The shield (and the long-lost Bingham Trophy, awarded for field-firing), were presented by Col. Sir John E. Bingham, Bart. (Senior Partner in Walker and Hall of Sheffield), who was Colonel of the 1st (West Yorkshire) Engineer Volunteers. His son, Major (Later Lt.Col.) A.E. Bingham was a noted shot, who twice won the Officer’s Cup at Yorkshire Rifle Association Meetings.
Col. Sir John Bingham’s successor in command of the RE Volunteers was Col. E.S. Tozer, who was a Vice President of the Yorkshire Rifle Association.
In the pre self-loading rifle days, the contact between Volunteer (later TA) shooting teams and rifle clubs was far more intimate. An old newspaper article describes a win in the Bingham trophy match by the Brighouse Company in 1908 or 1909, and at least one, possibly two, members of the team of 7 were members of the Calder Valley Rifle Club (Hebden Bridge).
The Yorkshire Rifle Association grew from an association of volunteer units to an umbrella for both Volunteer / TA units and Rifle clubs and then declined, sadly, to the rump of a few clubs which we know today.
The shield was competed for annually between about 1904 and 1930 (with a break during the First World War). During this period the competition was between various Volunteer and Regular units in Yorkshire. Competition was revived in the early 1960’s, now as a competition between military units and civilian clubs. Competition continues to the present day, but recently only Civilian Clubs have competed.
The shield sits in a large wooden case and is surrounded by small shields giving the details of each year’s winners. After the resumption of competition in the 1960’s, winners were recorded on a silver plate attached to the case.
In the 1990’s a member of the YRA made a wooden replica trophy and the winners’ shields and plates were transferred to this. The shield itself was placed in the Cutlers’ Hall in Sheffield and was on display there for several years as an example of Sheffield silversmiths’ art.
The original shield is now looking for a new home and we hope it will be put on display at the NRA museum in Bisley soon.
Replica wooden shield