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Unit History: York and Lancaster Regiment

York and Lancaster Regiment The York and Lancaster Regiment was officially formed in 1881 through the amalgamation of the 65th and the 84th Regiment of Foot during the Childers Reforms, but it can trace its history back over 100 years earlier than this date.

The 65th Regiment of Foot was first formed in 1756 when the 2nd Battalion of the 12th Foot (Suffolk Regiment) became independent. The Regiment went on to served in the West Indies and against the French in the Seven Years War (1756-1762). After the Regiment’s returned to England in 1763 it was promptly posted to America and took part in the American War of Independence (1775–1783) where it suffered terrible casualties at the Battle of Bunker Hill. In 1782 all British Regiments without Royal titles were awarded county titles in order to aid recruitment and the 65th became the '65th The 2nd Yorkshire North Riding Regiment'. The Regiment returned to the West Indies in 1793-95 during the French Revolutionary War (1792–1802) and then served in India for 22 years from 1800, fighting during the 3rd Mahratta War (1817-1819) and was part of anti-pirate operations in the Persian Gulf, therefore becoming the only British Regiment awarded with the battle honour ‘Arabia’. In 1846 the Regiment was posted to Australia for 20 years where it served in the New Zealand War (1845-1872).

The 84th Regiment of Foot was raised in 1793 at York during the French Revolutionary War. In 1795 the Regiment was posted to the Cape of Good Hope, and then on to Madras three years later and stayed in India from 1798 to 1819, fighting during the Third Anglo–Maratha War (1817–1818) and in 1810 was also part of the capture of Mauritius. The Regiment also served as part of the unsuccessful 1809 Walcheren expedition into the Netherlands when the British tried to open an addition front in against France during the Peninsular War (1808-14). In 1809 The Regiment was granted a county title in order to increase recruitment and became the 84th (York and Lancaster) Regiment of Foot. The Regiment went on to serve in Jamaica in 1827-1838 suppressing the slave revolts and in Burma as well as during the India Rebellion of 1857.

These two Regiments were amalgamated in 1881 to form The York and Lancaster Regiment as part of the Childers Reforms which restructured the British army into a network of multi-battalion Regiments. The newly formed Regiment served in Egypt, Sudan and during the Second Boer War (1899-1902) took part in the Relief of Ladysmith as well as two World Wars. As part of army restructuring in 1968, The York and Lancaster was one of two infantry Regiments chosen to be disbanded. However the Regimental traditions were continued by the companies of the Yorkshire Volunteers as the Hallamshire Battalion.

York and Lancaster Regiment during WW1

Since 1815 the balance of power in Europe had been maintained by a series of treaties. In 1888 Wilhelm II was crowned ‘German Emperor and King of Prussia’ and moved from a policy of maintaining the status quo to a more aggressive position. He did not renew a treaty with Russia, aligned Germany with the declining Austro-Hungarian Empire and started to build a Navy rivalling that of Britain. These actions greatly concerned Germany’s neighbours, who quickly forged new treaties and alliances in the event of war. On 28th June 1914 Franz Ferdinand the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne was assassinated by the Bosnian-Serb nationalist group Young Bosnia who wanted pan-Serbian independence. Franz Joseph's the Austro-Hungarian Emperor (with the backing of Germany) responded aggressively, presenting Serbia with an intentionally unacceptable ultimatum, to provoke Serbia into war. Serbia agreed to 8 of the 10 terms and on the 28th July 1914 the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war on Serbia, producing a cascade effect across Europe. Russia bound by treaty to Serbia declared war with Austro-Hungary, Germany declared war with Russia and France declared war with Germany. Germany’s army crossed into neutral Belgium in order to reach Paris, forcing Britain to declare war with Germany (due to the Treaty of London (1839) whereby Britain agreed to defend Belgium in the event of invasion). By the 4th August 1914 Britain and much of Europe were pulled into a war which would last 1,566 days, cost 8,528,831 lives and 28,938,073 casualties or missing on both sides.

