The design of the Regimental Colour was approved by the Regimental Board. It was agreed that there would be identical colours for each battalion (less the distinction of battalion numbers). The use of the Cross of St George as a background, as for PWO and DWR, was approved. Garter King at Arms, the Inspector of Regimental Colours and PS 12 (A) all approved use of this form as it would be unique to the Regiment. This also has the additional advantage of conforming to the Honorary Colours that are held in the Regiment. It is permitted to carry 46 non-World War Battle Honours on the Regimental Colour. There are 42 as follows:
- BELLE ISLE
- ALLY GHUR
- NEW ZEALAND
- RELIEF OF KIMBERLEY
- RELIEF OF LADYSMITH
- QUEBEC 1759
- MARTINIQUE 1762
- ST LUCIA 1778
- MARTINIQUE 1794, 1809
- GUADELOUPE 1810
- SOUTH AFRICA1899-1902
- THE HOOK 1953
- IRAQ 2003
The Queen's Colour
To accommodate the accumulation of amalgamated honours, post 1958 regiments were authorised to emblazon up to 40 honours on both colours, still in accordance with the split between battles of the two world wars and other battles. The total has since been increased and 43 honours is the permitted maximum on the Queen’s Colour.
On amalgamation, the Yorkshire Regiment boasted 75 Battle Honours from the two world wars. Several of these were awarded to two or more of the antecedent regiments and so it was possible to reduce this figure to 55. This meant that with a maximum of only 43 allowed they were reduced by a further 12. This was achieved by taking recommendations from antecedent regiments and thus we now have those Battle Honours which best carry forward our Golden Thread. Although there is a reduction of the total to be incorporated onto the Colour it is important to clarify that no Battle Honours have been ‘lost’; all of them will appear in the Army List but only 43 can be carried on the Colour.
A Recent History 2006-2013
The Yorkshire Regiment was formed as a result of a decision made in 2004 to restructure the organisation of the Infantry. The Regiment was formed on Tuesday 6th June 2006, as three Regular Infantry Battalions (1st, 2nd and 3rd) and one Territorial Infantry Battalion (4th). Our home is Yorkshire and the area up to the historic boundary of the River Tees. The Yorkshire Regiment incorporated the three remaining Yorkshire Infantry Regiments; The Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire; The Green Howards (Alexandra, Princess of Wales’s Own Yorkshire Regiment) and The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (West Riding) plus their affiliated Territorial Army Units. Collectively, the Yorkshire Regiment can trace its history back to 1685.
The 1st Battalion carried out a re-badging ceremony at Somme Barracks, Catterick; the 2nd Battalion at Banja Luka, Bosnia – Herzegovina; the 3rd Battalion in Battlesbury Barracks, Warminster, on 6th June. On Saturday 10th June 2006, the 4th Battalion, based at their eleven TA Centres around Yorkshire and Middlesbrough, carried out their re-badging parade in the Museum Gardens, York, and the Army Cadet Force and Combined Cadet Force contingents at Imphal Barracks in York.
Merger of Battalions
On 5th July 2012, The Secretary of State for Defence made an announcement on Army 2020, which included a reduction of five regular infantry battalions by 2016, requiring the 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) to be removed from the Order of Battle. The Colonel of the Regiment, Major General G J Binns CBE DSO MC, informed the wider regimental family of the future of the Regiment the following day and charged the Executive Committee with managing the change. It was decided to merge the Regiment to form two regular battalions in Autumn 2013, the 3rd Battalion becoming the 1st Battalion and the 1st Battalion becoming the 2nd Battalion, the 4th Battalion was to remain unchanged, although it was subsequently announced that the designation Territorial Army was to be replaced by the title Army Reserve. Following the handing over of the various stands of Colours within the Regiment in July and August 2013, and the laying up of the 3rd Battalion’s Colours on 20th July 2013, the Regiment now looks to the future to build on the illustrious past of its antecedent Regiments.
For more a more detailed history please see The Regimental Handbook Part 2 located in the Publications area.
Until 1914 all battle honours awarded to an infantry regiment were emblazoned on the Regimental Colour. In 1924 regiments were allowed to emblazon 10 Great War battle honours on the King’s Colour. In 1956 they were authorised to emblazon a further 10 from the Second World War on the, by then, Queen’s Colour, 2 battle honours from the Korean War were also authorised for the Regimental Colour.
LAYING UP OF COLOURS
When old Colours have been replaced it will be normal practice for them to be laid up in a Regimental Chapel, museum or other public/civic building in the Regimental Area in accordance with the decision of the Regimental Board. Old Colours laid up in a Chapel should be netted or otherwise conserved within 5 years. The procedure for the replacement and laying up of old Colours is set out in Queen’s Regulations. The ceremonial and form of prayer appropriate to the laying up of old Colours is laid down for guidance in ‘Ceremonial for The Army’.