THE appeal to raise funds for a memorial to the city's World War One heroes has won the backing of Bradford Civic Society.

The Honour the Pals appeal has seen Bradford Council and the Telegraph & Argus, supported by the Bradford World War One Group, team up to commemorate the Bradford Pals who fought in the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

People from across the district are being asked to donate money to help fund the memorial, which would hopefully be unveiled in a ceremony in France to mark the centenary of the start of the battle on July 1, 2016.

Civic Society chairman Alan Hall said he was more than happy to back the appeal.

The volunteer-run group has also become one of the first organisations to pledge money to the fund, with Mr Hall saying they would discuss the size of their donation at the next meeting.

Mr Hall has written about the Bradford Pals, and the lack of a significant memorial to them in France, in his book, The Story of Bradford.

It was this book which first inspired Bradford Council leader Councillor David Green to suggest the appeal.

Mr Hall said he was pleased to hear his words had had such an effect, calling it "a bit of a boost to the ego".

He said while there was a small plaque in a village called Hébuterne, many other towns and cities had built major memorials to their Pals regiments within Sheffield Memorial Park at Serre.

He said: "There are quite elaborate memorials to the Sheffield Pals, Barnsley Pals, Accrington Pals, but nothing for Bradford.

"As [Bradford World War One Group secretary] Tricia Platts said, there are more and more school parties going there now from Bradford. It is part of the history courses.

"For them to get there and find there isn't really a memorial in the place where the attack took place is a bit of a let-down.

"I felt let down a couple of years ago when I went to visit."

The Pals were recruited through the Citizens’ Army League. An estimated 1,394 men ‘went over the top’ on July 1,1916 and 1,017 of them were either killed or injured in that one dreadful day.

Men from the Bradford district who fought with other battalions and regiments, such as the Territorials and the 10th Battalion West Yorks, are also being remembered.

Anyone who backs the appeal can also leave messages of dedication to the soldiers who fell during the First World War, including at the Somme, by filling out the special section of the Honour The Pals Appeal coupon which is printed with this story.

The messages, to be of a maximum of 50 words, will be uploaded in the special Bradford At War section.


To donate to the appeal, send a cheque, payable to 'Honour the Pals Appeal', with your name and address and contact details to:

Honour the Pals Appeal
Telegraph & Argus
Hall Ings

Alternatively, hand it in at the Telegraph & Argus office, City Hall, in Bradford or Keighley Town Hall.