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Yorkshire army regiment which fought from Waterloo to Afghanistan now fighting for memorial

An appeal has been launched to raise £180,000 for a permanent memorial to the Duke of Wellington's Regiment

Duke of Wellington's regiment war memorial at Huddersfield Drill Hall.

Old soldiers are on campaign again – to raise £180,000 for a memorial to one of the British Army’s most distinguished regiments in its historic home of Halifax.

The appeal has been launched by the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment Association – 11 years after the unit regiment became the 3rd Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington’s).

The regiment, which dates back 300 years and is named after the duke who defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, has no formal memorial. Now it is proposed to create a permanent memorial to the regiment, which recruited extensively in the Huddersfield and Halifax areas for many decades.

Huddersfield drill hall has a memorial to members of the regiment who lost their lives in the First World War.

Duke of Wellington's regiment war memorial at Huddersfield Drill Hall.

Brigadier Andrew Meek, of the memorial appeal committee, said: “It is now over 11 years since The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment left the Army’s order of battle and whilst a number of plaques and other mementoes have been unveiled in West Yorkshire there is no formal memorial to reflect the Regiment’s 300 years of loyal and conspicuous service to the Crown.

“The time is now right for the creation of a significant, permanent memorial to the regiment. Missing this opportunity would allow the regiment and its legacy to be relegated to footnotes in the history books.”

Duke of Wellington's regiment war memorial at Huddersfield Drill Hall.

He said: “The purpose of the memorial is far greater than simply a statement that the regiment existed and that ‘we were different’. We know we were genuinely different and this is sufficient reason for there to be a memorial.

“But there is more to it than simply reflecting a certain uniqueness: the memorial will honour all those ‘Dukes’ who gave their lives; it will commemorate our heritage; acknowledge all those who served in all battalions and, importantly, the families that supported those men; and it will recognise the county from which the majority came.”

Duke of Wellington's regiment war memorial at Huddersfield Drill Hall.

Brig Meek said the memorial would be situated in Halifax, home to the regiment for more than 200 years. He said the project had the wholehearted support of Calderdale Council.

The Duke of Wellington has agreed to be the patron to this appeal and will host an event next spring at his London home, Apsley House, to unveil the approved design of the memorial.

The appeal committee will organise events to raise funds for the memorial and is asking for support from all those who have a connection to the regiment.

Duke of Wellington's regiment war memorial at Huddersfield Drill Hall.

Said Brig Meek: “I am conscious that we are all inundated with appeals from all sorts of organisations, but for everyone within The ‘Dukes’ family this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to support the placing of a fitting memorial to the regiment right in the heart of our historic home.”

For details on how to donate, go to www.dwr.org.uk and click on “regimental association”.

The regiment’s 72 battle honours include Waterloo, Inkerman, Ypres, Cambrai and Dunkirk. More recently, its troops have seen service in Afghanistan.

Five members of the regiment – including Cpl Jake Hartley, Pte Daniel Wilford and Pte Anton Frampton from Huddersfield – were killed in 2012 in the worst single Army tragedy since British operations began in Afghanistan in 2001.

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