The Regiment raised 22 Battalions in total during the course of World War 1 and recruited approximately 57,000 men during these years, 72 out of every 100 men were either wounded or killed. The Regiment was awarded 59 battle honours including 1,190 gallantry awards four of which were Victoria Crosses. 8,814 men of this Regiment died during the course of the war.

1st Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Jubbulpore, India at the outbreak of war.
22.11.1914 Embarked for England from Bombay, arriving at Southampton 23.12.1914 and moved to Hursley Park to join the 83rd Brigade of the 28th Division.
17.01.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1915
The Second Battle of Ypres, The Battle of Loos.
Oct 1915 Moved to Egypt and then on to Salonika to aid Serbia against the Bulgarian forces and were involved in various actions including;
During 1916
The occupation of Mazirko, The capture of Barakli Jum'a.
During 1917
The capture of Ferdie and Essex Trenches, The capture of Barakli and Kumli.
During 1918
The Battle of Doiran, The pursuit to the Strumica valley.
30.09.1918 Ended the war in Macedonia, Tronovo north of Lake Doiran.

2nd Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Limerick, Ireland at the outbreak of war as part of the 16th Brigade of the 6th Division and then moved to Cambridge
09.09.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at St. Nazaire and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1914
The actions on the Aisne heights.
During 1915
The action at Hooge.
During 1916
The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval, The Battle of Le Transloy.
During 1917
The Battle of Hill 70, The Cambrai operations.
During 1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of Bailleul, The First Battle of Kemmel Ridge, The Second Battle of Kemmel Ridge, The Advance in Flanders, The Battle of Epehy, The Battle of the St Quentin Canal, The Battle of Beaurevoir, The Battle of Cambrai, The pursuit to the Selle
The Battle of the Selle.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in France, Bohain

3rd Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Pontefract, West Yorkshire and then moved to Cleadon, Durham.
Jan 1915 Moved to Sunderland and then back to Durham.
Feb 1916 Moved back to Sunderland where it remained.

1/4th (Hallamshire) Battalion Territorial Force and 1/5th Battalion Territorial Force
04.08.1914 The 1/4th stationed at Sheffield and the 1/5th stationed at Rotherham, both as part of the3rd West Riding Brigade of the West Riding Division and then moved to Doncaster then Gainsborough and York.
14.04.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne where the formation became the 148th Brigade of the 49th Division and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1915
The Battle of Aubers Ridge, The first Germen attack on Phosgene.
During 1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin Ridge, The Battle of Pozieres Ridge, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette.
During 1917
Operations on the Flanders Coast, The Battle of Poelcapelle.
During 1918
The Battle of Estaires, The Battle of Messines, The Battle of Bailleul, The First and Second Battles of Kemmel Ridge, The Battle of the Scherpenberg, The pursuit to the Selle, The Battle of the Selle, The Battle of Valenciennes.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in France, Leforest north of Douai.

2/4th 2/5th Battalion Territorial Force
21.09.1914 The 2/4th Formed at Sheffield and the 2/5th formed at Rotherham on 03.10.1914.
Mar 1915 Both moved to Bulwell, Nottingham to join the 187th Brigade of the 62nd Division.
April 1915 Moved to Strensall, then Beverley, Gateshead, Larkhill, and Bungay.
Jan 1917 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1917
The Operations on the Ancre, The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The Arras offensive, The actions on the Hindenburg Line, The Cambrai Operations.
During 1918
The Battle of Bapaume, The First Battle of Arras 1918, The Battles of the Marne 1918, The Scarpe, The Battle of the Drocourt-Queant Line, The Battle of Havrincourt, The Battle of the Canal du Nord, The Battle of the Selle, The capture of Solesmes, The Battle of the Sambre.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in France, Sous-le-Bois near Maubeuge.

3/4th and 3/5th Battalion Territorial Force
Mar 1915 Formed and then moved to Clipstone.
08.04.1916 Became the 4th and 5th Reserve Battalions.
01.09.1916 The 4th absorbed the 5th as part of the West Riding Reserve Brigade.
Oct 1917 Moved to Rugeley, then Woodbridge and Southen by 19.10.1918.

