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

7 August 1959
MINDEN RECALLED BY K.O.Y.L.I.

The 200th anniversary of the Battle of Minden was celebrated during the weekend by troops of the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infirmary at the Regimental Depot, Pontefract, at Minden itself, at Dusseldorf Corruna Aden and in other parts of the world.

At Pontefract Barracks, a day of activity on Friday began with a parade for the recruits and permanent staff of the Depot. It was watched by members of the Regimental Association in the West Riding and the traditional Minden address, read by the Commanding Officer of the Depot, Major J.S. Wood, was followed by the exhortation. Major Wood also read a message from the Queen Mother, who is the Colonel In Chief of the Regiment.

After the parade, lunch, (with beer) was served by the officers, warrant officers and sergeants. Thanks were expressed by Corporal Moore who celebrated his 24th and last Minden Day in uniform. He is to take up a civilian post at the Barracks. In the afternoon a comic cricket match was played between the officers and sergeants and the recruits, and the former won, but only after buckets of water had been used. The spectators found plenty of entertainment in some unorthodox characters and equipment. The prize for the winning team was a crate of beer - and they shared it with the losers. The celebrations closed with the traditional ball held by the warrant officers and sergeants, which continued  into the early hours of Saturday. Among the guests were the Mayor and Mayoress of Pontefract, Councillor and Mrs J. Walton, the Mayor and Mayoress of Barnsley, and other local people. Throughout the day, troops wore white roses on their headdresses.

The Battle of Minden is recalled as that in which  ascendancy of Cavalry in the field was broken forever by a handful of Infantrymen, helped by the novel use of mobile infantry. The men of the 51st Foot (now K.O.Y.L.I.) who took part in it, were West Riding men who joined the Regiment when it was raised at Leeds in 1755-56, and Minden was their first battle.

1959 INDEX


 

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