THERE could be a ray of hope for an historic Army unit in West Yorkshire.
The Duke of Wellington’s name was expected to vanish this week when Defence Minister Philip Hammond announces cuts in the armed forces.
There are fears that one battalion in the Yorkshire Regiment, which has three active units, could be axed.
But now the historic unit, which lives on in The 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment (The Duke of Wellington’s) , could be saved.
New ideas being put forward as part of the review include one proposal to name the two remaining Yorkshire Regiment battalions, the Duke of York’s and the Duke of Wellington’s.
Another is to call one of the 200-strong regimental companies the Duke of Wellington’s.
Prince Andrew, who is Colonel in Chief of the Regiment, is known to support moves to retain the historic name, which retains the Army’s link with the victor of the Battle of Waterloo.
The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment previously recruited extensively in Huddersfield and Halifax and today, many of its troops are from this area.
The Army cuts, which will reduce its fighting strength to 82,000, its lowest level since the Napoleonic Wars, are expected to see several other famous regimental names disappear including the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, whose Royal Colonel is the Queen; the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards; 3rd Battalion, Mercian Regiment; and 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
The news comes after more British casualties in Afghanistan.
Three troops have been killed by a man wearing an Afghan police uniform who shot them at a checkpoint in what has been condemned by the Defence Secretary as a “cowardly act”.
The men, members of an Afghan Police Advisory Team, were leaving a shura – or meeting of elders – at Checkpoint Kamparack Pul in Nahr-e-Saraj, Helmand Province, when they were shot yesterday.
They received first aid at the scene but died of their injuries. Two of the men were serving with the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards and the other was serving with the Royal Corps of Signals.
Defence Secretary Hammond is expected to claim that the cuts focus on regiments with the most foreign-born recruits
The cuts have been delayed for weeks amid squabbling over where they should fall.