REASON FOR THE MEMORIAL
The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment had a long and distinguished history of service to the Crown for 304 years and all this could easily have been consigned to the pages of history books if something was not done. It is for this very reason that a group of us who served in the Regiment decided that the time is now right to erect a fitting and lasting Memorial to the Regiment and it is wonderfully reassuring to report that the project has received considerable support from a wide variety of individuals and organisations. Consequently, what until recently was a dream will become a reality in May next year when the completed Memorial, which will also be a work of art in its own right, will be unveiled by The Duke of Wellington in the centre of Halifax.
Regiment was changed to 33rd (or The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment). In 1881 the 33rd and 76th were formally linked to become the 1st and 2nd Battalions of The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (West Riding).
The Regiment served in all major campaigns of the 19th century but it was during the First World War that saw the greatest increase in numbers, as during that conflict a total of 24 battalions were raised. During the Second World War battalions of the Regiment took part in the campaigns of Dunkirk, North West Europe, North Africa, Italy and Burma.
In 1948 the two regular battalions were amalgamated into the 1st Battalion since when it has fought in Korea, Cyprus and completed numerous tours in Northern Ireland during The Troubles. The last operational tours undertaken by the Battalion were to Iraq in 2003 and 2005.
The Territorial Army, formed in 1908, drew its men from distinct parts of the regimental recruiting area: the 4th Battalion from the Halifax, the 5th Battalion form Huddersfield, the 6th Battalion from Skipton, and the 7th Battalion from the Colne Valley. In the Great War, the Regiment lost over 8,000 men. During the Second World War the TA again played its full part in the hostilities.
THE DESIGN OF THE MEMORIAL
The design of the Memorial, by the sculptor Andrew Sinclair, reflects the 300 year history of the Regiment through three main figures who represent soldiers from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. They are shown in communication with each other, across the centuries, thus representing the link from the formation of the Regiment to its final amalgamation. Further details included in the final memorial will reflect the service of the 76th Foot in India (the Honorary Colours), the sacrifices made during World War 1, and the support provided by the families of those who served. Finally, there is also recognition of the importance of the game of rugby to the Regiment. The Memorial will stand on a plinth of Yorkshire stone and will be some 15 feet in height. The central part will be cast in sulphur bronze, an incredibly hard metal that allows intricate detail to be incorporated.
To date we have now just raised over £170,000 towards our target for the memorial of £225,000. This is a fantastic figure and we cannot thank enough all those that have supported it whether through personal donations or from charitable trusts, using JustGiving or attending one of the fundraising events which have included a Rugby talk and auction at the Leathersellers’, the reception kindly hosted by his grace The Duke of Wellington at Apsley House and the clay shoot at Bisley. They all raised significant funds and we engaged with a huge amount of people who have supported this appeal. Our focus now is on Yorkshire and we would love your support either by running an event yourself or attending the principal fundraising event in the County which has been rescheduled from 2nd November 2018 and will now be held on Friday 8th March 2019 in Halifax at The Arches, Dean Clough. If you would like to attend, bring a table or be involved in any way please contact Caroline Cary whose contact details are below.
We are being very successful in finding so many who were associated with the Regiment, either in business, or as a family member and who would like their names as a donor to be recorded in the leather-bound book that will be placed in Bankfield, as a final memento of this appeal. We would of course like to find many more – so please help in whatever way you can. If on the other hand you would just like to make a donation to the Appeal you can do this on line.
For more details about how to donate, get tickets, provide sponsorship and other support to this appeal please either go to the website www.memorial.dwr.org.uk or email Caroline Cary at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office on 01980 611211.
JustGiving is available too. By post: DWR Memorial Appeal Office, The Close, Boscombe, Wiltshire, SP4 0AB.