The Group was formed over 25 years ago and we meet on the fourth Wednesday morning of each month. Visitors are made very welcome! We begin with coffee and biscuits at 10.00 and the convivial, welcoming atmosphere continues into the business agenda at 10.30 and lively discussion following a visiting speaker. The meeting ends at 12 noon.
We are frequently called upon to contribute to activities across the Bradford District and local groups are welcome to borrow our mobile displays with, or without, a speaker from the Group.
Our Heritage Lottery Award has provided a digital projector, speakers and screen and several laptops for research. Over 20 mobile displays have been produced, each based on contemporary newspaper reports of Bradfordians engaged in the Global Conflict. The theme of 'Shared Remembrance' has been especially relevant in helping the Lidget Green Community unveil its Memorial Garden.
Whilst members have particular enthusiasm for the role which Bradford and its citizens played, the topics covered by our programme of speakers demonstrates our interest in all aspects of the Great War. Members regularly undertake research, often on behalf of families wanting to trace the war service of an ancestor. In 2001 the Groups published 'Messages' based on the trench diary of a Signaller in the 1/6th West Yorks. In 2007 our book, 'Bradford in the Great War' was published by Suttons.
On 19 November 2016 the Group facilitated the unveiling of a new memorial by the Lord Mayor of Bradford. Funds had been raised through a public subscription organised by the Telegraph and Argus. The 16th and 18th Battalions, West Yorks (The Bradford Pals) are now commemorated by a piece of stone hewn from the same seam of rock from which much of Victorian Bradford was built. It stands proudly in front of the French Memorial Chapel on Serre Road and visitors will look across the fields from where the Pals' left their trenches on 1 July 1916.
The November date was chosen to commemorate the end of the Battle of the Somme and a 100-year old flag which flew over the Mechanics Institute covered the stone. It was to the Mechanics that the young men of Bradford flocked: "join together, serve together' was the slogan but it would mean so many of them were to die together. The Group also maintains the memorial plaque to the Bradford Pals which they placed at Hébuterne in 2002.
We organise regular tours to the Western Front. Twelve members of the group enjoyed a walking exploration of Gallipoli in 2012 and a smaller number visited Verdun in September 2013. Members also report on their independent visits to WW1 battlefields in France and Belgium and their attendances at the ceremonies at Ypres (Ieper) and at Serre Road each June. Members of the group also take part in the local ceremony for the Bradford Regiments on 1 July and at Bradford Cenotaph and Undercliffe Cemetery on Remembrance Sunday and 11 November.
Click the link below for our programme of speakers.
See us at: www.ww1bradford.org
Please note: The Bradford WW1 Group battlefields tour in June 2018 is now fully booked.