51st Light Infantry

(2nd Yorkshire, West Riding)

1757 - 1821

Who are we ?


In 2006 a small group of re-enactors (2 of us!) began researching the 51st (2nd Yorkshire, West Riding) Light Infantry and realised that a Regiment with such an interesting and noteworthy history was not being represented by any Living History/ Re-enactment groups either in the UK or elsewhere and so our group was born.


Once we had decided, our research began in earnest. With little or no readily available sources for much of the regiment specific uniform, we have taken many years to establish what we currently know, commission the production of several of the items of soldiers' uniforms from scratch such as belt plates and buttons and source the appropriate 'red' cloth and facing cloth.


New evidence has emerged during this time, which explains why, in some of our older pictures, you may see some variations in our uniforms and women's dress.


Why the 51st?


The 51st can trace it roots from 1755, seeing service through the Seven Years War (1756 - 1763) and notably, as the 51st Regiment of Foot, at the Battle of Minden (1759).


The Regiment served throughout the Peninsula War (1807 - 1814) between Napoleon's Grand Armée and Wellington's army - especially during the siege of Badajoz in 1811.


At the Battle of Waterloo (1815) it was the only Light Infantry regiment to be deployed in skirmish order throughout the battle and at one point preventing the escape of up to 100 cuirassiers (numbers vary depending on which source you read).


In 1821 the Regiment became a “Royal” Regiment — the 51st King’s Own Light Infantry — and changed its facings to blue, subsequently continuing to serve with great honour, eventually evolving to become The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI), and then the Light Infantry, but that's another story..........................


Why not get involved?


The 51st have a varied events programme which includes battle re-enactment, living history, ceremonial and social activities in both the UK and abroad.


The are roles for males and females within the group and it is well suited for families. Young people below the age of 16 are welcome to join us, but must be accompanied by an adult.


We are always happy to welcome you at any of our events and you can find all our must up to date event details by visiting us on our Facebook page or contact us through this site.


Through the winter months we hold drill sessions at Minden House, Wakefield Road, Pontefract, WF8 4ES and Avoncroft Museum, Worcestershire, B60 4JR. Come along for taster session!


"Ich Dien" / "Cede Nullis"