New display commemorating the Bradford Pals unveiled at Bradford City Hall

Article dated Monday Jul 10, 2023 at 12:10 PM

In commemoration of the 107th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, Bradford Council’s Museums and Galleries Collections Team worked with Bradford WW1 Group and Bradford Lord Mayor’s Office to create a new display about the Bradford Pals at City Hall.

The new display was unveiled after the annual service to remember the sacrifices made by the Bradford Pals during the First World War, which took place at the Bradford cenotaph on Saturday 1 July.

Objects in the display which was unveiled by the Lord Mayor of Bradford includes items from the WW1 Group and the council’s museums’ collection, such as souvenir tins and medals, letters about Pals who were wounded or died, and the Minute book and plaque from the Bradford Pals Comradeship Association.

The display also includes a brass plaque commemorating the Bradford Pals which was attached to a tree in Sheffield Memorial Park, Serre, France. Unfortunately, the plaque fell down in 2019 and as it wasn’t possible to put it back or put it elsewhere in the park, it was returned to Bradford. The WW1 Group, working with other groups in the city, arranged with the Lord Mayor’s office for it to be the focus of this display in City Hall.

The display is on permanent display in Bradford City Hall and will can be viewed as part of an open weekend celebration marking 150 years of City Hall on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 September.

Lord Mayor of Bradford Councillor Gerry Barker said: “This is a poignant display of personal items belonging to those from the district who came together to form the Bradford Pals. The sacrifices of those gave so much during the First World War and particularly the Battle of the Somme should never be forgotten. We should also remember the grief and suffering of those families whose loved ones never returned home.”

Tricia Restorick, from the Bradford WWI Group, said: “Both Pals and Territorials from the Bradford district had a torrid time on 1 July, losing two Commanding Officers (one wounded, one died) and Medical Officer, a former Bradford GP (killed) among many hundreds of casualties. It seems entirely fitting that the Lord Mayor, whose predecessor raised the Pals battalions, should lead these tributes in the presence of many family members descended from the volunteers of 1914."

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