VIDEO: Bradford soldiers killed in Battle of the Somme remembered at city event (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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VIDEO: Bradford soldiers killed in Battle of the Somme remembered at city event
Updated 7:38pm Tuesday 1st July 2014 in News
THE young men from Bradford who fell at the Battle of the Somme were remembered at a city centre memorial service.
People reflected on the ultimate sacrifice made by young Bradfordians on the 98th anniversary of the bloody First World War battle.
Soldiers of the Bradford Pals and other men of the West Yorkshire Regiment killed on the first day of the battle in 1916 were remembered in the poignant annual commemoration.
The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Mike Gibbons, was among dignitaries who turned out to pay respects to those who gave their lives in the battle.
He spoke about the parents of soldiers who would have been at home, dreading a knock at the door with a telegram telling them their son had been killed.
Cllr Gibbons said: "I was honoured to take part in the service this morning to recognise the sacrifice made by the Bradford Pals all those years ago, back in 1916, and to honour all of the men and women who have served in the armed forces."
There were prayers by the Lord Mayor's Chaplain, Canon Philip Gray, and reflections by the Dean of Bradford, The Very Reverend Jerry Lepine.
There were also contributions from the Bradford World War I Group and The Great War Society.
The Bradford Pals formed part of the West Yorkshire Regiment and on July 1, 1916, they took part in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
At 7.30 that morning 2,000 young men from Bradford left their trenches and by the end of the first hour 1,770 of them had either been killed or injured.
The Battle of the Somme continued until November 18, 1916, on both sides of the River Somme in France.
Men from Bradford were lost at Serre (the Pals), Thiepval (the Territorials) and Fricourt (10th Battalion West Yorks).
In total, more than 1,000,000 men were wounded or killed, making it one of history's bloodiest battles.
During the First World War the total number of military and civilian casualties was more than 37 million. There were more than 16 million deaths and more than 20 million wounded.