Memorial honour for fire service band

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Band will be travelling to Ypres this weekend.
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Band will be travelling to Ypres this weekend.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) Band will be travelling from the Spen Valley to Ypres in Belgium to lead the Poppy Parade up to the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing.

The band will be playing at the memorial service in Cleckheaton on Remembrance Sunday before heading straight to Hull, to catch the overnight ferry to Zeebrugge, in time for the first parade on Monday night.

Members will be accompanied by Assistant Chief Fire Officer Dave Walton, Chairman of the Fire Authority, Coun Judith Hughes and Vice-Chairman, Coun Tracey Austin.

The Menin Gate War Memorial is dedicated to the British and Commonwealth soldiers who were killed in the Ypres Salient of World War One and whose graves are unknown.

The Last Post has been played at the Menin Gate every evening since 1929 except during occupation in the Second World War.

The WYFRS band will lead three parades in total, the most important being the one at 11am on November 11. ACO Walton, alongside Councillor Hughes and Austin, will be laying wreaths on behalf of WYFRS and West Yorkshire Fire Authority.

Band Manager Kevin Fisher said it would be a moving occasion.

“This is a great honour for the band and we have been preparing in earnest for this especially meaningful commemoration.”

“In previous years the parade has been incredibly moving and I expect that will be even more so the case as we reflect on 100 years since the outbreak of the war.”

Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Dave Walton, said: “I am very privileged to be able to represent West

Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service at this year’s remembrance ceremonies in Ypres along with the Chair

and Vice Chair of the Fire Authority, and of course the band.

“The ceremonies this year, the 100th anniversary of war breaking out, are especially poignant. I shall be

wearing both my uniform and poppy with an immense sense of pride as we remember the fallen.”

Chair of the Fire Authority Cllr Hughes added: “I am deeply honoured to be attending the ceremony with

the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service band, who are all volunteers representing the fire and rescue

service.”

The band will be fulfilling their local obligations in Bradford and Cleckheaton on Remembrance Sunday

(November 9) before heading straight to Hull, to catch the overnight ferry to Zeebrugge, in time for the first

parade on the evening of Monday 10.