By Lynsey Slater, Museums Officer for Military History
Minden Day has been celebrated on 1st August since 1760, to commemorate the Battle of Minden in 1759. The Battle of Minden was part of the Seven Years War. French forces were trying to conquer the small German state of Hanover. Soldiers of the 51st Light Infantry (later The King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) were among the British soldiers who fought alongside Hanoverian soldiers to defeat French forces at the battle.
At Minden, the soldiers were said to have picked white roses and worn them on their hats. This tradition continued throughout the history of the KOYLI, and Minden Day was often marked with regimental sports, dinners, dances, concert parties and balls. 1st August has also been adopted as Yorkshire Day.
In 1945, the 2/4th battalion of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry celebrated Minden Day in Austria.
The activity programme for the day included a football match, a horse show, a cooking competition, a dog show, an obstacle race and musical chairs!
If you or someone you know served with the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and have any memories of celebrating Minden Day with the regiment, please e-mail [email protected]. We are always keen to hear the reminiscences of ex-KOYLI soldiers.
Lynsey Slater, Assistant Museums Officer (Military History)