1st Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment

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1st Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment
Active 1881–1968
Country  United Kingdom
Branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Type Infantry
Size Battalion
Nickname(s) Hickity Pip
The Royal Tigers
Battle honours Relief of Ladysmith
South Africa 1899–1902
World War I
World War II
Norway 1940

The 1st Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment was an infantry battalion of the British Army, created in 1881 from the 65th Regiment of Foot. The battalion was part of the York and Lancaster Regiment and in existence from 1881 until 1968 when, rather than amalgamating with another regiment of the line, the battalion chose instead to disband.


Early history[edit]

After amalgamation in the Childers Reforms of 1881 the new 1st Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment were based in Bengal, India. In 1882 they were shipped to Aden while the 2nd Battalion of the regiment were in Egypt fighting in the Battles of Kassasin and Tel-el Kebir. When war broke out in Sudan in 1884 the 1st Battalion was sent and fought in the Battle of El Teb. A future Field marshal, Herbert Plumer, 1st Viscount Plumer, was adjudant of the 1st Battalion at this time. During this battle a platoon of the battalion came to the rescue of Captain Arthur Wilson who won the Victoria Cross during the action.

In late 1884 the 1st Battalion was shipped back to England where they were to remain on various garrison duties until 1899 when the Anglo-Boer War in South Africa started. The 1st Battalion was formed into the 11th Brigade and fought through the war. In 1902 the battalion was shipped to India and remained there until the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.

World War I[edit]

The 1st Battalion returned from India in December 1914 and formed within the new regular 28th Division for service in France and Belgium. The battalion fought in many of the battles in 1915. They suffered heavy casualties during the Battles of Ypres and Loos. In late 1915 the 28th Division was shipped to Salonika as part of the new British Salonika Army that was created to stop Bulgarian expansion in the Balkans. The battalion spent the rest of the war there suffering one killed in action to every three killed from malaria and dysentery.

World War II[edit]

The 1st Battalion under the command of Lt. Col. A. L. Kent-Limon was involved in the Norwegian Campaign. The 1st Battalion served in the 15th Infantry Brigade, part of the 5th Infantry Division. It was landed at Åndalsnes from 23 to 25 April 1940 under Brig. H. E. F. Smyth. The force consisted of the 1st Battalion, Green Howards the 1st Battalion, Yorks and Lancs and the 1st Battalion, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and the 148th Infantry Brigade which landed on 20 April. The Norwegian campaign was a failure and the Allied forces were forced to withdraw.

After the battalions return to Great Britain the 5th Infantry Division began a series of journeys around the various British theatres of war without getting involved, it would the division the nickname Globe Trotters. In 1943 the globe trotting stopped and the division took part in the landings on Sicily. The battalion fought through Sicily and on into Italy from 1943 to 1945. It fought in many of the battles in the Italian Campaign and transferred to the Western Front and ended the war in Germany, after fighting in Operation Plunder.

Post 1945[edit]

In 1948 the 2nd Battalion was amalgamated with the 1st who were based in Germany with the 2nd Division. The Yorks and Lancs were sent to the Suez War of 1956 and B Company was sent to the Aden Conflict in 1964. In 1968 the regiment chose to be disbanded rather than face amalgamation.

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