Local Regiments & Militia

This Foldout collects the entries for some of the Regiments and Military Groups which are – or were – to be found in the district

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1st Battalion, the Yorkshire RegimentRef 317-A8800
In 2013, the name of the 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, Duke of Wellington's was changed to the 1st Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment (1 YORKS) 

1st West Riding MilitiaRef 317-231
Around 1800, the Government offered sums of £70 to £100 to encourage men to join the Militia.

See 1st West York Militia and John Wilson

1st West York MilitiaRef 317-1083
Commanders of the Regiment have included Colonel Dixon, Sir George Savile, The Duke of Norfolk, and Earl Fitzwilliam.

See 1st West Riding Militia and 2nd West Yorkshire Militia

1st Yorkshire West Riding RegimentRef 317-124
See 33rd Regiment of Foot

2nd Battalion West Riding RegimentRef 317-A909
The Duke of Wellington's.

Formerly known as the 76th Regiment.

They were on garrison duty in Bermuda [1886], Nova Scotia [1888], West Indies [1891], South Africa [1893], and Burma [around 1898].

On 2nd December 1905 when they returned to England after nearly 20 years of foreign service.

They were in Ireland [1914].

On 16th June 1919, there was public welcome home from abroad, after World War I, for the Regiment

See King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

2nd West Riding Yorkshire Volunteer ArtilleryRef 317-230
Their WDRA Barracks were on Arden Road.

See Edward Nathan Whitley

2nd West Yorkshire MilitiaRef 317-551
Recorded in 1813

See 1st West York Militia and William Kershaw

2nd West Yorkshire Yeomanry CavalryRef 317-1720
Aka the Second West Yorkshire (Prince of Wales Own) Yeomanry  Cavalry / the Second West Yorkshire Yeomanry Cavalry / the 2nd West Yorkshire Yeoman Cavalry / the 2nd West York Yeoman Cavalry.

The group was formed on 3rd August 1842 by local mill owners – including Sir Henry Edwards – to protect themselves against civil unrest and demonstrations by the Chartists and the Plug Riots of 1842. It covered Halifax and Huddersfield, with the headquarters at the Orderly Room, Halifax. There were 2 troops at Halifax and 1 at Huddersfield.

It was originally called The Morley & Agbrigg Yeomanry Cavalry. However, it was felt that this did not identify with the county of York, so Lord Wharncliffe, who assisted in the formation of regiment changed the name of his own regiment to the 1st West Yorkshire Yeomanry Cavalry, and the Morley & Agbrigg became the 2nd West Yorkshire Yeomanry Cavalry.

It was effectively the family regiment of the Edwards family.

Their first permanent duty was at Harrogate on 27th September 1843. They remained there for 8 days.

They were known as the Blue Jackets and were disbanded in March 1894.

They used the Halifax Riding School in Portland Place as a drill hall.

Members of the Cavalry included

2nd West Yorkshire Yeomanry CavalryRef 317-741
See 2nd West Riding Yorkshire Volunteer Artillery

3rd Yorkshire West Riding Rifle VolunteersRef 317-879
19th century military group.

Volunteers included William Trubee Burrow

4th Yorkshire West Riding Rifle VolunteersRef 317-455
On 3rd June 1859, Colonel Edward Akroyd raised the volunteers.

He was their commanding officer and Honorary Colonel for several years.

Other volunteers included

On 3rd August 1863, a group of the Volunteers formed a bodyguard for the Prince of Wales when he visited the district and opened Halifax Town Hall.

They subsequently became the 1st Volunteer Battalion.

See Prescott Street Drill Hall and Volunteer Rifle Barracks, Halifax

This & associated entries use material contributed by Derrick Habergham

6th West Yorkshire MilitiaRef 317-118
Recorded in 1857, when 330 out of 580 recruits turned up for 21 days' drill and exercise.

Halifax was the headquarters.

This was the first Militia Regiment in Halifax. Captain Godfrey Armytage was appointed Adjutant of the Regiment [October 1858].

