15,000 men wore the Green Howards cap badge during the Second World War.
They would experience the snows of Norway, the burning heat and bitter cold of the North African desert, fight through Sicily and on into Italy before being launched from the sea onto the D-Day beaches of France.
Elsewhere, they fought in the steamy jungles of Burma while others spent difficult years as prisoners of war. A shared pride in the regiment’s history, comradeship and discipline would unite professional soldiers and new recruits into a fighting force that could summon the extra strength and staying power to turn defeat into victory.
Since the rise of Hitler in 1933, the fear of war had haunted Europe. Yet little had been done to re-equip the army for modern warfare.
On the 1st of September 1939 Hitler invaded Poland. Two days later, at 11.15am, the British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, announced Britain was at war with Germany.
After a brief ‘phoney war’ in France, the 1st Battalion was sent to Norway to help fight the German invasion. Well trained, but poorly equipped, they slowed the German advance with great determination, but were eventually forced to withdraw.
Meanwhile, four territorial battalions fighting as part of the British Expeditionary Force struggled to prevent a German invasion of France. These inexperienced volunteers quickly established a reputation for fearless tenacity.
They were among the last troops to withdraw from the Dunkirk beaches and four years later they were specially selected to be among the first to land on D-Day.
Focus on: WG Robinson
Known as Robbie, Robinson joined the Green Howards territorials in the 1930s.
On the outbreak of war, he was called up and sent to France. He was evacuated from Dunkirk and went on to fight in the Middle East, Cyprus, Iraq and Syria.
After the war, he worked as a property valuer and maintained his links with the regiment by commanding a territorial unit of the Green Howards.
Lt Col Robinson OBE died in 2000.
Luckily for us, Robinson was a keeper of paperwork.
Amongst other items, we have in the museum collection his call-up notice, issued on the day Germany invaded Poland, as well as all his clothing bills!