The Green Howards were an infantry regiment, raised by Francis Luttrell at Dunster Castle, Somerset in November 1688. They were formed to support the ‘Glorious Revolution’, where Dutch ruler William of Orange and his English wife, Mary, took the throne from James II. Mary was James’ daughter.
Why were they called The Green Howards?
Originally regiments were named after the men who commanded them. This is fine, until you have two regiments where their Colonels share a surname. This happened in 1744. To differentiate between the two units, the colour of the men’s uniforms facings and cuffs were used as a prompt. ‘Our’ Howards had green cuffs and jacket fronts, the other regiment had cream elements. Charles Howard’s regiment was nicknamed The Green Howards, the other regiment became known as the ‘buffs’. This nickname lasted through years of name changes, finally becoming the regiment’s official title in 1920.
They enjoyed 318 years of service before being amalgamated with the Prince of Wales’ Own Regiment of Yorkshire and the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment to form The Yorkshire Regiment in 2006. In 2023 the regiment was renamed the Royal Yorkshire Regiment.
If you would like to read more about the Green Howards Association