The Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Band Club
A Brief History of The Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
History of The Band
Members of the Club
The Pingat Jasa Malaya Medal Award Ceremony
The Band Reunion 2009
Band Reunion 2010
Band Reunion 2011
Band Reunion 2012
Band Reunion 2013
Contact Information for The KOYLI and 2LI Band Club
Events, Personalities and Occurences
| The King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (51st and 105th)
Country: Great Britain
Size: 1-2 Bns in peacetime, 13 Bns in WWI, 9 Bns in WWII
Part of: Light Infantry Brigade (1948-68)
Garrison/HQ: Pontefract, West Yorkshire
Nickname: 'The Koylis'
Patron: George IV (who conferred the 'Royal' title in 1821)
Motto: Cede Nullis (Yield to none)
Colors: Dark Green, Royal Blue and Off-White
Marches: Quick: "Jockey to the Fair", Double: "The Keel Row", The Regiment had no slow march - a tradition which continues to the present day in The Rifles. The Colours were marched on and off parade to "The Minden March".
Anniversaries: Minden Day (1 August)
Engagements: The Seven Years' War, The Peninsular War, Waterloo, The Boer War, WWI, WWII
Ceremonial chief Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother (1924-68)
the Regiment: Maj-Gen. C J Deedes OBE MC (1966-68)
Notable commanders: Sir John Moore (1790-95)
The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry was a regiment of the British Army. It officially existed from 1881 to 1968, but its predecessors go back to 1755. The regiment's traditions and history are now maintained by The Rifles.
The 51st Foot
The 53rd Regiment of Foot was raised in Leeds in 1755 and renumbered the 51st in January 1757. In 1782, in common with other regiments of the line, the 51st was given a "county" designation, becoming the 51st (2nd Yorkshire, West Riding) Regiment of Foot. The title of Light Infantry was given in honour of its former commander General Sir John Moore in 1809, and in 1821 the regiment was given royal status when King's Own was added to its title, becoming the 53rd (2nd Yorkshire, West Riding, The King's Own Light Infantry) Regiment.
The 105th Foot (Madras Light Infantry)
The 2nd Madras European Light Infantry was raised by the British East India Company in 1839. In 1861 East India Company forces were absorbed into the British Army, and the regiment became the 105th (Madras Light Infantry) Regiment. In 1878 the 105th joined the KOLI in having a depot in Pontefract.
In 1881 after the Cardwell and Childers reforms, regimental numbers were abolished. The 51st King's Own Light Infantry became the 1st Battalion, The King's Own Light Infantry (South Yorkshire Regiment) and the 105th became its 2nd Battalion.
The Childers reforms also combined militia and rifle volunteer units into the regiments formed in 1881. Accordingly the 1st West Yorks Rifles Miltia became the 3rd Militia Battalion, while the 3rd Administrative Battalion West Riding of Yorkshire Rifle Volunteer Corps became the 1st Volunteer Battalion.
In 1897 the regimental title was changed to the The King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry), and in 1921 to The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.
With the creation of the Territorial Force in 1908, the 1st Volunteer Battalion was reorganised as the 4th and 5th Battalions (TF), while the 3rd Battalion was transferred to the Special Reserve.
The KOYLI was raised to thirteen battalions during the Great War, and nine during World War II, including not only infantry but anti-aircraft and armoured units as well.
In 1948, 1 KOYLI was disbanded and 2 KOYLI was renamed 1 KOYLI. In 1968, 1 KOYLI became the 2nd Battalion of The Light Infantry (2LI). In 2007 the LI merged with the Royal Green Jackets to form a new regiment, The Rifles. The former 1 KOYLI battalion (now 1LI) became '5 RIFLES'.
The 51st first saw action during the Seven Years' War, gaining a reputation at Minden, its first battle honour. The regiment embarked for the Peninsula in 1807, serving with distinction. The regiment served on the extreme right at Waterloo, and was engaged at Hougoumont Farm.
Both the 51st and 105th saw extensive service all over the Empire throughout the nineteenth century. The Second battalion (105th) fought well in the South African War.
Both battalions served on the Western Front in WWI, as well as 3 Territorial and eight volunteer service battalions.
In WWII the regiment's nine battalions represented the new age of warfare. 5 and 8 KOYLI were anti-aircraft units, 7 KOLYI were armoured, and 9 KOYLI (formerly the Queens Own Yorkshire Dragoons) was motorised. The Second battalion served in Europe and the Mediterranean, the First fought as a rearguard in the retreat through Burma. The 1/4 battalion participated in the Battle of Normandy in 1944 and subsequently in the Netherlands.
Reduced to one battalion, the KOYLI took part in peace-keeping and counter-insurgency operations post war. The battalion moved to Berlin in 1967, where it joined the Light Infantry Regiment.
The badge of the KOYLI is unique amongst English light infantry regiments as the horn is of the 'French' type (with a twist). The origins of this are obscure. It appears to have been adopted after Waterloo, however prior to this the 105th had an 'English' style Bugle horn with a loop. In its centre is the White Rose of York, linking to the regiment's home in Yorkshire. Unusual amongst British Army regiments, the badge lacks a crown. It was also the smallest cap badge used in the British Army.
Ensign (later General Sir) John Moore
Commissioned into the 51st in 1777, Moore went on to command the battalion in 1790. A forward thinking tactician, he was the father of the British light infantry, and is a significant figure to all light infantry and rifle regiments.
Ensign Joseph Dyas
Dyas twice volunteered to take part in the storming party of the San Christobal fort at Badajoz in 1811. For this brave action he is still toasted by the officers of the KOYLI and LI.
Captain Basil Liddell Hart
Originally commissioned into the KOYLI and serving in WWI, Liddell Hart went on to become a military writer. He is most noted for his highly influential work on the theory of armoured warfare in the inter-war period.
Corporal Ernest Hayes
Hayes joined the KOYLI in 1916 and was awarded three Military Medals in 1918 for acts of bravery at the Western Front in France.
Victoria Cross Recipients:
Pte C Ward, South Africa 1900
Maj CAL Yate, France 1914
L/Cpl FW Holmes, France 1914
Pte H Waller, France 1917
Sgt JW Ormsby, France 1917
Pte W Edwards, Belgium 1917
Lt Col 0CS Watson, France 1918
Sgt L Calvert, France 1918
Lt Col H Greenwood, France 1918
Major Battle Honours
Seven Years' War: Minden.
Napoleonic Wars: Corunna, Fuentes d'0nor, Badajoz, Salamanca, Waterloo.
19th Century Colonial Wars: Afghanistan, Burma, South Africa.
World War I: Marne, Messines, Ypres, Somme, Cambrai.
Second World War: Norway, Sicily, Salerno, Anzio, Burma, North-West Europe.
Post War: Kenya, Aden, Cyprus, Malaya.
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