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How do we know about the Leeds Pals?

How are they remembered now?

People remember their loved ones in a variety of personal and public ways.


They may keep their medals.   They may remember with poppies, or poetry, through the memorial plaques (the so-called 'Dead Man’s Pennyies'), remembrance bookmarks, or through public memorials in public spaces, factories or churches.  Use the interactive to design your own medal.


An elderly gentleman (thought to be Herbert Thornes) laying a wreath in front of the memorial to the Leeds Pals.
Member of the Leeds Pals Association, thought to be Herbert Thornes, laying a wreath to his fallen comrades of the Leeds Pals Battalion, in Leeds Parish Church in front of the memorial to the Leeds Pals

Not everyone is listed on a public war memorial. They were often by public subscription, and if the family couldn’t pay, their loved one wasn’t listed. Or, sometimes, people are on two – the public one where the family paid, and their work one put up by the company.


Leaflet with a poem commemorating the first day of July 1916 and illustrated with swords and wreaths.
Leaflet with a memorial poem to the Leeds Pals

Commonwealth War Graves are often a good place to start an investigation, and there are quite a few Leeds Pals graves across Leeds. A number of these men were injured in the Battle of the Somme, and were sent home for medical care, but died of wounds either in transit or upon their return. In Holbeck cemetery, there are a number of Leeds Pals and West Yorkshire regiment graves for local men who lived and worked in Holbeck.

Magazine page with a photograph at the top showing men standing either side of a tall, stone memorial.
Newspaper cutting of a photograph of the memorial to the Leeds Pals on the Moors