Yorkshire Regiment soldiers presented with Afghan campaign medals ahead of Cyprus tour

Brigadier Olly Brown, Commander 4th Infantry Brigade, presents a campaign medal. Photographer: Cpl Sam Jenkins / © MoD Crown Copyright 2020

Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment were presented with Afghan campaign medals today ahead of a tour of Cyprus.

After four years in Catterick, including two operational tours in Afghanistan, the regiment will be leaving their Yorkshire home for a two year tour in Cyprus.

Ahead of the move in November the regiment was presented with Afghan campaign medals and awards in a socially distanced parade at Catterick Garrison.

The 2nd Battalion (2YORKS) served in Afghanistan in 2017-18 before deploying again from October 2019 to May 2020.

The 2 YORKS-led Battlegroup included 16 British Army Reserve soldiers from 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment and also regulars from 2 PARA.

At a medals ceremony in Somme Barracks, 23 soldiers of the 2 YORKS Battlegroup were presented with their Afghan medals by Brigadier Olly Brown, Commander 4th Infantry Brigade.

Brigadier Brown said: “As the Army’s representative in the North of England, it is a real privilege to present these medals to Yorkshire’s own infantry.

“Having The Yorkshire Regiment based here at home in Yorkshire, is an important element of keeping the Army visibly in contact with the region we recruit from and with the communities that we serve.

“From success on operations to assisting with regional flooding and COVID testing, 2 YORKS and 4 YORKS have served our region and the Army well.

“And although we are saying goodbye to the 2nd Battalion, I am looking forward to welcoming 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Armoured Infantry) to Catterick, as they make the move north from Warminster in Wiltshire”.

The new commanding officer of 2 YORKS, Lieutenant Colonel James Ashworth said of the move to Cyprus: “There is no doubt that taking over command right at the point of a whole unit move overseas, and in the middle of a pandemic, is interesting to say the least.

“However, now that we have been able to formally recognise the achievements on operations; the support provided to flood hit areas and also COVID testing, the opportunity presented by the whole unit move to Cyprus will be our new focus.

“The battalion has been reorganised and structured to meet the very different demands we will face in Cyprus.

“Our families have been well prepared and have shown amazing patience as we returned from ops, took some leave and then started to pack, and all in the face of some limiting COVID restrictions and constraints.

“But we are ready, there’s a lot to look forward to and some wonderful opportunities for our soldiers and their families and friends to look forward to”.

Four members of the regiment’s Reserve Battalion 4 YORKS, which deployed soldiers with the 2 YORKS Battlegroup, also received medals at the event.