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Unit History: Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own (Yorkshire Regiment)

Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own (Yorkshire Regiment)
The Regiment was first raised in 1688 by Colonel Francis Luttrell as the Luttrell Regiment of Foot.  The Regiment saw its first action at the Battle of Boyne (1690) during The Rising of 1689–92 when James II attempted to regain the throne he had lost to King William III during the Glorious Revolution.  The Regiment served during the Nine Years War (1688–97) and fought at the siege of Namur (1695). The Regiment served during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714) fighting at the Battle of Malplaquet and during the War of the Austrian Succession, (1740–48).
 
In 1744 the Regiment gained the nick name ‘The Green Howards’.  During the War of the Austrian Succession (1740–48), it came under the command of Lieutenant-General Thomas Howard, who also had command of a second Regiment (later The Buffs).  Following the naming convention of the time both Regiments would be called ‘Howard’s Regiment of Foot’.  In order to distinguish between them they were named after the colour of their uniform facings; the Green Howards and Howard’s Buffs.  The nickname stuck and survived until 1920 when it became the official title of the Regiment.
 
In 1751 the Regimental naming system was simplified with each Regiment assigned a ranked number according the precedence therefore the Regiment became the 19th regiment of Foot.  The Regiment served during the Seven Years War and captured the French Island of Belle Ile (1761), it then went on to served during the American War of Independence (1775) and the Siege of Ostend.  It was part of the campaigns in Ceylon, and operations against Tippoo Sahib (1796 - 1820) as well as playing a distinguished part during the Crimean War (1854-56), fighting at the Battles of Alma and Inkerman, and the Siege of Sevastopol.
 
In 1782 all British Regiments without Royal titles were awarded county titles to aid recruitment from that area therefore the Regiment became The 19th (First Yorkshire North Riding Regiment) of Foot. In 1875 Alexandra the Princess of Wales (wife of Albert the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII), presented the Regiment with new Colours and graciously granted the title of ‘The Princess of Wales's Own’ and became the 19th (1st Yorkshire North Riding - Princess of Wales’s Own) Regiment of Foot.
 
In 1881 as part of the Childers Reforms which restructured the British army into a network of multi-battalion Regiments.  The Regiment managed to avoid amalgamation with any other regiment but was re-titled to become ‘The Princess of Wales's Own Yorkshire Regiment’ and ‘Alexandra’ was added after 1902.  The Regiment went on to serve during the Boer War and two World Wars.  In 1920 the Regiment was once again re-titled as ‘The Green Howards (Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own Yorkshire Regiment)’.  In 2004, as part of the re-organisation of the infantry, the Green Howards were merged with the Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire and the Duke of Wellington's Regiment to form the new Yorkshire Regiment.

Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own (Yorkshire 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 to rival 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, 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 25 Battalions and was awarded 52 Battle Honours and 10 Victoria Crosses during the course of the War.

1st Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Bariam, Punjab and remained in India throughout the war.

2nd Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Guernsey and then moved to Southampton and then to Lyndhurst as part of the 21st Brigade of the 7th Division.
06.10.1914 Mobilised for war and landed at Zeebrugge and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1914
The First Battle of Ypres (the Division suffered heavy losses in this battle and took the rest of the year to rebuild).
20.12.1915 Transferred to the 21st Brigade of the 30th Division;
1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of the Transloy Ridges.
1917
The pursuit of the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Second Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of Pilkem Ridge.
11.05.1918 Transferred to the 32nd Brigade of the 11th Division and absorbed 21 Officers and 640 men of the 6th Battalion.
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 at Goegnies Chausse north of Maubeuge, France.

3rd (Reserve) Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Richmond then moved to West Hartlepool where it remained.

1/4th & 1/5th Battalion Territorial Force
04.08.1914 The 1/4th stationed at Northallerton as part of the York & Durham Brigade of the Northumbrian Division then moved to Newcastle and then Hammersknott Park, Darlington.
04.08.1914 The 1/5th stationed at Scarborough as part of the York & Durham Brigade of the Northumbrian Division then moved to Hull and then Hammersknott Park, Darlington.
Oct 1914 Both moved to Newcastle.
18.04.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and formation became 150th Brigade of the 50th Division.
1915
The Battle of St Julien, The Battle of Frezenburg Ridge, The Battle of Bellewaarde Ridge.
1916
The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval, The Battle of the Transloy Ridges.
1917
The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Capture of Wancourt Ridge, The Second Battle of the Scarpe, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Actions at the Somme Crossings, The Battle of Rosieres, The Battle of Estaires, The Battle of Hazebrouck, The Battle of the Aisne.
16.07.1918 Reduced to cadre and moved to defence the Lines of Communication at Dieppe areas.
16.08.1918 Transferred to the 116th Brigade of the 39th Division.
06.11.1918 Demobilized.

