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 (Prince of Wales’s Own) (14th Foot) and the East Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of York’s Own) (15th Foot). After 48 years service, the regiment was amalgamated again, this time with two other Yorkshire regiments. It became the 1st Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment (14th/15th, 19th, 33rd and 76th Foot), with the Green Howards (19th Foot) forming the 2nd Battalion and the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (33rd/76th Foot) forming the 3rd Battalion on 6 June 2006. Following further merges, in 2012, the battalion was redesignated as the new 2nd Battalion (2Yorks)
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 the 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 was 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.
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’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 was stationed in Dover, Kent. From 1974 to 1978, the regiment was stationed in Celle (formerly in West Germany), as part of the 7th Armoured Brigade.
The battalion completed another four month emergency tour in Derry during 1975. 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 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.
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