Minden Day

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The presentation of roses to commemorate Minden Day in Saint Helier, Jersey - a plaque recording Jersey's association with the Battle of Minden can be seen in the background Minden Day in Saint Helier Jersey 2011 11.jpg
The presentation of roses to commemorate Minden Day in Saint Helier, Jersey - a plaque recording Jersey's association with the Battle of Minden can be seen in the background

Minden Day is a regimental anniversary celebrated on 1 August by certain units of the British Army. It commemorates the participation of the forerunners of the regiments in the Battle of Minden during the Seven Years' War on that date in 1759.

British Army

The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of British Armed Forces. As of 2018, the British Army comprises just over 81,500 trained regular (full-time) personnel and just over 27,000 trained reserve (part-time) personnel.

Battle of Minden battle

The Battle of Minden—or Tho(r)nhausen—was a decisive engagement during the Seven Years' War, fought on 1 August 1759. An Anglo-German army under the overall command of Field Marshal Ferdinand of Brunswick defeated a French army commanded by Marshal of France, Marquis de Contades. Two years previously, the French had launched a successful invasion of Hanover and attempted to impose an unpopular treaty of peace upon the allied nations of Britain, Hanover and Prussia. After a Prussian victory at Rossbach, and under pressure from Frederick the Great and William Pitt, King George II disavowed the treaty. In 1758, the allies launched a counter-offensive against the French forces and drove them back across the Rhine.

Seven Years War Global conflict between 1756 and 1763

The Seven Years' War was a global conflict fought between 1756 and 1763. It involved every European great power of the time and spanned five continents, affecting Europe, the Americas, West Africa, South Asia, and the Philippines. The conflict split Europe into two coalitions: one was led by the Kingdom of Great Britain and included the Kingdom of Prussia, the Kingdom of Portugal, the Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and other small German states; while the other was led by the Kingdom of France and included the Austrian-led Holy Roman Empire, the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Spain, and the Swedish Empire. Meanwhile, in India, some regional polities within the increasingly fragmented Mughal Empire, with the support of the French, tried to crush a British attempt to conquer Bengal.

The celebration of the day involves the wearing of "Minden Roses" on the regimental head dress, and, in the case of the infantry regiments, the decoration of the regimental colours with garlands of roses. This recalls that the regiments wore wild roses at the battle that they had plucked from the hedgerows as they advanced to engage the enemy.

Minden Day is celebrated by:

Royal Artillery artillery arm of the British Army

The Royal Regiment of Artillery, commonly referred to as the Royal Artillery (RA) and colloquially known as "The Gunners", is the artillery arm of the British Army. The Royal Regiment of Artillery comprises thirteen Regular Army regiments, King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery and five Army Reserve regiments.

Royal Regiment of Scotland

The Royal Regiment of Scotland is the senior and only Scottish line infantry regiment of the British Army Infantry. It consists of four regular and two reserve battalions, plus an incremental company, each formerly an individual regiment. However, each battalion maintains its former regimental pipes and drums to carry on the traditions of their antecedent regiments.

Kings Own Scottish Borderers

The King's Own Scottish Borderers was a line infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Scottish Division. On 28 March 2006 the regiment was amalgamated with the Royal Scots, the Royal Highland Fusiliers, the Black Watch, the Highlanders and the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders to form the Royal Regiment of Scotland, becoming the 1st Battalion of the new regiment.

The colours of roses varies: red and yellow roses are worn by most of the units (including the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and the Royal Anglians - both of whom continue to mark Minden as one of their most important regimental days), whilst the PWRR wear a single red rose a white rose is favoured by the Light Infantry. In some cases this reflects parts of the regimental recruiting areas: the PWRR have strong links with Hampshire (whose badge is a red rose) and the Light Infantry is associated with part of Yorkshire (represented by a white rose).

In 1975, August 1 was adopted as Yorkshire Day, partly to reflect the presence of Yorkshire soldiers at the battle.

Yorkshire Day

Yorkshire Day is celebrated on 1 August to promote the historic English county of Yorkshire. It was celebrated in 1975, by the Yorkshire Ridings Society, initially in Beverley, as "a protest movement against the local government re-organisation of 1974". The date alludes to the Battle of Minden, and also the anniversary of the emancipation of slaves in the British Empire in 1834, for which a Yorkshire MP, William Wilberforce, had campaigned.

Minden Day is commemorated in the English folk song Lowlands of Holland, which dates to the time of the Seven Years' War. Like most English folk songs, the song has numerous variants. One version, which is prevalent in Suffolk, home of 12th Regiment of Foot (1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment), contains the verse:

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

The Lowlands of Holland is a British folk song in which a young wife tells that her husband has died in the navy at the wars in Holland. The tune is thought to be of Scottish origin, although variants occur throughout the British Isles. Several variants on the lyrics exist: the song sometimes describes how the young man is conscripted, or only the wife's grief at his death and she refuses to adorn herself or marry again, and sometimes includes a verse where the wife's mother advises her to find a new partner, a description of Holland, or an account of the man's ship sinking.

Suffolk County of England

Suffolk is an East Anglian county of historic origin in England. It has borders with Norfolk to the north, Cambridgeshire to the west and Essex to the south. The North Sea lies to the east. The county town is Ipswich; other important towns include Lowestoft, Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket and Felixstowe, one of the largest container ports in Europe.

"My love across the ocean Wears a scarlet coat so fair, With a musket at his shoulder And roses in his hair".

Officers who have not previously attended The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Officers' Mess Minden Day dinner are presented with a rose to be eaten. The names of those who have done so are then recorded in the Mess Records.

See also

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