The Yorkshire Regiment
It has been another successful twelve months for the Band of the Yorkshire Regiment with a busy calendar of varied engagements both locally and further afield.
At the start of the year, two of our musicians travelled to Bosnia with the Band of the Prince of Wales’ Division to record the official Bosnian National Anthem whilst another member of the band spent ten days in Uganda assisting the Band of the King’s Division teaching the Ugandan People’s Defence Force Band.
Back in the UK the band spent spring playing concerts in Huddersfield Parish Church and Ossett Town Hall, raising money for charities such as SSAFA and the Regimental Benevolent Trust. Our concerts attract large, enthusiastic audiences and we are developing a loyal following of supporters, noticeably passing a significant milestone of reaching over 4000 likes on our Facebook page!
Over the summer we supported multiple parades for the regiment. We led the annual Richmond Sunday parade in May, as well as the Queen’s 90th Birthday Royal Salute in York and the 10th Anniversary Parade at Imphal Barracks in June. We were very proud to participate in these prestigious events, and enjoyed working closely with our colleagues from across the Yorkshire Regiment.
We rounded off the summer with our Annual Deployment Exercise which took us to the Netherlands where we represented the British contingent for the 100th Anniversary of the Nijmegan Marches, which attracted a total of 50,000 participants. This was followed by a further weeks training in Sennelager, BFG. For the opening ceremony, the band led the British, American and Canadian troops into and through the town of Nijmegen. The troops were marching between 30km and 55km per day for 4 days, in arduous conditions. We were privileged to play marches for 8,000 military personnel from over 30 nations as they crossed the start line at 0430hrs on day 1. The event culminated on day 4 with the band leading the 800 strong British contingent for the final 5km over the finish line. There were 1.2 million people spectating on the final day and it was an experience which the Band will remember for many years to come.
September marked the centenary of the Battle of the Somme and the Band travelled to Contalmaison, France for a service of commemoration at Bell’s Redoubt - the memorial of 2Lt Donald Simpson Bell VC, an English teacher and professional footballer who was awarded the VC for his actions on the Somme.
November is a busy month for every military band with Remembrance engagements and the Band of the Yorkshire Regiment is no different. This year as well as leading the Remembrance Parade in Bradford we provided musical support to two Festival of Remembrances. The first in York Barbican in conjunction with several local choirs and musicians and the second in Huddersfield Town Hall, a large scale event organised by the Director of Music, and joined by several award winning youth and junior choirs.
On a personal note, we finished the year on a high; receiving a Certificate of Commendation from 4 Brigade Commander (Brigadier Strickland) to recognise the Band’s commitment to supporting the local community for our work in the Hebden Bridge area following the devastating floods in the region.