4 YORKS Yorkshire Regiment Army reservist firing a SA80 on Exercise Yorkshire Strike 100221 CREDIT MOD
Army

The Yorkshire Regiment: All You Need To Know

The Yorkshire Regiment celebrates its 15th anniversary this weekend, but the British Army unit's origins stretch back much further.

4 YORKS Yorkshire Regiment Army reservist firing a SA80 on Exercise Yorkshire Strike 100221 CREDIT MOD

The British Army's Yorkshire Regiment is marking its 15th anniversary this weekend.

In 2006, there was a merger of three Yorkshire regiments: The Prince of Wales's Own, The Green Howards and The Duke of Wellington's, each with its own history and achievements, including dozens of Victoria Crosses.

The present-day formation's origins stretch back hundreds of years, with the Yorkshire Regiment traditionally being made up of infantry personnel.

The regiment's previous incarnations have included foot soldiers at Waterloo, to some of the first troops to land on the beaches during D-Day.

The Yorkshire Regiment's battalions

Today's 1st Battalion, otherwise known as 1 YORKS also at the forefront of armoured infantry capability, equipped with Warrior vehicles.

Experts in close combat and urban operations, the highly mobile 2nd Battalion (2 YORKS) is ready to respond to incidents and trouble spots anywhere in the world.

Both battalions are partnered by the reservist 4th Battalion (4 YORKS) and supported by a large community outside of the regiment, including the families of serving personnel, service leavers, veterans and cap-badged cadets.

There was until 2013 a '3rd Battalion', although this was renumbered to become 1 YORKS as part of Army 2020 restructuring.

To this day, the 'Yorkshire Warriors' are regularly called upon to operate at the forefront of the nation's defence.

Ex Kabul Dawn 2 Yorks
A 2 YORKS soldier on Exercise Kabul Dawn in Wales.

Key moments in the regiment's history

1685 The East Yorkshire Regiment was a line infantry regiment, first raised as Sir William Clifton's Regiment of Foot and later renamed the 15th Regiment of Foot.

1758-1778 Caribbean, India and North American Wars of Independence.

1815 Two of the regiments were present at Waterloo – 18 June is a regimental anniversary.

1914-1918 One hundred battalions raised, including the Hull, Bradford and Leeds Pals.

1944 On D-Day, four battalions of Yorkshiremen went ashore – 6 June is the Yorkshire Regiment's Formation Day.

Post-1992 Yorkshire's Warriors were present in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan and have conducted missions worldwide.

Military role

Experts in dismounted close combat, 2 YORKS have set the Army standard for Light-Role Infantry and after deploying to Morocco in November 2018, they deployed to Afghanistan in 2019 for the second time in two years.

The battalion has since returned home for post-tour leave and assisted with COVID-19 testing before moving to Cyprus for a two-year tour of duty in December 2020.

Since returning from operations in Afghanistan, the 2nd Battalion has undergone a change in role from Light-Mechanised infantry and now spearheads the British Army's Enhanced Light Force Battalion concept.

This is a three-year, £10m programme that will transform how future light-role, infantry forces will operate and fight.

Personnel from 1 YORKS during a 2019 homecoming.

1 YORKS also stay sharp for their role as infantry, routinely undertaking rigorous training exercises at Catterick.

They are also periodically tested at the British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS) in Canada.

As a regionally based Army reserve battalion, 4 YORKS' role is naturally different to the other battalions in the regiment and they have companies and detachments in towns and cities across Yorkshire and Teesside.

Like the others, they routinely undertake training in the UK and overseas, alongside regular and coalition forces.

In recent years, they have trained with 1 YORKS in Canada and with NATO forces in Lithuania and Denmark.

Yorkshire roots

The Yorkshire Regiment famously has strong bonds with their home county of Yorkshire and the conurbation of Teesside.

Having swapped places with the Royal Dragoon Guards at Catterick Garrison last year, 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment has become the only armoured infantry unit in the north of England.

Watch: All three of the Yorkshire Regiment's battalions were 'home' together in late 2020.

In June 2019, the Yorkshire Regiment remembered D-Day 75 when three of their antecedent regiments were among the first ashore and CSM (Company Sergeant Major) Stan Hollis of the Green Howard's was awarded the only Victoria Cross on 6 June, a date that continues as a regimental formation day. 

The following year, the Yorkshire Regiment celebrated VE Day 75 and VJ Day 75 with the local communities and veterans, including a special tribute from the Regimental Band for Forces sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn.

However, some of the best shows of support for local communities came when the regiment supported the people of West Yorkshire with a major flood relief effort as well as mobilising soldiers as part of the immediate response to COVID-19.

More than 150 soldiers were mobilised on the British Army's Op Rescript to deliver COVID-19 testing across the north of England in April 2020.

In late 2020, history was made when all three of The Yorkshire Regiment's battalions were in Yorkshire at the same time.

Love of sport

As one of the Army's keen sporting regiments, personnel are provided the opportunity to play sport at all levels.

Their reputation is well deserved and was formed after multiple successes on sports fields at home and on tours overseas.

Members of the regiment have won trophies in football, rugby union and rugby league.

Cover image: Member of 2 YORKS in a Foxhound vehicle in Kabul, Afghanistan (Picture: MOD).