At some point, I will set out a list of identifiable images of yeoman. These are photos, postcards, newspaper clippings etc where it is possible to put a name to a face. I have a large number of images that can't be identified (they all look the same to me !). We're now up to 212 identifiable images. For a regiment that only ever put one battalion into the field, I think that is quite amazing.
I continue to add items to the collection as and when funds and opportunities permit. A sizeable collection of BY medals came along in 2016 and, more recently, a couple of kind collectors offered me medals; I now have a list of 200 men for whom WW1 medals are known or stated to exist (grateful thanks, Nigel, Keith and Malcolm). I sourced a nice trench map case which belonged to a BY officer and came across several postcards relating to the BY - although I find that postcards are seriously expensive for what they are, so I'm happy to make do with a copy.
I have positively identified (in a genealogical sense) 1,758 men who served in the BY the Great War. I have 2,137 men listed as having served so that leaves nearly 400 men where I can't make a positive identification. If that seems a lot, it's only because a good number are mentioned in a source only briefly and can't be found using other records. Take G. Mowles, for example. This chap is shown in the Dunstable Directory for 1916 as serving in the Beds Yeomanry and living in Houghton Regis. That entry is the only source that I can find for such a name - it could be a spelling error, the initial might be wrong (the Mowles family were in Houghton Regis at the time) etc etc. I go back to these names every so often just to try and solve the riddle with the benefit of more records.
2,137 isn't the number that served in the Great War but I don't think it's far off. The real problem in finding men arises with those that didn't serve aboard or who were transferred to other regiments before serving abroad without a surviving service record.
My database now has 219 pages of names of men and their service/personal details. It has just gone past the 150,000 words mark. If that isn't anywhere near 'War and Peace', it certainly feels like it and you have to bear in mind that the database contains a lot of abbreviated terms. Here's an example:
Girling George Leonard 920 Pte FD Choral Society LBO shown as son of Mr G late of The Bank, L/Buzz but as Leonard disch Dec 1915 after pneumonia and later died 16.4.17 (shown on L/B Mem as Trpr L Girling) LBUROH born Sep 1892q Luton 3b 413 no census disch on med grounds from 2/1 on 21.12.15 (PRO) d June 1917q Rochford 4a 712 aged 24 ent SWB 15002 on TK/12 as George e 12.3.14 d 21.12.15 para xvi sickness mic confirms -concert LN 15.10.14 - more details in WO NO MEDALS +++++++++++ WO364 DONE
Setting that out in full detail (noting the presence of a pension record in series WO364) would probably produce at least a page !
Here's to the next 150,000 words. As always, if you have any items to offer or just need a bit of advice and assistance, do get in touch.