Tuesday, 11 August 2009

York - Prince of Wales' Own Regiment of Yorkshire Museum

The final post in my trilogy on York is the other half of the regimental museum, dedicated to the Prince of Wales' Own Regiment of Yorkshire (what a mouthful!). The regiment is now the 1st Battalion of The Yorkshire Regiment, which was created on 6 June 2006 by combining the POWORY with The Green Howards and The Duke of Wellington's Regiment. The POWORY was created in April 1958 as a result of the amalgamation of the West Yorkshire Regiment (14th Foot) and the East Yorkshire Regiment (15th Foot). The POWORY has recently returned from service in Iraq and Kosovo. Apparently the battalion's mascots are two ferrets called "Quebec" and "Imphal". To the left we have some drums of the Yorkshire militia, late Victorian period.

The 14th Foot was raised in 1685 and spent much of its early years in Gibraltar. It went to America in 1776. It fought at the Battle of Famars in 1793. The newly raised 2nd Battalion fought in the Peninsular whilst the 1st Battalion went to India. The regiment fought in the Crimea, New Zealand and the Boer War. Both battalions spent much of WW2 in Burma. In 1876, the Prince of Wales (the later King Edward VII) presented new colours to the 1st Battalion and gave the regiment the title "The Prince of Wales's Own". In 1881 the regiment was given the title "The West Yorkshire Regiment".

The 15th Foot was raised in 1685. It fought with Marlborough and Wolfe and also saw action in the AWI. Apparently at Brandywine the regiment ran short of ball ammunition and all the men other than the best shots fired small powder charges only; the Americans did not twig the ruse and the incident gave rise to the regiment's nickname of "the Snappers". The regiment then spent some years in the West Indies but did not again see sustained action until the Afghan and Boer Wars. Two battalions were in the initial assault on Sword beach in 1944.

First, we have two rather spiffing dioramas of famous battles the regiment fought in. I won't insult the intelligence of my readers by stating what battles they are...

On the left is an 1830s shako, very useful for painting Carlist War British Auxiliary Legion. On the right is one of the most bizarre exhibits I have ever seen in a regimental museum - a ram's head turned into a snuff box.

Finally we have the uniform worn by George VI and some Japanese weapons captured in the Far East in WW2.


Andrew said...

Thanks for posting this. I doubt I'll ever get to the museum, so it's nice to see some of their displays.

Coincidentally, I just returned from Fort Ticonderoga and posted about it yesterday. They have a great collection of muskets and artfully engraved powder horns. I should have photographed them!

Ubique said...

After visiting that museum last weekend I’m still trying to get a decent night’s sleep after seeing that rams head. The very traditional displays were being revamped with some rather camp looking mannequins when we were there.