On Tour

Over the past decade the band have participated in a number of trips to Ypres, to perform at the Menin Gate for the commemoration of Remembrance day. The band performs alongside colleagues from Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service Corps of Drums, and pipers & drums from Tyne & Wear Fire & Rescue Service

Perhaps the most poignant was our most recent visit in 2018, the 100 year anniversary of the end of World War 1. This year the West Midlands Fire & Rescue Service band joined us as well, giving a huge massed bands, with an amazing sound.

The first parade of the visit was on the evening of 10th November and a video put together by The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, featuring the band can be seen here.

On the 11th the massed bands paraded up to the gate for the ceremony. The roads in Ypres were lined with an estimated 20,000 people, with the service being broadcast on screen across the town and on television globally. Following the silence held at 11am, band representatives joined hundreds of dignitaries from across the globe to lay a wreath at the steps underneath the gate.

After the ceremony, the bands paraded back through the town and past the renowned Cloth Hall. In 2018 we were also pleased to be accompanied by school children from BBG Academy, the school most local to us in Birkenshaw. They followed at the rear of the parade along side a number of other international youth groups. More about the ceremony at the Menin Gate can be found here.

On 1st May 2015, some of the band are cycling coast to coast. Read about the trip here

On 27th July 2013, the band went on tour to Canada. Read about the trip here

The band has established an international presence through a number of international tours which have taken place in recent years, including trips to Canada, Poland and Belgium. Each year we aim to go abroad on tour or to welcome an overseas band to the UK, forming strong and lasting friendships. The most recent trip was the band being guests of the Bridgewater Fire Department Band in Canada in Summer 2013.

The WYFRS Band visiting Bridgewater Fire Department, Nova Scotia, Canada
The WYFRS Band visiting Bridgewater Fire Department, Nova Scotia, Canada, in 2010

In 2000 the band took part in an international music festival in Izegem, in Belgium, which was the band's first tour.. Since then the band have returned to Belgium four times. In November 2007, the band was honoured to be invited to participate in the Last Post and Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Menin Gate at Ypres, Belgium. We have had return visits there for Remembrance Day ceremonies in 2009, 2011 and 2012. The band plan to visit Ypres again for the 100 year anniversary in 2014.

The WYFRS band outside the Cloth Hall in Ypres, Belgium, in 2009

We have an exchange relationship with the Band of the Voluntary Fire Brigade of Lubartów, Poland. They visited Yorkshire in September 2007 and we consequently saw a return visit to Poland in 2008. Contact remains with our friends in Poland, and on each occasion that WYFRS band has played in Ypres, there have always been representatives from Poland.

The combined bands from WYFRS and the Voluntary Fire Brigade of Lubartów at the Royal Armouries in Leeds, 2007

Since then the band has also exchanged visits with the Bridgewater Fire Department Band in Nova Scotia, Canada. The WYFRS band spent a week in Canada during 2010 and then welcomed the Canadians to the UK during the summer of 2011. The band returned to Canada in Summer 2013, and have invited the BFD Band to come to Yorkshire in 2015.

We are always interested to hear from international bands, looking to work together especially those with links to the Fire Service. Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss with us in more detail.