5th Battalion, Duke of Wellington's Regiment (West Riding)

The 5th Battalion of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment (West Riding) was a battalion in the Territorial Army.


The 5th Battalion traced its history back to the Huddersfield Rifles, which was raised in 1859 as a unit of Britain's Volunteer Force. The Rifles became the senior unit of the 5th Administrative Battalion of West Yorkshire RVCs in September 1862.

In February 1883 the unit became the 2nd Volunteer Battalion of the Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment and were headquartered at the Armoury on Ramsden Street. The battalion gained their first battle honours during in the 2nd Boer War (1899-1902).

From 1901, the battalion was based at the Drill Hall on St. Paul's Street, Huddersfield.

Under the Haldane Reforms of 1908, the battalion was reformed into two new Territorial Force units — the 5th Battalion based at Huddersfield and the 7th Battalion based at Milnsbridge. Both new units formed part of the 2nd West Riding Brigade, alongside the 4th and 6th volunteer battalions of the Duke of Wellington's regiment.

The 5th Battalion comprised the following:

  • A, B, C, D & E Companies at Huddersfield, with a Detachment of E Company at Meltham
  • F Company at Holmfirth
  • G Company at Kirkburton
  • H Company at Mirfield

First World War

Training at Clipstone (July 1916)

Following the outbreak of war, authorisation was granted at the end of August 1914 to begin forming reserve line battalions from new recruits. The 5th Battalion was re-designated the 1/5th Battalion and initially guarded defences on the east coast before being moved to billets at Doncaster in November 1914 to undertake training for active service. Meanwhile, the 2/5th Battalion was raised at Huddersfield on 9 October 1914.

The 3/5th Battalion was raised in March 1915 for the purpose of providing replacement soldiers to the 1/5th and 2/5th units, and was re-designated the 5th Reserve Battalion in April 1916 before being absorbed into the 4th Reserve Battalion in September 1916.

The 1/5th Battalion officially formed part of the 147th (2nd West Riding) Brigade of the 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division.

By January 1918, losses through casualties and injuries led to the 1/5th and 2/5th battalions being amalgamated into a single 5th Battalion.

Following demobilisation in 1919, the 5th Battalion was reformed in Huddersfield in 1920 as a unit of the Territorial Army.

Selected Personnel

For details of individuals who served in the 5th Battalion, see: