Collectively, the Yorkshire Regiment can trace its history back to 1685 and since then has been involved in many conflicts around the world including Marlborough’s campaigns, Waterloo, Crimea, South Africa, Afghanistan (several times), both World Wars, Korea and Northern Ireland. Even as the Yorkshire Regiment was forming in 2006, there were soldiers deployed on operations in Bosnia.
The Yorkshire Regiment was formed as a result of a decision made in 2004 to restructure the Infantry. The Regiment was formed on Tuesday 6th June 2006, as three Regular Infantry Battalions (1st, 2nd and 3rd) and one Territorial Infantry Battalion (4th). Our home is Yorkshire and the area up to the historic boundary of the River Tees. The Yorkshire Regiment incorporated the three remaining Yorkshire Infantry Regiments; The Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire; The Green Howards (Alexandra, Princess of Wales’s Own Yorkshire Regiment) and The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (West Riding) plus their affiliated Territorial Army Units.
On 5th July 2012, The Secretary of State for Defence made an announcement on Army 2020, which included a reduction of five regular infantry battalions by 2016, requiring the 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) to be removed from the Order of Battle. It was decided to merge the Regiment to form two regular battalions in Autumn 2013, the 3rd Battalion becoming the 1st Battalion and the 1st Battalion becoming the 2nd Battalion, the 4th Battalion was to remain unchanged.
In March 2021, the Integrated Defence and Security Review unveiled a blueprint for a modernised, ‘Future Soldier’ Army. Investment in innovation and experimentation is at the heart of Future Soldier and the 2nd Battalion will form the nucleus of the new Experimentation and Trials Group alongside existing specialist trials and development units. It will return from Cyprus to Chester in Summer 2022 and subsequently move to its permanent home in Warminster in 2024. The 1st Battalion will re-role from Armoured to Light Mechanised Infantry and re-subordinate from 12th Armoured Brigade to 7th Light Mechanised Brigade Combat Team in summer 2022. The 4th Battalion will be paired with the 1st Battalion, remain in York and re-subordinate to the newly formed 19th Brigade in summer 2022.
On 5 April 2023, the regiment was granted Royal status by His Majesty King Charles III.
The future looks bright for The Royal Yorkshire Regiment
In York, we have a comprehensive digital archive dating back to Waterloo and covering the Boer, WW1 and more recent conflicts. We can provide a service that ranges from access to archive material, through to bespoke, individual research reports. So, if any member of your family served in the East or West Yorkshire Regiments, or The Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire, we might be able to help.
Here’s a bit of nostalgia from 34 years ago, when the late Queen visited York to open the South Transcept of York Minster on 4 November 1988. The 1st Battalion The Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire provided a Guard of Honour supported by the band of the Green Howards. One or two familiar names and faces in this footage and we are sure some of our vetarans may never have seen this clip before, which was hidden amongst the archives.
Over the past couple of years we have managed to scan and digitally capture nearly 2000 pages from The Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire Scrapbooks. We will soon be offering the opportunity to visit these pages, which provide an amazing insight into the last seven decades of our history.
You can contact us to discuss donations to the regimental collection, submit research requests, or simply ask us a question. We will do our best to respond.