AS people gathered to remember the fallen on Armistice Day, the Lord Mayor of Bradford urged people to back an appeal to build a fitting memorial for the Bradford Pals of World War One.

Bradford Council and the Telegraph & Argus have set up the Honour the Pals appeal, with support from the Bradford World War One Group.

It will be used to build a permanent memorial in France which will hopefully be unveiled on July 1, 2016 – the centenary of the Battle of the Somme – as a reminder of the sacrifice they made.

Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Joanne Dodds, said the World War One Group had told her about the campaign to honour the Pals in the area of France where they fought and so many fell.

She said: "It's of massive importance to for us to honour our men and to get behind this appeal."

Also backing the appeal is former Deputy Lord Mayor and chairman of the Baildon branch of the Royal British Legion, Roger L'Amie.

Mr L'Amie said: "I think the Pals regiments were one of the more terrible parts of the First World War because a 30-second burst of machine gun fire could take half a street out.

"That of course should not take away from the bravery and patriotism of the people that joined Pals regiments and battalions.

"I certainly think that the Bradford Pals ought to be remembered both in Bradford and in France with a fitting memorial."

The Bradford Pals were formed from bands of friends or colleagues from all walks of life, who volunteered to serve their country shoulder-to-shoulder.

Tragically, this meant many were also destined to fall together on the battlefields in the unimaginable horror of trench warfare.

No-one knows for sure how many Bradford Pals were lost on July 1, as record-keeping in the chaos of battle was very difficult.

But after much research, the Bradford World War One Group believes 1,394 men went ‘over the top’ and 1,017 of these were either killed or injured.

The new memorial would also recognise the sacrifice made by local men from other battalions and regiments who fought and died in the First World War.

To donate online, visit Alternatively, send a cheque, payable to ‘Honour the Pals Appeal’, with your name, address and contact details to Honour the Pals Appeal, Telegraph & Argus, Hall Ings, Bradford, BD1 1JR.

The appeal has so far raised more than £2,600, with donations from many individuals and groups across the district and beyond.

Most recently, the Baildon Men's Forum donated £50 to mark the 40th anniversary of its formation. The forum also made a donation to the Bradford Burns Unit.

President Jack Watson said: "It is so important that their sacrifice is always remembered. It is fitting that a memorial should be placed in the area where so many lost their lives."