The King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE K.O.Y.L.I.

The King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry was formed through the merging of the 51st (2nd Yorkshire West Riding) Regiment of Foot and 105th Regiment of Foot (also known as the Madras Light Infantry).

From its establishment, the two Battalions of the K.O.Y.L.I. served around the world in Malta, India, Crete, Gibraltar, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore and at home in Britain.

At the outbreak of the First World War, the 2nd Battalion was in Ireland, and was immediately sent to France with the British Expeditionary Force. They remained on the Western Front for the duration of the conflict. The 1st Battalion arrived in France in January 1915, having come from Singapore, and spent just under a year fighting on the Western Front before being sent to Salonika, Greece. The battalion returned to the Western Front in July 1918. The K.O.Y.L.I. expanded greatly during wartime, with the raising of additional battalions based on the Western Front, Greece, Egypt and Britain.

During the interwar period and during the Second World War, the K.O.Y.L.I. again served around the world. The K.O.Y.L.I. merged with three other light infantry regiments in 1968 to form The Light Infantry and in 2007, The Light Infantry became part of the Rifles.

K.O.Y.L.I. REGIMENTAL MUSEUM

The Regimental Gallery of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry is located in the same building as Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery.

The K.O.Y.L.I. Museum received £204,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the refurbishment of this gallery, which re-opened in October 2011. Generous contributions towards the cost of the project were also received from the Regimental Trustees and the Friends of Doncaster Museums.

The displays contains uniforms, weapons, badges, photos, a model of the Pontefract Barracks, and the roll of honour of the 5th Battalion. Also included is one of the most extensive medal collections in this country.

Opening Times:
Wednesday to Friday- 10am to 4:30pm
Saturday and Sunday- 10:30am to 4pm
Monday and Tuesday- closed

A research service is available to customers unable to visit the museum.
For details of costs and services, please contact us:
Tel:01302 734293 Email: [email protected]

EXHIBITIONS: K.O.Y.L.I. AND THE FIRST WORLD WAR

As part of the Doncaster 1914-18 Project, between 2015 and 2019, the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Museum will host a series of changing exhibitions focusing on the experience of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in each year of the war.  These exhibitions will tell the story of the K.O.Y.L.I. and the personal stories of its men through photographs, objects and videos.

From November 2015, a K.O.Y.L.I. travelling exhibition will also visit various venues in Doncaster and the old West Riding of Yorkshire, from where K.O.Y.L.I. soldiers were recruited.

Stories from the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry will also feature in our other events and exhibitions.