was first raised
in 1702 as “The Earl of Huntingdon’s Regiment” by order of Queen
Anne to fight in the War of the Spanish Succession. It fought
with distinction in that war and subsequently in the War of the
Austrian Succession, the Seven Years War and the American War of
1782 it was decided to link regiments to a county. The Regiment
then became the 33rd (or 1st
Yorkshire West Riding). Lord Cornwallis, Colonel at the time,
wrote, “...the 33rd Regt. of
Infantry has always recruited in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and
has a very good interest & the general good will of the people,
in that part of the country.” They also acquired the nickname
“The Havercake Lads” after a type of oatcake used by recruiting
parties to tempt recruits with promises of regular food.
Wesley (later the Duke of Wellington) took over command of the regiment
in 1793. During the Napoleonic Wars the 33rd
saw action in the West Indies, Holland, Ile de Bourbon, Mauritius
& India, where they took part the defeat of the dreaded “Tiger
of Mysore”, Tippoo Sultan.
to England in 1812 after 16 years abroad, the regiment was first
based at Hull before being ordered in 1813 to carry out “King’s
Duty”: standing guard at Windsor Castle. Six months later it departed
again for Holland where it took part in the attack on Bergen-op-Zoom
before Napoleon was exiled to Elba.
were still in Holland when “The Ogre” escaped and returned to France.
Forming part of Halkett’s 5th
Brigade in Alten’s 3rd Division
they saw action at Quatre Bras. Marching back to Waterloo
they were formed in the centre of the ridge between Hougomont and
La Haye Sainte. Here they withstood the French attacks all
day, finally repulsing even Napoleon’s elite Imperial Guard.
Between the 16th and 18th
June 1815 the 33rd suffered
a total of 277 casualties from a strength of 561, almost half their
33rd survives today as the 3rd Battalion of the Yorkshire
Regiment. In 1990 General Sir Charles Huxtable wrote, after vacating
are not a smart, social regiment. We do not seek to be ever in the
headlines. We do not pretend to have some special expertise. Indeed
perhaps what makes us special is that we do not seek to be any of
“We are ordinary, straightforward folk who stick together. We have
in the Duke's some of the best soldiers in the world. I would back
the Duke's soldier - the good, honest, straight forward, hard working
Yorkshireman - against any soldiers in the world.”
group represents the 8th company
of the 33rd Foot, from their
return in 1812 to the final peace in 1816. We portray a standard
line company, typical of the redcoats of the time and the backbone
of the British Army. Emphasis is placed on the life of the
ordinary infantry private during times of peace & war.