THE Duke of Wellington's Regiment could be axed in a radical overhaul of the Army.
Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon is expected to make an announcement on Wednesday on the most extensive reform of the regiments since the 1870s.
The Dukes - who recruit heavily in Huddersfield - are under threat just two years after their 300th anniversary.
It is believed they could be merged with the Green Howards and Prince of Wales's Own Regiment into a Yorkshire regiment.
A senior spokesman for the three regiments said: "If true, it would be like dividing loyalties and happy families.
"There are many, many thousands of former members of our three Yorkshire regiments, local associations and cadet units.
"They are furious and the vibes already show they are ready to go into action in whatever way decided to preserve names and history of our Yorkshire regiments.
"The general feeling is that it would be contrary to all military logic."
The plan is said to have been drawn-up by General Sir Mike Jackson, Chief of the General Staff.
Major Bob Heron of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment said existing larger regiments had suffered recruitment problems because people did not identify with them, unlike his own.
He said "sons followed fathers" thanks to hard work and associations with West Yorkshire stretching back to 1782.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said the Future Army Structures initiative would result in changes, particularly in how the infantry was organised in the next 10 to 15 years.
But he insisted that no decisions had yet been made.