Halifax could lose area headquarters of the Yorkshire Regiment

The Barracks, Wellesley Park, Halifax
The Barracks, Wellesley Park, Halifax

The district’s long and proud Army history with The Barracks at Wellesley Park, could soon end.

It is currently the area headquarters of the Yorkshire Regiment and home to the Duke of Wellington’s Regimental Association.

But, an ongoing review could result in the headquarters being relocated - if that happened it is expected the association would continue to meet elsewhere in Halifax.

The Barracks - now home to Halifax High School - opened in 1877 and the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment dates back to 1702.

Army cuts resulted in it becoming the 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (The Duke of Wellington’s) in 2006 and in July this year another shake-up resulted in the 3rd Battalion renamed the 1st Battalion (1st Yorks).

The Territorial Army left the Drill Hall at Prescott Street, Halifax, in 1999, and last year the Army career’s office at Northgate, Halifax, closed.

An Army spokesperson said it would continue to have a presence in Halifax.

“The Regimental Headquarters for The Yorkshire Regiment is currently conducting a review of its assets.

“It is possible the regiment’s area headquarters may have to move from its current location Wellesley Park, and the RHQ is looking at various options.

“However, the Duke of Wellington’s Regimental Museum will remain in Halifax (Bankfield Museum).

“We enjoy a close relationship with the people of Calderdale and value the strong links we have had for many years.”

The staffed barracks premises include offices and a large boardroom and the museum has been updated with reference to the 3rd Battalion (Duke of Wellington’s).

The colours of the 3rd Battalion are at Halifax Minster where a regimental chapel was dedicated in 1951 as a memorial to the 1,200 offices and men from the Dukes who died in the second world war.

Former Calderdale councillor Grenville Horsfall, of Brighouse, said it would be a shame for Halifax to lose its last link with Wellesley Park.

“It would be a cut for the sake of cutting,” said Mr Horsfall, who served with the Signals alongside the Dukes in Korea.

“The headquarters shouldn’t be taken out of Halifax.”

Edgar Gaukroger, 79, of Lee Mount, Halifax, served with the Dukes from 1952 to 1969.

“It would be a sad day but no-one seems to bother anymore,” he said.

“We have good turnouts for re-union dinners but in time they will go.

“The Army will not get the recruits like it used to get. Youths used to join the Dukes because of family connections.”