65th (2nd Yorkshire, North Riding) Regiment of Foot

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65th (2nd Yorkshire, North Riding)
Regiment of Foot
Active 1758–1881
Country  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type Line infantry
Size Battalion
Nickname(s) The Royal Tigers
Hickety Pips
Colors Facings – White
Battle honours India
New Zealand

The 65th (2nd Yorkshire, North Riding) Regiment of Foot was an infantry regiment of the British Army, formed in 1758 from the redesignation of the 2nd Battalion, 12th Regiment of Foot.[1][2][3] In 1881 it would become the 1st Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment when amalgamated with the 84th (York and Lancaster) Regiment of Foot.[2][3][4]


Seven Years' War[edit]

After the regiment was formed in 1758 it was sent to the fever ridden West Indies to aid in the capturing of the French islands of Guadeloupe (1759) and Martinique (1762).[2][3] They were also involved in the expedition to capture Havana, Cuba in 1762.[2][4] In 1764 the 65th Foot returned to England, where the regiment refilled its ranks.[3]

American Revolution[edit]

The Battle of Bunker Hill, Howard Pyle, 1897

In 1768 the 65th Foot was shipped to Boston, Massachusetts as part of the garrison. A few years later in 1775 the American War of Independence began. The regiment's first action in the war was at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775 where their Grenadier and Light Companies were involved in the attack.[3][4]

In 1776 the remnants of the 65th Foot were drafted into other regiments and the officers sent home to reform.[3] In 1782 they received the title 2nd Yorkshire, North Riding Regiment.[2][4]

In 1789 war had broken out with France again and Spain and the 65th were sent in 1782 to the fortress at Gibraltar which had fallen to British forces. After this regiment was sent to Canada in 1784 and Nova Scotia in 1791.[2] In 1794 the 65th Foot were shipped back to the West Indies to take part in the attack on Santo Domingo in Haiti and a second attack on Martinique and then St Lucia.[3]

India and Mauritius[edit]

The 65th Foot were shipped to South Africa in 1800 and on to Ceylon where they were involved in the Kandian War and the Mahratta War both in 1803. The Napoleonic War was still going strong and the regiment was dispatched to the island of Mauritius in 1810 where they took part in the capture of the island. After this they were shipped back to India where they remained until 1821. During this time they were briefly involved in the campaign against the Oman Coast Pirates in the Persian Gulf as well as numerous uprisings and small wars in India.[2][3]

They returned to England 19 August 1822 after 22 years of 'real service'. To the West Indies 1829, then to Guiana.[5] They were back in Canada in time for the rebellions of 1837 and 1838.

Australia and New Zealand, 1845 to 1865[edit]

They went back to Britain in 1841 but were on the move again in 1845. The 65th sailed to New South Wales from Woolwich, England on the vessel "Java" on 18 May 1846, with Headquarters and 513 other ranks. The "Java" took 138 days sailing via Hobart then to Sydney where it arrived on 14 October 1846. It then sailed to Kororareka in the Bay of Islands arriving on 19 November and then on to Auckland arriving 27 November 1846, Detachments were stationed in Auckland. Some were sent on the vessel "Driver" to Wellington arriving on 15 December 1846. By 1847 the whole Regiment had been moved to Wellington, a detachment of which took part in a skirmish at Horokiri. Companies of the 65th relieved the garrison of the 58th Regiment in Wanganui and took part in the fighting there. Their next engagements were in the Taranaki Wars of 1860 to 1861 and in the Waikato campaign of 1863 to 1865, where Colour-sergeant Edward McKenna and Lance Corporal John Ryan won the Victoria Cross at Camerontown. The regiment returned to England from Onehunga in October 1865. They were known as the "Royal Tigers" and to the Maori as the "Hickety Pips" due to the Maori pronunciation of the number 65.

England and Ireland, 1866 to 1871[edit]

After 21 years in the colonies the 65th retired to England 1866. Quarter at Plymouth for a year, then Aldershot. Suddenly ordered to Ireland in 1867 'to suppress the Fenians' and remained there until embarking at Queenstown 11 January 1871 for India on The Serapis [5]

India, 1871 to 1882[edit]

After 5 years in Britain they were back in India in 1871. It seems the young age of their soldiers had given tropical acclimatization problems, as a question was asked in the House of Commons.[6] The Secretary for War replied; In April 1871 they were at Agra and 919 strong, including 579 privates and NCOs under 20. He had directed, if possible, that none should go under 20, and as many as possible be over 22. He said the 65th had just spent 20 years in Australia and 5 years at home and new arrangements meant home and foreign service would be expected to be equal.