In 1868, the old Hanson Lane gaol was appropriated for use by the regiment.

In 1874, the West Yorkshire Militia Store (6th) is recorded at Trafalgar, Halifax.

See David Stead and Wellesley Barracks

6th West Yorkshire RiflesRef 317-A513

See James Walker Sykes

8th Battalion West Yorkshire RegimentRef 317-4
/ Leeds Rifles

8th West Yorkshire Artillery VolunteersRef 317-A896
See T. Morley

10th Regiment of FootRef 317-125
In 1685, in order to deal with Monmouth's Rebellion, James II added several new regiments of horse and foot to those already in being. On 20th June 1685, a commission was issued to Major General John Granville, Earl of Bath, to raise 11 companies of foot, each containing 100 private men. The men for the new regiment were raised in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

From 1751, the practice of calling Regiments of Foot by the names of their Colonels ceased, numbers were used instead; the Earl of Bath's Regiment became the 10th Regiment of Foot.

See Captain Jeremy Lister

14th Regiment of FootRef 317-A968
Recorded in 1809 & 1874.

See John Pullinger

15th Battalion West Yorkshire RegimentRef 317-A444
/ Leeds Pals.

See Albert Mallinson, Pals Battalion and Fred Wilcock

16th Battalion West Yorkshire RegimentRef 317-A445
/ 1st Bradford Pals.

See Pals Battalion

18th Battalion West Yorkshire RegimentRef 317-A446
/ 2nd Bradford Pals.

See Pals Battalion

20th (Service) Battalion West Yorkshire RegimentRef 317-A447
/ 3rd Bradford Pals.

See Pals Battalion

22nd Regiment of FootRef 317-424

33rd Regiment of FootRef 317-122
The infantry regiment known as Huntingdon's Regiment was established on 14th March 1702, at the outbreak of the Spanish War of Succession.

In 1751, it became the 33rd Regiment of Foot

Lord Cornwallis was Colonel of the Regiment [1766-1805]. Under his control, the regiment was described as the best trained in the Army.

In 1702, the regiment became known as the 33rd [or 1st Yorkshire West Riding] Regiment, and was first formally linked with the West Riding of Yorkshire, in recognition of its long-established tradition of recruiting soldiers from this part of the country. The soldiers were known as the Havercake lads.

In 1793, Arthur Wellesley bought his post as Major and then as Lieutenant Colonel in the Regiment.

In 1806, he succeeded Cornwallis as Colonel.

He held the post until 1813 when he became Colonel of the Horse Guards.

In 1815, at the Battle of Waterloo, the 33rd Regiment of Foot had again been commanded by the Duke of Wellington, then a Colonel, and played a crucial role in defeating Napoleon when they routed the French tyrant's much feared Imperial Guard.

In December 1879, the old colours were placed in Halifax Parish Church.

In July 1881, the regiment merged with the 76th Regiment of Foot to become the Duke of Wellington's Regiment, the only Regiment to be named after a person not of the Royal Blood.

In 1898, a Cycle Corps was established and used the Flying Dutchman bicycle.

See Priestley Alderson, Lieutenant J. B. H. Carmichael, Duke of Wellington's Chapel, Duke of Wellington's Regiment West Riding Museum, Frank Whitworth Eagar, Henry John Ellis, Flying Dutchman, Joseph Kershaw, Lieutenant R. S. P. Robinson, Mark Saltonstall, Captain E. S. Wason, Major A. J. Weeding and Wellesley Barracks

51st Regiment of FootRef 317-157
In 1758, the 53rd Regiment of Foot became the 51st Regiment of Foot.

In 1888, it became the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

53rd Regiment of FootRef 317-155
Established by the 2nd Marquis of Rockingham and Sir George Savile in March 1756.

In 1758, it became the 51st Regiment of Foot.

In 1888, it became the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

People recorded in the Regiment include

76th Regiment of FootRef 317-458
Infantry regiment which first fought at Bangalore [1771].

