A NEW book charts the history and Great War contribution of an army regiment inexorably linked with Keighley.

The 288-page hardback volume traces the development of the 1/6th Duke of Wellington’s Regiment.

Author Stephen Barber, himself a former soldier, follows the fortunes of the infantry unit from its creation to its mobilisation in the First World War.

Using newspaper archives, war diary extracts and personal accounts, he then provides a day-by-day resume of the regiment’s movements and actions during the conflict culminating in the pursuit of the retreating German army at Famars in November, 1918.

Trench raids are described in detail.

There is information and background stories about the men who served, and died, together.

And the book is packed with previously-unpublished photos.

The regiment – which was a Territorial Force unit, predecessor to the Territorial Army – had companies in Keighley and Haworth, as well as at other towns including Bingley, Guiseley, Settle and Skipton.

Despite the title of the book, which refers to the so-called Guiseley Terriers, comrades from across the area feature.

Mr Barber says the regiment played a crucial part in defeating the enemy during the First World War.

“In April 1918 the ‘Saturday Night Soldiers’ – as they were known – halted the German advance at a critical time during its spring offensive,” he said.

“Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig’s ‘backs to the wall’ order had just been issued when the 1/6th Duke of Wellington’s Regiment was sent to the frontline at Armentieres.

“After nearly four years at the front, they had been transformed from part-time enthusiastic amateurs to battle-hardened veterans, having fought in some of the Great War’s major battles – including suffering the effects of mustard gas at Nieuport.

“It was a source of pride to the men of the battalion that they had never given-up ground to the enemy, unless ordered to by a higher authority, and then only reluctantly.”

Guiseley Terriers: A Small Part in the Great War-A History of the 1/6th Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding) Regiment, is published by Pen & Sword Military and retails at £25.

Visit pen-and-sword.co.uk.