Stationed Agra February 1871 to January 1874; Lucknow to November 1877, Danapore in Bengal to October 1880 & Morar to July 1882 [5]

They were still based in India when the 1881 Childers Reforms of the British Army occurred. The 65th Foot became the 1st Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment while the 84th Foot became the 2nd Battalion.[1][2][3][4]

As the 1st Battalion York and Lancasters, they shipped to Aden and spent 18 months in reserve for the Egyptian Campaign. They sailed to Sudan and the day after disembarking, 7 died at the Battle of El Teb on 29 February 1884. They were reported as 421 strong before 32 more were killed at Souakim on 14 March. They arrived back in England 22 April 1884.[5]

Battle honours and distinctions[edit]

The regiment was awarded the following battle honours for display on the regimental colours:

  • The Royal Tiger badge superscribed "India"[7]
  • Arabia[7] (unique to this regiment)[3][4]
  • New Zealand 1860-61[8]

In 1909 the successor York and Lancaster Regiment were awarded the honours Guadeloupe 1759 and Martinique 1794 for the service of the 65th Foot.[1]

Victoria Crosses[edit]

Victoria crosses awarded to men of the regiment were:


Colonels of the Regiment were:

65th Regiment of Foot[edit]

65th (The 2nd Yorkshire, North Riding) Regiment of Foot - (1782)[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Mills, T F. "65th (2nd Yorkshire, North Riding) Regiment of Foot". Regiments.Org. Archived from the original on 9 January 2008. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Swinson, Arthur (1972). A Register of the Regiments and Corps of the British Army. London: The Archive Press. p. 165. ISBN 0-85591-000-3. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "65th (2nd Yorkshire, North Riding) Regiment of Foot". National Army Museum. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Wickes, L E (1974). Regiments of Foot. A Historical Record of all the Foot Regiments of the British Army. Reading: Osprey. pp. 94–95. ISBN 0850452201. 
  5. ^ a b c d [1] Article, Wanganui Herald 24 July, based on a Folkstone Advertiser article 8 May 1884 about 65th's history
  6. ^ Parliament question from Capt Talbot MP (of the 65th), 8 June 1871
  7. ^ a b In consideration of the distinguished conduct of the 65th Regiment during the period of its service in India and Arabia, His Majesty has been pleased to approve of that Regiment hearing on its colours and appointments the figure of the royal tiger, with the word "India" superscribed, and also the word " Arabia" beneath the figure and the number of the Regiment, to commemorate the services of the Corps in those countries.The London Gazette: no. 17913. p. 580. 12 April 1823.
  8. ^ Awarded 1870. Sumner, Ian (2001). British Colours and Standards 1747-1881 (2) Infantry. Osprey. p. 28. ISBN 9781841762012. 
  9. ^ London Magazine: Or, Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer, Volume 27. 1758. p. 261. 
  10. ^ Leslie, N B (1974). The Succession of colonels of the British Army: from 1660 to the present day. Society for Army Historical Research. p. 99. 
  11. ^ a b c d e Raikes, George Alfred (1885). Roll of the Officers of the York and Lancaster Regiment: Containing a Complete Record of Their Services Including Dates of Commissions, &c Volume I: First Battalion, formerly 65th (2nd Yorkshire, North Riding) Regiment, from 1756 to 1884. Richard Bentley & Son. p. 1. 
  12. ^ Beatson, Robert (1806). A Political Index to the Histories of Great Britain & Ireland. Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme. p. 251. 
  13. ^ Phillippart, John (1815). The royal military calendar: containing the services of every general officer in the British Army, from the date of their commission. p. 145. 
  14. ^ The London Gazette: no. 21179. p. 299. 7 February 1851. Retrieved 16 August 2009.
  15. ^ The London Gazette: no. 21676. p. 1054. 13 March 1855. Retrieved 16 August 2009.
  16. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22034. p. 2885. 25 August 1857.
  17. ^ The London Gazette: no. 23554. p. 6039. 12 November 1869.
  18. ^ The London Gazette: no. 24350. p. 4303. 1 August 1876.

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