In Collaboration With Charles Griffin



Raising of the Regiment 1688
The Princess of Wales’s Own Yorkshire Regiment
Raising the Regiment
In his ‘Historical Record of the Nineteenth or The First Yorkshire North Riding Regiment of Foot’ Richard Cannon writes:

‘The Flight of King James to France was followed by the elevation of the Prince and Princess of Orange to the throne, in February 1689. At this period several of the companies of pikemen and musketeers raised when the Prince of Orange landed, were incorporated into a regiment under Colonel Francis Luttrell, whose commission, as colonel of this regiment, was dated 28th of February1689; but the regiment, being formed of companies raised about the middle of November 1688, was permitted to take rank from that date, and now bears the title of the “NINETEENTH REGIMENT OF FOOT”.’

The commanding officer was Lieutenant-Colonel William Norcott, and he had one major (Henry Hawley), 10 captains (including Alexander Luttrell, brother of Francis), 11 lieutenants, 12 Ensigns (including Robert Norcott, brother of William), and an adjutant, a surgeon and a Quartermaster. 

In the summer of 1689 they marched to Portsmouth and were stationed on the Isle of Wight. In September they embarked on the fleet to serve as marines. The year 1690 was a bad year for the young regiment. In March they were ordered to send 520 men to Ireland to reinforce the depleted army of Marshal Duke Schomberg at the unhealthy camp at Dundalk. They also sent a detachment to the West Indies where nearly all of them died. Their Colonel, Francis Luttrell also died in that year. 

War of the League of Augsburg 1689-97

Steenkirk 3 Aug 1692

In Jan 1691 the regiment came under the colonelcy of General Thomas Erle who was already Colonel of another regiment which was later disbanded in 1697. In 1691 they were in England to recruit more men in time for the Nine Years war in northern Europe where William’s army was part of a confederacy up against the French army of Louis XIV, commanded by Marshal Luxemburg. Erle’s regiment consisted of 10 companies of the former Luttrell’s, and 3 companies from Erle’s other regiment. They were ordered to Flanders and played a minor part in the Battle of Steenkirk. The advance guard was repulsed before the main part of the army reached the battlefield. A retreat was ordered by William and that concluded the battle. Erle’s regiment did not sustain any loss.

Landen 29 Jul 1693

The regiment were brigaded with Ticomb’s (14th), Stanley’s (16th) and two newly raised regiments all commanded by their Colonel, Brigadier General Erle. They were assembled at Parck Camp near Louvain in May 1693 and marched to Landen where they encountered the French on 29 July. Erle was ill but left his bed to lead his brigade, however, the French were superior in numbers and forced William’s allied army to retreat. Heavy losses were sustained on both sides and the enemy were able to besiege Charleroi and capture it in the autumn.

Namur 1695

When King William laid siege to Namur a covering army was deployed to intercept reinforcements to the enemy Garrison. The Prince of Vaudemont commanded this force of which the 19th formed. When the French army arrived they were seen to be in greater numbers than expected, and Vaudemont was forced to retreat. This withdrawal was carried out skilfully and the 19th played a prominent part in covering the retreat. After several more operations in Flanders the regiment wintered in Dendermond.

Return to England, March 1696

Louis XIV hatched a plan to split the allied alliance. He intended to invade England to place King James II back on the throne, and assassinate King William. A number of regiments, including the 19th were sent back to the UK. They embarked at Sas-van-Ghent in March 1696 and sailed to Gravesend. Whether the plot was real or fake, it succeeded in removing several regiments from the allied army in Flanders. The 19th had little to do in England, and returned to the theatre of war in the summer of 1697. But by then the war was over and the treaty of Ryswick was signed in September. They returned to England once more in November.

War of Spanish Succession 1701-15

West Indies and Newfoundland 1703

From 1698 to 1702 the regiment were stationed in Ireland and from there were sent on the abortive expedition to capture Cadiz in August 1702. A naval squadron took the regiment to the West Indies in 1703 to attack French and Spanish settlements. An unsuccessful attempt was made on Guadaloupe in March 1703 but little took place after that. After the usual tropical diseases had killed several men they sailed to Newfoundland to take part in an attack on the French settlement of Placentia. But bad weather prevented disembarkation and the men suffered illness on board the transports. This tragedy wiped out most of the regiment. In 1704 they returned to Ireland.

Malplaquet 11 Sep 1709

From 1706 to 1708 the regiment served in England and were then ordered to join the Duke of Marlborough’s army in Flanders. Some sources claim that the regiment was present at Oudenarde, but the Green Howards do not have that battle honour. They were retrospectively granted the honour for the Pyrrhic victory of Malplaquet which took place on 11 Sep 1709. It is said that they were in the reserve which is hard to believe. It seems inconceivable that Marlborough kept men in reserve when his army of British, Dutch and Austrian troops suffered such heavy losses. Richard Cannon’s Historical Record of the 19th makes no mention of Malplaquet and goes so far as to say that the regiment arrived in Flanders in the spring of 1710, several months after the battle. 

