Military Wiki
1st West Yorkshire Militia
Shapeimage 51.png
Cap Badge of the Regiment
Active 1754—1953

 United Kingdom

  •  England

 British Army

Role Militia
Size Battalion
Part of The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

The 1st West York Militia was a former Militia regiment that served in only one war officially. Although the regiment didn't see much service it did have some history that affected the modern day Yorkshire Regiment.[1]




Following the 1754 Holbeck Chapel Riot the Yorkshire militia were created, being the later 1st, 2nd, 3rd West York, 1st and 2nd North York, and 1st and 2nd East York Militias.[2][3] The 1st West York Militia was formed in August 1759 as the Lord Downe's 1st West York Militia. The regiment was first formed at Leeds where it remained during its entire duration. In 1763 at the start of the American War of Independence the entire militia went through many changes of order in precedence.[1][3] The 1st West York Militia were no acceptance including:[1][3]

  • 4th in June 1778
  • 1st in May 1779
  • 27th in May 1780
  • 26th in April 1781
  • 28th in May 1782

Following the end of the war the regiment was later re-titled as the 39th (1st Southern Yorkshire) West Riding Militia in March 1793.[1]


In 1803 just after the start of the War of the Third Coalition the regiment was re-titled as the 32nd (1st Southern Yorkshire) West Riding Militia. After the end of the Napoleonic Wars the militia were disembodied. The Militia had a small reorganization in 1833 and the regiment was again re-titled as the 5th (1st) West York Rifles. As a result of the name change the regiment along with their name become 5th in line of militia precedence. Some years later the regiment was absorbed into their local regiment, The King's Own South Yorkshire Light Infantry. As a result of joining the regiment, the militia regiment was retitled briefly as the 3rd Battalion, The King's Own South Yorkshire Light Infantry later in 1888 becoming the 3rd (1st West York Militia) Battalion, The King's Own South Yorkshire Light Infantry.[1]


Boer War

In May 1900 the regiment was embodied for possible service in the Second Anglo-Boer War, after being fully organized the regiment was disembodied in October. On Monday, May 6th, 1901 as a result of the Ministry of War's announcement of the deaths of 15,000 officers and troops had died the regiment was embodied for more possible service. The regiment was embodied and almost immediately sent to the Mediterranean, although it is unknown if they went to Gibraltar, Cyprus, or Malta, the regiment was disembodied for on March 2nd, 1902. Because of their two times embodiment and disembodiement the battalion was given their first, only, and last battle honour "Mediterranean 1901-02". In 2006 upon formation of the Yorkshire Regiment it was found that the regiment had in fact served protecting both Prisoners-of-War and protecting lines of communication throughout the Mediterranean.[4] The battalion was the only one to gain the battle honour for 1901-02 along with the 3rd (2nd West York Militia) Battalion, The Prince of Wales' Own West Yorkshire Regiment.[1][5]

In September 1908 the battalion was transferred to the Special Reserve as part of the Territorial Force organizations. For the last time the regiment was embodied just one month after the start of World War I. The battalion didn't serve but was garrisoned on home service throughout the war. The battalion was disembodied for the last time in July 1919. In 1921 the Special Reserve was redesignated as the Militia. There isn't any record of the Militia serving in World War II for some reason but was eventually disbanded in 1953 following the Defence White Paper.[1]


The regiment's uniform was scarlet with dark brown facings.[1]