Kingston upon Hull War Memorial 1914 - 1918

The story of Hull in World War One

The East Yorkshire Regiment

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The East Yorkshire Regiment was the local army regiment, which many Hull men joined and died.

The origins of the East Yorkshire Regiment (The Duke of York's Own) can be traced back to 1685. During the Great War 1914-1918, the East Yorkshires raised 21 Battalions.
In August 1914, the East Yorkshire Regiment, consisted of two Regular battalions the 1st and 2nd EYR, a Special Reserve 3rd Battalion and two Territorial battalions, the 4th and 5th Cyclists Battalions. Each Battalion consisted of around 1,000 men, divided into 4 Companies of 250 men each. Image result for ww1 east yorkshire regimentEach Company was again divided into 4 Platoons of around 60 men, and each Platoon was divided into 4 'Sections' of about 15 men. It was amongst these small sections, that most men experienced the war, with their East Yorkshire Regiment.

At the outbreak of war, the 1st East Yorkshire Battalion was posted to France in September 1914 and saw action at the Battle of the Aisne, where it lost 73 men and 8 Officers killed and wounded. The 2nd East Yorkshire Battalion, which was in India at the start of the war, transferred to France in January 1915. In October 1915 the 2nd EYR was then posted to Salonika, where it remained for the rest of the war fighting Bulgarians. The 3rd 'Special Reserve' East Yorkshire Battalion was mobilised in Beverley and was used as a training unit, training over 15,600 men during the war. The 3rd Battalion also defended the Holderness coast against potential invasion, with the 5th East Yorkshire Cyclist Battalion. The 4th Territorial Battalion saw service overseas.
When war was declared, the East Yorskhires, raised an additional Eight Service (Kitchener) battalions (numbered the 6th to 13th EYR), as well as two Reserve units (the 14th and 15th battalions), and the 1st and 2nd Garrison battalions. The 6th, 7th & 8th Battailons were formed in Beverley. The 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th & 14th Battalions, were raised in Hull and became known as the 'Hull Pals'.Image result for ww1 east yorkshire regimentImage result for ww1 east yorkshire regiment

During the First World War, the East Yorkshire Regiment fought on the Western Front, at Gallipolli, in Macedonia and Egypt. It was awarded with 21 Battle Honours and 4 VC's and lost 7,483 men. As the war ended, Service Battalions were disbanded and the East Yorkshire Regiment, reurned to its two original regular battalions. After the war, the 1st East Yorkshire Regiment, was sent to Ireland, where it remained until 1922. The 2nd East Yorkshire Batallion returned to India, and later served in Basra and Iraq. 

Yorkshire as a County raised an army of 400,00 men during the Great War, as many as the whole continent of Australia. Hull supplied 70,000 of these men. The 28 Yorkshire battalions that existed before the war grew into 83 and included 333,000 Yorkshiremen. The Yorkshire battalions suffered 230,000 casualties and earned 35 Victoria Crosses during the First World War. They served in about 27 different Divisions and all theatres of war except Mesopotamia. These figures were given by Field Marshall, William Robertson, DSO, at the unveiling of the Hull Cenotaph on the 20th September 1924.

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East Yorkshire Battalions during the Great War 1914-1918.

