The Yorkshire Regiment (14th/15th, 19th and 33rd/76th Foot) (abbreviated YORKS) is an infantry regiment of the British Army, created by the amalgamation of three historic regiments in 2006. It is currently the only line infantry or rifles unit to represent a single geographical county in the new infantry structure, serving as the county regiment of Yorkshire. It lost one battalion as part of the Army 2020 defence review.
The regiment’s recruitment area today covers almost all the historic county (the three ridings of the county: East Riding of Yorkshire, North Riding of Yorkshire and West Riding of Yorkshire) except for the eastern half of South Yorkshire and the southeast of West Yorkshire, which is a recruitment area for the Rifles, and the part of the West Riding that is now in Greater Manchester. The recruitment area covers all of the present-day ceremonial counties of North Yorkshire (which extends to the northern border of historic Yorkshire — the River Tees) and East Riding of Yorkshire. Recruitment however is open to those from outside the formal recruitment area, with the regiment in particular recruiting from North East England and the Commonwealth.
The regiment’s antecedent units also recruited in areas that are now part of Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Cumbria, Lancashire and Greater Manchester.
The regiment’s formation was announced on 16 December 2004 by Geoff Hoon and General Sir Mike Jackson as part of the restructuring of the infantry – it was formed from the merger of three regular battalions, plus a reserve battalion:
1st Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own) (previously: 1st Battalion, Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire)
2nd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) (previously: 1st Battalion, Green Howards)
3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington’s) (previously: 1st Battalion, The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (West Riding)
4th Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment (previously: Prince of Wales’s Own company of The East and West Riding Regiment, Green Howards company from the Tyne-Tees Regiment and two companies of The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment from The East and West Riding Regiment), all formerly titled and known as The Yorkshire Volunteers.
HRH The Duke of York, Gen Sir JNR Houghton, Lord Crathorne Lord Lieutenant Of N Yorkshire, General Sir Richard Dannatt
The regiment was officially formed on 6 June 2006.The reserve “Territorial Army” (as it was then known) battalion re-badged in TA Centres on the same day, but later paraded publicly to re-badge in York on 10 June 2006 in the Museum Gardens, York. That same afternoon representatives of the affiliated Army Cadet Forces and Combined Cadet Forces detachments (approx 50) rebadged in Imphal Barracks, York.
HRH the Duke of York KG was appointed Colonel-in-Chief and His Grace the 8th Duke of Wellington KG LVO OBE MC DL the Deputy Colonel-in-Chief, by HM the Queen.
The four battalions of the regiment were presented with new Queens and Regimental Colours at a parade in Imphal Barracks, York, to replace the antecedent regiments former colours, on 18 June 2010. The ‘Honorary’ set of Colours carried by the 3rd Battalion (Duke of Wellington’s) was paraded by the battalion. The new colours of all four battalions were later paraded through the streets of York from Cliffords Tower to York Minster.
As part of the Army 2020 reorganisation, in July 2012 an announcement was made that the Yorkshire Regiment would be reduced to two regular battalions, with the 2nd Battalion (Green Howards) disbanded and its soldiers dispersed to the remainder of the regiment on completion of their Cyprus tour in the autumn of 2013.
However, on 25 January 2013 the Colonel of the Regiment, Major General Graham Binns CBE DSO MC, announced instead a change in the order of battle as follows: The 2nd Battalion was merged into the 1st & 3rd Battalions. The 1st Battalion was then renumbered as the 2nd Battalion and the 3rd Battalion was renumbered as the 1st Battalion. He also announced that they would dispense with the antecedent regiments’ historical titles
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