Hundreds line streets of Halifax to see Yorkshire Regiment parade

Yorkshire Regiment Freedom Parade June 2015
Yorkshire Regiment Freedom Parade June 2015

Hundreds of well-wishers lined the streets to show their support as the Yorkshire Regiment marched through Halifax.

More than 130 soldiers from the 1st Battalion of The Yorkshire Regiment exercised their right to the Freedom of the Borough by parading through the town on Saturday.

The march marked the 70th anniversary of the granting of the Freedom of Calderdale to the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, which is now part of the Yorkshire Regiment.

It also celebrated the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo and included an inspection of the Regiment, speeches and a victory drum beat.

The Mayor of Calderdale, Coun Lisa Lambert, unveiled a plaque in Halifax Town Hall as a memorial to the granting of the Freedom.

Major David Harrap, of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment Association, said: “It was a very fitting day for Calderdale and a wonderful way for the Dukes and the Yorkshire regiment to celebrate their history.

“I think it’s very important as it’s a reflection of the Duke’s proud heritage and it’s important to keep these ties going.”

Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Garner, who led the parade, said: “Our ties to Halifax are very strong, as one of our antecedent regiments, The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, recruited very heavily from the West Riding.

“It is particularly special to be coming back this year on the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, and we will be marking The Duke of Wellington’s victory with the unveiling of a special plaque to the granting of the Freedom of Calderdale.”

“It is an honour and a real privilege to be able to be on parade here at ‘home’ in Yorkshire.

“This has been an incredibly busy time for the battalion and, since deploying to Canada in October, the pace of life has been hectic as we build up to a new capability at the forefront of the Army’s reactive, high-readiness force.

“The chance to celebrate where we are from, see our friends and families, and to renew our connections with Yorkshire is a great boost to everyone’s morale.”

The Mayor of Calderdale, Coun Lisa Lambert, said: “It’s a real honour to be involved in granting the Freedom of the Borough of Calderdale to the Yorkshire Regiment.

“The Regiment has a long association with Halifax, and I’m delighted to be unveiling a plaque at the Town Hall to provide a permanent record of their Honorary Freedom.

“It is all the more poignant that the ceremony is taking place in the week when we mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. We know how important it is to local people to commemorate those who died in action.”

The Yorkshire Regiment is the only regiment in the British Army that still retains its county title and identity.

Its permanent connection with Yorkshire dates back to the 17th century and, since that time, Yorkshire men, by birth and spirit, have served with distinction all around the world.

For the first time since its formation in 2006, a regular battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment will be based ‘at home’ in Yorkshire, alongside its county-based reserve battalion, 4 YORKS.

More than 600 officers and soldiers of 2 YORKS, will be returning home from Cyprus over the summer and will be based at Catterick Garrison.