The Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

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1881 - 51st and 105th Regiments form 1st (51st) and 2nd (105th) Battalions The King's Own Light Infantry (South Yorkshire Regiment) 2nd Bn in England and Ireland

1883 - 2nd Bn. at York

1885 - 2nd Bn. Malta, India (Karachi, Hyderabad, Quetta), Zhob Valley Expedition, then Bombay, Poona and Nasirabad

1887 - became King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry)

1887-1889 - Third Burmese War - Upper Burma Field Force

1889-1914 - Cosport, Channel Isles, Ireland, Sheffield and Aldershot

1893 - Ashanti Expedition

1897-1898 - 2nd Bn. Tirah and Shin Kamar

TIRAH 1897 – 98
Presented to 4987 Private J.J.ALLINSON - 2nd Bn KOYLI
(Heather Taylor: nee Allinson)

1899 - 2nd Bn. Mauritius and Wynberg, South Africa, 1st Bn in Ireland, Sheffield

1899-1902 2nd Bn. - South African War - Belmont, Graspan, Modder River and Magersfontein, Kimberley, Fourteen Streams, Boshof, Gittenbergen. Orange Free State - Lindley, Bethlehem. Pretoria, Rustenberg (Nooitgedact and Bakenlaagnte)  and Krugersdorp. Transvaal to Dundee and back to Transvaal. Also included 4th Battalion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (T.A.)

Belmont - 23 Nov. 1899

About 3,000 Boers, in strong positions in hills near Belmont, were frontally attacked and defeated by British infantry and cavalry (Lord Methuen). Casualties: British, 298; Boer, 300, and 500 prisoners.

Graspan (or Enslin) - 25 Nov. 1899

The Boers, 2,500-strong, occupied a strong position, the key to which was a high kopje. It was attacked by Lord Methuen's division and a naval brigade of 400. The frontal and flank assault failed, Methuen losing 283 men.

Modder River - 11 Dec. 1899

Cronje, with 9,000 Boers, held a strong position on both banks of the river, on which Lord Methuen was marching to the Modder with 1st British Division. His columns came under fire about 7 a.m. and the action lasted until evening, when a turning movement enabled Methuen to drive Cronje from his trenches. British losses were 24 officers and 461 men killed or wounded. Boer casualties, 500.

Magersfontein - 11 Dec. 1899

A major battle of the war between 9,000 Boers (Cronje) and a British division (Methuen). The Highland brigade, attempting to turn the Boer flank by night, lost 57 officers and 700 men. Unable to make any impression on the Boers, the British withdrew, having lost in all 68 officers and 1,011 men. The Boers admitted losses of 320.

Lindley - 23-27 May 1900

Colonel Spragge, with 500 yeomanry, held out for four days before surrendering to a superior Boer force.

1901-02 - 2nd Bn. Malta, Crete, Strensall by 1905 then at Sheffield, Aldershot, Cork and Dublin until 1914

1905 - Gibraltar, South Africa - 2nd Bn. to England

1908 - Hong Kong

1913-14 - Singapore, Hankow and Canton, then home, 2nd Bn. to Ireland - Cork, Dublin

KOYLI - First World War

1919 - 1st Battalion to Sheffield to refit. Then to India for fifth tour of service in East. Stationed at Mhow and Quetta. 2nd Battalion to England, Wales and Plymouth.

1920 - 2nd Battalion to Ireland on special service. 4th and 5th Battalions re-formed for 19 years of annual training. Became The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

1920-21 - 1st Battalion in Mesopotamia. Then to Malta and home in April 1921. Service in Coal Stike - stationed in Plymouth and then to Ireland.

1922 - 1st Battalion to Dover, then in March - joined Rhine Army. From Cologne, two companies sent to Silesia. 2nd Battalion to India - Deolali then Ferozepore in November.

1922 - The 2nd Battalion, after a brief spell in Ireland, moved to India in 1922 for an overseas tour which was to last 24 years.

Oct. 1924 - 1st Battalion to Gravesend for service at home. Gravesend, Dover, Blackdown and Tidworth.

1927 - 2nd Battalion to Peshawar. Her Royal Highness The Duchess of York, now Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother became Colonel-in-Chief.

1935 - 1st Battalion to Gibraltar.

1930 - 2nd Battalion involved in Peshawar riots, on Frontier and in North-West Frontier Province. Service against Red Shirt Movement.

1932 - 2nd Battalion moved to Agra.

1935 - 2nd Battalion moved to Burma.Still in Burma at outbreak of war in 1939, having been in Rangoon and Maymyo and involved in Rangoon riots in 1936.

