Letter: Shame on the city council for not honouring the Somme dead

Memorial to Sheffield Pals, Serre, France
Memorial to Sheffield Pals, Serre, France
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On July 1 we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme and the gallant sacrifice of 565 Sheffield men, including 248 men of the Yorkshire and Lancashire Regiment, which includes the volunteers in the Sheffield City Battalion, who gave their lives for our future freedom.

In just under two and a half months on July 1 we commemmorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme and the gallant sacrifice of the lives of 565 Sheffield men, amongst this number being 248 men of the Yorkshire and Lancashire Regiment, which includes the volunteers in the Sheffield City Battalion, who gave their lives for our future freedom.

However, the vast majority of the Sheffield men who died in that battle came from other regiments, too numerous to mention here, and their ranks included both regular soldiers (this fact is often never mentioned by the war historians) along ith reservists and wartime volunteers.

As the grand-daughter of one of the 317 majority, and also a former city councillor, I am appalled at the fact that there would appear not to be a civic serive of remembrance and wreath laying at the city’s place of remembrance ie the cenotaph which was built specially to honour all who died - all the services, all regiments and all ranks - on this most important day. Not only am I appalled but I, and many people to whom I have spoken, are highly offended by this fact.

I appreciate and am glad that there is to be a service and , presumably a civic wreath latying at the York and Lancashire Regiment Monument in Weston Park, but I would remind the council and Lord Mayor’s office that this is a regimental museum and not the city’s cenotaph and that there are another 317 Sheffield men whose sacrifice should also be remembered properly at the right time and in the right place.

Many of your readers will not be aware that after the First World War Sheffield built a memorial at Serre in France 9Sheffield Park) at the cememtery where men of the city batallion are buried.

Over the years this memorial has lain forgotten and neglected by our city fathers and many time whilst a city councillor I attempted, without success, to persuade the council to send a delegation to Serre.

I trust that this year - the 100th anniversary of the deaths of those men who lie in a foreign field - the city council will make up for their dereliction of duty of previous years and will actually send a delegation, including the Lord Mayor, to Serre.

Patricia M Davey (former councillor Dore Ward)

Darfield Close

Owlthorpe