411: East Yorkshire & West Yorkshire

This entry was posted by Sunday, 18 January, 2015
Read the rest of this entry »

 East Yorkshire Regiment


The East Yorkshire Regiment was an infantry regiment of the line in the British Army, first raised in 1685 as Sir William Clifton’s Regiment of Foot. It saw service for three centuries, before being amalgamated with the West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own), becoming the Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire in 1958. Subsequently, the regiment was one of the Yorkshire infantry regiments which amalgamated to form the Yorkshire Regiment (14th/15th, 19th and 33rd/76th Foot) on 6 June 2006.



Raised in 1685 in Nottingham by Sir William Clifton, 3rd Baronet, it was originally, like many British infantry regiments, known by the name of its current Colonel. In 1751, when the numerical system of designation of Regiments of Foot was adopted, it became the 15th Regiment of Foot and in 1782 the 15th (The Yorkshire East Riding) Regiment of Foot. With the Childers Reforms of 1881, it became The East Yorkshire Regiment, the County Regiment of the East Riding of Yorkshire, and in 1935 was renamed The East Yorkshire Regiment (The Duke of York’s Own), after its Colonel-in-Chief. In 1958, it was amalgamated with The West Yorkshire Regiment (The Prince of Wales’s Own), to form The Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire.

It fought in the War of Spanish Succession, the Jacobite Rising of 1719 and in North America and the West Indies during the War of Jenkin’s Ear, Seven Years’ War and the American Revolutionary War including battles such as Capture of St. Lucia in 1778. It again fought in the West Indies during the Napoleonic Wars, taking part in the invasions of Martinique (1809) and Guadeloupe (1810).

The Regiment spent most of the 19th century on garrison duty, both at home and throughout the Empire. The 1st Battalion was shipped to New Brunswick in 1862 at the time of the “Trent Affair“, when Britain and the United States of America came close to war. The 2nd Battalion fought in the Second Anglo-Afghan War and the Second Boer War.

World War I

In First World War, sixteen hostilities-only battalions were formed, which fought on the Western Front, at Gallipoli, in Macedonia and Egypt.

World War II

In the Second World War, six hostilities-only battalions were raised. The 1st Battalion was serving in British India on the outbreak of war in 1939 and did not see active service until 1942 when Imperial Japan entered the war. The battalion fought in the Burma Campaign in many different British Indian Army brigades. The Regiment fought in the Battle of France and was evacuated at Dunkirk. It took part in the Invasion of Normandy, the liberation of Western Europe, the North African Campaign, the Invasion of Sicily and the Burma Campaign.

The 2nd Battalion served with the 8th Infantry Brigade (which included the 1st Suffolks and 1st South Lancs), attached to the 3rd Infantry Division throughout the whole war. At the time, the 3rd Division was commanded by Major-General Bernard Montgomery, who would later command the Anglo-Canadian 21st Army Group. The battalion and division were sent to France in late 1939 as part of the British Expeditionary Force and remained there until May 1940 when they fought in the Battle of France and were evacuated at Dunkirk. After Dunkirk, the battalion and division spent many years on home defence anticipating a German invasion of England. After late 1942 when the threat of invasion receded, they then started training for offensive operations and, in mid-1944, invaded Normandy, France, on 6 June 1944, D-Day.

The 4th Battalion was a 1st Line Territorial Army unit serving in the 150th Infantry Brigade, 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division and, like the 2nd Battalion, served in France 1940, were evacuated at Dunkirk to England and remained in the UK with the division until mid-1941 when it was sent to the Middle East.

The 5th Battalion was formed in 1939 as a 2nd Line Territorial Army duplicate of the 4th Battalion.

After the war

The Regiment was in Palestine at the end of the British Mandate and took part in the Malayan Emergency in 1953-1956 before returning to Germany as part of the British Army of the Rhine. In 1958, it returned to Britain for amalgamation.