1938 - 1st Battalion returned home to Strensall until war broke out in 1939.

see KOYLI - The Second World War 1939-1945

In the Second World War the Regiment fielded battalions which were subsequently converted into Light Anti-Aircraft Regiments (5 KOYLI and 8 KOYLI), a Royal Armoured Corps regiment (7 KOYLI) and one battalion (9 KOYLI) was formed from The Yorkshire Dragoons. The 1st Battalion served in France, Norway, India, Iraq, Persia and Syria before taking part in the invasion of Sicily and subsequent fight up through Italy with the 8th Army. After the fall of Rome the Battalion moved to Palestine and, in March 1945 to Europe for the final battles of the war. In 1946 the Battalion celebrated Minden Day in Minden! The 2nd Battalion was in Burma when the Japanese invaded in January 1942 and spent the next five months covering the withdrawal of the Army into upper Burma and finally India. By the time the Battalion arrived in India, having fought actions of great gallantry at the Sittang and Salween rivers, only three trucks were needed to lift the entire Battalion. The 1st/4th and 2nd/4th Battalions fought in Norway, France, North Africa, Italy and Greece. In 1947 the 2nd Battalion sailed for Malaya and, as a consequence of post-war reductions in the Army, the 1st Battalion was placed in suspended animation and the 2nd Battalion became the 1st Battalion The King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (51st & 105th) in April 1948.

The 1st Battalion staged briefly in England in 1951 before seeing service in Germany and Berlin, the campaign against the Mau Mau in Kenya (1952-53), Aden (1955), the EOKA campaign in Cyprus (1956), Germany (1958-61) and Malaya (1961-64), during which it was flown to Sarawak to combat Indonesian insurgency in Sarawak and Brunei. In 1964 the 1st Battalion became part of the Strategic Reserve Division (3rd Division) in Tidworth; the first home posting for the Battalion — originally the 2nd Battalion — since 1922! Apart from an emergency tour in Aden (1965-66) the Battalion remained in England until moving to Berlin in 1967 where, in 1968, it became a battalion of The Light Infantry.

1945 - 2nd at Burma then India

1946 - 1st at Minden

1947 (Dec.) - 1st at Plymouth, 2nd at Malaya (Sept.)

1948 (April) - 51st and 105th amalgamated to form the 1st Battalion, K.O.Y.L.I., stationed in Malaya.

1947-51 - In Malaya and then returned to (Dortmund) Germany.

1952-54 - Germany - British Army of the Rhine. Dortmund and Berlin, including guarding Spandau Prison.

1954-55 - Kenya - dealing with Mau Mau rebellion.

1955-56 - Aden - one company to Cyprus.

1956-57 - Cyprus. In November, 1957, sailed home to Strensall on H.M.T. Dilwara for a short spell of leave and recruiting marches in the Yorkshire towns.

1958-61 - 3 months at Strensall and then to Germany. British Army of the Rhine. Sennelager and then Hilden near Dusseldorf. Flew back to England in August 1961. To Pontefract for four monts. Was visited by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother on 28th October, 1961.

1961-64 - Malaya - 28th Commonwealth Brigade - Brunei, Borneo and Sarawak against T.N.K.U. rebels and Indonesian guerrillas.

1964-67 - Tidworth in England and one year in Aden (1965) as part of the force striving to keep the peace and protect the British base.

1967-68 - Served with Berlin Brigade.

1968 - Light Infantry.

The Light Infantry (LI), was formed on Vesting Day 10 July 1968 from the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (51st Foot & 105th Foot), the King's Shropshire Light Infantry (53rd Foot & 85th Foot), the Durham Light Infantry (68th Foot & 106th Foot) and the Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry to form the Light Infantry in the Light Division.


Still the largest infantry regiment in the Order of Battle, there are six Light Infantry Battalions today.

The Light Infantry

Regular Army
1st Battalion The Light Infantry - Airmobile role in 24 - Airmobile Brigade - Colchester
2nd Battalion The Light Infantry - Armoured Infantry - (Warrior) in 20 - Armoured Brigade - Paderborn, Germany

Territorial Army
5th Battalion The (Shropshire & Herefordshire) Light Infantry - Headquarters in Shrewsbury
6th Battalion The (Somerset & Cornwall) Light Infantry - Headquarters in Taunton
7th Battalion The (Durham) Light Infantry - Headquarters in Durham
8th Battalion The (Yorkshire) Light Infantry - Headquarters in Wakefield
- The Regimental Headquarters is in Winchester


The Rifles have been formed from four of the finest Infantry Regiments of the British Army. Their history is long and illustrious. The concept of British Light Infantry - a combination of Light Infantry and Rifle Regiments was the brain child of General Sir John Moore (1761-1809), who established the original regiments in Shorncliffe in the early 1800s. Since then, more regiments have been converted to Light Infantry and, in February 2007, they all joined and formed The Rifles. .



Wednesday, 21 September, 2016 14:33

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