They wouldn’t fade away

The Yorkshire Volunteers Band is playing in Leeds Parish Church again on Sunday 15th July, 2001, at a service to commemorate the award of the
Croix de Guerre in 1918 to the Leeds Rifles for their gallantry in the capture of Montagne de Bligny


The presence of the Band is a re-affirmation of their Leeds Rifles ancestry and a celebration of their survival. When the Regiment was formed in 1967, the Leeds Rifles Band, which was recognised as the best TA band in the county, joined the four initial Companies.


This Bligny Sunday service also symbolises the determination that made the Yorkshire Volunteers so successful. A brief history lesson should now make the main point clear:

1859 The Leeds Rifles, and other Volunteer units, formed

1881 Leeds Rifles ordered to join The Prince of Wales’s Own (West Yorkshire Regiment) but "declined"

1887 Became 3rd Battalion The Prince of Wales's Own (West Riding Regiment) (The Leeds Rifles) but were allowed to retain their cap badge, Rifle Green uniform, etc.

1918 The 8th Battalion The Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment) (The Leeds Rifles) awarded the Croix de Guerre

1967 Yorkshire Volunteers formed. The Leeds Rifles were to be scrapped

1968 Again, the Leeds Rifles, still wearing their own badges and Rifle Green, had refused to fade away and became the 5th Coy of the Regiment.

1978 A serving Officer was still wearing Leeds Rifles mess kit, almost 100 years since the Leeds Rifles was meant to be terminated.

1993 To the amazement of many, the Yorkshire Volunteers was disbanded, but not the Band.

1999 The Band was axed as part of SDR but declined to go away and chose to remain as a civilian Military Band

2001 The Regiment lives on, as a Band, a thriving Regimental Association, the Regimental Chapel, the Trustees, the ODC, and an internationally acclaimed web site.

2001 The Leeds Rifles lives on as

Leeds Detachment (The Leeds Rifles)
Imphal (PWO) Company
The East and West Riding Regiment

We’ve all got the message. Yorkshire Volunteers do not give in easily.

An impressive list of guests are expected to attend this Bligny Sunday service and the media will be represented, making it a public opportunity to support our Regiment and Band. Pictures will be on the web site, after the event, for the benefit of overseas and other members.


Go back to The Band