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East Yorkshire Regiment (The Duke of York's Own)
East Yorkshire Regiment Cap Badge.jpg
Cap 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  British 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 and later renamed the 15th 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.


Early wars

Soldier of 15th regiment, 1742

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,[1] the regiment was originally, like many British infantry regiments, known by the name of its current Colonel.[2] It took part in the Battle of Killiecrankie in July 1689[3] and the Battle of Cromdale in April 1690 during the Jacobite rising of 1689 to 1692.[3]

The regiment embarked for Flanders in spring 1694 for service in the Nine Years' War and took part in the capture of Huy in autumn 1694,[4] the attack of Fort Knokke in June 1695[4] and the Siege of Namur in summer 1695[5] before returning home in 1697.[6]

The regiment was sent to Holland in 1701 for service in the War of the Spanish Succession and fought at the siege of Kaiserswerth in 1702,[7] the siege of Venlo later that year[8] and the Battle of Blenheim in August 1704.[9] It went on to fight at the Battle of Ramillies in May 1706,[10] the Battle of Oudenarde in July 1708[11] and the Battle of Malplaquet in September 1709.[12] It returned to England in 1714.[13] It was sent to Scotland and took part in the Battle of Glen Shiel in June 1719 during Jacobite rising.[14]

The regiment was deployed to South America where it took part in the Battle of Cartagena de Indias in March 1741 during the War of Jenkins' Ear.[15] It also saw action at the Battle of Culloden in April 1746 during the next Jacobite rising.[16] In 1751, when the numerical system of designation of Regiments of Foot was adopted, it became the 15th Regiment of Foot.[2]

The regiment went on to take part in the capture of Île-d'Aix in 1757[17] and, having sailed for North America in 1758,[17] fought at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759 during the Seven Years' War.[18] In 1782 the regiment became the 15th (The Yorkshire East Riding) Regiment of Foot.[2]

The regiment was sent to North America again in spring 1776 for service in the American Revolutionary War. It saw action at the Battle of Long Island in August 1776, the Battle of White Plains in October 1776 and the Battle of Fort Washington in November 1776.[19] It also took part in the Battle of Brandywine in September 1777,[20] the Battle of Germantown in October 1777[21] and the Battle of White Marsh in December 1777.[21]

Napoleonic Wars

The regiment was deployed to the West Indies in 1795 for service in the French Revolutionary Wars and fought at attacks on Martinique and Guadeloupe[22] before returning to England in 1796.[23] The regiment returned to the West Indies in 1805[24] for service in the Napoleonic Wars and took part in the invasion of Martinique in January 1809 and the invasion of Guadeloupe in January 1810.[25]

The Victorian era

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 came close to war. The regiment was not fundamentally affected by the Cardwell Reforms of the 1870s, which gave it a depot at Victoria Barracks, Beverley from 1873, or by the Childers reforms of 1881 – as it already possessed two battalions, there was no need for it to amalgamate with another regiment.[26] Under the reforms the regiment became The East Yorkshire Regiment on 1 July 1881.[27] The 2nd Battalion fought in the Second Anglo-Afghan War and the Second Boer War.[28]

In 1908, the Volunteers and Militia were reorganised nationally, with the former becoming the Territorial Force and the latter the Special Reserve;[29] the regiment now had one Reserve and two Territorial battalions.[2][30]

First World War

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

Regular Army

The 1st Battalion landed at Saint-Nazaire as part of the 18th Brigade in the 6th Division in September 1914 for service on the Western Front.[31] The 2nd Battalion landed at Le Havre as part of the 83rd Brigade in the 28th Division in January 1915 also for service on the Western Front before moving to Salonika in October 1915 for service on the Macedonian Front.[31]

Territorial Force

The 1/4th Battalion landed at Boulogne-sur-Mer as part of the York and Durham Brigade in the Northumbrian Division in April 1915 for service on the Western Front. The 2/4th Battalion served in Bermuda and the 3/4th Battalion remained at home and trained reinforcements. The 5th (Cyclist) Battalion served as part of the Tyne Garrison.[31]

New Armies

The 6th (Service) Battalion landed at Suvla Bay in Gallipoli as the pioneer battalion for the 11th (Northern) Division in August 1915; the battalion was evacuated in January 1916 and then landed at Marseille in July 1916 for service on the Western Front.[31] The 7th (Service) Battalion landed at Boulogne-sur-Mer as part of 50th Brigade in the 17th (Northern) Division in July 1915 also for service on the Western Front.[31] The 8th (Service) Battalion landed at Boulogne-sur-Mer as part of the 62nd Brigade in the 21st Division in September 1915 also for service on the Western Front. The 9th (Reserve) Battalion remained at home supplying drafts to the New Army battalions serving overseas.[31]

The 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th (Service) Battalions were raised in September 1914 from men volunteering in Kingston upon Hull. These units were additionally entitled 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th City of Hull battalions and were known as the Hull Pals, nicknamed the 'Hull Commercials', 'Hull Tradesmen', 'Hull Sportsmen' and 'T'others' respectively. They formed 92nd Brigade in 31st Division, landed in Egypt in December 1915 and then moved to France in March 1916 also for service on the Western Front. Their depot companies became the 14th (Reserve) and 15th (Reserve) Battalions.[31][32][33]

There were also a 1st Garrison Battalion that served in India and a 2nd (Home Service) Garrison Battalion.[31]

Between the wars

In 1935 the regiment was renamed The East Yorkshire Regiment (The Duke of York's Own), after its Colonel-in-Chief.[2]

Second World War

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 the Empire of 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.[34]

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.[34]

Men of the 2nd Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment take cover behind a bank as an enemy shell explodes nearby, Normandy, France, 19 July 1944.

