ON Armistice Day we remember the Bradford Pals; men from the district who grew up together and served in the First World War.

In 2016, the Bradford World War 1 Group unveiled a memorial to the Pals near the site of Battle of the Somme, where many lost their lives. An existing memorial, funded and installed by the Bus to Bradford group, already stood in the village of Bus-les-Artois near the Somme site, where the Pals were billeted before marching to battle.

They were among the first to go ‘over the top’ on the first day of the battle, in July 1916. The monument, in the grounds of a Serre chapel, was funded by Telegraph & Argus readers donating to our Honour the Pals appeal which raised £5,000, matched by Bradford Council.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

The memorial, made from Yorkshire stone, also recognises local servicemen from other regiments in the 1914-18 war.

A replica of the Pals memorial in Bradford city centre, it overlooks the fields where the Pals’ trenches were sited - now French and British military cemeteries.

French military veterans attended the unveiling ceremony (below) in 2016. Placed on top of the Pals memorial is the same Union Jack flag that flew from Bradford Mechanics Institute when it was used as a First World War recruitment office.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

The Pals grew up on the same streets and went to school together. Many went over the top together and died within minutes of each other. Survivors at Bradford Cenotaph in 1977 included Cpl George Morgan who said: “I’ve never, never got over it.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

These Bradford Pals are pictured on parade in 1974. They returned to civilian life, bearing mental and physical scars of war.

T&A journalist Sgt John Ernest Yates joined up in 1914. He was wounded and gassed. He described battlefield conditions: “If I were to pick the period when wretchedness reached its stark bottom, I choose the last five months at Ypres, 1915. I found myself leaning on a rifle, staring stupidly at the filthy, exhausted men who slept round me. It did not occur to me to lie down until someone pushed me into a bed of ferns. There were flowers among the ferns and my last thought was a dull wonder that there could still be flowers in the world.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

On August 5, 1914, Territorials of the West Yorkshire Regiment turned out at Belle Vue Barracks. The Bradford Weekly Telegraph reported that items served out included identity discs and will forms. “Still, nobody allows little things like this to damp his ardour.”