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The History of the Green Howards (Hardback)

Regimental History

By Geoffrey Powell, John Powell
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 316
ISBN: 9781473857964
Published: 7th January 2016

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Regimental histories abound, but few can be as stirring as this story of the fortunes of the famous Yorkshire-based Green Howards.

Raised in 1688 in response to a call for loyal troops, the Green Howards have maintained their tradition of loyalty over the past 300 years winning many superb battle honours. Their history reflects that of the British Army as there is hardly a major campaign that this Regiment has not been involved in; the French Wars of 1697-1793, the American War of Independence, Crimean War, First and Second World Wars, service in Suez, Malaya, Northern Ireland, peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and the war in the Gulf.

This fine book brings the story of one of Britain's finest regiments right up to date.

Written by two former members of the Regiment, Colonel Geoffrey S Powell MC BA FRHistS and his son Brigadier John Powell OBE and first published in 1992, re-issued in this revised and enlarged edition in 2002 and now reprinted in 2015, this book presents the story of this famous regiment from 1688 to 2002, with equal emphasis on all periods of its service.

Raised in 1688 a Colonel Lutrell’s Regiment of Foot, the Green Howards continued to maintain their tradition of loyalty in many campaigns, being awarded numerous Battle Honours in the process. Involvement in the early wars against the French (1697-1793), the American War of Independence, the Crimean War, the Great War, WW2, as well as Suez, Malaya, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo and more recently in Afghanistan provides the Regiment with an enviable war record.

The text includes a number of appendices, listing the Regiment’s Colonels-in-chief and Colonels of the Regiment, Battle Honours, Victoria Cross and George Cross holders, the regimental family tree, regimental music and Regimental Secretaries. An extensive bibliography is also included, along with an index, 14 maps and numerous illustrations, some of which are in colour.

In June 2006 the Green Howards were merged with two other Yorkshire infantry regiments (The Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire and The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (West Riding) to form The Yorkshire Regiment, thus the story of this splendid Regiment will continue.

Stuart Asquith, Author

This book will suit those for whom an overview of this regiment's traditions is all they seek. For others, it could provide a useful springboard into more collections and archives. First published by Arms & Armour Press in 1992, revised and enlarged by Leo Cooper in 2002, and now re-printed in 2015 by Pen & Sword, this is not a new publication by any means, but it is a useful one to have within arms' reach in a military library. The Green Howards title, not officially adopted until 1920, has its origins in 18th eighteenth century when there were two Colonel Howards commanding two very distinct regiments. Lieutenant General Thomas Howard was commanding the more senior of the two regiments (later to become the 3rd Regiment of Foot) whilst Colonel Charles Howard commanded what would become the 19th Foot. In order to distinguish the two regiments apart, Thomas Howard's men adopted buff-coloured facings (and would eventually be known as "The Buffs") whilst Charles Howard's men adopted green facings - the Green Howards.

The book is full of interesting little snippets of information like this and it's an easy read, taking the historian on a logical journey through three centuries of warfare which, after chapters on Victoria's small wars, the Boer War, First and Second World Wars and National Service ends - with a whimper rather than a bang - with a photo of two squaddies on cow-corpse burning duties during the 2001 Foot & Mouth Disease epidemic. Such are the fortunes of history.

The father and son authors of this book both saw service with the regiment and thus are well qualified to write about it. The chapter notes and chapter bibliographic references are extremely useful and will also prove to be a godsend to many. The book is, of course, published to Pen & Sword's usual high standards.

Amazon Review - Paul Nixon

About John Powell

John Powell retired from the Regiment in 1998. He had served as CO of the 1st Battalion in Londonderry from 1987-1989 and for the tercentenary in Catterick. He was Deputy Colonel of the Green Howards from 1996-2001, he currently lives in Hampshire

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