RAF Fylingdales on the North Yorkshire Moors CREDIT Crown Copyright
RAF Fylingdales on the North Yorkshire Moors (Picture: Crown Copyright).
History

Yorkshire Day: What is it and why do the British Armed Forces celebrate it?

Yorkshire Day coincides with Minden Day which is also celebrated on 1 August every year.

RAF Fylingdales on the North Yorkshire Moors CREDIT Crown Copyright
RAF Fylingdales on the North Yorkshire Moors (Picture: Crown Copyright).

Yorkshire Day was first celebrated in 1975 in the traditional market town of Beverly as a protest against local government reforms, but today, it is a time for civic leaders, mayors, dignitaries and the public to get together and celebrate all things that are Yorkshire.

It gives Yorkshire men, women and children the chance to celebrate their heritage and proud Yorkshire identity.   

The Yorkshire Ridings Society chose to celebrate on 1 August as this was the day Yorkshire soldiers, who had fought in the Battle of Minden, picked white roses as tributes to their dead comrades.

The Battle of Minden, between the Anglo-German army and French forces in 1759, took place during the Seven Years' War.

It is said that before that battle, British forces cut roses from local fields and put them in their headdresses before engaging with the enemy.

Since then, on Minden Day, regiments with a historic link to that battle have continued to mark the event and pay their respect by putting roses in their berets.

The Yorkshire Regiment, which specialises in light mechanised and experimental infantry, is the only true county regiment remaining in the British Army and has more than 335 years of history.

It is the product of a merger of three great Yorkshire Regiments on 6 June 2006 – The Prince of Wales's Own, The Green Howards and The Duke of Wellington's – all with an incredible history of achievement, including 38 Victoria Crosses.

Nicknamed the 'Yorkshire Warriors' and with the motto 'fortune favours the brave', the regiments that formed the Yorkshire Regiment saw battle at Waterloo, on D-Day and, in more recent years, in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

They also helped with the rollout of the COVID-19 testing and vaccination programme.

Soldier from 4th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment keeps tally of number of COVID19 Coronavirus self tests handed out at Scarborough mobile test unit 260420 CREDIT MOD
Soldier from 4th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment keeps a tally of the number of COVID-19 self tests handed out at Scarborough mobile testing unit (Picture: MOD).

A tradition of Yorkshire Day is when members of the Yorkshire Society recite a Declaration of Integrity.

The words are as follows:

"I, (name), being a resident of the [West/North/East] Riding of Yorkshire [or City of York] declare:

"That Yorkshire is three Ridings and the City of York, with these Boundaries of 1134 years standing;

"That the address of all places in these Ridings is Yorkshire;

"That all persons born therein or resident therein and loyal to the Ridings are Yorkshiremen and women;

"That any person or corporate body which deliberately ignores or denies the aforementioned shall forfeit all claim to Yorkshire status.

"These declarations made this Yorkshire Day [year].

"God Save the Queen."

This year's official Yorkshire Day will take place in Keighley and 2023 will see celebrations in Rotherham.

Previous locations to have celebrated Yorkshire Day include Leeds, Scarborough, Sheffield, Whitby and Wakefield.