Bell to mark centenary

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a single church bell will toll out across Beeston on the morning of July 1 to mark the centenary of the start of the Battle of the Somme.

St. Mary’s will join scores of churches across the Anglican diocese of Leeds to toll the bell - including the three cathedrals of Wakefield, Ripon and Bradford - as people from across the region are invited to remember that darkest day in silence and prayers from 7.30am until 8am.

The Battle of the Somme, which lasted more than four months, was one of the bloodiest battles of the First World War - with more than one million men wounded or killed on the fields of the Western Front.

The single or muffled bell will be followed by silence for ten minutes and then a further ten minutes of prayer to remember all those who lost their lives.

The Vicar of Beeston, Revd Lindsey Pearson, said: “We want to join with other across the diocese to remember the sacrifice of men in that awful battle, including those from Beeston, and to commit ourselves to building a peaceful and just world in their memory.”

In Meanwood a Somme Centenary Service of Remembrance will be held at 7.15pm on July 7 at the memorial on Green Road/Memorial Drive.

Meanwood Village Association will present an event to commemorate the Somme Centenary in Meanwood Park from 11am to 4pm on July 9.

The Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire and the Lord Mayor of Leeds will open the free event featuring Leeds City Museum with artefacts from the First World War, veterans’ associations, local authors, military experts and music from Leeds Male Voice Choir.

* The YEP would like to hear from any local groups or organisations marking the centenary or anyone with family stories of people killed in the battle from the Leeds area.

Barry McGrath.

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