D-Day for Dukes

3 Yorks on Salisbury Plain early this year
3 Yorks on Salisbury Plain early this year

The future of an historic army unit with strong links to Calderdale should become clear on Thursday.

The 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington’s) is at risk of being scrapped under plans to cut 20,000 troops.

An official statement from the defence secretary Philip Hammond will outline reforms to cut one-fifth of the army’s strength.

Leaked reports suggest the 3rd Battalion is for the axe and if that is the case, supporters, including Regiment Colonel in Chief the Duke of York, are keen to retain the name.

They are keen that the two remaining regimental battalions will become known as the Duke of Wellington’s and the Duke of York’s.

Halifax is the The Duke’s traditional heartland and the battalion is currently serving in Afghanistan.

The army is being downsized due to defence cuts and restructuring and will have a fighting strength of 82,000 - the lowest level since the Napoleonic Wars.

Reforms, overseen by Major General Nick Carter, are expected to split the army into three distinct bodies.

Reaction forces will spearhead operations; adaptable forces would take over later; and force troops will support the front line.

The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment was merged into the Yorkshire Regiment in 2006 and has roots going back to 1702.