KOYLI MEMORIAL

UNVEILING AND DEDICATION

1 AUGUST 2018

The unveiling and dedication of the KOYLI Memorial took place on, Minden Day, 1st August 2018 in Elmfield Park, Doncaster.  This was probably the final official KOYLI family event about which Brigadier Roger Preston writes as follows:

It was very much a regimental day with 400 present.  There were a few guests including the Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, the High Sheriff of West Yorkshire, the Civic Mayor of Doncaster and Mayors or their representatives from our Feedom Cities and towns. Two major donors were present:  Alan Grieve,  on behalf of the Jerwood Foundation  (John Jerwood was Adjutant of 1 KOYLI in WW2 in Italy)  and the Campbell family (who gave a major contribution in memory of their father Corporal Neil Lowe who served in A Company 1 KOYLI in Kenya, Aden and Cyprus).   The Norwegian Ambassador was invited but unable to attend ( a major donation was given in recognition of 4 KOYLI's service in Norway in WW2). John Scurr also gave a substantial donation, but was unable to attend.  He was NS in Malaya with 1 KOYLI in the 40's and wrote a couple of books about his experiences.

The day started with senior guests and a few hosts invited  to coffee at the Earl of Doncaster hotel.  A presentation was made to the Mayor of Doncaster of a miniature silver replica of the main statue, in recognition of the close links between the regiment and Doncaster.  Future presentations are planned for Leeds, Wakefield, Batley, Dewsbury and Pontefract.

The main ceremony was in Elmfield Park.   There was much discussion where the statue should be sited, and it was strongly felt by members of the Association that it should be in Yorkshire rather than in the National Arboretum in Staffordshire.  Doncaster was chosen because the museum was there, and in the longer term, when we have all gone, memories of the regiment will be housed in Doncaster. A new cultural centre is to be built in Doncaster into which our Museum will be moved so it was not possible to site the statue outside the existing Museum. Elmfield Park is only a short distance away.

The bronze statue,  weighing in at 4.5 tons,  is of a KOYLI soldier in jungle kit.  The statue however is intended to commemorate all those who served in the KOYLI.   The statue unveiling photograph shows what it is like.   Battle honours are on two sides, the regimental crest on the third side and VC winners on the fourth side.  The area around the statue is a bed of white roses, kindly presented and planted by Catherine Penny.   The cost of the project including the dedication ceremony came to about £150,000.  This was raised by donations and a grant from the trustees.

The ceremony itself started with an opening address of welcome and was followed by a service of dedication led by our regimental padre Andrew Martlew.   During this,
regimental remembrances were given by Andrew Penny and Tim Humphries.  Buglers sounded the Last Post and Association standards were lowered.  The standards of all the Association branches were on parade.   A local band provided music, and to their credit they learnt and played faultlessly "With Jockey to the Fair".   Wreaths were laid by Eddie Robinson for the regiment, by the Mayor of Doncaster for Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council, by Percy Potts for the Norwegian Embassy and by the Mayor of Kirklees for Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council, which of course includes Dewsbury and Batley.   Many of those unable to attend may remember Percy Potts - who spent an enormous amount of time writing to potential donors and raising money.    The ceremony was well covered by BBC local television, and by ITV's program "Calendar"

We then all moved to Doncaster racecourse for a buffet lunch including speeches of thanks from Andrew Perry and David Wroe. Some key pieces of regimental silver were on display and also drawings of the plans for the new Museum.

This brought to the end a truly memorable day, full of emotion and pride.   Years of planning by Andrew Perry, David Wroe and their team of; Percy Potts, Tim Humphreys, Derek Searby, Peter Shields and Colin Cranswick paid off in a fantastic day.   Those who were there will never forget the occasion and I hope that those who were unable to be there will get an idea of what happened from this description.

With best wishes

Roger Preston

At the reception the family of Cpl Neil Lowe; Graham, Gordon and Alison, presented a cheque to Major David Wroe for over £4000 they raised for the memorial appeal.

