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The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire
PWO cap badge.GIF
PWO cap badge
Active 1958 - 2006
Country United Kingdom
Branch Army
Type Line Infantry
Size One battalion
Part of King's Division
March Quick - Ca Ira and Yorkshire Lass
Mascot(s) Imphal and Quebec - Ferrets

The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire was an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the King's Division. It was created in 1958 by the amalgamation of The West Yorkshire Regiment (The Prince of Wales's Own) (14th Foot) and The East Yorkshire Regiment (The Duke of York's Own) (15th Foot). After 48 years service the regiment was again amalgamated, with two other Yorkshire regiments. Becoming the First Battalion of The Yorkshire Regiment, with The Green Howards (19th Foot) forming the Second Battalion and The Duke of Wellington's Regiment (33rd/76th foot) forming the Third Battalion on 6 June 2006.

Formation and name

The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire was formed on 25 April 1958 by the amalgamation of The West Yorkshire Regiment (The Prince of Wales's Own) (14th Foot) and The East Yorkshire Regiment (The Duke of York's Own) (15th Foot).


The first overseas posting for the regiment was from September 1958 to June 1959 in Colony of Aden (present day, part of Yemen), followed by a posting to Gibraltar from June 1959 to June 1961. The battalion served in Wuppertal, West Germany from 1961 to 1964, Berlin 1964-1965, then again in Aden from September 1965 until September 1966. The regiment returned to England in 1966 and remained there until 1969, based in Colchester. In 1967 operational elements were deployed to Cornwall to help with the environmental clean-up after the Torrey Canyon oil spill. An emergency deployment back to Aden in June following the mutinies by the South Arabian Federation Army and Yeman Federal Police. Aden saw the deaths in action of two soldiers from the regiment Pte F langrick and Sgt WS Saville, as well as the awards of one Military Cross, one Military Medal, and a Mention In Despatches. The battalion returned to Colchester in late 1967. The People's Democratic Republic of Yemen was formed in November 1967.

In April 1969, the battalion was deployed to Northern Ireland, as part of the UK Government's response to terrorist attacks on the Government infrastructure in the province. The regiment was the first British military unit to become involved in the resulting years of sectarian violence known as The Troubles. The regiment's presence and constant patrolling of vital points initially stabilised the situation in their operational area of County Down. On 12 July, sectarian violence led to a rapid redeployment to Derry. Decisive action by the Royal Ulster Constabulary again calmed the situation down and the battalion moved into a fixed tactical base at Magilligan's Point, north of Limavady on the shores of Lough Foyle. On 12 August, the violence erupted in a concerted campaign which, after nearly three days of street battles, saw the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) totally exhausted. On 14 August 1969 the regiment took over responsibility for the security of Derry. From February 1970 to October 1972, the battalion was based in Cyprus, then returned to the UK, for another tour in Northern Ireland, until November 1973. From November 1973 until May 1974 the Regiment were stationed in Dover, Kent. From 1974 to 1978 the regiment were stationed in Celle (formerly in West Germany), as part of the 7th Armoured Brigade, equipped with FV432 armoured vehicles. The Battalion completed another four month emergency tour during 1975 in Derry. During this tour 18 year old Pte David Wray was shot and killed by a sniper whilst on a foot patrol in the Creggan housing estate. From 1978 to 1983 the regiment served as part of the Allied Mobile Force' in Norway (AMF(L)N) and exercised extensively in Norway where companies were fully ski-borne. In May 1983 the battalion started a two year tour as part of the Berlin Brigade, where in 1984 it was presented with new regimental Colours. In April 1985 the Battalion redeployed to Abercorn Barracks, Ballykinler, Northern Ireland and was heavily committed in domestic duties, maintaining law and order, particularly in the terrorist plagued countryside of South Armagh. In May 1987 the regiment moved to Catterick, North Yorkshire, to join 24 Infantry Brigade. Equipped with Saxon armoured personnel carriers, this was the battalions first tour in Yorkshire since their antecedent regiments amalgamation. The battalion was re-roled in 1988 to become 24 Airmobile Brigade (formerly 24 Infantry Brigade) and were able to deploy 42 MILAN Anti-tank guided missiles. In August 1990 the Battalion moved to Osnabrück in West Germany to take up a Mechanised Infantry role as part of 12 Armoured Brigade. During the First Gulf War, or Operation Granby (later known as Desert storm) the battalion deployed formed units that included a Milan Section and a Mortar section to the 1st battalion of the Staffordshire Regiment, many men deployed on an individual basis reinforcing units. Up to one third of the battalion was deployed to the gulf. During Winter 1991 the battalion was once again in Northern Ireland, as the west Belfast roulement battalion and had as successful tour. On return the battalion was re-equipped with the Warrior tracked armoured vehicle, with training in the German Soltau training area. As a result of the 1992 Strategic Defence Review the then government of John Major decided to bring Territorial Army (TA) and Regular Army units closer together, as a result The 2nd Battalion The The Yorkshire Volunteers became 3rd Battalion The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire (Yorkshire Volunteers). The 3rd Battalion was based at York. 3PWO lasted for 6 years until defence cuts reduce the size of the TA to two thirds of its original size.

In 1993 the regiment deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina as part of UNPFOR, with companies in Gornji Vakuf and Vitez. They picked up the unofficial nickname of "ShootBat" due to the 'robustness' of the battalion's actions.[1] In 1994 they moved to the British Army Training Unit Suffield, Canada followed by a move to Warminster as the Infantry Demonstration Battalion at the Land Warfare Centre. 1997 saw the Battalion stationed in Chester with deployments to Ulster, Sierra Leone (Operation Basilica) support to Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food during the foot and mouth outbreak. Training exercises took troops to Kenya, Jamaica, Italy and Oman. By 2001-2003 1PWO was in Omagh followed by a move to Catterick Garrison as an Air Assault Battalion, with deployments to Bosnia, as part of SFOR and a training exercise to Belize in 2005. The regiment amalgamated with its sister battalions of The Green Howards and The Duke of Wellington's Regiment to form The Yorkshire Regiment on (6 June 2006). The regiment conducted three tours in Aden, two in Bosnia, six in Northern Ireland, one in Sierra Leone.

The Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire Museum

The Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire Museum is located in the heart of York, North Yorkshire, near the Jorvik Viking Centre and opposite Clifford's Tower. The exhibits include artifacts and photographs displaying the regiment's history in various campaigns, include the Crimean War, the North-West Frontier of India, the Boer War, World War I and World War II. Items on display include medals and decorations, uniforms, weapons and other memorabilia. There is also a regimental gift shop.

The museum is located in the same building as the Royal Dragoon Guards Museum at 3a Tower Street - 53°57′22″N 1°04′51″W / 53.95624°N 1.0809°W / 53.95624; -1.0809.


  1. Vulliamy, Ed (2 April 1996). "Shootbat squaddies' hidden battles: British troops did more than hold a line between the factions, writes Ed Vulliamy. When they were pushed over the edge, they shot back". The Guardian. Manchester. p. 11. 


  • Tillotson, HM (1995). With the Prince of Wales' Own. Michael Russell Publishing. ISBN 978-0-85955-218-9. 

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