6th (Service) Battalion
Aug 1914 Formed at Pontefract as part of the First New Army (K1) and then moved to Grantham as part of the 32nd Brigade in the 11th Division and then moved to Witley by April 1915.
03.07.1915 Mobilised for war and embarked for Gallipoli from Liverpool via Mudros.
0.08.1915 Landed at Sulvla Bay and engaged in various actions against the Ottoman Empire including; The Battle of Scimitar Hill and attack on Hill 60.
Dec 1915 Evacuated to Mudros due to serve casualties from combat and disease.
Feb 1916 Moved to Egypt to defend the Suez Canal.
July 1916 Moved to France where the Division engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1916
The capture of the Wonder Work, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Thieve.
During 1917
Operations on the Ancre, The Battle of Messines, The Battle of the Langemarck, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The Battle of Broodseinde, The Battle of Poelcapelle.
During 1918
The Battle of the Scarpe+, The Battle of the Drocourt-Quant Line, The Battle of the Canal du Nord, The Battle of Cambrai 1918, The pursuit to the Selle, The Battle of the Sambre.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in Belgium, Havay north of Maubeuge.

7th (Service) Battalion
Aug 1914 Formed at Pontefract as part of the Second New Army (K2) and then moved to Wareham as part of the 50th Brigade in the 17th Division.
Mar 1915 became a Pioneer Battalion in the 17th Division and then moved to Hursley Park.
14.07.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and the Division engaged in various actions on the Western Front;
During 1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Delville Wood.
During 1917
The Arras Offensive and The Third Battles of Ypres.
During 1918
The Firsthand Second Battles of the Somme 1918, Battles of the Hindenburg Line, The Final Advance in Artois.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in France, Limont-Fontaine south of Maubeuge.

8th and 9th (Service) Battalion
Sept 1914 Both formed at Pontefract as part of the Third New Army (K3) and then moved to Frensham as part of the 70th Brigade in the 23rd Division.
Feb 1915 The 8th moved to Hythe and the 9th moved to Lyminge, Kent and then both moved to Bordon, Hampshire.
27.08.1915 Both Battalions mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and the Division engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin Ridge, The Battle of Pozieres, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval, The Battle of Le Transloy.
During 1917
The Battle of Messines, The Battle of the Menin Road, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The First and Second Battles of Passchendaele.
Nov 1917 Moved to Italy to strengthen the Italian resistance effort and engaged in various actions including;
During 1918
Fighting on the Asiago Plateau, The Battle of Vittorio Veneto.
11.11.1918 Ended the war in Italy, Porcia west of Pordenone.

10th (Service) Battalion
Sept 1914 Formed at Pontefract as part of the Third New Army (K3) and then moved to Halton Park as part of the 63rd Brigade in the 21st Division.
Dec 1914 Moved to Leighton Buzzard and then Tring and Witley.
11.09.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including; The Battle of Loos.
08.07.1916 Transferred to the 63rd Brigade of the 37th Division and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1916
The Battle of the Ancre.
During 1917
The First and Second Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of Arleux, The Battle of Pilkem Ridge, The Battle of the Menin Road Ridge, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The Battle of Broodseinde, The Battle of Poelcapelle, The First Battle of Passchendaele.
04.02.1918 Disbanded in France.

11th (Reserve) Battalion
Sept 1914 Formed as a service battalion for the 63rd Brigade of the 21st Division of the third New Army (K3). Soon replaced by the 12th West Yorks and became a battalion in the 90th Brigade of the 30th Division in the Forth New Army (K4). Then moved to Harrogate.
10.04.1915 The 90th brigade became the 2nd Reserve Brigade and the battalion became 2nd Reserve battalion.
May 1915 Moved to Otley and then Rugeley.
01.09.1916 Absorbed into the Training Reserve Battalion of the 2nd Reserve Brigade.

