A LITTLE bit of military history was created in Huddersfield last night.
Officers of Ypres Company, part of the Territorial Army unit based at Huddersfield Drill Hall, hosted a final regimental dinner for the Duke of Wellington's Regiment.
The 304-year-old regiment vanishes in 82 days, to be merged with two other Yorkshire units to form the new Yorkshire Regiment.
But last night, in the superbly-polished 1901 Drill Hall, was a time for looking back and looking forward.
Maj-Gen Sir Evelyn Webb- Carter, the regiment's colonel, was the guest of honour.
He urged the regiment to embrace change.
He added: "We should be taking the best of Yorkshire, the best of the West Riding, that has stood us in such good stead for 300 years and taking it forward."
And there was also recognition of the work done by regimental troops in Iraq over the past two years.
Guests included civic officials from the French town of Erquingham-Lys.
They had honoured the regiment last November by presenting it with the keys to the town, to mark battle honours from the First World War.
* The Regiment is a direct descendant of two old Regiments of Foot, the 33rd and 76th. The Regiment has been in existence for over 300 years.
* In 1881 the 33rd and 76th Regiments were merged to form The Duke of Wellington's Regiment.
* The 33rd was raised at the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession, in 1702.
Arthur Wellesley, later the Duke of Wellington, joined the 33rd in 1793 and subsequently commanded it in the Netherlands and in India. He was Colonel of the Regiment from 1806 to 1813 and the 33rd fought under his command at the Battle of Waterloo.
* The Regiment was formally linked with the West Riding of Yorkshire in 1782, in recognition of its then already long practice of recruiting its soldiers from that part of the country.
* The Regiment has taken part in campaigns including the Western Front, Italy and at Gallipoli in the First World War.
* In the Second World War battalions of the regiment saw action in the campaigns of Dunkirk, North West Europe, North Africa, Italy and Burma.
* Since then the 1st Battalion has fought in Korea, been part of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, trained in all parts of the world from the Arctic to the Caribbean, and undertaken tours in Northern Ireland and served in Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq.