Former Green Howards base to be commemorated

The entrance to the former Green Howards' barracks. Picture: Google.

Plans have been announced to install a mounted plaque on the west-facing Bastion Wall of Richmond Barracks, Lyons Road, in Richmond.

The plaque will mark the role of the Green Howards line infantry regiment, which was merged with all Yorkshire-based regiments in the King’s Division to form the Yorkshire Regiment in 2006.

The former barracks site is viewed by historians as particularly significant as it was created as a result of the Cardwell Reforms of the British Army from 1868 with the support of the then prime minister William Gladstone.

The changes led to the localisation of British military forces, which had dire consequences for some towns and villages, particularly during the First World War.

The barracks, which were renamed Alma in 1958 after a Crimean War battle in which the regiment had fought, just three years before the main part of the barracks closed, leading to the Regimental Headquarters and the Green Howards Museum moving to Holy Trinity Church in Richmond Market Place.

The main site was converted for use as an approved school and has since become redeveloped for housing.

Planning papers submitted to North Yorkshire Council state the plaque outside the residential estate “is designed to provide local residents and visitors more information about why the barracks exist and history of the site”.

“Former Green Howard soldiers visit this site and some additional history about this location would be helpful.”

The papers emphasise how Richmond museum is celebrating its 50th anniversary in the Market Place and its directors want to enable visitors to use a QR code link from the plaque to the museum website to provide more information about the history of the barracks.

An official unveiling is being planned with representatives of the Green Howards Association.

Richmond councillor Stuart Parsons described the proposal as “right and fitting”.

He added: “Hopefully it won’t linger too long in the planning process. The Green Howards have been very closely associated with Richmond and the surrounding area for a very long time.

“We must not forget everything the Green Howards did before they were incorporated into the Yorkshire Regiment and after, now that they have been.

“They were one of the first to be given the Freedom of Richmond, which we very happily transferred to the Yorkshire Regiment because of that centuries-long association.”