The 65th (2nd Yorkshire, North Riding) Regiment of Foot was a British Army infantry regiment formed in 1758 from the redesignation of the 2nd Battalion, 12th Regiment of Foot. In 1881 it would become the 1st Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment when amalgamated with the 84th (York and Lancaster) Regiment of Foot.
== History ==
=== Seven Years’ War ===
After the regiment was formed in 1758 it was sent to the fever ridden West Indies to aid in the capturing of the French islands of Guadeloupe (1759) and Martinique (1762). They were also involved in the expedition to capture Havana, Cuba in 1762. In 1764 the 65th Foot returned to England, where the regiment refilled its ranks.
=== American Revolution ===
In 1768 the 65th Foot was shipped to Boston, Massachusetts as part of the garrison. A few years later in 1775 the American War of Independence began. The regiment’s first action in the war was at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775 where their Grenadier and Light Companies were involved in the attack.
In 1776 the remnants of the 65th Foot were drafted into other regiments and the officers sent home to reform. In 1782 they received the title 2nd Yorkshire, North Riding Regiment.
In 1789 war had broken out with France again and Spain and the 65th were sent in 1782 to the fortress at Gibraltar which had fallen to British forces. After this regiment was sent to Canada in 1784 and Nova Scotia in 1791. In 1794 the 65th Foot were shipped back to the West Indies to take part in the attack on Santo Domingo in Haiti and a second attack on Martinique and then St Lucia.
=== India and Mauritius ===
The 65th Foot were shipped to South Africa in 1800 and on to Ceylon where they were involved in the Kandian War and the Mahratta War both in 1803. The Napoleonic War was still going strong and the regiment was dispatched to the island of Mauritius in 1810 where they took part in the capture of the island. After this they were shipped back to India where they remained until 1821. During this time they were briefly involved in the campaign against the Oman Coast Pirates in the Persian Gulf as well as numerous uprisings and small wars in India.
They returned to England 19 Aug 1822 after 22 years of ‘real service’. To the West Indies 1829, then to Guiana. They were back in Canada in time for the rebellions of 1837 and 1838.
=== Australia and New Zealand, 1845 to 1865 ===
They went back to Britain in 1841 but were on the move again in 1845. The 65th sailed to New South Wales from Woolwich, England on the vessel “Java” on May 18th 1846, with Headquarters and 513 other ranks. The “Java took 138 days sailing via Hobart then to Sydney where it arrived on Oct 14th 1846. It then sailed to Kororareka in the Bay of Islands arriving on Nov 19th and then on to Auckland arriving Nov 27th 1846, Detachments were stationed in Auckland. Some were sent on the vessel “Driver” to Wellington arriving on Dec 15th 1846. By 1847 the whole Regiment had been moved to Wellington, a detachment of which took part in a skirmish at Horokiri. Companies of the 65th relieved the garrison of the 58th Regiment in Wanganui and took part in the fighting there. Their next engagements were in the Taranaki Wars of 1860 to 1861 and in the Waikato campaign of 1863 to 1865, where Colour-sergeant Edward McKenna and Lance Corporal John Ryan won the Victoria Cross at Camerontown. The regiment returned to England from Onehunga in October 1865. They were known as the “Royal Tigers” and to the Maori as the “Hickety Pips” due to the Maori pronunciation of the number 65
=== England and Ireland, 1866 to 1871 ===
After 21 years in the colonies the 65th retired to England 1866. Quarter at Plymouth for a year, then Aldershot. Suddenly ordered to Ireland in 1867 ‘to suppress the Fenians’ and remained there until embarking at Queenstown 11 Jan 1871 for India on The Serapis
=== India, 1871 to 1882 ===
After 5 years in Britain they were back in India in 1871. It seems the young age of their soldiers had given tropical acclimatization problems, as a question was asked in the House of Commons. The Secretary for War replied; In April 1871 they were at Agra and 919 strong, including 579 privates and NCOs under 20. He had directed, if possible, that none should go under 20, and as many as possible be over 22. He said the 65th had just spent 20 years in Australia and 5 years at home and new arrangements meant home and foreign service would be expected to be equal.
Stationed Agra Feb 1871 to Jan 1874; Lucknow to Nov 1877, Danapore in Bengal to Oct 1880 & Morar to July 1882
They were still based in India when the 1881 Childers Reforms of the British Army occurred. The 65th Foot became the 1st Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment while the 84th Foot became the 2nd Battalion.
As the 1st Battalion York and Lancasters, they shipped to Aden and spent 18 months in reserve for the Egyptian Campaign. They sailed to Sudan and the day after disembarking, 7 died at the Battle of El Teb on 29 Feb 1884. They were reported as 421 strong before 32 more were killed at Souakim on 14 March. They arrived back in England 22 April 1884.
==Battle honours and distinctions==
The regiment was awarded the following battle honours for display on the regimental colours:
In 1909 the successor York and Lancaster Regiment were awarded the honours Guadeloupe 1759 and Martinique 1794 for the service of the 65th Foot.