Training the next generation of hero West Yorkshire soldiers

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Soldiers from across West Yorkshire took part in a military training exercise involving tanks and rifles.

The 1st Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment practiced using army machinery in the four-day training event at Salisbury Plains in Wiltshire.

Photo by Grant Arthur

Photo by Grant Arthur

Regimental spokesman Capt Oli Sparks said: “It was an exercise designed to teach the next generation of company commanders. They practised using armoured infantry and practised various manoeuvres, skills and drills.

“A company commander is the officer in charge of a military unit.”

The Yorkshire Regiment was formed in June 2006 when the Prince of Wales’ Own Regiment of Yorkshire, the Green Howards and Halifax’s historic Duke of Wellington’s Regiment merged.

The former Duke of Wellington’s Regiment recruited mainly from the West Riding and the troops’ former regimental headquarters was at the old Wellesley Park barracks in Halifax.

Soldiers from across the Calderdale, Wakefield and Dewsbury areas are now part of the Yorkshire Regiment’s two battalions and a reserve troop.

The 1st Battalion, based in Warminster, Wiltshire, is an armoured infantry troop, equipped with the Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle tank. They are experts in mounted close combat.

The force will visit Poland next month to take part in a NATO exercise.

The Yorkshire Regiment has the Freedom to parade through Wakefield, Halifax and Huddersfield with drums beating, colours flying and bayonets fixed.

More than 130 soldiers from the 1st Battalion exercised their Freedom of the Borough when they marched through Halifax in June.

The parade marked the 70th anniversary of the granting of the Freedom of Halifax to the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, which has its regimental museum at Bankfield Museum in the town and its regimental chapel at Halifax Minster.

After several years in Cyprus, the Yorkshire Regiment’s 2nd Battalion - which also includes many soldiers from this region - is leaving the island this summer to return to its base at Catterick, North Yorkshire.

Troops from the 3rd Battalion paraded through Wakefield city centre last year, after being granted the Freedom of the City in 2010.