West Yorkshire market town of Pontefract
 
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Pontefract Years in Focus 1959

YEARS IN FOCUS
LOCAL NEWS AND EVENTS OF THE 1950s

PONTEFRACT IN 1959

31 May 1959
REGIMENT TAKES LEAVE

A very fun weekend witnessed the final activities of the Yorks and Lancaster Regiment at Pontefract, before its long associations with the town are ended. They included a reunion of veterans of the 1st Battalion who served in the First World War, a luncheon, band concert, Regimental Association dinner, and the last church parade. During the dinner, a gift was presented on behalf of the regiment to the Mayor of Pontefract.

The programme began at The Barracks, Pontefract, on Saturday with a reunion of all ranks who fought with the 1st Battalion during the 1914-18 war.  About 70 veterans attended, mostly those in South Yorkshire and the immediate neighbourhood. They were welcomed by the Colonel of the Regiment, Brigadier C.G. Robins, the Officer Commanding the Depot, Major J.H. Pattinson, and other officers. Needless to say, mainly memories were recalled and old acquaintance-ships revived.

The guests toured the Barracks and the museum, saw a display of modern weapons and then marched, headed by the Regimental Band, from the Officer's Mess to the Sergeants Mess where lunch was served. Later the Band played selections and more reminiscences were exchanged before the party broke up. The cost of the reunion including transport, was borne by officers of the Battalion.

In the evening, at the annual dinner of the Regimental Association, Brigadier Robins presented to the Mayor of Pontefract, Alderman C .Dyer, a case containing cap and collar badges of the regiment and the regimental badge, all in gilt and mounted on velveteen. The case carries the inscription stating that the gift commemorates the association of the regiment with Pontefract from 1881 to the present.

On Sunday morning was seen the last of the hundreds of parades of officers and men of the regiment to the Parish Church, during their 80 years association with the town. It was coupled with a celebration of St. George's Day, and included a civic service at the Parish Church, attended by the Mayor and members and officials of the Corporation. With the officers and men of the Depot were contingents of the 1st Battalion and the Hallamshire Battalion, (Territorial Army) and members of the Regimental Association. The parade was headed by the Regimental Band. The service was conducted by the Vicar of Pontefract, Canon R.G. Clarke, and afterwards, Brigadier Robins took the salute at a march past in Southgate.  Although the Barracks are to be taken over for the time being by the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, now at Strensall, they will also remain at the depot of the York and Lancaster regiment until accommodation is available at Sheffield.

1959 INDEX


 

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