Preamble to History
A Brief History
The 'Dukes' were raised in 1702, when Colonel George Hastings, the 8th Earl of Huntingdon was authorised to form a new Regiment, which he did in and around the city of Gloucester, at the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession. As was the custom in those days the Regiment was named Huntingdon's Regiment, after it's Colonel. As Colonel Succeeded Colonel, the name changed. In 1751 Regiments were given numbers, in precedence of when they were originally formed, and the Regiment was from that time known as the 33rd of Foot. It soon established a reputation for excellence and by the 1770's was described as the best trained regiment in the Army.
In 1782 the Regiment's title was changed to 33rd (or 1st Yorkshire West Riding) Regiment, thus formalising an association with the West Riding of Yorkshire which, even then, had been long established.
In 1793 Arthur Wellesley, later to become the 1st Duke of Wellington, joined the 33rd and subsequently commanded it in the Netherlands and India until 1803. He succeeded as Colonel in 1806 and held this post until 1813. The 33rd later fought under his command at the Battle of Waterloo. The Duke of Wellington, or 'The Iron Duke' as he became known as died in 1852. The following year, on the 18th of June 1853, the first anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo following his death, the title of "The Duke of Wellington's Regiment" was conferred on the 33rd Regiment, due to the Duke's long and close personal connection with the Regiment.
The Regimental insignia incorporates the lion, from the Duke's crest, and the mullet (5 pointed white star) which was placed upon the shoulder of the lion. The mullet had remained on the crest of Arthur Wellesley to denote he was the third son of the Earl of Mornington, it was not removed until both his elder brothers passed away, at which time he became the Earl of Mornington.
The Regiment was formally linked with the West Riding of Yorkshire in 1782, at the request of Lord Cornwallis, in recognition of its long practice of recruiting its soldiers from that part of the country, following a government decision to 'link' regiments to counties to improve recruiting.
On the 1st of April, 1873, as part of the Cardwell reforms, the Depot of the Regiment was established, with the construction of a new barracks, in Halifax, West Yorkshire. The Barracks construction was completed in 1877 and on the 1st of September the Depot Companies of the 33rd and 76th Regiments marched in
The 76th was originally raised in 1745 then disbanded and re-raised twice before being finally re-raised, in 1787, for service in India where it distinguished itself with honours. For its service in India it was awarded a 'Honorary' stand of colours and the badge of an elephant, circumscribed by the word Hindoostan.
In 1881 the 76th was formally amalgamated with the the 33rd Regiment of Foot. They became, respectively, the 1st and 2nd Battalions of The Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment) and later, The Duke of Wellington's Regiment (West Riding).
Between them the Battalions had seen service in:- Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium, Austria, Holland, Germany, America, The Caribbean, Canada, the Crimea, India, The Northwest Frontier Provinces (Pakistan), Gibralter, Minorca, and South Africa.
During the 1st World War twenty four Battalions were raised, fourteen of which were engaged on active service on the Western Front, in France, Italy and Gallipoli and a total of 72 Battle Honours were awarded. In the Second World War Battalions of the Regiment took part in the campaigns of Dunkirk, North West Europe, North Africa, Italy and Burma.
In 1948 the 1st and 2nd Battalions, the two Regular Army battalions, were amalgamated into a single Battalion, the 1st.
In 1953 the 1st Battalion fought in Korea with the UN. Since then they have seen action with the United Nations in undefined undefined undefined undefined undefined undefined undefined undefinedthe Korean War, two UN Peacekeeping tours in Cyprus, Police actions in Kenya and Hong Kong, several tours in Northern Ireland, a tour in the Falkland Islands, Nato service in Kosovo and the Republic of Macedonia and UN Peacekeeping Duties in Bosnia. They were part of the UN invasion force during the Gulf War in Iraq (OP TELIC 1) and since then have served a further tour in Iraq, helping to train the Iraqi security forces of the newly elected government. They have trained in all parts of the world from the Arctic to the Caribbean.
Nine members of the Regiment have been awarded the Victoria Cross, Britains Highest Military Honour. It was the first Regiment to have one of it's members awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross, which is second only to the Victoria Cross. Nine British Towns and Districts have given the Freedom of their Town to the Regiment. On November the 11th 2005 the Regiment was awarded the Theatre Honour 'Iraq 2003', in recognition of it's service during the Gulf War. Then the following day it was given the Key to the Town of Erquinghem Lys, France. It is the only British Military Regiment to be so Honoured by any French Town.
The 'Dukes' were an Armoured Infantry Regiment, equipped with the Warrior Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle.
stationed in Battlesbury Barracks Warminster.
On 6 June 2006 The 'Dukes' were amalgamated with the Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire and The Green Howards to form the Yorkshire Regiment.