12th (Service) Battalion (Sheffield) and 14th (Service) Battalion (2nd Barnsley)
05.09.1914 The 12th formed by the Lord Mayor and The city in Sheffield.
30.11.1914 The 14th formed by the Lord Mayor and The city in Barnsley.
May 1915 Both moved to Penkridge, Cannock Chase and joined the 94th Brigade of the 31st Division and then moved to Rippon.
15.08.1915 Taken over by the war office and moved to Salisbury Plain.
Dec 1915 Mobilised for war and moved to Egypt to defend the Suez Canal.
Mar 1916 Moved to France where the Division engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of the Ancre.
During 1917
Operations on the Ancre, The Third Battle of the Scarpe, The Capture of Oppy Wood.
16.02.1918 The 14th disbanded in France.
17.02.1918 The 12th disbanded in France.

13th (Service) Battalion (1st Barnsley)
07.09.1914 Formed by the Lord Mayor and The city in Barnsley.
Dec 1914 Moved to Silkstone and then Penkridge, Cannock Chase and joined the 94th Brigade of the 31st Division and then moved to Rippon.
15.08.1915 Taken over by the war office and moved to Salisbury Plain.
Dec 1915 Mobilised for war and moved to Egypt to defend the Suez Canal.
Mar 1916 Moved to France where the Division engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of the Ancre.
During 1917
Operations on the Ancre, The Third Battle of the Scarpe, The Capture of Oppy Wood.
During 1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of Bapaume, The First Battle of Arras, The Battle of Estaires, The Battle of Hazebrouck, The Defence of Nieppe Forest, The attack at La Becque, The capture of Vieux Berquin, The Battle of Ypres, The action of Tieghem. 17.02.1918 Disbanded in France.

15th (Reserve) Battalion
July 1915 Formed from the depot companies of the 12th 13th and 14th Battalions as a local reserve at Silkstone.
Nov 1915 Moved to Brocton and then to Colsterdale.
July 1916 Moved to Newsham.
01.09.1916 Became the 91st Training Reserve Battalion in the 21st Reserve Brigade.

16th (Transport Workers) Battalion
Mar 1916 formed at Colsterdale and then moved to Durham and Catterick where it remained.
17th (Labour) Battalion
July 1916 Formed at Brocklesby and then moved to France to defend the Lines of Communication.
April 1917 Transferred to the Labour Corps as the 30th and 31st Labour Companies.

18th (service) Battalion
11.06.1918 Formed at Margate and then moved to Pirbright absorbing the 2/7th West Yorks cadre and transferred to the 41st Brigade of the 14th Division.
03.07.1918 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne where the Division engaged in various actions on the Western Front including; The Battle of Ypres 1918
11.11.1918 Ended the war in Belgium, Waterlos near Roubaix.

York and Lancaster Regiment during WW2

WW2 Battalions of the York and Lancashire Regiment

1st Battalion:
The Battalion was attached to the 15th Brigade, 5th Division.
April 1940: In the same Division, sent to Norway and became attached to 146 Brigade. It sailed across on the HMS Sheffield. The campaign didn’t last long and the survivors when the force was evacuated returned on the same ship.
1943:It was sent to Italy where fought until 1945.

2nd Battalion:
The Battalion was in the 70th Division and involved with very heavy fighting against the Germans in Crete, and at Tobruk. It did not remain in North Africa to see the fall of Tobruk.
28 February 1942: Battalion still in the same 70th Division set sail for India to help stop the advance of the Japanese Army in Burma, one of the most difficult fighting terrains in the Second World War. It became part of the Chindits 14th Brigade under command of Major General Orde Wingate.They did months of training.
5 February 1944: Began'Operation Thursday', which it was involved. After the death of Wingate the Chindit forces was switched to battles on the Indian border at Kohima.
Mid July 1944: It remained in action supporting the 36 Infantry Division.
August 1944: Battalion moved to India and didn't take part in any other operations during the war.

