The Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

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The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
extracted from "The Territorial Battalions, A Pictorial History 1859-1985" by Ray Westlake
further details are given on these battalions in appropriate sections of the site

4th Battalion

The 4th KOYLI was first organised as a battalion in 1860, when in that year several rifle volunteer companies from the Wakefield area were grouped as the 3rd Admin Battalion of Yorkshire West Riding Rifle Volunteers. In 1880 the battalion was consolidated to form the 5th West Yorks Corps, which consisted of eleven companies.

The 5th became the 1st Volunteer Battalion KOYLI in 1883, and during the Boer War sent eight officers and 243 other ranks to serve with the regular troops, in South Africa. Upon transfer to the Territorial Force in 1908, the 1st Volunteer Battalion was divided to form the regiment's 4th and 5th Battalions, the former retaining the Wakefield headquarters.

As part of the 49th (West Riding) Division, the 1/4th Battalion saw action during the First World War on the Western Front. The 2/4th, served with the 62nd Division in France and Belgium, while the 3/4th remained in the UK as the 4th (Reserve) Battalion.

The 4th also served with the 49th Division during the Second World War, seeing its first action in the Norwegian Campaign of 1940. They later took part in the invasion of Europe in 1944. In 1939 the 4th had formed a duplicate unit which was designated as the 2/4th Battalion. It joined the 46th Division and served on lines of communication work in France during 1940. The battalion went to North Africa in 1943 and saw service with the First Army throughout the campaign. The 2/4th later served in Italy and Greece.

The two battalions were amalgamated in 1947, and later, elements of the old 5th Battalion were included to form the 4th/5th KOYLI. The battalion is now represented by part of the 5th Bn, The Light Infantry (Volunteers).

5th Battalion

Formed in 1908 from part of the 1st Volunteer Battalion, KOYLI and the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment, the battalion served with the 62nd Division on the Western Front during the Great War and also formed second and third line units.

A change occurred in 1938, when the battalion became anti-aircraft and added 53 LAA Regiment to its title. It eventually transferred to the Royal Artillery in 1940.

6th (Home Defence) Battalion

This battalion was formed at Doncaster from part of a home defence battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment. It became the 30th Battalion in 1941 and once again the 6th in 1942. The battalion was disbanded in 1944.


9th (Yorkshire Dragoons) Battalion

In 1942 the Yorkshire Dragoons Yeomanry was converted to a motor battalion while serving as a mounted unit in the Middle East. As 9th KOYLI, it became a lorried infantry battalion in 1944, fought on the Anzio beachhead and later took part in the attack south of Rome.

30th Battalion

See 6th Battalion.


Tuesday, 29 May, 2007 9:34

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