Memorial Panels

These are illustrations of the 4 panels that are attached to the plinth
 

The 51st & 105th

Regiments of Foot

THE KINGS OWN YORKSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY

 

 

 

 

 

K.O.Y.L.I.

BATTLE HONOURS
51st REGIMENT OF FOOT
Minden * Corunna * Fuentes d’Onor * Salamanca * Vittoria * Pyrenees * Nivelle * Orthes * Peninsular *
Waterloo * Pegu * Ali Masjid * Afghanistan * Burma


KINGS OWN YORKSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY

1899 - 1902
Modder River * South Africa


KINGS OWN YORKSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY
1914 -1918
Mons * Le Cateau * Rettreat from Mons * Marne * Aisne * La Bassee * Messines Ypres * Hill 60 * Gravenstafel * St Julien * Frezenberg * Bellewaarde * Hooge  Loos * Somme * Albert * Bazentin * Ancre * Arras * Scarpe * Delville Wood *  Pozieres * Guillemont * Flers – Courcelette * Morval * Le Transloy * Langemarck * Menin Road * Polygon Wood * Broodseinde * Poelcappelle * Passchendaele * Cambrai * St Quentin * Bapaume *Lys * Hazebrouck * Bailleul * Kemmel * Scherpenberg * Tardenois  * Amiens * Hindenburg Line * Havrincourt * Epehy Canal Du Nord * St Quentin Canal * Beaurevoir * Selle * Valenciennes Sambre * France and Flanders * Piave * Vittoria Vaneto * Italy
* Struma * Macedonia * Egypt

BATTLE HONOURS
KINGS OWN YORKSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY
1939 – 1945

Kvam * Norway * Fontenay Le Pesnil * Le Havre * Antwerp * Turnhout Canal * Lower Maas * North-West Europe * Mine de Sedjenane * Argoub Sellah * North Africa * Sicily * Salerno * Salerno Hills * Cava de Tirreni * Volturno Crossing * Garigliano Crossing * Minturno * Monte Tuga * Anzio * Gemmano Ridge * Carpineta * Defence of Lamone Bridgehead * Italy * Sittang * Burma


OTHER CONFLICTS SINCE 1945
Malaya
Kenya
Cyprus
Malaysia
Aden

KINGS OWN YORKSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY

WINNERS OF THE VICTORIA CROSS

Dedication Panels

These are illustrations of the 2 panels that are attached to the information plinth

 

DEDICATION

THIS MEMORIAL REMEMBERS ALL THOSE WHO SERVED AND THOSE WHO FELL IN THE SERVICE OF THE 51st & 105th REGIMENTS OF FOOT,
THE KINGS OWN YORKSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY.
IT WAS DEDICATED ON OUR REGIMENTAL DAY, MINDEN DAY,  1ST AUGUST 2018,
THIS DATE BEING THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF
THE KINGS OWN YORKSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY
BEING REMOVED FROM THE BRITISH ARMY ORDER OF
BATTLE AND TAKEN FROM THE LIST OF LINE REGIMENTS.

THE MEMORIAL WAS RAISED BY SUBSCRIPTIONS PROVIDED BY THE EFFORTS OF INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF THE REGIMENTAL ASSOCIATION, FORMER MEMBERS OF THE REGIMENT, FAMILIES, FRIENDS, RELATIVES, LOCAL BUSINESSES, COMMUNITY GROUPS AND MANY OTHER GENEROUS ORGANISATIONS.

CEDE NULLIS

 

THE REGIMENTAL PRAYER
OF THE K.O.Y.L.I.

O God, who wilt not give thy glory to another,
grant we pray thee,
that The Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry,
who will not lightly yield to any enemy,
may yield to none in giving glory to thee,
for the sake of him who endured the cross,
and is glorified for us,
Jesus Christ our Lord.


Amen

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