The meaning of Yorkshire Day

IT was interesting reading in last week’s Express what people have to say about Yorkshire rather than Yorkshire Day but on saying that I agree with most of the comments, good people, lovely countryside, coast, walking areas and places to visit.

Without deeming to be a history yeacher I simply turn my attention to what Yorkshire Day means to me:

Remember Yorkshire Day is celebrated on August 1 not only to promote the historic English county of Yorkshire – which came about in 1975 when the Yorkshire Ridings Society became a protest movement against the local government re-organisation of 1974 – but to also to celebrate the emancipation of slaves in the British Empire in 1834 – all very important issues.

But before all this the date August 1 is celebrated by the Rifles, successors to the Light Infantry, and before that The King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, who along with other regiments in 1759 fought in the Battle of Minden. White roses were were plucked by soldiers of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry from the battlefields and put in their headdresses (which to this day is still permitted) therefore Yorkshire Day was originally known as Minden Day.

It was therefore pleasing to see The Rifles marching in Wakefield to celebrate this day and so while we celebrate Yorkshire Day whichever way we want, let us not forget its origins and remember those who lost their lives at the Battle of Minden, as we do for many other battles, because that’s what Yorkshire Day means to me.

DAVID H BOND

Veteran of King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

Nunns Croft

Featherstone