Buckinghamshire Day in England Date in the current year: July 29, 2023

Buckinghamshire Day in England Buckinghamshire Day is the holiday of the English country of Buckinghamshire, celebrated annually on July 29. Such a date was chosen to commemorate the first ever Stoke Mandeville Games, which are considered the predecessor of the Paralympic Games.

Buckinghamshire is a ceremonial county in South East England, bordered by Greater London, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, and Hetfordshire. It is one of the home counties, the counties of England surrounding Greater London. The ceremonial county consists of two unitary authorities, Buckinghamshire Council and the Borough of Milton Keynes.

The name Buckinghamshire has an Anglo-Saxon origin; it roughly means “the district of Bucca’s home”. Bucca’s home is the town of Buckingham; Bucca was an Anglo-Saxon landowner who led settlers to the area. The first mention of the name Buckinghamshire dates back to the 12th century, but the county had existed before that as a subdivision of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia.

Today, Buckinghamshire is one of the most developed regions of England. It has the highest GDP per capita outside Inner London, as well as the highest life expectancy, the highest quality of life, and the best education results in Britain.

Buckinghamshire Day is celebrated on July 29 to highlight the county’s connection to the Paralympic Movement. The movement was founded by Ludwig Guttmann, a German-British neurologist. Having fled the Nazi Germany in 1939 due to being Jewish, he immigrated to the United Kingdom. In 1943, the British government tasked Guttmann with establishing the National Spinal Injuries Center in Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire.

Guttmann was a firm believer in the importance of sport for the rehabilitation of military personnel with spine injuries. In 1948, he organized a sports competition for disabled war veterans with spinal cord injuries, who competed in wheelchairs. The competition, now known as the first Stoke Mandeville Games, was held on July 29, 1948, coinciding with the opening of the 1948 Summer Olympics in London.

The first games were a success, so they became an annual event. In 1952, a Dutch team entered the competition, making the Stoke Mandeville Games an international event. The 1960 Stoke Mandeville Games were the first to take place outside Buckinghamshire; they were held in Rome alongside the 1960 Summer Olympics. The event is now recognized as the first Paralympic Games. In 1976, the Paralympic Games became an independent competition.

The current name of the Stoke Mandeville Games is the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports World Games (IWAS World Games). Originally an annual event except for Olympic years, they have been held every two years on odd years since 2007. Although the games haven’t been held in Buckinghamshire for a long time, the county’s residents are so proud that the Paralympic Movement originated in Buckinghamshire that the anniversary of the first Stoke Mandeville Games was declared Buckinghamshire Day in 2015.

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Category

Anniversaries and Memorial Days

Country

United Kingdom

Tags

Buckinghamshire Day in England, holidays in England, holidays in Buckinghamshire, county days in England, Stoke Mandeville Games