Leeds nostalgia: Leeds Pals before the Somme in 1915

First World War Centenary''Leeds Pals 1915''15th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment (1st Leeds).''George William Asby 7th from right, third row from front.
First World War Centenary''Leeds Pals 1915''15th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment (1st Leeds).''George William Asby 7th from right, third row from front.
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It is just over a hundred years ago that members of the Leeds Pals realised the horror of war during the Battle of the Somme, which began on July 1. That terrible battle went on until September.

On July 1, 1916, 900 members of the Leeds Pals went into battle against the Germans in France. By the evening of that day, only 150 of them remained. The loss was so great it was said that every street in Leeds lost someone. It was also said that every officer in the attack was killed. By the time the battle ended in September, some 400,000 British had lost their lives.

1915''Pic submitted by a Mr. Chandler.''A group of Leeds "Pals" taken in 1915 during the recruiting campaign.''This picture is of particular interest in view of the "Pals" commemoration dinner in the Leeds Town Hall tonight.''front row, left to right; R. Kilner, M. Booth, Captain G. C. Whittaker, J. Jones, and A. Dolphin.''Middle row; Smithson, H. Armitage and H. Hartley.''back row; N. Howarth, W. Child, H. Hemingway, Warburton, and A. Hudson.''Several of these names will be familiar to Yorkshire cricket followers.

1915''Pic submitted by a Mr. Chandler.''A group of Leeds "Pals" taken in 1915 during the recruiting campaign.''This picture is of particular interest in view of the "Pals" commemoration dinner in the Leeds Town Hall tonight.''front row, left to right; R. Kilner, M. Booth, Captain G. C. Whittaker, J. Jones, and A. Dolphin.''Middle row; Smithson, H. Armitage and H. Hartley.''back row; N. Howarth, W. Child, H. Hemingway, Warburton, and A. Hudson.''Several of these names will be familiar to Yorkshire cricket followers.

The top picture was taken in 1915, before the soldiers set off for France.

The caption reads: “A group of Leeds Pals taken in 1915 during the recruiting campaign. Front row, left to right: R Kilner, M Booth, Captain G C Whittaker, J Jones, and A Dolphin.

“Middle row: Smithson, H Armitage and H Hartley.

“Back row: N Howarth, W Child, H Hemingway, Warburton, and A Hudson.

“Several of these names will be familiar to Yorkshire cricket followers.”

The second picture (below) was also taken in 1915, it’s caption reads: “Leeds Pals 15th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment (1st Leeds). George William Asby, 7th from right, third row from front.”

Leeds Pals was formed up in 1914 and ended up with about 2,000 in its ranks.

The idea of taking people from the same city and town was to boost camaraderie and therefore fighting spirit.

Most of those who signed up were in their early 20s and from professional and sporting backgrounds. Many who applied were rejected on medical grounds.

They also saw action in Suez but they are mostly remembered for the Somme.

Aerial pic of the site where Holbeck Hall once stood before slipping into the sea. See Ross Parry copy RPYSLIP : Large cracks have appeared on a seaside promenade close to where a hotel toppled into the sea over 20 years ago. A patch of land overlooking Scarborough's famous Spa conference centre has been fenced off and monitored by council workers in a bid to prevent parts of the Esplanade falling into the sea. A landslip in the North Yorkshire town in 1993 saw the historic wood-pannelled Holbeck Hall hotel tumble into the sea. Scarborough Borough Council has committed �1.87 million to protect land above the Spa in a bid to stablise the slopes behind the Spa as well as maintenance to the sea wall to stop "significant defects" and a plan to prevent "wave overtopping and landsliding".  It comes as part of an overall �14 million plan funded by the Environment Agency and North Yorkshire County Council.

Yorkshire nostalgia: Scarborough hotel destroyed by landslide in 1993