The regiment was raised in 1787 for service in India.

It performed distinguished service in the Indian wars, and was awarded honorary colours by the East India Company and adopted its badge showing an elephant circumscribed by the word Hindoostan.

In July 1881, the regiment merged with the 33rd Regiment of Foot to become the 2nd Battalion of Duke of Wellington's Regiment.

See Duke of Wellington's Regiment West Riding Museum and Wellesley Barracks

95th Regiment of FootRef 317-210
Infantry regiment

Agbrigg & Morley Yeoman CavalryRef 317-426
See Second West Yorkshire Yeoman Cavalry and Agbrigg

Arden Road Barracks, HalifaxRef 317-566
The barracks for the 2nd West Riding Yorkshire Volunteer Artillery [1905].

The barracks were gutted by fire on 6th December 1910.

See Arden Road Drill Hall and Territorial Army

Artillery Volunteers' Orderly Room, HalifaxRef 317-690
Recorded in 1874 at 33 Crown Street, Halifax when J. B. Holroyde was Captain

BarracksRef 317-1
See Barracks in Halifax

Brighouse TerritorialsRef 317-1851
Members and Officers of the company have included

See Territorial Army

Brighouse Volunteer Rifle CorpsRef 317-1848
Established in December 1859.

Members included Michael Payton

Drill HallsRef 317-2

See Drill Hall, Arden Road, Drill Hall, Brighouse, Drill Hall, Halifax, Drill Hall, Sowerby Bridge and Drill Hall, Todmorden

Duke of Wellington's RegimentRef 317-3

See Duke of Wellington's Chapel, Duke of Wellington's Chapel, The Duke of Wellington's Regiment (West Riding), Duke of Wellington's Regiment West Riding Museum, Duke of Wellington's Regimental Association, Duke of Wellington's Regimental Memorial, Halifax Parish Church 3rd Battalion Duke of Wellington's Regiment, Halifax Parish Church 9th Battalion Duke of Wellington's Regiment, Halifax Parish Church Duke of Wellington's Regiment War Memorial Chapel, Duke of Wellington's Barracks and Arthur Wellesley

Elland TerritorialsRef 317-667
Recorded on 14th July 1908, when the West Vale section formed.

See Territorial Army

Halifax MilitiaRef 317-2040
Aka Halifax Local Militia.

The original colours – which were presented to the regiment on 10th January 1804 by Lady Mary Horton, wife of Colonel Thomas Horton – hang in Howroyd Hall, Barkisland.

See William Cartwright, Henry Currer, Samuel Hartley and Colonel Thomas Ramsden

Halifax TerritorialsRef 317-3401
Recorded on 17th July 1909, when there was an inspection by General Wright of the Territorials, parading on Savile Park with their new colours

Halifax Volunteer Corps of InfantryRef 317-2047
Instituted in April 1794 at a time when military forces and revolutionary ideas were expected from France.

They met in the Piece Hall.

They were disbanded [disembodied] on 13th May 1802.

They reformed in 1804.

See Dr Gervase Alexander, Edward Percy Chambers, Rev Dr Henry William Coulthurst, Alfred Riley Greenwood, Halifax Cavalry, Dr Richard Lightfoot and John Wilkinson

Halifax Volunteer Rifle CorpsRef 317-2038
Originally the 4th Yorkshire West Riding Rifle Volunteers.

The strength of the Corps is illustrated by a report from July 1864

The Halifax Volunteer Rifle Corps was reviewed on Skircoat Moor, by Colonel Harman. The number of members of the corps present was 475; absent with leave 105; absent without leave 25; total strength of the regiment 605

See Volunteer Rifle Barracks, Halifax

Halifax Volunteer Troop of CavalryRef 317-2049
Instituted in 1794, shortly after the Halifax Volunteer Corps of Infantry, at a time when military forces and revolutionary ideas were expected from France.

The men wore scarlet coats and breeches, with green waistcoats and facings, gold-laced hats, and wigs.

