VOLUNTEERS at historic Undercliffe Cemetery have unearthed a memorial to a ‘lost Bradford Pal’ whose story shaped the Battle of the Somme.

David Whithorn, president of Bus to Bradford which researches local men in the First World War, writes: “A determined effort by Andy Tyne and the Undercliffe cemetery conservation team have finally discovered the memorial to a 'lost' Bradford Pal, 18/9 Sgt Henry Barnel Greenwood of the 18th West Yorks. (2nd Bradford Pals, son of William and Mary Ann Greenwood, husband of Hilda, of Lidget Green) who died on June 30 1916, the day before both Pals battalions were decimated at Serre on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

'I, along with colleagues, set about finding Sgt Greenwood's family plot and after much hard work and effort, we're very proud to say we did!' says Andy Tyne. 'Henry Greenwood was the ninth in the long queue to join the 2nd Pals in 1915. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing but he's very much remembered here!'
Henry's death on June 30 may be overshadowed by the massive losses to the Pals the following day yet it was part of an event that potentially sowed the seeds for that very destruction of the Pals...
In the days leading up to the attack, small parties were sent out at night to assess how well the British artillery fire was cutting the German wire. Due to bad weather, the attack fixed for 7.30am on June 29 was postponed. At 2pm on June 29 the time for the attack was confirmed to be 7.30am on July 1...all officers were briefed.
That evening Lt M.Clough of 2nd Pals went with three other officers and 38 'other ranks' to undertake a patrol out into No-man's land to assess the cutting of the wire. But they were seen, the Germans showered them with grenades and trench mortars as the party got within 25 yards of the enemy line. Members of the patrol got back as best they could, some taking two hours. Lt. Clough had been wounded, others were less fortunate. It is believed Sgt Greenwood was one of those killed. Clough would go on to report 'the wire was cut where we were in sufficient quantity to allow the passage of troops'. This news would be received with enthusiasm. Clough's qualification: 'Our High Explosive shells were all dropping...quite 20 yards short of their wire' seemingly ignored. Clough noted that of his party, '10 killed and 12 wounded...two officers are missing.'
One 2nd Pal who managed to also get back, though also wounded, was 18/869 Pte John Waddington. Realising he was the first back, he returned time and again bringing back some of the wounded. He would be personally congratulated by Major Kennard, CO of the 2nd Bradford Pals indeed he would be awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal in September... but John Waddington never knew. He was killed the next day, his name would join Henry Greenwood's on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.
The fate of the two missing officers, at the time s unknown. Probably wounded, they had been captured. The Germans knew the attack was imminent; they knew approximately where it would fall. What they did not know was the time of the attack. These two Pals officers did. In the early hours of June 30 1916, there would be no question these two officers would be interrogated for information. What they said will never be known. 2/Lt J.W.Worsnop is listed as dying on June 30 and his fellow officer Lt. F.Watson on July 1.
Later, in the evening of June 30 both Pals battalions made their way from the village of Bus-les-Artois to assembly trenches in front of Serre. At 7.30am the following morning, the Leeds and 1st Bradford Pals made their attack and, the 2nd Bradford Pals, an hour later. The wire was not fully cut and the Germans were ready and waiting with their artillery and machine-guns...the destruction of the Pals inevitable.
The discovery of the memorial to Sgt Henry B Greenwood at Undercliffe Cemetery by Andy Tyne and his team has been a truly remarkable effort given the almost impossible conditions they found, worthy indeed of Sgt Greenwood's memory and not only his but all the Bradford Pals who took part on that patrol that night...and those that paid the price the following day.