The 4th Battalion was a 1st Line Territorial Army unit serving in the 150th Infantry Brigade in the 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division and, like the 2nd Battalion, served in France 1940, were evacuated at Dunkirk to England and remained in the United Kingdom with the division until mid-1941 when it was sent to the Middle East.[35]

The 5th Battalion was formed in 1939 as a 2nd Line Territorial Army duplicate of the 4th Battalion. It served with the 69th Infantry Brigade in the 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division.[36]

Men of the 2nd Battalion, The East Yorkshire Regiment in a Universal Carrier on field exercise in Palestine

After the War

The regiment was in Mandatory Palestine during the Zionist insurgency and then took part in the Malayan Emergency in 1953–56 before returning to Germany as part of the British Army of the Rhine. 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.[2]

Battle honours

Regulation Queens and regimental colours

The regiment’s battle honours were as follows:[2]

  • 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:

Colonels of the Regiment

Colonels of the regiment included:[2]

The 15th Regiment of Foot

The 15th (York, East Riding) Regiment

The East Yorkshire Regiment

  • 1888–1889: Gen. Edward George Wynyard
  • 1889–1890: Gen. John Hope Wingfield
  • 1890–1891: Gen. Robert Bruce
  • 1891–1897: Gen. Edward Westby Donovan
  • 1897–1901: Lt-Gen. William Hardy, CB
  • 1901–1920: Maj-Gen. Sir Coleridge Grove, KCB
  • 1920–1925: Maj-Gen. Francis Seymour Inglefield, CB, DSO
  • 1925–1930: Maj-Gen. Sir Gerald Farrell Boyd, KCB, CMG, DSO, DCM
  • 1930–1933: Brig-Gen. Henry Haggard
  • 1933–1940: Brig-Gen. John Louis Justice Clarke, CMG
  • 1940–1948: Lt-Gen. Sir Desmond Francis Anderson, KBE, CB, CMG, DSO
  • 1948–1958: Brig. Robert John Springhall, CB, OBE


  1. Christopher Chant (18 October 2013). The Handbook of British Regiments (Routledge Revivals). Routledge. pp. 153–. ISBN 978-1-134-64724-8. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Mills, T.F.. "The East Yorkshire Regiment (The Duke of York's Own)". Archived from the original on 30 December 2006. Retrieved 5 February 2007. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Cannon, p. 6
  4. 4.0 4.1 Cannon, p. 10
  5. Cannon, p. 12
  6. Cannon, p. 14
  7. Cannon, p. 15
  8. Cannon, p. 16
  9. Cannon, p. 19
  10. Cannon, p. 22
  11. Cannon, p. 24
  12. Cannon, p. 26
  13. Cannon, p. 28
  14. Cannon, p. 29
  15. Cannon, p. 32
  16. Cannon, p. 34
  17. 17.0 17.1 Cannon, p. 37
  18. Cannon, p. 42
  19. Cannon, p. 48
  20. Cannon, p. 50
  21. 21.0 21.1 Cannon, p. 51
  22. Cannon, p. 57
  23. Cannon, p. 58
  24. Cannon, p. 59
  25. Cannon, p. 61
  26. "Training Depots 1873–1881". Archived from the original on 10 February 2006. Retrieved 16 October 2016.  The depot was the 5th Brigade Depot from 1873 to 1881, and the 15th Regimental District depot thereafter
  27. "No. 24992". 1 July 1881. pp. 3300–3301. 
  28. "The East Yorkshire Regiment". Anglo-Boer war. Retrieved 10 March 2016. 
  29. "Territorial and Reserve Forces Act 1907". Hansard. 31 March 1908. Retrieved 20 June 2017. 
  30. These were the 3rd Battalion (Special Reserve), with the 4th Battalion at Londesborough Barracks in Kingston upon Hull and the 5th (Cyclist) Battalion at Park Street in Kingston upon Hull (since demolished) (both Territorial Force).
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 31.3 31.4 31.5 31.6 31.7 "East Yorkshire Regiment". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 10 March 2016. 
  32. Bilton, Hull Pals
  33. Bilton, Hull in the Great War
  34. 34.0 34.1 "East Yorkshire Regiment". British Armed Forces. Retrieved 10 March 2016. 
  35. Joslen, p. 334
  36. Joslen, p. 81


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