Sir John Lister-Kaye was Major commandant of the Troop [1805]. Captain Ingram was commandant of the Troop [1805]

Havercake LadsRef 317-2041
The name goes back to the Civil War when Geoffrey Bosvile of Gunthwaite House raised a regiment of 1,000 men from the West Riding.

Later, it was a popular name given to the 33rd Regiment of Foot – then the 1st Yorkshire West Riding Regiment – because of a tradition from 1782 in which one of the recruiting sergeants carried a havercake on his bayonet or his sword at recruiting parades. The cake symbolised the fact that military life ensured food which had become scarce during the Napoleonic Wars. A recruit received a bounty of 10 guineas if he enlisted for 10 years, or 16 guineas if he enlisted for life.

Many of the recruits came from Sowerby.

See John Scholefield

Leeds RiflesRef 317-5
See 8th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment

Orderly Room, HalifaxRef 317-377
The orderly room of the 2nd West Yorkshire Yeoman Cavalry was housed in the Halifax Assembly Rooms with the entrance in Carlton Street [1850]

Shibdendale Rifle VolunteersRef 317-2619
In September 1860, proposals were announced for the formation of a rifle corps of 100 men in the Queenshead district. Michael Stocks offered to equip the volunteers at his own cost

Territorial ArmyRef 317-996
A volunteer force which is organised to provide a reserve of trained manpower for use in a national emergency.

Its members are often called territorials or reserves.

See Arden Road Barracks, ATS, Brighouse Territorials, Drill Hall, Halifax, Drill Hall, Sowerby Bridge, Elland Territorials, Halifax Territorials and Reservist

Todmorden (G) Company, 2nd Battalion of Lancashire FusiliersRef 317-1122
The Head Quarters of the Fusiliers were in Rochdale.

Recorded on 19th May 1888, when they had a week's training at Rhyl. In 1888, John Fielden was Honorary Colonel of the Fusiliers.

See East Lancashire Fusiliers and Lancashire Fusiliers

Todmorden Company of VolunteersRef 317-1137
Recorded in 1900, when the death of former Captain Ducker was reported

Wellesley Barracks, HalifaxRef 317-476
Gibbet Street / Spring Hall Lane, Highroad Well.

Established in 1875 following a Bill of 1872 – the Cardwell reforms – which sought to spread home forces across the country, in order to encourage local connections and to assist in recruitment.

The building was designed by the Royal Engineers' architect, J & W. Beanland of Bradford, in a castellated Gothic Revival style. The land was given by Charles Musgrave.

The 16 Army buildings included a chapel, officers buildings, the Orderly Room and the Guard Room.

The barrack blocks were known as Wellington and Musgrave.

The barracks were inaugurated on 29th August 1877 when the 33rd and 76th Regiments of Foot occupied the building.

In October 1877, the 6th West Yorkshire Militia moved in.

On 11th February 1918, there was an outbreak of smallpox at the Barracks, with 3 cases being reported in 6 days.

The present building was begun in 1938.

During World War II, it was used for A. T. S. Training.

The property was known as The Barracks until the name Wellesley Barracks was given in 1953.

The Duke of Wellington's Regiment remained at the barracks until 1959 when the barracks closed.

The site was bought by Halifax Council for £30,000 in September 1963 and renamed Wellesley Park. In May 2003, the Council approved controversial plans to build a new school at the Barracks.

The Keep and other parts of the building are listed.

See Rev Alec Charlton and Halifax Academy

West Yorkshire VolunteersRef 317-519
See 2nd West Riding Yorkshire Volunteer Artillery, 4th Yorkshire West Riding Rifle Volunteers and 1st Volunteer Battalion Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment

West Yorkshire Yeomanry CavalryRef 317-498
Aka Second West Yorkshire Yeoman Cavalry

© Malcolm Bull 2024
Revised 19:22 / 14th May 2024 / 33957

Page Ref: MMR1127

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