The Hallamshire Battalion:(Former 4th)
1940: The Battalion attached to 146th Brigade, 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division during the war
1940: It was sent to Norway along with the 1st Battalion.
1942: It was in Iceland, then trained at home,
June 1944: The Battalion landed in Normandy and fought from then until Arnhem.

5th Battalion:
1936: The former 5th Battalion (TA) had converted to an anti-aircraft artillery. It was in Imphal then later at Mandalay as the 67th (Y&L) HAA Regiment, RA.
1941: It served in the North African Campaign.
1944: It was transferred to Impha, India and later Mandalay, Burma.
October 1944 – January 1945: Due to a shortage of manpower it served as Infantry.

6th Battalion:
1940: The Battalion went to France with the 46th Division, and experienced heavy fighting in the St. Omer and La Bassee area.
1942: It was with the same Division and part of the 1st Army in Tunisia.
1943: The Battalion until the end of the war fought with the 8th Army in Italy, from Salerno to Rimini. The Battalion added many honours to the history of the Regiment.

7th Battalion:
The Battalion was in India and served mainly on the North-West Frontier.
1945: Moved to Burma, however, arriving too late to contribute to the defeat of Japan.

8th & 9th Battalions:
1940: After being stationed in Northern Ireland were both sent to India.
1942: They joined the 25th Indian Infantry Division
1942 - 1943: The Battalions were involved in a significant part in the Arakan battles.
1944 1945: They were also in battles for Southern Burma.

10th Battalion:
The Battalion was converted to tanks in India, becoming the 150th Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps, in 254 Indian Tank Brigade.
I942 – 1943: It was involved in battles at Imphal, and in the advance to Rangoon

Forces Reunited Gallery Images Matching York and Lancaster Regiment

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Memories of York and Lancaster Regiment

(Memories written by members of Forces Reunited)

York and Lancaster Regiment, Cyprus in 1967

Written by Dennis

great times in episkopi,dhekalia,troodos used to go down to limmasol for a few drinks also in the naffi then down to the raf to sort out the lads

Forces Reunited Forum Posts Involving York and Lancaster Regiment

"Mr Wanless’s recorded details are: 1941 Green Howards 1943 India - York and Lancaster Regiment Burma - Chindits Home 1946 Discharged 1948 Recalled Korea Northumberland Fusiliers 1950 Home 1952 "
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"...Battle of Crete in Heraklion in May  1941.  He served with with York & Lancs Regt. Any info greatly appreciated. Michael. Is this your father?? In Memory of Second Lieutenant DONALD AUGUSTUS McKEOWN Mentioned in Despatches 155029, 2nd Bn., York and Lancaster Regiment who died age 32 on 02 June 1941 Son of Mr. and Mrs. John McKeown, of Newport, Isle of Wight; husband of Patricia McKeown, of Morden, Surrey. Remembered with honour ATHENS MEMORIAL If so if you log in to www.cwgc.org you..."
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"...it would be ‘hell upon earth before we have finished’. Drummer Clay asked his mother ‘if it should be that my time has come... just look after my darling little daughter.’ Tragically within 24 hours the soldier, a member of the 8th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment, was killed in battle. His body was never recovered amongst the 60,000 British casualties of July 1, 1916. He left a six-year-old daughter, Harriet, whose mother had died in childbirth. Mr Green, Harriet’s son, said: ‘It..."
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"Alright Ngaire, I have had a little dig through my books & I have come up with this;   65th (2nd Yorkshire, North Riding) Regiment of foot was raised in 1758 from the 2nd Battalion, 12th Regiment of Foot. In 1881 it become the 1st Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment when it was amalgamated with the 84th (York and Lancaster) Regiment of Foot.   In your Grandads time he may of seen action in the1846 New Zealand land wars. The 65th’s first action took place at Horokiri, north of Wellington,..."
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"Just joined the site,trying to find what theatre of war my uncle fought and died in.He was in the york and Lancaster Regiment service no 200318,date of death 03/05/1917.Could someone point me in the right direction.Thanks Keith Brady "
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Active From: 1881 - 1968

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