Jonathan Hunt's superbly researched Unicorns reveals that the history of the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry is inextricably linked to that of its home county of Nottinghamshire. Formed in 1794, as part of the Nottinghamshire Yeomanry, the Regiment had a primarily policing role until the mid-nineteenth century. This was a turbulent period with fears of revolutionary contagion and Napoleonic invasion. Social unrest took the form of the Bread Riots, Luddism, Republicanism, Reform Bill riots and, finally, the Chartist uprisings. The old order represented by Nottinghamshire's great landed gentry and other property owners struggled to control the aspirations of the middle and working classes during the Industrial Revolution and the Regiment was a powerful tool in doing this. By 1850 the nascent police force assumed the Regiment's role and it became a reserve Hussar unit. Now resplendent in green and gold uniforms, 'the colours of gorse in bloom', the Regiment regularly paraded in front of large crowds at Newark, Retford, Mansfield and Worksop. For all the glamour the SRY was highly professional but little did they realise how they were about to be tested.
The Regiment's twentieth century history will be covered in the Author's second volume Hard Fighting, due to be published in 2014.
Jonathan Hunt OBE is a retired solicitor. He joined the Territorial Army in 1963 and transferred into the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry Squadron of the Royal Yeomanry in 1969. He commanded the Squadron from 1975 - 1978 and the Royal Yeomanry from 1979 to 1982. He lives near Worksop.