ONE battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment is to disappear under sweeping Army cuts.
But it is not the new unit bearing the Duke of Wellington’s name, which has historic links with Huddersfield.
Instead, the axe will fall on the 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards).
The Army is to lose 17 major units in the biggest overhaul of the service for decades, it has been announced.
Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman was furious at the cuts.
The veteran MP said: “It is a stab in the back for so many brave young men and women.
“They are fighting for this country in Afghanistan and here we are putting them on the jobs scrapheap.
“We have many troops from Huddersfield who joined the Army for a worthwhile career and this is a cowardly act for them and for others.”
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, said the changes were needed to create a “balanced, capable and adaptable force” for the future.
He added: “After inheriting a massive overspend from the last Government, we have had to make tough decisions to implement our vision of a formidable, adaptable and flexible armed forces.
“After a decade of enduring operations, we need to transform the Army and build a balanced, capable and adaptable force ready to face the future.”
Among the units to go are four infantry battalions: the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, the 2nd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards), the 3rd Battalion the Mercian Regiment, and the 2nd Battalion the Royal Welsh.
A fifth, the 5th Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) will be reduced to a public duties company to carry out public duties in Scotland.
The Armoured Corps will be reduced by two units with the merger of the Queen’s Royal Lancers and the 9th/12th Royal Lancers and the 1st and 2nd Tank Regiments amalgamating.
There will also be reductions in the number of units in the Royal Artillery, the Royal Engineers, the Army Air Corps, the Royal Logistic Corps, the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and the Royal Military Police.
The changes – to be completed by the end of the decade – will see the regular Army cut from 102,000 to 82,000 while the Territorial Army will be expanded to give a combined force of 120,000.
There were fears the cuts would see the end of the Dukes, which has recruited for decades in Huddersfield and Halifax.
Many local families have members in the regiment and, of course, three young soldiers from the 3rd Battalion were killed in Afghanistan in March: Cpl Jake Hartley, Pte Anton Frampton and Pte Daniel Wilford.
The Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Peter Wall, said decisions on where to make the cuts had been based on the recruiting records and population trends in the areas concerned.
“We took a clear view on the recruiting history and demography, particularly in the case of the infantry, looking at recruiting records over the last 10 years and projecting the demography forward for each recruiting area over the next 10 years.”
He said that reducing the size of the Army would mean further redundancies with “in all probability” two more tranches to come.