The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
In 1881 after the Cardwell and Childers reforms, regimental numbers were abolished. The 51st King's Own Light Infantry became the 1st Battalion, The King's Own Light Infantry (South Yorkshire Regiment) and the 105th became its 2nd Battalion. The Childers reforms also combined militia and rifle volunteer units into the regiments formed in 1881. Accordingly the 1st West Yorks Rifles Miltia became the 3rd Militia Battalion, while the 3rd Administrative Battalion West Riding of Yorkshire Rifle Volunteer Corps became the 1st Volunteer Battalion. In 1897 the regimental title was changed to the The King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry), and in 1921 to The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.
With the creation of the Territorial Force in 1908, the 1st Volunteer Battalion was reorganised as the 4th and 5th Battalions (TF), while the 3rd Battalion was transferred to the Special Reserve. The KOYLI was raised to thirteen battalions during the Great War, and nine during World War II, including not only infantry but anti-aircraft and armoured units as well. In 1948, 1 KOYLI was disbanded and 2 KOYLI was renamed 1 KOYLI. In 1968, 1 KOYLI became the 2nd Battalion of The Light Infantry (2LI). In 2007 the LI merged with the Royal Green Jackets to form a new regiment, The Rifles. The former 1 KOYLI battalion (now 1LI) became 5 RIFLES.
The 51st first saw action during the Seven Years' War, gaining a reputation at Minden, its first battle honour. In 1803 it served in the first Kandyan War in Major-General Hay Macdowall's division. The regiment embarked for the Peninsula in 1807, serving with distinction. The regiment served on the extreme right at Waterloo, and was engaged at Hougoumont Farm. Both the 51st and 105th saw extensive service all over the Empire throughout the nineteenth century. The Second battalion (105th) fought well in the South African War. Both battalions served on the Western Front in World War I, as well as 3 Territorial and eight volunteer service battalions.
In World War II the regiment's nine battalions represented the new age of warfare. 5 and 8 KOYLI were anti-aircraft units, 7 KOYLI were armoured, and 9 KOYLI (formerly the Queens Own Yorkshire Dragoons) was motorised. The 2/4 battalion served in Europe and the Mediterranean, the Second fought as a rearguard in the retreat through Burma. The 1/4 battalion participated in the Battle of Normandy in 1944 and subsequently in the Netherlands. Reduced to one battalion, the KOYLI took part in peace-keeping and counter-insurgency operations post war. The battalion moved to Berlin in 1967, where it joined the Light Infantry Regiment.
The badge of the KOYLI is unique amongst English light infantry regiments as the horn is of the 'French' type (with a twist). The origins of this are obscure. It appears to have been adopted after Waterloo, however prior to this the 105th had an 'English' style Bugle horn with a loop. In its centre is the White Rose of York, linking to the regiment's home in Yorkshire. Unusual amongst British Army regiments, the badge lacks a crown. It was also the smallest cap badge used in the British Army.
KOYLI Site: http://www.koyli.com/
Museum: Click Here