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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 June 2006, 10:26 GMT 11:26 UK
Memorial to honour Pals sacrifice
British troops at the Battle of the Somme
The regiment lost 750 men on the first day of the World War I battle
The Leeds Pals who saw 750 of their 900 members killed, wounded or captured on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, are to be honoured in France.

A memorial will be unveiled in the town of Bus les Artois on 30 June - the eve of the 90th anniversary of the first day of the World War I battle.

Leeds City Council leader Mark Harris and Rector of Leeds Canon Tony Bundock will be among those at the ceremony.

The memorial is being donated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

It will consist of trees and shrubs and a block of Portland stone with a dedication to the Leeds Pals, the Leeds Rifles and the people of Bus les Artois.

Members of the Leeds Pals came from all walks of life and among those who died were a number of Yorkshire county cricketers, including the international Major Booth and former England footballer Evelyn Lintott.

Our gratitude for the sacrifices made by everyone who served in the First World War should be remembered forever
Leeds City Council leader Mark Harris

Members of the Great War Society, dressed in full uniform, will also travel to France for the ceremony and the society's bugler will play the original Leeds Pals' Bugle during the unveiling.

Mr Harris said: "I am honoured to be travelling to France to unveil a memorial dedicated to the heroes from Leeds who died in battle.

"Both of my grandfathers fought in the First World War and I will proudly have their medals with me when I visit Bus les Artois.

"Our gratitude for the sacrifices made by everyone who served in the First World War, especially the Leeds Pals and Leeds Rifles, should be remembered forever.

"We are proud of everything they did for us and are pleased to be able to help create a memorial in France to make sure those who died are never forgotten."

About 20,000 British soldiers died and a further 40,000 were injured on 1 July 1916. It remains the single largest loss in British military history.


SEE ALSO
City remembers Somme Battle Pals
30 Jun 05 |  West Yorkshire
Village finally honours war dead
19 May 05 |  Lincolnshire

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