An 18-foot high statue commemorating the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment will be unveiled in Halifax town centre on Friday.
The ceremony will take place at Woolshops at 3.15pm and will be preceded by a service and concert in Halifax Minster at 1.30pm, celebrating the history of the Regiment. At both events the unique Honorary Colours of the Regiment will be paraded by the Yorkshire Regiment.
The memorial has been created by world-class sculptor Andrew Sinclair and will be unveiled by the Duke of Wellington, whose family have had a close association with the Regiment ever since Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington, joined the 33rd Regiment of Foot in the 18th century.
Arthur Charles Valerian Wellesley, 9th Duke of Wellington, said: “The unveiling will be a significant event for the Regiment as well as the people of Yorkshire, not simply because of what is being revealed but also because this event in many ways marks the formal conclusion of 304 years of service to the Crown by the Regiment. The memorial will tell the history of the Regiment and celebrate the unique qualities of the Yorkshire soldier.”
Brigadier Andrew Meek CBE said: “On behalf of myself and the Regiment, I would like to thank everyone who has supported the Memorial Appeal. This support has enabled us to create a lasting legacy to a unique and great British infantry regiment. Not only will it honour the sacrifice of those who gave their lives, it will be a permanent, national legacy to inform generations to come of the history of the Regiment and those who served. We look forward to a wonderful day of celebration and anticipate a large turnout for a Regiment which served the Crown so conspicuously.”
Robin Tuddenham, Calderdale Council’s Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted that Halifax has been chosen as the location for the Duke of Wellington’s Regimental Memorial, to honour local soldiers and their families and celebrate our distinctive heritage. We have worked closely with the Association to support its fundraising efforts over the past two years.
“Halifax is a fitting location, as the Regiment has a long-standing connection with the town. We are proud to house the Regimental museum at Bankfield Museum, and Halifax Minster displays the Colours of the Regiment. This significant memorial will contribute to Calderdale’s growing popularity as a heritage and cultural destination.”
A book to commemorate the regiment, Halifax and the memorial has been completed, and copies for Dukes veterans will be available at Bankfield Museum today and the following Wednesdays and Thursdays. Copies for the general public will be available in the museum reception from Friday afternoon.
For more information on the unveiling and to donate to the memorial appeal, visit the Duke of Wellington’s Regimental Association website: https://memorial.dwr.org.uk/.