THE secretary of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment has slammed the proposed overhaul of the Army.
Major David Harrop said scrapping the famous name regiments and creating a Yorkshire regiment could mean the end of the Dukes and their 302 years of proud history.
The Dukes, who have recruited heavily from the Huddersfield area for the last 250 years, are preparing to head back out to Iraq and take over peacekeeping duties.
Major Harrop, based at the Dukes headquarters in Halifax, said: "We still know very little at this time but what we do know is worrying.
"I think much of our identity would be lost if we were to merge with another regiment or be swallowed by a bigger one.
"Reforms like those we are expecting to be announced would change the way the Army worked and I don't think it would be for the better."
Defence secretary Geoff Hoon is expected to outline the most extensive Army reforms since the 1870s.
It is believed the Dukes could merge with the Green Howards and the Prince of Wales's Own Regiment.
The changes have been proposed in an attempt to make Army life more stable. The combined regiments would be able to send battalions on duty overseas but still base many of their troops in the home area.
Major Harrop said: "I understand the reasons behind the proposals but I am worried. There must be a better way to do this than by taking a sword to the Dukes."
Trevor Dunne, 71, of Marsh, was shot three times in one of the Dukes' bloodiest nights, the Battle of the Hook on the border of North and South Korea in May 1953.
"I would be very sad to see the Dukes go," he said. "I go to all the reunion dinners and people always say once you are a Duke you are part of a family. I am proud to this day to be able to say I was part of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment."
Reports that 19 historic infantry regiments could be amalgamated into multi-battalion regional regiments were slammed by MPs in the Commons.
Chris McCafferty, Labour MP for Calder Valley, said the Duke of Wellington's Regiment had strong local ties with her area.
She said the relevant Army officers should be allowed to participate in any discussions about the future of their regiments.
THE regiment was formed in 1881 from the merger of two old foot regiments, the 33rd and 76th, which date back more than 300 years.
In the First World War, 14 of the regiment's 21 battalions were engaged in active service on the Western Front, in Italy and at Gallipoli.
During the Second World War they were engaged in battle in Dunkirk, North West Europe, North Africa, Italy and Burma.
Since then they have served in Korea, Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Bosnia and Iraq.