The ceremony, held last Sunday (24th July) in Leeds, took the form of a parade with a service of commemoration in front of the Leeds Rifles War Memorial, outside Leeds Minster on Kirkgate.
Bligny Sunday marks the award of the French Croix-de-Guerre to the 8th (Leeds Rifles) Battalion, in recognition of the unit's gallantry during the Battle of Montagne de Bligny from 20th-30th July in 1918.
The following is an extract of General Army Order No. 430:
"The General Commanding the Fifth Army cites in General Army Orders the 8th Battalion The Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment) (Leeds Rifles).
This élite Battalion, under the forceful command of Lieutenant Colonel Norman Ayrton England, from 20 July to 30 July, took a brilliant part in the heavy fighting that won us the Valley of the River Ardre. On 23 July 1918, having cleared a path through the dense thickets of the Bois du Petit Champ, it captured a vital position despite continuous fire from enemy machine guns. On 28 July 1918, with magnificent spirit it captured the Montaigne de Bligny, strongly defended by enemy forces superior in number, and maintained the position in spite of heavy losses and the desperate efforts of the enemy to regain the ground."
This award was approved by King George V in November 1922, making this year the centenary.
This moving ceremony shows that, despite the passage of time, the sacrifices and achievements of these brave Yorkshire soldiers will never be forgotten - the presence of one of our young cadets means that the message about their gallantry will now be passed on to a new generation.
Well done, Cadet Sgt Chamberlain, and keep up the good work!
- event info provided by AUO Darren Mulley & SI Lee Halliday (Castleford Det), and photos are by kind permission of the Yorkshire Volunteers and the Lord Mayor of Leeds' driver/photographer