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Compiled and copyright © Martin Edwards 2004

Photograph Copyright © Janice Pedder 2004

1914 - 1918

Their name liveth for evermore

The war memorial was unveiled Saturday 1st July 1922. The monument was designed by Walter Williamson the City Architect and is in the form of a cenotaph built from locally quarried stone from Bolton Woods Quarry. High on the front, the cross symbolises 'sacrifice', and a wreath containing the words 'Pro Patri Mori' (they died for their country) symbolises 'grief'. Two bronze figures of a soldier and a sailor are realistically represented, lunging forward with their rifles. The monument was unveiled on the 6th anniversary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme when the Bradford 'Pals' Battalion of the West Yorkshire egiment suffered massive and severe casualties. The roll of honour contained 37,000 names, an astounding figure when it is realised that the crowd attending the unveiling numbered 40,000, just 3,000 more than the men listed. Lieutenant Colonel Alderman Anthony Gadie, who served in France and was a former Lord Mayor of Bradford, carried out the official commemoration, with a dedication read by the Vicar of Bradford, Archdeacon W. Stanton Jones.

No transcription of names available at present - not a light task this memorial.

Extract from Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Monday 3 July 1922, page 13 (some text has been corrected from the original):


A stirring scene was witnessed in Victoria Square, Bradford, on Saturday afternoon, on the occasion of the unveiling of the memorial to Bradford men who fought in the war. Victoria Square and its approaches were thronged by a crowd of fully 40.000 people, of whom fully half were men, when Lieut.-Colonel A. Gadie, T.D., ex-Lord Mayor, unveiled memorial.

The Bradford “Roll of Honour," which is open for inspection at Central Free Library, contains the names of 37.000 citizens, of whom about 5.000 fell. The names of many of fallen are inscribed on memorials in the local places of worship, and others of more public character erected in various parts of the city, particularly suburbs.

The corporate memorial unveiled on Saturday takes the form of Cenotaph, designed by City Architect, Mr. W. Williamson, F.R.I.B.A., and constructed of local stone. Underneath a carved cross typifying "Sacrifice," and a wreath symbolising “Grief," is the following inscription: “To the immortal memory of men of the city of Bradford who served their King and Empire in the Great War, 1914-18, this memorial, erected by their fellow citizens, is dedicated in proud and grateful remembrance.” The Cenotaph is supported by bronze figures of a sailor and a soldier, each with rifle and fixed bayonet and in fighting attitude.

A procession from Town Hall to Victoria Square, which marched through lines of ex-servicemen, included the Lord Mayor (Mr. T. Blythe) and Corporation, magistrates, about 40 clergy and ministers all denominations, and representatives of several public bodies. The military representatives included Colonel G. H. Muller, V.D., C.B.E. (who commanded Bradford Pals' Battalions on their inception), and Colonel J. H. Hastings, D.S.O. (late commanding second 6lh West Yorkshire Regiment). Lt. C. M. Maud had charge of a squad from the Bradford Moor Barracks representing the 70th Brigade, R.F.A., whilst Lieutenants C.P. Underwood and G. Ambler led a detachment of the second West Yorkshire Regiment.

Lieut.-Colonel said the Cenotaph was not a glorifying image to militarism, but a monument to the self-sacrifice of Bradford men who served in the forcesw. Those who, from one cause or another, did not go to the war could not, if they lived to hundred years old, adequately discharge their obligations those who did go and were fortunate enough to return. The least they could do was to help lo find employment for the men who fought for them. Ex-servicemen themselves must also do their best for old comrades who had found themselves in difficulties since they returned to civil life. Perhaps some of them did not want helping except with money to mis-use, but a little friendly advice from one who knew what war meant might do incalculable good even in cases of that sort.

The Vicar of Bradford, Archdeacon Stanton Jones, (who dedicated the memorial) said that when he thought of the great ideals that seemed to clash in the war, he felt that the Allied soldiers saved the soul of the world, because they vindicated the moral principle upon which alone the security of nations could rest. We could best repay their sacrifice by striving to develop the spirit unity and brotherhood, and cleansing the springs of city life, and enriching its moral energies. If England were base, ignoble, selfish, or sensual, should have deaIt treacherously with the who died for a better England.

At the conclusion of the ceremony buglers from the 6th West Yorkshire Regiment sounded “The Last Last” and “The Revielle."

A large number of floral tributes were deposited at the foot of the Cenotaph. That from the survivors of the Bradford Pals consisted of a large cross, with the divisional emblem in the centre, the regimental colours being worked the base. It was announced that a woman from Canada, who served in military hospitals in France during war, had paid special visit to her native city in order to lay a wreath on the Cenotaph.

This is an external group not connected with the Roll of Honour site and will open in a separate browser page if the link or logo is clicked on.

The Group was started in the 1980s as an Interest Group for members of the Bradford Mechanics Institute. We meet on the fourth Wednesday morning of each month beginning with coffee and biscuits at 10.00. Visitors are made very welcome. The convivial, welcoming atmosphere continues through the business agenda at 10.30 and lively discussion following a visiting speaker. The meeting ends at 12 noon.

Whilst members have particular enthusiasm for the role which Bradford and its citizens played, they also share an interest in all aspects of the Great War. This is reflected in the extremely wide range of topics covered by the programme of speakers.

An award from the Heritage Lottery has provided a digital projector, speakers and screen and several laptops for research. We also have a good stock of reference books about the Great War which are accessible in the Mechanics Institute Library and we were recently presented with the PD Lodge collection comprising Duncan Lodge’s research papers spanning the last 30 years. At the heart of the collection are photographs and records of names on every war memorial and Roll of Honour in Bradford. The collection is currently being archived but is available to researchers.

You can search details of those who served and returned there.

Last updated 1 April, 2021

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