The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire


The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire was formed on 25th April 1958 by the amalgamation of the West Yorkshire Regiment (The Prince of Wales's Own) and the East Yorkshire Regiment (The Duke of York's Own). 

 

The West Yorkshire Regiment was raised on the 22nd June 1685, as the 14th Regiment of Foot and saw service under King William lll, taking part in the capture of Namur (1695).  The Regiment served as Marines in the Channel and West India Fleets and in 1791 served in Jamaica.  At the Battle of Famars (1793) the Colonel ordered his drummers to strike up the 'Ca Ira', which the French were then playing, this led to the French revolutionary tune being adopted as the Regimental march of the 14th Foot, the first instance of a march being taken in battle.  It is now the Regimental quick march of The Yorkshire Regiment.  The WYR took part in the capture of Mauritius (1810) and Java (1811) and for distinguished services in India (1826) was granted the badge of the Royal Tiger.  There followed service in the West Indies, Canada, Malta, the Crimea (1855), New Zealand (1860-1866), Afghanistan (1879-1880) and South Africa (1899-1902).  In 1876, the Prince of Wales, conferred on the Regiment the title of 'The Prince of Wales's Own'.  In 1881, the Regiment was given the county title of the West Yorkshire Regiment and the Depot established in York.  During the First World War (1914-1918), the WYR raised thirty-seven battalions of which twenty-four served overseas.  Six Victoria Crosses were awarded and the 8th (Leeds Rifles) Battalion was rewarded for its gallant conduct at the assault of the Montagne de Bligny by the award of the French Croix de Guerre.  In all over 13,000 officers and other ranks lost their lives.  During the Second World War, the WYR saw action in Eritrea against the Italians, in the Western Desert against the German Africa Corps, Burma (including the battle of Imphal) and Java.  Post 1945 the Regiment served in the Suez operation and in Malaya.

 

The East Yorkshire Regiment was raised on 22nd June 1685 as the 15th Regiment of Foot and saw service in Scotland and Flanders.  In 1702, it formed part of Marlborough's Army and took a prominent part in the battles of Blenheim, Ramillies, Malplaquet and Oudenarde.  During the Seven Years’ War, the Regiment took the fortress of Louisberg (1758) and was present at Quebec (1759) when General Wolfe was killed.  The Officers of the Regiment have marked his death ever since with a black thread in their No 1 dress epaulettes and a black line on their stable belt.  Further campaigns followed in Martinique, Havannah and the American War of Independence (1776-1778), during which time the Regiment gained its nickname 'The Snappers'.  From 1790 to 1810, the Regiment served almost continuously in the West Indies and did not see active service again for over 60 years.  In 1881 the 15th Regiment of Foot was renamed the 'East Yorkshire Regiment' and deployed to South Africa in 1900.  During the First World War the Regiment raised twenty-one battalions.  A memorial to the 9,000 fallen men of the Regiment stands in the Soldiers' Chapel within Beverley Minster.  Four Victoria Crosses were awarded to men of the Regiment.  In 1935, the Regiment was granted the additional title of 'The Duke of York's Own'.  During the Second World War the Regiment saw action in Dunkirk, the Middle East, Sicily and Burma.  The Regiment had two battalions (the 2nd and the 5th) in the first wave of the assault on the Normandy Beaches in 1944.  Post 1945 the Regiment served in Palestine, Malaya and Germany.

 

Following amalgamation of the WYR and EYR at Dover on 25 April 1958, the Regiment conducted three tours in Aden, two in Bosnia, six in Northern Ireland and one in Sierra Leone (2000).