Leeds & West Yorkshire

WW1 memorial stone for Bradford Pals unit unveiled in France

The stone in France Image copyright Bradford WW1 Group
Image caption The Bradford Pals stone in France is a replica of one in Bradford

A memorial stone dedicated to a Yorkshire military unit has been unveiled in France 100 years after the final day of the Battle of the Somme.

The stone near the village of Serre was unveiled by the Lord Mayor of Bradford on Saturday and overlooks trenches used by the soldiers in the battle.

It is a replica of one in the Memorial Gardens in Bradford.

Pals battalions were formed as friends and colleagues enlisted together, many were formed in northern towns.

The inscription on the stone reads: "To the memory of the soldiers of the Bradford Pals and the other servicemen of West Yorkshire who served in the Great War 1914-18. 'And lo a mighty army came out of the North.'"

The stone was quarried in Bradford and transported to France.

The first Bradford Pals battalion was raised at the Bradford Mechanic's Institute in 1914 and a hundred-year-old union jack that flew above the institute was used in the unveiling.

Local dignitaries were present with representatives of veteran groups and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Councillor Geoff Reid, the lord mayor of Bradford, said: "We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to these brave men from Bradford who gave their lives during the First World War."

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