Category Archives: News

Personal Account: Derek Bowman who served from 1952-1987

Bowman1957In the second of our series of personal accounts of former members of the Suffolk and Norfolk Yeomanry thanks go to Kelly who got in touch on behalf of her grandfather, Derek Bowman who served between 1952 and 1987.  Many of our members from the era may have known him by his nickname “Flaps” Bowman.


Derek joined at Swaffham in 1952 after being drafted out of National service and served 35 years in all.  Initially he served with the Norfolk Yeomanry L.A.A, which had Drill Halls at Swaffham, Downham Market, King’s Lynn and Dersingham. He recalls when the Regiment re-organised to 5.5″ medium gun,  subsequently re-organised to the light gun with headquarters at Bury St Edmunds and Bowman1980#2then to the FH70 and recalls annual camps across the UK and in Germany.

His biggest achievement was in 1960, he was at Kimwell park in Rhyl. He was the motorcycle trials champion. He also went to the mansion house in London, as the Battery won the gunnery competition in 1970. The Battery Commander at that time was Major Makin and the Battery Sergeant Major was BSM Jacobs.

Bowman1959Many thanks to Kelly and to her Grandad Derek for sharing his memories with us.

If anybody has pictures or personal accounts of their own service in the Suffolk and Norfolk Yeomanry or that of a relative that you would like to share us please get in touch.


Personal Account: “Uncle” Carl Elsum who served in WW1

elsum 2As the first in our series of Personal Accounts many thanks to Paul who got in touch with us to share some photos and memories of the person he knew as “Uncle” Carl Elsum who was a close family friend who served with the Norfolk Yeomanry in WW1.

Paul writes: “Here are some images of him..not too good…in his uniform and horse pre-1914 methinks.

He went to Gallipoli and said it was chaos on the beaches when his ship arrived.  Allied artillery up the coast firing up at turkish positions….whilst everywhere was chaotic.  Soldiers splashing and swimming…..playing football on the beach…some drilling… weapons….etc etc etc a bit like a tented beach party!!  A party except every now and again a turkish shell would whistle overhead and land somewhere….usually the sea…………he was amazed most people seemed oblivious to this!  He was quite perturbed/angry elsum 1that their horses were taken away quite quickly and they were issued with bicycles!!!

He loved visiting Germany before WW2 and I have some of his private snaps showing swastikas outside village shops……stormtroopers coming over a bridge etc etc.


grandad (343x640)He lived with his sister Dulcie in watford in the 1960’s-70’s and always chatted to me over the garden fence.

I have also added a photo of my grandad John Nelson from Hull for good measure 4th battalion Northumberland Fusiliers.”

Thank you Paul for the pictures and account of Uncle Carl and also for the picture of your grandfather to get our new feature started.

If anybody has pictures or personal accounts of their own service in the Suffolk and Norfolk Yeomanry or that of a relative that you would like to share us please get in touch.

New feature: Personal Accounts

We are pleased to release a new feature onto the website: Personal Accounts.  We are keen to encourage members who have served in units of the Suffolk and Norfolk Yeomanry, or relatives of those who served in years gone by to share photos and stories of life in the Yeomanry at any period.  If you have stories to share please get in touch via the “submit feedback” link.

Look out for the first personal accounts being published very soon!

Reminder: Suffolk and Norfolk Yeomanry Remembrance Services Saturday 8 November 2014.

A reminder to all members of the association and former and serving members of the Suffolk and Norfolk Yeomanry that the annual Yeomanry Remembrance Services will be taking place tomorrow, Saturday 8 November 2014 assembly 1045 for 1100 at:

The Suffolk Yeomanry memorial in St Mary’s Church, Bury St Edmunds;

The Norfolk Yeomanry memorial in Norwich Cathedral.

All are welcome to attend. Dress is collar and Yeomanry / Battery / Regimental tie and medals, uniform for those on duty.

There will be coffee and the opportunity to wander round to a local hostelry to catch up with old comrades afterwards.

Hopefully see plenty of you there.

Now with added Facebook

Great news folks.  For all of you who are addicted to “The Social Network”, the Suffolk and Norfolk Yeomanry Association now has a Facebook page as well! Don’t forget to “Like” us!

We’ve joined up posts to the website with that page (don’t ask me how – dark arts!) so you can now get news about us on the website, by email by subscribing at the website, or on Facebook.

Updated history page and new photo page

Hi folks,

We’ve updated the history page with a brief history of the Suffolk and Norfolk Yeomanry from their formations to the present day. Our intention will be to provide a more detailed history section in due course.

We’ve also set up a Flickr account and linked that in a photo page on the website. We’ll be uploading photos to the site but are very happy to receive more. Please get in touch using the Feedback page if you have photos you would like to contribute.

We’ve also added “share it” buttons on each page so you can spread the word via Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites.

Major Steve Reynolds AAC(V)

Hello World

Hi there.  Welcome to the website of the Suffolk and Norfolk Yeomanry Association, which is for all former and serving members of the Suffolk and Norfolk Yeomanry and it’s affiliated units which include the 55th, 65th and 308th Regiments Royal Artillery, 202 Battery Royal Artillery and 677 Squadron Army Air Corps.

This site is a work in progress so please do check back to see how we’re getting on.

Major Steve Reynolds AAC(V)