The annual commemoration of the death of the Duke of York in 1460.

The Richard III Society Yorkshire Branch holds a small memorial service to remember those killed in the Battle of Wakefield each year on it’s anniversary.

It was a cold, damp and grey Saturday, the weather typical of England in the middle of winter, when I gathered with other members of the Yorkshire branch of the Richard III Society to remember those killed during Battle of Wakefield, in particularly Richard, third Duke of York (and, some would argue, King by Right) and his son Edmund Rutland.

One can only imagine what it must have been like 563 years previous when, on December 30th 1460, Richard sortied from Sandal Castle barely 500m away. He was, some say, riding to the aid of foragers in the wilds around the castle who had encountered attacks from Lancastrians forces arrayed in the area. Castles were not renowned for the degree of comfort we expect of the modern world, and heading out into what was probably an equally grey and miserable day as the one we ventured out into, the Duke and his forces must have yearned for a quick return to the comparative warmth of the castle hearth.

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