A hugely successful tour of Yorkshire, organised by the Rifles County Secretary Yorkshire, has been completed by C Coy 3Rifles with assistance by from the Band and Bugles of The Rifles, the Rifles Recruiting Support Teams, from Pontefract and Durham, from members of the Regimental Association, the Veteran Buglers Association and the Rifles ACF Minden Drum and Bugle band.
The Tour kicked off on Monday 24 April with the Rifles Recruiting Support Teams from Pontefract and Durham and Riflemen from 3Rifles. Over the week the teams had displays in Doncaster, Leeds and Wakefield town centres. The centre piece of the displays were Fox Hound armoured troop carriers brought down by 3Rifles. Regimental Association member Micky Miles, of West Leeds Branch, joined the team in Leeds on Friday 28 April to recruit for the Association. 5 major events took place over this very busy week in Wakefield, Doncaster, Pontefract, ITC Catterick and Dewsbury.
The first of the 5 events took place on Wednesday 26 April with the Band and Bugles of the Rifles hosting a music workshop for musicians from Wakefield schools. The students joined the Band and Bugles for a rehearsal of several pieces which the students later performed with the Rifles Buglers and the ACF Buglers to their family and friends. The calibre of the students musicianship was very high. It was great to see and hear that Wakefield still has an active schools music organisation that produces talented musicians.
Mini Freedom Parade and Colour Presentation in Doncaster
Thursday 27 April at 1030hrs Sir Nigel Gresley Square, Doncaster resounded to the sound of the Bugle when the Band and Bugles of the Rifles marched on to the square with C Coy 33Rifles in exercise the Freedom Rights which were originally granted to The Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. After the Mayor of Doncaster, Councillor David Nevett, inspected the 2 guards of Riflemen from C Coy 3Rifles Major Andrew Penny KOYLI/2LI, the President of the Regimental Association, presented the framed 1948 Regimental Colour of 4th Battalion KOYLI to the Mayor and the people of Doncaster. The Colour was marched off parade for the last time on 1 August 1962 in Berlin when HRH The Queen Mother, Colonel-in-Chief of The Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, presented new Colours to the battalion.
A Cocktail Reception and Sounding Retreat Pontefract
Minden House, Pontefract on the evening of Thursday 27 April was the setting of a Cocktail Reception and Sounding Retreat for local Civic and Business leaders and Association members. The Band and Bugles of the Rifles, the Rifles Cadets Minden Drum and Bugle Band and the Veteran Buglers Association performed a spectacular Sounding Retreat that captured the County Secretary's ethos of "Cradle to Grave". The evening was an outstanding success that demonstrated to the local Civic and Business leaders that despite the Regimental title changes over the decades from KOYLI to LI to Rifles our historical connection to Yorkshire is still strong and that we want to increase it. A word of thanks must to go to all those who worked so hard in the background to make the evening the success it was; Bob Roberts the Rifles County Secretary Yorkshire, Maxine, Colin, RST staff and Y Pl D Coy The Rifles.
ITC Catterick Pass Off Parade
On Friday 28 April 16 Civic and Business leaders joined recruits families when they attended a Pass Off Parade at ITC Catterick that included a platoon of Rifle recruits. They witnessed first hand the training that turns young people from raw recruits and puts them on the path to becoming professional soldiers.
Freedom Parade and Colour Presentation in Dewsbury
On Saturday 29 April it was the turn of Dewsbury to resound to the sound of marching troops and the Band and Bugles during a traditional Freedom Parade. Five guards; made up of 2 guards from 3Rifles, 1 guard of D Coy The Rifles, 1 guard from the Rifles ACF and 1 guard from the Regimental Association and the RGJ Association paraded in front of the Peace Gardens. The guards and seated Association members, who are unable to march, were inspected by the Mayor of Kirklees, Cllr Jim Dodds BEM who served in The Royal Signals, and other Civic and military dignitaries. Following the inspection a ceremony took place to unveil commemorative VC centenary stones for Sjt John William Ormsby VC MM and Pte Horace Waller VC. In the presence of 4 generations of the Sjt Ormsby's family, Bernard Woods KOYLI, a member of Wakefield branch and himself a resident of Dewsbury read the VC citation for Sjt Ormsby VC. The citation for Pte Waller was read by a sea cadet as the only descendants of Pte Waller were unable to attend. After the unveiling ceremony the Mayor, who publically praised the turn out of all those on parade, granted permission for the parade to march around Dewsbury with bands playing in exercise of the Freedom of Dewsbury.
The Association members that marched in the parade which include for the first time a female member of the Association, Maxine Jordan who served in 8LI, were not only a credit to the Association but they also lived up to and exemplified the Regimental Mottos of the KOYLI, "Cede Nullis", and the Rifles, "Swift and Bold" as they completed the full route of the march around Dewsbury at regimental pace when the ACF failed to take the shorter route. Respect to each and everyone of the members.
At a reception in the Town Hall after the parade the framed 1948 Kings Colour of 4KOYLI was presented on loan to the Mayor of Kirklees and the people of Dewsbury.