The first ever winners of the Harry Gration History Prize were announced today at the Yorkshire Heritage Summit in Saltaire.

Rachael Whitbread and Jamie White won the 18 and over, and under 18 categories respectively.

The annual essay writing competition, organised by The Yorkshire Society, returned this year after a 3-year break due to the covid pandemic and with a new name in honour of the late Harry Gration MBE, who was a vice president of the Society and a history teacher himself before his 40-year broadcasting career with the BBC.

The winners were presented with their prizes by Professor Tim Thornton, representing the University of Huddersfield who are the long-term sponsors of the competition.

Entrants are invited to submit an original fact-based article or essay of not less than 1,500 words in the 18 and over category, and not less than 1,000 words in the under 18 category, on a topic of their choice relating to any aspect of Yorkshire’s history.

“Duelling the Crown: Henry IV and York’s Courtly Duels in 1400, was the title of Rachael Whitbread’s essay and it shed valuable new light on this curious part of Yorkshire’s history, said Colin Speakman, chair of the judges’ panel.

“Jamie White’s submission “What have the Roman’s ever done for Yorkshire” was a brilliant and insightful effort for a 14-year-old” commented Prof Thornton.

The winning essays will be published on The Yorkshire Society website and the 2023-4 Harry Gration History Prize is open for entries from 1st September.

Left to right: Prof Tim Thornton, Jamie White, Rachael Whitbread and Colin Speakman.

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