Title: East Yorkshire Regiment in the Great War 1914 – 1918
Author: Wyrall, Everard
Edition: 2nd Edition
Publication Date: 2002
Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 486 pages & 15 maps
Comments: A record of seventeen battalions of the E Yorks in the Great War, with Roll of Honour and list of Honours and Awards.
In August 1914 the East Yorks consisted of two Regular battalions (1st and 2nd), a Special Reserve (3rd) and two Territorial battalions (4th and 5th Cyclist). After the outbreak of war eight Service (Kitchener) battalions were raised (6th to 13th) as well as two Reserve (14th and 15th) and two Garrison battalions (1st and 2nd). The 4th Battalion TF formed a second and third line battalion, 2/4th and 3/4th.
Ten of the nineteen battalions went on active service. This history covers all the battalions though only very briefly those that did not go overseas. The author, a prolific writer of divisional/regimental histories follows his customary pattern of arranging his story chronologically with chapters devoted to specific battles and periods of trench warfare. In the margins of the text describing events he notes the dates, as in a diary, and identifies the battalions involved.
The Roll of Honour lists the officers alphabetically by ranks without indicating the battalion or date of death; the other ranks are shown by battalions and by ranks within each battalion, again without date of death. The total dead for the war amounts to 403 officers and 7,080 other ranks, the 1st Battalion incurring the greatest number – 1,536 WOs, NCOs and Men. Four VCs were awarded for which the citations are given. Honours and Awards are listed in three groups: British awards (1,125 in all), Mention in Despatches (397) and Foreign awards (94); battalions and dates are not specified.
The 1st Battalion went to France with 18th Brigade, 6th Division, joining the BEF at the Battle of the Aisne. In November 1915 it was transferred to 64th Brigade, 21st Division with which it remained for the rest of the war on the Western Front.
The 2nd Battalion was in India and arrived home in December 1914, joining the newly formed Regular division, the 28th with which it went to France in January 1915. In November the division was transferred to the Macedonian front.
The 6th Battalion was the only one to go to Gallipoli, which it did as the Pioneer Battalion of 11th Division. In December 1915 the battalion was evacuated with the division and ended up in France in July 1916. All the other battalions that went on active service fought on the Western Front, three of them – 8th, 12th and 13th were disbanded in February 1918 in the reorganization of the BEF that reduced brigades from four to three battalions. Given the number of battalions covered in this single volume the account of all the activities is necessarily compressed, based essentially on the War Diaries, without anecdotal contributions The maps are very good, uncluttered yet displaying tactical detail easy to follow.