|Minden roses worn by George Lummis of the 4th (TA) Battalion on Minden Day, 1944 (from www.suffolkregiment.org)|
Fought during the Seven Years War, the Battle of Minden took place on 1st August 1759 in Germany between troops of an Anglo-German alliance and the French. As the British regiments approached the gruelling battle, they plucked roses in various hues which which to adorn their uniforms.
Minden Day is celebrated by the following regiments (or their successors, also shown here):
- The Suffolk Regiment (now The Royal Anglian Regiment)
- The Royal Hampshire Regiment (now The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment)
- The Lancashire Fusiliers (now The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers)
- The Royal Welch Fusiliers (now The Royal Welsh)
- The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (now The Rifles),
- The King's Own Scottish Borderers (now The Royal Regiment of Scotland)
Every year since 1st August 1967, six red roses are anonymously delivered to the British Consulate-General in Chicago. The roses are accompanied by a card marked In Memorium and lists the six British regiments that fought in the battle. Inside the card, the following message is printed:
"They advanced through rose gardens to the battleground and decorated their tricorne hats and grenadier caps with the emblem of England. These regiments celebrate Minden Day still, and all wear roses in their caps on this anniversary in memory of their ancestors."
Whoever is responsible for these annual deliveries remains a mystery, but long may they continue!