The Battle of the Somme was and remains a national tragedy, claiming the lives of over 19,000 British troops on the first day alone – a ghastly toll that included many men from Bradford.

Like so many of their compatriots from Northern towns, those young men had enlisted in their thousands at the start of the First World War and formed some of the so-called Pals Battalions, in this case as part of the West Yorkshire Regiment.

During the battle of the Somme the Bradford Pals sustained devastating losses, with a knock-on effect for their community back home. This event is moderated by journalist Chris Bond and features input from military historian Peter Hart, author of ‘First Day of the Somme’; Andrew Macdonald; and writer David Raw, who researched his book on the Bradford Pals for over a decade. Together they’ll explore the Battle of the Somme from a national perspective but also tell the stories of the young Bradford men who faced those 141 days of horror, beginning on July 1, 1916, and whose courage and sacrifice is a significant part of Bradford’s heritage.

Proceeds from ticket sales for this event will be divided between 2 appeals to fund memorials to honour the Bradford Pals in Serre and Bus-les-Artois, France.

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Chris Bond

Chris Bond is assistant features editor of The Yorkshire Post. In 2014, he co-ordinated their Legacies of War coverage throughout the year, commemorating the centenary of the First World War.

About The Authors

Peter Hart

Peter Hart is the oral historian at The Imperial War Museum and has written several books on the Great War.

Andrew Macdonald

Andrew Macdonald is a New Zealand-born author and military historian living in London. He holds a PhD (University of London) in First World War military history, which he completed while working as a Reuters correspondent. His PhD is in the assessment of military effectiveness in the First World War. He now works full time as a writer, and has been published twice by HarperCollins

David Raw

David Raw is the author of The Bradford Pals and a biography of Rev Theodore Hardy, the most decorated non combatant in the First World War. He recently completed a Masters degree at the University of Wolverhampton in First World War Studies where his tutor was Professor Gary Sheffield.