|BELT COLOURS - The top and bottom colours are maroon, and are 1.6cms wide. The centre stripe is black, and is 1.8cms wide. This black centre stripe then has two small 0.6cm stripes either side: the top one is silver and the bottom one is gold (similar to belt used by the York and Lancaster Regiment).|
The York and Lancaster Regiment was allied to the Wellington Regiment in 1913. It was a fine old county regiment, winning its first battle honour in Guadeloupe in 1759. It was disbanded in 1968, but is survived by a Regimental Headquarters and a Regimental Museum run by old regimental retainers in Bradford near Leeds – The Yorkshire Volunteers. These volunteers have inherited many of the York and Lancaster Regiment’s traditions.
The York and Lancs (65th of Foot as they were then known) had a long stay in New Zealand, approximately 19 years, longer than any other Imperial regiment. During it’s time in New Zealand the 65th won a number of Victoria Crosses and established a very close bond with the then colony. As an ‘aside’ (taken from the 65th’s regimental history), the Maori’s nicknamed them the ‘Hickity Pips’ and apparently when they found out it was their old adversaries opposing them would always warn the 65th sentries if there was going to be any activity that night. This caused puzzlement in other regiments the men of which always wondered why the 65th came off night post duties fresh and rosy, while they were haggard and exhausted. Apparently the warnings to the sentries were always honest, but when the actual fighting came, the 65th fought as well, or better than, any other regiment.
The first commanding officer of the forerunner of the Wellington Regiment, Captain Buck, was an ex-65th officer, as was the first second in command, Lieutenant Hastings. Both officers were later killed in the New Zealand Wars in the Taranaki.
It is not surprising then, that the Wellingtons and the York and Lancs were allied as early as 1913 and that the 7th Wellington (City of Wellington’s Own) and Hawke’s Bay Battalion Group has inherited the York and Lancs stable belt.
With thanks to George Pearson