Parade to mark key moment in Roses war

The Bishop of Wakefield conducts a short service at the end of the  Battle of Wakefield Memorial March.
The Bishop of Wakefield conducts a short service at the end of the Battle of Wakefield Memorial March.

THE POOR military skills at the Battle of Wakefield are said to have inspired the nursery rhyme The Grand Old Duke of York, known to millions of children for decades.

Now it is hoped remembering the event - one of the bloodiest battles in the War of Roses - will also bring lessons for the 21st century.

The Bishop of Wakefield leads the Battle of Wakefield Memorial March

The Bishop of Wakefield leads the Battle of Wakefield Memorial March

This weekend - for the first time on the anniversary of the battle - the Bishop of Wakefield led a parade and prayers to commemorate the historic fight and honour Richard, Duke of York, and his son Edmond, Earl of Rutland, who were killed on December 30, 1460.

The disputed King of England, Richard, Duke of York, was slaughtered in the Battle of Wakefield after leaving Sandal Castle with his army of around 5,000 to face King Henry VI’s opposing Lancastrian force of 15,000.

Bishop of Wakefield Tony Robinson said: “The Battle of Wakefield was a key moment in the War of the Roses and this was an opportunity to commemorate that event but also to think and pray for all those involved in conflict on the world stage today.”

Keith Souter, chairman of Friends of Sandal Castle, added: “Great battlefields, like the one that took place around Sandal Castle six centuries ago, teach us about past power struggles that played a part in shaping our country. It is important that we remember the people who lived and died for the causes they believed in. If we can learn from them, then so much the better.” The walk was organised by the Re-Enactors group, the Harrington Household and the Frie Compagne.

Members of the Harrington Household Yorkists from the Federation of the War of the Roses   march past Sandal castle .

Members of the Harrington Household Yorkists from the Federation of the War of the Roses march past Sandal castle .