2/4th & 2/5th Battalion Territorial Force
04.09.1914 The 2/4th formed at Northallerton.
Sept 1914 The 2/5th formed at Scarborough.
Early 1915 Both moved to Benton, Newcastle as part of the 189th Brigade of the 63rd Division
July 1915 Moved to Cramlington and then Gainsborough.
July 1916 the 63rd Division broken up and the 189th Brigade moved to Catterick.
09.11.1916 Moved to Blackpool and transferred to the 220th Brigade of the 73rd Division.
Jan 1917 Moved to Chelmsford, then reduced in strength.
21.12.1917 The 2/4th disbanded and the 2/5th disbanded 29.03.1918.

3/4th & 3/5th Battalion Territorial Force
April 1915 The 3/4th formed at Northallerton and the 3/5th for at Scarborough in Mar 1915.
April 1916 Both moved to Redcar and became the 4th and 5th (Reserve) Battalions.
01.09.1916 The 4th absorbed the 5th and then moved to Catterick
July 1917 Moved to Sutton-on-Hill.
01.09.1916 joined the North Umbrian Reserve Brigade Territorial Force
April 1918 Moved to Hornsea where it remained.

6th (Service) Battalion
25.08.1914 Formed at Richmond as part of the First New Army (K1) moved to Belton Park, Grantham joining the 32nd Brigade of the 11th Division.
April 1915 Moved to Witley Camp, Godalming.
03.07.1915 Mobilised for war and embarked for Gallipoli from Liverpool via Mudros.
06.08.1915 Landed at Suvla Bay and engaged in various actions against the Turkish Army including;
The Battle of Sari Bair.
18.02.1916 At Imbros.
07.02.1916 Evacuated from Gallipoli to Alexandria due to severe casualties from combat, disease and harsh weather, took over part of the Suez Canal defences.
Jun 1916 Attached to the 11th Division and moved to France arriving at Marseilles and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
The capture of the Wundt-Werk, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Thiepval.
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.
15.05.1918 Reduced to cadre and remaining personnel transferred to 2nd battalion. Cadre transferred to the 66th Division.
29.06.1918 Transferred to the 75th Brigade of the 25th Division.
30.06.1918 Returned to England arriving at Folkstone and then moved to Mytchett, Aldershot
July 1918 Moved to Margate and absorbed the new 19th Battalion.
End Aug 1918 Returned to Mytchett.
09.09.1918 The 75th Brigade became the 236th Brigade
17.10.1918 Embarked for North Russia from Dundee arriving at Murmansk on the 27.11.1918, to support the ‘White’ Government army against the ‘Red’ Bolshevik Army at the beginning of the Russian Civil War.

7th (Service) Battalion
Sept 1914 Formed at Richmond as part of the Second New Army (K2) and then moved to Wareham joining the 50th Brigade of the 17th Division.
May 1915 Moved to Romsey.
14.07.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western front including;
1915
Holding front lines in southern area of Ypres salient.
1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Delville Wood.
1917
The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Second Battle of the Scarpe, The Capture of Roeux, The First Battle of Passchendaele, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
19.02.1918 Disbanded and remaining personnel transferred to the 6th 12th and 13th Battalions.

8th (Service) Battalion
22.09.1914 Formed at Richmond as part of the Third New Army (K3) and then moved to Frensham joining the 69th Brigade of the 23rd Division, then moved to Aldershot.
Feb 1915 Moved to Folkstone and then Maidstone and then Bramshott.
26.08.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1915
Trench familiarisation as part of the 20th (Light) and 27th Divisions and then taking control of the front line at Ferme Grande Flamengrie to the Armentieres-Wez Macquart road and at Bois Grenier.
1916
Relieved the French 17th Division in the Carency sector between the Boyau de l'Ersatz and the Souchez River. The German Attack on Vimy Ridge, 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, The capture of Le Sars.
1917
The Battle of Messines, The Battle of the Menin Road, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The First Battle of Passchendaele, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
13.11.1917 Moved to Italy to strengthen Italian resistance after a recent disaster at the Battle of Caporetto and took part in various actions including;
The fighting on the Asiago Plateau, The Battle of Vittorio Veneto, including the passage of the Piave and the battle of Monticano.
04.11.1918 Ended the war at Palse west of Pordenone, Italy.

9th (Service) Battalion
26.09.1914 Formed at Richmond as part of the Third New Army (K3) and then moved to Frensham joining the 69th Brigade of the 23rd Division, then moved to Aldershot.
Feb 1915 Moved to Folkstone and then Maidstone and then Bramshott.
26.08.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1915
Trench familiarisation as part of the 20th (Light) and 27th Divisions and then taking control of the front line at Ferme Grande Flamengrie to the Armentieres-Wez Macquart road and at Bois Grenier.
1916
Relieved the French 17th Division in the Carency sector between the Boyau de l'Ersatz and the Souchez River. The German Attack on Vimy Ridge, 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, The capture of Le Sars.
1917
The Battle of Messines, The Battle of the Menin Road, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The First Battle of Passchendaele, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
13.11.1917 Moved to Italy to strengthen Italian resistance after a recent disaster at the Battle of Caporetto and took part in various actions including;
The fighting on the Asiago Plateau, The Battle of Vittorio Veneto, including the passage of the Piave and the battle of Monticano.
17.09.1918 Returned to France and joined the 74th Brigade of the 25th Division.
11.11.1918 Ended the war Bousies N.W. of Landrecies, France.