  • Regular Battalions
  • 1st Battalion.  August 1914: stationed in York. Part of the 18th Brigade, 6th Division. Moved on 8 August to Edinburgh, then six days later to Cambridge. Landed at St Nazaire on 10 September 1914. 26 November 1915: transferred to 64th Brigade, 21st Division.
  • 2nd Battalion. August 1914: stationed in Kamptee. India. Returned to England and landed in December 1914. Moved to Hursley Park near Winchester. December 1914 : attached to 83rd Brigade, 28th Division. 16 January 1915 : landed at Le Havre. 26 October 1915 : sailed from Marseilles to Egypt and on to Salonika.
  • 3rd Battalion (York East Riding Regiment of Militia).  Formed August 1914: stationed in Beverley. A training unit, it remained in UK throughout the war. Moved within a few days of declaration of war to Hedon, for duty as the Humber Garrison. Made the short journey in April 1916 to Withernsea.
  • Territorial Battalions
  • 1/4th Battalion. Formed August 1914 : in Londesborough Barracks, Hull. Part of the York and Durham Brigade, Northumbrian Division. 17 April 1915 : landed at Boulogne. 12 May 1915 : formation became 150th Brigade, 50th (Northumbrian) Division. 15 July 1918 : reduced to cadre and transferred to Lines of Communication. 16 August 1918 :transferred to 116th Brigade, 39th Division. 7 November 1918 : demobilised in France.
  • 2/4th Battalion.. Formed at Darlington in September 1914 as a second line battalion. Moved to Hull in November 1914.Image result for ww1 east yorkshire regimentFebruary 1915 : moved back to Darlington and came under orders of 189th Brigade, 63rd (2nd Northumbrian) Division. In July 1915, moved to Cramlington and in November 1915 to Retford. Division was broken up in July 1916 and Brigade moved to Catterick. Moved in November 1916 to Bermuda, remaining there throughout the rest of the war.
  • 3/4th Battalion. Formed at Hull on 19 June 1915, but soon moved to South Dalton. 8 April 1916 : became 4th Reserve Battalion. By September 1916 was at Catterick. In 1917 was at Hornsea and by November 1918 was at South Dalton, part of Humber Garrison. 
  • 5th (Cyclist) Battalion. August 1914 : Based in Park Street, Hull. Remained in UK throughout the war. Soon moved to Louth and thence in May 1915 to Withernsea. Moved on from there to Newbiggin and became part of Tyne Garrison.
  • New Armies
  • 6th (Service) Battalion (Pioneers). Formed at Beverley on 27 August 1914. Came under orders of 32nd Brigade, 11th (Northern) Division. December 1914 : became the Pioneer Battalion to the Division. 1 July 1915: sailed from Avonmouth for Gallipoli via Mudros and landed at Suvla Bay 7 August 1915. 10 July 1916 : landed at Marseilles.
  • 7th (Service) Battalion. Formed at Beverley on 16 September 1914. Came under orders of 50th Brigade, 17th (Northern) Division. 14 July 1915 : landed at Boulogne.
  • 8th (Service) Battalion. Formed at Beverley on 22 September 1914. Came under orders of 62nd Brigade, 21st Division. 9 September 1915 : landed at Boulogne. 16 November 1915 : transferred to 8th Brigade, 3rd Division. 17 February 1918 : disbanded in France. Troops formed 10th Entrenching Bn with men from the 12th West Yorks.
  • 9th (Reserve) Battalion. Formed in York on 9 November 1914. Formed in York on 9 November 1914 as a Service battalion, coming under orders of 90th Brigade, original 30th Division. 10 April 1915: became a Reserve Battalion. Moved in May 1915 to Harrogate and in September of that year to Rugeley Camp, Cannock Chase. On 1 September 1916 : converted into 7th Training Reserve Battalion in 2nd Reserve Brigade
  • 10th (1st Hull Pals) Battalion (Hull Commercials). Formed in Hull on 29 August 1914 by Lord Nunburnholme and the East Riding TF Association. Commonly known as the Hull Commercials Battalion. June 1915 : came under orders of 92nd Brigade, 31st Division. 15 December 1915 : moved to Egypt. Went on to France in March 1916.
  • 11th (2nd Hull Pals) Battalion (Hull Tradesmen). Formed in Hull on 2 September 1914 by Lord Nunburnholme. In June 1915 : came under orders of 92nd Brigade, 31st Division. 15 December 1915 : moved to Egypt. Went on to France in March 1916.
  • 12th (3rd Hull Pals) Battalion (Hull Sportsmen). Formed in Hull on 11 August 1914 by Lord Nunburnholme and the East Riding TF Association. Commonly known as the Hull Sportsmen’s Battalion. In June 1915 : came under orders of 92nd Brigade, 31st Division. 15 December 1915 : moved to Egypt. Went on to France in March 1916. On  8 February 1918 : disbanded in France.
  • 13th (4th Hull Pals) Battalion (Hull T'Others)Formed in Hull on 11 August 1914 by Lord Nunburnholme and the East Riding TF Association. Commonly known as the T’Others! June 1915 : came under orders of 92nd Brigade, 31st Division. 15 December 1915 : moved to Egypt. Went on to France in March 1916. On 8 February 1918 : disbanded in France
  • 14th (Reserve) Battalion. Formed in Lichfield in August 1915 as a Reserve battalion and moved to Clipstone Camp. By April 1916 was at Seaton Delaval. 1 September 1916 : became 90th Training Reserve Battalion of 21st Reserve Brigade and moved to Blyth.
  • 15th (Reserve) BattalionFormed at Seaton Delaval in February 1916 by the 14th Bn. as local Reserve.
    1 September 1916 : absorbed by 15th Bn York & Lancs, and became 91st Training Reserve Battalion of 21st Reserve Brigade.
  • 17th (Transport Workers) Northumberland Fusiliers Battalion, Formed in Hull Docks. Known as the 'Railway Pals'.
  • 1st Garrison Battalion. Formed in Sheffield in October 1915. Moved to Lichfield in November 1915 and in February 1916 went to India. Joined Allahabad Brigade in 8th (Lucknow) Division. Moved to Lucknow Brigade in same Division in March 1918.
  • 2nd (Home Service) Garrison Battalion. Formed in Hull in April 1916. In August 1917 was converted into 8th Battalion of Royal Defence Corps.

12th EYR in Snow Suits - Arleux sector, 9 January 1918.        10th EYR - Doullens 28.6.16                              8th EYR - Going to the Line - Ypres 5.10.17


The links below provide more information of these Battalions and some stories of the men who served with the East Yorkshire Regiment

Soldiers Stories

The East Yorkshire Regiment Battalions

What was an Infantary Battalion?