East Yorkshire Regiment

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The East Yorkshire Regiment (The Duke of York's Own)
East Yorkshire Regiment Cap Badge.jpg
Badge of the East Yorkshire Regiment
Active 1685-1958
Country  Kingdom of England (1685–1707)
 Kingdom of Great Britain (1707–1800)
 United Kingdom (1801–1958)
Branch Army
Type Infantry
Role Line infantry
Size 1-2 Regular Battalions
1 Militia Battalion
2 Territorial Battalions
Up to 16 Hostilities-only battalions
Garrison/HQ Victoria Barracks, Beverley
Anniversaries Quebec (13 September)

The East Yorkshire Regiment was a line infantry regiment of 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) to form the Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire in 1958. Subsequently, the regiment amalgamated with the Green Howards and the Duke of Wellington's Regiment (West Riding) to form the Yorkshire Regiment (14th/15th, 19th and 33rd/76th Foot) on 6 June 2006.


John Theophilus Rawdon-Hastings, 2nd son of the 1st Earl of Moira, in the uniform of the 15th Regiment of Foot (1776) with a flintlock gun.

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

Men of the 8th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment, going up to the line near Frezenberg during the Battle of Broodseinde, 1917. Photo by Ernest Brooks

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

File:15th Foot colours.png
Regulation Queens and 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 Cross recipients

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