When I consented to write an Introduction to the History of the 20th Company, I did so with the feeling that little would be required to introduce or explain the following pages.
Briefly, then, this book sets before its readers a history of the work and wanderings of the first active service contingent of the Imperial Yeomanry.
The outbreak of the Boer war, and the subsequent development in the military situation in South Africa, necessitated the despatch of a large force of mounted troops in the early part of the year 1900, and all over the country the Yeomanry force formed the nucleus of this general movement. The organisation, equipment, and drilling of the various companies were materially assisted by having existing headquarters and permanent staffs who could deal with the many intricate questions which arose. The country at large, and the officers and men who went out to South Africa, owe to them a debt of gratitude which is difficult to estimate or fittingly to acknowledge.