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The Association has a long and proud history that matches the lineage of the historic regiments that went before us.


The Association originally formed by The Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in 1912 at Pontefract with the objective of cementing the spirit of comradeship between all ranks on which the tradition and good name of the Regiment are based.  The Association is still run the same location where is was formed. 


At its peak the Association had 10,000 members and 20 branches in North, South and West Yorkshire as well as in Manchester, Liverpool and London.


Just as the Regimental title has changed over the years from:  The Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry;  to The Light Infantry;  and now The Rifles; the Association has moved with the times and in step with the Regimental titles changes.  Our Association title now includes the three Regiments and our membership reflects this with servicemen and women who served with these Regiments.


The Regimental and the Association titles may have changed and the number of branch locations reduced as well as the size of the membership, but we are rightly proud of the fact that the Association has an unbroken history that traces back to its origin in 1912, to the place it was formed in Pontefract and that the Association still holds to the original reason for forming an Association.

The Association is open to all serving and ex-servicemen and women, of all ranks, whether regular or reservist of the; Rifles, the Forming Regiments, the KOYLI, and other antecedent Regiments


We are actively looking for new members who served in the Rifles, the Rifles forming Regiments, the KOYLI, and other antecedent Regiments.  Members from these regiments are the lifeblood for the future survival of the Association.  To join the Association click the button below, or visit your nearest branch; in Doncaster, Leeds, Pontefract, or WakefieldAlternatively, contact the Association Secretary.



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Our aims are to maintain the Association:

  • for the benefit of all the members of whatever rank who wear or entitled to wear the KOYLI, LI, KOYY(LI) or Rifles badge.

  • to support the local branches.

  • to provide welfare advice.

  • to uphold the traditions of the founding Regiment and the successors.




The traditions we hold dear trace our history back to the days of Sir John Moore the founding father of the Light Infantry soldier; camouflaged, shooting skill, fast marching and self thinking.


Drums for the sounding commands on the battlefield were too cumbersome for the fast paced soldiers so the Bugle was used.  The Bugle therefore became the symbol of our Regiments and wearing of 'the Silver Bugle' continues today with the Rifles.  Other traditions that have been passed down are: drill from the ‘at ease’ position, rapid marching pace and green beret hold testimony to the Regiments ancestry.


Key distinctions of dress wear also carried forward from the old County Regiments to the Light Infantry - Red Backing for the cap badge from the DCLI, sashes tied to the right from the SCLI, The Inkerman chain from the DLI and white roses on Minden Day from the KOYLI. The Regiment also had the distinction of being excused from drinking a Loyal Toast – a privilege inherited from both the KSLI and the DLI.  Some of these have also been carried forward to the Rifles


We are as proud today of our Yorkshire ties as much as we were in the past.  The Yorkshiremen who raised and  served in each of the Regiments listed under the heading of Historical Lineage were proud to be Yorkshiremen and proud to serve in Regiments that drew men from their proud county.


We are proud that the following county towns and cities granted Freedom Rights to the antecedent Regiments and continue to grant them to the Rifles:

  • Batley

  • Dewsbury

  • Doncaster

  • Leeds

  • Wakefield


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51st of Foot Cap Badge

51st of Foot

105th of Foot Cap Badge

105th of Foot

KOYLI Cap Badge

Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

Light Infantry Cap Badge

Light Infantry

Rifles Cap Badge


Image courtesy of Light Infantry Reunited

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