ON the first day of this month, a wreath was laid at the Bradford Pals memorial in remembrance of the 1.14 million men of the Indian Army who served in the First World War.

Tricia Restorick, president of Bradford World War 1 Group, said it was the first time such a tribute had been paid in the city. "This small, quiet gesture was long overdue, but wholly appropriate," she said. "The two men who laid the wreath were born in Bradford of South Asian heritage and have both served in HM Forces."

The wreath was laid at an event honouring local men who died in the Great War. Saturday, July 1 marked 101 years since the first day of the Battle of the Somme, when 1,400 Bradford Pals went over the top. In her address, Tricia asked: "When we respond to the traditional exhortation with 'We Will Remember Them', who is it we are remembering?

"Last month members of Bradford WW1 Group were alongside French friends to commemorate the Battle of Hébuterne, fought in June 1915. We also remembered Bradford men who died a year later across the same ground on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

" Last November, the Lord Mayor of Bradford was with us (at Serre Road, near Hebuterne) to mark the end of that battle and to dedicate a new memorial to the Bradford Pals. The most moving aspect was the overwhelming feeling of Shared Remembrance. The losses our French friends suffered on the same battlefield 12 months before the Bradford Pals were there were just as great as ours.

"A few years ago we visited Gallipoli and the famous memorial at Suvla Bay with its inscription directed at families in Britain, Australia, New Zealand, India, France and Greece: 'Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After losing their lives on this land they have become our sons as well'."

In May the WW1 Group provided an exhibition for the opening of a Lidget Green memorial garden, where local schoolchildren were moved to see names and addresses of men from streets where they live linked with the names and addresses of soldiers from Undivided India, who died on the same day.

"Numbers killed in the Great War run into hundreds of thousands," said Tricia. "Families across the world lost loved ones: the James family in Dominica lost their son, Tarbet, in Egypt; the Khan family in Mirpur lost Khusal in France; the Patten family in South Australia lost Charles, captured in Iraq and died in Turkey ; the Townsend family in Otago, New Zealand lost their son George in Syria; the Sadik family in Egypt lost Khalil in Greece; the Singh family in the Punjab lost Tahel in Tanzania and the Whitty family of Waterford lost Thomas at Gallipoli."

At this month's Bradford ceremony, a card on each seat recorded a man who died on the Somme.

"Each was a powerful reminder of the impact of war on individuals and their families," said Tricia. "The family of one man placed an inscription on his headstone which perhaps should be in our minds as we remember them: 'To the World he was a Soldier. To me he was the World'."