Somme memorial to commemorate those who made the ultimate sacrifice

Heckmondwike War Memorial. (D515B406)
Heckmondwike War Memorial. (D515B406)

To mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, Heckmondwike Royal British Legion is inviting residents to commemorate those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The remembrance event is to be staged at St James Church on Church Street on Thursday, June 30 (7.15-8.15pm).

A candlelit service will remember the men of Heckmondwike who fell in this battle and in memory of all those who served.

The Battle of the Somme took place from July 1 to November 18, 1916 and has come to symbolise the enormous losses and dreadful conditions of the First World War.

As the nation’s custodian of Remembrance, The Royal British Legion is asking the country to commemorate the sacrifices of those who fell at the Battle of the Somme by holding their own Remembrance event.

Almost every community across the UK was deeply affected by the loss of men who had gone to fight at the Battle of the Somme, especially areas which saw heavy losses from the Pals battalions.

The Pals battalions were groups of friends, team mates in sports clubs and colleagues, who had joined together, fought together and often died together.

Wayne McDonald, branch chairman of RBL Heckmondwike, said: “In this centenary year of the battle we wanted to ensure that the memory of those Heckmondwike and District men who gave their lives in this momentous battle wasn’t forgotten.

“We invite our local community and we hope that they can share in our remembrance and to ensure that their memory lives on.”

Many local men joined up especially in the local battalions such as 6th Battery 2nd West Riding Brigade Royal Field Artillery who were based at the drill hall on Artillery Street and the battalions of the Duke of Wellingtons Regiment part of the 49th West Riding Division.

The Heckmondwike event is one of numerous remembrances being staged up and down the country.

The Right Reverend Nigel McCulloch KCVO, Head of remembrance at The Royal British Legion, said: “Their sacrifice, and that of communities across the country, is as relevant today as ever.

“But in this centenary year we pay special tribute to their service.”