to be mobilised for overseas service.
2nd/1st Queen’s Own Dorset Yeomanry
This ‘second line’ of the regiment was created from the remainder of the QODY who did not volunteer for overseas service. They provided a home defence role, and drafts of men for the 1st line.
3rd/1st Queen’s Own Dorset Yeomanry
This ‘third line’ of the regiment was created for training purposes in 1915.