The York and Lancaster Memorial Stone
After several enquiries regarding the missing name on the Barnsley Pals plaque in Centenary square , Barnsley. Members of the Barnsley branch explored the possibility of raising funds to have a memorial made to ensure future generations would recognise that the York and Lancaster Regiment, 13th and 14th Battalions and the Barnsley Pals were one and the same.
After much toing and froing and the branch voting to make a contribution to the project, plus money offered from a council department, it was given the go ahead.
Nick Roberts (stone mason) was asked to do a draft based on information given to him. Nick suggested black marble with gold lettering and a full colour image of the regimental badge.
The memorial stone was dedicated on 11th August in the memorial garden of St Mary's Church, Barnsley. The dedication was attended by Col Norton, John Bell, Syd Dyson, Mick Medlock and Dave Lowe (standard bearer) and other interested parties.
After the dedication we viewed the existing stone, (with prior permission) which is in the offices of the Barnsley Chronicle. Some people from Barnsley had seen the stone during their time in cadets or TA, so it brought back memories for them.
Memorial stone in the Barnsley Chronicle offices
Col. Norton unveiling the new memorial stone
Syd Dyson (secretary) with Rev Stephen Race
The new memorial stone
Centenary of the Battle of the Somme Tour to France
Members of the Barnsley branch were fortunate to be included in the trip to France to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of the Somme,which took place on July 1st 1916.
The branch members were Syd Dyson, Geoff Harding, Vic Leigh , Mick Medlock and Albert Austin. We were joined by Colonel Norton and Colonel Elliot. Colonel Norton had been organising this trip for over two years. This trip also included other interested parties filling two coaches. We departed from Endcliffe Hall on Monday 27th June 2016 at 0730hrs. We collected Andrew Pennington, our tour guide and his group from Anglia tours at Maidstone in Kent. On our way we visited Leeds castle, a very picturesque and very well kept national monument We then proceeded to our hotel in Dover.
Early the following morning we were on route to the shuttle terminal to take our place on one of the first shuttles for our journey to our accommodation in France.
As usual a full itinerary was arranged and we visited our first place of interest was the Somme and several memorial sites including the Menin Gate, where our service was held for the Missing.
We visited numerous museums and memorial sites including 49th West Riding Division, the Thiepval Ridge, where the 1/4 and 1/5 Battalions Y&L endured weeks under fire also the Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery, the largest in the world.
On Thursday there was a large security zone established for the events being held at the Thiepval Memorial where VIP's from 26 countries including 5 members of our Royal family were attending.
We made our way to Sheffield Park along with other groups who had been involved with the preparations. Two Royal Marines, who walked around Yorkshire to raise funds to purchase over 9000 crosses with poppies, were amongst the arrivals.
One of the more outstanding features for the branch was the modified Barnsley Pals Monument that had been placed on a plinth, lifting it to eye level.
We visited Leipzig Redoubt for the story of the 12th (Sheffield City) and the 13th and 14th (Barnsley Pals) Battalions. It also overlooked the ground of Ovillers la Boissell where the 8th and 9th Y&L Battalions suffered 1,281 casualties on the 1st July.
We attended a Civic Reception on Friday at Salle Isabelle d'Hainaut, Chemin de St. Quentin, Bapaume.
It was a very memorable and sad experience for us all. It gave us time to reflect on what may have been and the sacrifices all these young men made for their country.
Colonel & Mrs Norton
Armed Forces Day Sheffield
Members of the Barnsley Branch again attended the Armed Forces day in Sheffield. Members attending were Syd and Megan Dyson, Vic and Peggy Leigh, John Bell and Mick Medlock. We met up with Colonels Elliott and Norton who were running the SSAFA display. The event was well attended but noticeably fewer than last year. Colonel Norton informed us that on a average there are fifteen fewer each year. We had an enjoyable lunch and then we went to view the newly installed monument to the Women of Steel.
Visit to the Royal Armouries
At the monthly meeting on the 9th May 2016, we contemplated the possibilities of a likely venue to visit. The Royal Armouries was high on the list for a visit as we had thought about this venue in the past.
It was an ideal opportunity to see if we could get the Toc H coach. Fortunately we had the contact details so we phoned and booked the coach for the 9th June. The coach was a 16 seater and that was sufficient for the numbers going.
We met at 10-00 hrs at Barnsley Interchange and left for the 20 minutes or so trip on the M1 to Leeds. We arranged for a meeting place for lunch then we dispersed and made our way round the exhibits. When it was lunchtime we managed to get everyone together and we set off to find a suitable eatery which surprisingly turned out to be a pub. After a leisurely lunch we made our way back to the coach. I think the photo in this article reminded Tony and Granville of their days in Cyprus
Annual Reunion 2016
Another successful reunion/social evening was enjoyed by members and guests at the York and Lancaster Regimental Association annual function held at Fairways, Dodworth. Falling on St Georges day, the Banqueting suite was bedecked with St Georges bunting and flags. We were also pleased to acquire the Rotherham branch standard to parade with Barnsley and Sheffield standards, a site not seen for many years.
turned out well after the fiasco of last year with very few minor complaints.
There were some favourable comments about the entertainment too, well done Mr Swift.
Although another twenty or thirty would have been better, everyone appeared to have a good time.
It was good enough for the members to decide that we will be at Fairways next year so we paid the deposit.
The photographs taken by John Bell have come out well as most of you will know by now. Most people who attended should have received at least one.
Another upcoming date for your diary we have decided to try for two pie and pea suppers the first one will be on 16 July 2016, the bar will be available but you are also able to bring your own as usual.
The Christmas dinner remains the same a maximum of 70 filled by the usual members and guests who have attended for many years. We do not expect anyone not to attend, but if you are interested let us know.
We thank all who attended the reunion, without the guests the function would not take place, so bring some more friends.
Marge and Eric Jessop celebrated their 25th Wedding Anniversary on 26th March 2016