Battle honours


Regimental colours

  • Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde, Malplaquet, Louisburg, Quebec 1759, Martinique 1762, Havannah, St. Lucia 1778, Martinique 1794 1809, Guadeloupe 1810, Afghanistan 1879-80, South Africa 1900-02
  • The Great War (21 battalions): Aisne 1914 ’18, Armentières 1914, Ypres 1915 ’17 ’18, Gravenstafel, St. Julien, Frezenberg, Bellewaarde, Hooge 1915, Loos, Somme 1916 ’18, Albert 1916 ’18, Bazentin, Delville Wood, Pozières, Flers-Courcelette, Morval, Thiepval, Ancre Heights, Ancre 1916, Arras 1917 ’18, Scarpe 1917 ’18, Arleux, Oppy, Messines 1917 ’18, Pilckem, Langemarck 1917, Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Broodseinde, Poelcappelle, Passchendaele, Cambrai 1917 ’18, St. Quentin, Bapaume 1918, Rosières, Lys, Estaires, Hazebrouck, Kemmel, Scherpenberg, Amiens, Hindenburg Line, Épéhy, Canal du Nord, St. Quentin Canal, Selle, Sambre, France and Flanders 1914-18, Struma, Doiran 1917, Macedonia 1915-18, Suvla, Landing at Suvla, Scimitar Hill, Gallipoli 1915, Egypt 1915-16
  • The Second World War: Withdrawal to Escaut, Defence of Escaut, Defence of Arras, French Frontier 1940, Ypres-Comines Canal, Dunkirk 1940, Normandy Landing, Tilly sur Seulles, Odon, Caen, Bourguébus Ridge, Troarn, Mont Pincon, St. Pierre la Vielle, Gheel, Nederrijn, Aam, Venraij, Rhineland, Schaddenhof, Brinkum, Bremen, North-West Europe 1940 ’44-45, Gazala, Mersa Matruh, Defence of Alamein Line, El Alamein, Mareth, Wadi Zigzaou, Akarit, North Africa 1942-43, Primosole Bridge, Sicily 1943, Sittang 1945, Burma 1945

Victoria Crosses

The following members of the regiment were awarded the Victoria Cross:

The West Yorkshire Regiment (14th of Foot)

Raised in 1685, the Regiment first saw active service in Flanders in 1693. It then served in Ireland and Scotland before going to Gibraltar in1727 for a 15 year stay. The Regiment returned to Scotland in 1745 until Culloden and returned to Gibraltar in 1751 for another 8 years. In 1759, when stationed at Windsor, it was granted royal permission to wear the White Horse of Hanover. 1776 saw the Regiment in America. This was followed by duty as Marines and then in Jamaica.

In 1793, at the Battle of Famars, the Regiment “stole” the march “Ca Ira” from its French adversaries. After this war against the French, the regiment returned home in 1803 and raised a 2nd Battalion, which went to the Peninsular, while the 1st Battalion went to India, and later, the short-lived 3rd Battalion which formed part of Wellington’s Army. After several successful actions in India, the 1st Battalion was, on returning home in 1831, granted the badge of the Royal Tiger, superscribed “India”. After service in the West Indies, Canada and Malta, the Regiment went to the Crimea in 1855 and took part in the capture of Sevastopol. In 1858 the 2nd Battalion was re-formed and sent to New Zealand.

In 1876, the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, presented new Colours to the 1st Battalion at Lucknow and conferred on the Regiment the title “The Prince of Wales’s Own” and in 1881 the 14th was given the title “The West Yorkshire Regiment”. In 1899 the 2nd Battalion went to the South African War where two V.C.’s were awarded.

The 1st Battalion was part of the original Expeditionary Force at the outbreak of the First World War, rapidly followed by the 2nd. The Regiment grew to 37 battalions, including Territorials, of which 24 saw action overseas and received many decorations. Among these was the French Croix de Guerre, awarded to the 8th (Leeds Rifles) Battalion for gallantry in the capture of Bligny Ridge. The Roll of Honour, including over 13,000 names, may be seen in the Regimental Chapel in York Minster.

With a return to peace in 1918, the Regiment was reduced to two Regular and four Territorial Battalions. The 1st Battalion spent much of the Second World War in Burma, while the 2nd Battalion served in Egypt, Cyprus and Tobruk before going to India and Burma, finally returning to UK in 1948 when it amalgamated with the 1st. This Battalion took part in the Suez operation in 1956 and was then stationed in Dover until amalgamation in 1958.



Leave a Reply