10th (Service) Battalion
30.09.1914 Formed at Richmond as part of the Third New Army (K3) and then moved to Berkhamsted joining the 62nd Brigade of the 21st Division, then moved to Halton Park and then Aylesbury.
May 1915 Moved back to Halton Park and then Witley Camp, Godalming.
10.09.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western front including;
1915
The Battle of Loos (the Division suffered severer casualties and took the rest of the year to rebuild).
1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin Ridge, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval, The Battle of Le Transloy.
1917
The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Third Battle of the Scarpe, The flanking operations around Bullecourt, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The Battle of Broodseinde, The Second Battle of Passchendaele, The Cambrai Operations.
10.02.1918 Disbanded at Moislains, remaining personnel transferred to the 2nd 4th and 5th Battalions.

11th (reserve) Battalion
Oct 1914 Formed at West Hartlepool as a service battalion of the Fourth New Army (K4) as part of the 89th Brigade of the 30th Division, and then moved to Darlington.
10.04.1915 Became a 2nd Reserve battalion and the 89th Brigade became the 1st Reserve Brigade.
Oct 1915 Moved to Rugeley, Cannock Chase.
01.09.1916 Absorbed into the Training Reserve Battalions of the 1st Reserve Brigade.

12th (Service) Battalion (Tees-side Pioneers)
21.12.1914 Formed by the Mayor and the Town at Middlesbrough and then moved to Gosforth.
Aug 1915 Move to Cannock Chase.
27.08.1915 Taken over by the War Officer.
Sept 1915 Moved to Badajoz Barracks, Aldershot became a Pioneer Battalion attached to the 40th Division.
02.06.1916 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1916
The Battle of the Ancre.
1917
The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line (March), The capture of Fifteen Ravine, Villers Plouich, Beaucamp and La Vacquerie, The Cambrai Operations.
1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Estaires, The Battle of Hazebrouck.
05.05.1918 Reduced to cadre.
28.06.1918 Cadre absorbed by the 17th Worcestershire Regiment at La Belle Hotesse S.W. of Hazebrouck.

13th (Service) Battalion
July 1915 formed at Richmond as a bantam battalion and then moved to Aldershot as part of the 121st Brigade of the 40th Division.
02.04.1916 Moved to Woking and absorbed the 18th Sherwood Foresters.
06.06.1916 Mobilised for war landing at Havre and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin Ridge, The Battle of Delville Wood, The Battle of Thiepval Ridge, The Battle of the Ancre Heights, The Battle of the Ancre.
1917
Operations on the Ancre, The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The Third Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of Pilkem Ridge, The Battle of Langemarck, First Battle of Passchendaele, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
06.05.1918 Reduced to cadre at St. Momelin.
17.06.1918 Transferred to the 34th Division and then the 30th Division.
30.06.1918 Transferred to the 75th Brigade of the 25th Division and returned to England.
July 1918 Moved to Aldeburgh and reformed by absorbing the newly formed 23rd West Yorkshire Regiment.
End Aug 1918 Returned to Mytchett.
09.09.1918 The 75th Brigade became the 236th Brigade.
17.10.1918 Embarked for North Russia from Dundee arriving at Murmansk on the 27.11.1918, to support the ‘White’ Government army against the ‘Red’ Bolshevik Army at the beginning of the Russian Civil War.

14th (Reserve) Battalion
Sept 1915 Formed from the depot companies of the 12th battalion at Darlington as a local reserve battalion and then moved to Newcastle.
01.09.1916 Became the 81st Training Reserve Battalion in the 19th Reserve Brigade.

15th (Reserve) Battalion
Mar 1916 Formed as a 2nd Reserve Battalion and then moved to Rugeley.
01.09.1916 Became 10th Training Reserve Battalion in the 2nd Reserve Brigade.

16th (Labour) Battalion
June 1916 Formed at Brocklesby, Lincs.
12.07.1916 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre working on the Lines of Communication.
April 1917 Became 22nd & 23rd Labour Companies of the Labour Corps.

17th (Home Service) Battalion
Nov 1916 Formed at Blackpool as part of the 220th Brigade of the 73rd Division.
Jan 1917 Moved to Chelmsford.
15.12.1917 Disbanded.

18th Battalion Territorial Forces
01.01.1917 Formed at Clacton from the 24th Provisional Battalion as part of the 222nd Brigade.
April 1917 Moved to Margate where it remained until the end of the war.

19th Battalion
June 1918 formed at Margate.
July 1918 Absorbed by the 6th Battalion.

1st Garrison Battalion
Oct 1915 Formed at Pontefract.
24.12.1915 sailed to India where it remained.

2nd (Home Service) Garrison Battalion
May 1916 Formed at Richmond.
Mar 1917 Moved to Hartlepool and then became the 10th Battalion of the Royal Defence Corps.
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Active From: 1688 - 2004

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