Introduced in 1892, the cap badge of the West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales Own) was to remain unchanged throughout the life of the regiment until its eventual merger with the East Yorkshire Regiment in 1958. The cap badge consisted of a white metal Horse of Hannover over a gilding metal scroll with the legend ‘West Yorkshire’:
The Horse of Hannover dates back, heraldically, to the first of the Hanoverian monarchs, George I who brought it with him from Germany where it was known as the ‘sachsenross’. The horse had only a small part to play in the King’s new coat of arms, but was seen extensively on military badges and insignia of the period. The white horse was dropped form Royal coats of arms in 1837 when Victoria ascended to the throne, but continued as part of military heraldry. The White Horse of Hannover is not the only horse seen on cap badges, the white horse of Kent appearing as well, however Kent’s horse is depicted ‘rampant’ whilst the Hanoverian horse is at the gallop.
The West Yorkshire Regiment cap badge was produced with both sliders and eyelets to allow it to be fixed to a cap, however the slider version seems to be far and away the most common variation found:
The badge can be seen being proudly worn by soldiers of the regiment over a period of more than sixty years:
Following the merger of the two regiments in 1958, the Horse of Hannover continued to be used as the new Regiment’s badge, however the scroll was dropped. With the combination of all the Yorkshire Regiment into one large regiment in the 21st Century the badge was finally dropped.