The Siege of Douai 1710

The siege of Douai began in June 1710 and the 19th were actively engaged in the attacks and storming of the outworks. They sustained heavy casualties: 3 sergeants and 99 men killed, 11 officers, 10 sergeants and 200 men wounded. But the siege was successful and the French surrendered on 25 June. They were also at the successful sieges of Bethune, Aire and St Venant. They then marched to Ghent and into winter quarters.

Siege of Bouchain 1711

The regiment was on the move again in the spring of 1711, camping at Warde where they were reinforced by a draft of new recruits from England. In the Passage of the Lines of Ne Plus Ultra they were fighting at Arleux on 5th Aug where the French occupied a fortified position. When Bouchain was invested the regiment, along with the rest of Marlborough’s army, were put to a severe test. The struggle was hard and involved at one stage fighting in waist-deep water. Bouchain finally surrendered on 13 Sep 1711 after  siege of 34 days. The rgiment remained in Flanders until 1714. After Queen Anne died on 1 Aug 1714 the regiment was ordered home. There they were stationed at Tilbury Fort, Landguard Fort and Hull, with a detachment at Sheerness.

Jacobite War with Spain, 1715-19

Raid on Vigo, Sep-Oct 1719

The regiment were posted to Ireland in March 1715 so missing out on the first Jacobite rebellion. The Spanish supported the Old Pretender causing a state of war to exist between Spain and Georgian Britain. A new armada of Spanish ships attempted an invasion but foundered on the British coast. A reprisal raid was organised to attack Vigo on the Atlantic coast of north Spain. The regiment, called Grove’s Foot at that time was sent along with nine other regiments, a force of 6,000. There was a  near mutiny, however, as the men were reluctant to leave their life in Ireland. Once landed, 3 miles from the port of Vigo, they marched on the Fort of San Sebastian, capturing that and the citadel with the loss to the force of only six killed and 40 wounded. The British troops behaved disgracefully once they had the run of the place. With unlimited access to wine looting and pillage was rife for 3 days. Sickness and alcohol poisoning caused many more casualties but the raid was successful in the amount of arms, gunpowder and wine sent back to England. There was more fighting when the bulk of the force was  sent inland to capture Redonedela  and Pontevedra. The casualty figures for Grove’s Foot are not known but several were taken prisoner and later returned to England. 

The Green Howards 1738

For the next 20 years the regiment had postings in Ireland and Scotland. An inspection report in Cork gives their strength as 35 officers and 373 other ranks, stating that their discipline was good. Their ‘Cloathing’ was also described as good but unfortunately does not confirm the green facings to their uniforms and Colours. When the Colonel of the regiment, General Richard Sutton, died in 1738 he was succeeded by General Sir Charles Howard who gave his name to the Green Howards during his colonelcy of the 19th Foot from 1 Nov 1738 to 14 Mar 1748. The infantry regiments at that time were not officially numbered, but were named after their Colonel. Trouble arose when two regiments had Colonels with the same surname, as was the case with the 19th and 3rd Foot. This matter of the two ‘Howard’s Foot’ became a problem when the 3rd and 19th were both serving in Flanders from 1744. The 3rd Foot, known as the Buffs, had as their Colonel, Lt-General Thomas Howard, from 1737 to 1749, and after that, Field Marshal Sir George Howard, until 1763. The 19th had green facings to their coats and the 3rd had buff so they were referred to as the Buff Howards and the Green Howards. The Buffs soon dropped the ‘Howard’ and had anyway been called The Buffs since 1708. That name was official when all the regiments were numbered in 1751, but the 19th Foot had to be content with ‘Green Howards’ as only a nickname until 1920 when it became their official name.

The War of Austrian Succession, 1740-48

Fontenoy, April 1745

Howard’s Regiment of Foot had spent several years at Edinburgh c1740 so that their ranks were filled with Scotsmen. In 1744 they were mobilised for active service in Flanders where the Pragmatic army was fighting the French and Bavarians in an argument over the Austrian Succession. Dettingen had been fought and won in 1743 so the regiment missed that and had to wait until 1745 for their involvement in the conflict. Having spent the winter in Ghent they marched towards Tournai to relieve that besieged fortress. The army was commanded by the 25 year old Duke of Cumberland who was now faced with the French Army in a well fortified position astride the village of Fontenoy. The initial advance was successful but Cumberland’s strategy was devoid of subterfuge. He marched the British and Hanoverian infantry straight towards the strongest redoubt in line abreast, up a half-mile slope under fire from artillery. The ‘Green Howards' were on the left of the line with an exposed flank. On reaching the crest they were greeted by the enemy defenders who opened up a withering volley from only 30 yards. But the discipline was so good that they carried on and penetrated 300 yards into the enemy position. However, the Dutch allies had failed in their attack, leaving the British/Hanoverian infantry to the mercy of cavalry attacks and concerted infantry fire. With depleted ranks and overwhelming enemy superior numbers they had to retreat. This was made in good order rather than a mad rush to get away. The regiment lost 100 men that day, and their colonel, General Sir Charles Howard, who commanded a brigade, had been wounded four times.

