Fallen Sheffield Pals to be remembered in city and France for Somme commemorations

Members of the Sheffield Pals
Members of the Sheffield Pals
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The thousands of Sheffield Pals who died in the First World War are to be remembered at a special service marking the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.

A service and march is to be held at Weston Park at 11am on Friday, July 1, to remember the 4,898 members of the Sheffield City Battalion who died in the conflict.

At the same time in northern France, a delegation of councillors including Lord Mayor of Sheffield Denise Fox will take part in a similar service at the Somme in Sheffield Memorial Park, where some 500 members of the Sheffield City Battalion were casualties on the first day of battle.

Councillor Tony Damms, Sheffield Council’s armed forces champion, said: “After the wonderful celebrations and statue for our Women of Steel, these commemorations remember the brave and heroic Sheffielders who gave their lives in the 1914-1918 war.

“Dedicating a centenary field is a fitting way to commemorate the sacrifice of those who lost their lives in the conflict and ensures that their communities benefit now and in the future from protected green spaces.”

Pals Battalions began to be formed in August 1914. Following the outbreak of the First World War. Pals were usually recruited from a local area and were nicknamed because Lord Kitchener believed more men would enlist if they could serve alongside their, friends, relatives or work mates.

Sheffield Pals comprised mainly of businessmen, clerics, journalists, school teachers and students from across the city.

They were called the ‘coffee and bun boys’ by the Barnsley Pals because of their middle-class backgrounds.