Badges
Badges
Anniversaries
September 20th Alma Day
Nicknames
The Green Howards
Howard’s Greens
Howard’s Garbage
The Bounders
Marches
Bonnie English Rose  Quick Maria Theresa  Slow
Alliances
The Rocky Mountain Rangers of Canada
The Queen’s York Rangers (1st American Rangers) of Canada
Colonels-in-Chief
1688 -
Commanding Officers
1688 -
Colonels
1688 -
Soldiers
1688 -
Uniforms
1688 -
Band
1688 -
Colours
1688 -
Battle Honours
War of the Spanish Succession 1701-15
MALPLAQUET

Seven Years War 1756 - 63
BELLE ISLE

Crimean War 1854 - 5
ALMA 
INKERMAN
SEVASTOPOL

Tirah Campaign 1897 - 8
TIRAH

South African War 1899 - 02
RELIEF OF KIMBERLEY
PAARDEBURG
SOUTH AFRICA 1899 - 1902

World War One 
Emblazoned
YPRES 1914 1915 1917
LOOS
SOMME 1916 1918
ARRAS 1917 1918
MESSINES 1917 1918
VALENCIENNES
SAMBRE
FRANCE AND FLANDERS 1914 - 18
VITTORIO VENETO
SULVA

Accredited
LANGEMARCK 1914 1917
GHELUVELT
NEUVE CHPELLE
ST JULIEN
FREZENBERG
BELLEWAARDE
AUBERS
FESTUBERT 1915
ALBERT 1916
BAZENTIN
POZIERES
FLERS-COURCELETTE
MORVAL
THIEPVAL
LE TRANSLOY
ANCRE HEIGHTS
ANCRE 1916
SCARPE 1917 1918
PILCKEM
MENIN ROAD
POLYGON WOOD
BROODSEINDE
POELCAPELLE
PASSCHENDAELE
CAMBRAI 1917 1918
ST QUENTIN
BAPAUME 1918
ROSIERES
LYS
ESTAIRES
HAZEBROUCK
KEMMEL
SCHERPENBERG
AISNE 1918
DROCOURT-QUEANT
HINDENBURG LINE
CANAL DU NORD
BEAUREVOIR
SELLE
PIAVE
ITALY 1917-18
LANDING AT SULVA
SCIMITAR HILL
GALLIPOLI 1915
EGYPT 1916
ARCHANGEL 1918

Third Afghan War 1919
AFGHANISTAN 1919

Second World War
Emblazoned
NORWAY 1940
NORMANDY LANDING
NORTHWEST EUROPE 1940 1944-5
GAZALA
EL ALAMEIN
MARETH
AKARIT
SICILY 1943
MINTURNO
ANZIO

Accredited
OTTA
DEFENCE OF ARRAS
DUNKIRK 1940
TILLY SUR SEULLES
ST PIERRE LA VIEILLE
GHEEL
NEDERRIJN
DEFENCE OF ALAMEIN LINE
NORTH AFRICA 1942-3
LANDING IN SICILY
LENTINI
ITALY 1943-4
ARAKAN BEACHES
BURMA 1945

Titles
1688Luttrell’s Regiment
175119th Foot
178219th or 1st Yorkshire, North Riding, Regiment
187519th (1st Yorkshire North Riding, Princess of Wales’s Own) Regiment
1881The Princess of Wales’s Own (Yorkshire Regiment)
1902Alexandra Princess of Wales’s Own (Yorkshire Regiment)
1920The Green Howards (Alexandra, Princess of Wales’s Own Yorkshire Regiment)
2006The Yorkshire Regiment (14th/15th, 19th and 33rd/67th Foot)
Regimental Museum
Trinity Church Square
The Market Place
Richmond
North Yorkshire
DL10 4 QN
Suggested Reading
The Nine Lives of Corporal Burke: A Journey Through World War Two with the Green Howards
by Mark Burke  (CreateSpace 2013)

Beyond Their Duty
by Roger Chapman (2001)

Echoes From the Crimea: Eyewitness Accounts by members of the 19th Regiment
edited by Roger Chapman (2004)

The Green Howards: A History in Photographs 1855 to 2006
by Roger Chapman (2006)

The Green Howards in the Norwegian Campaign 1940
by Roger Chapman

The Green Howards in the Boer War: a Yorkshire Infantry Regiment at War in South Africa 1899-1902
by M I Ferrar (Leonaur 2010)

A History of the Services of the 19th Regiment now Alexandra Princess of Wales’s Own (Yorkshire Regiment) from its formation in 1688 to 1911
by Michael Lloyd Ferrar  (Eden Fisher 1911)

Baptism of Fire
by Mark Marsay (Great Northern 1999)

Sir Thomas Longmore of the 19th Regiment of Foot
by Edward Nicholl

The Green Howards in Malaya
by J B Oldfield (Gale & Polden 1953)

The Green Howards
by Geoffrey Powell (Leo Cooper/Secker & Warburg 2nd ed. 1983)

The History of the Green Howards: Three Hundred Years of Service
by Geoffrey and John Powell (Pen & Sword Books 2002)

The Story of the Green Howards 1939 -1945
by W A T Synge (1952)

The Green Howards in the Great War
by H C Wylly (1926)




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by Stephen Luscombe