'We must and we will always remember them': Moving ceremony marks centenary of Batley War Memorial
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To commemorate 100 years since the unveiling Batley History Group, Batley and Birstall British Legion, Batley and Birstall RAFA and the United Benefice of Batley organised a service at the memorial.
Father Jonathan Bish, of All Saints Parish Church, led the service which included prayers, readings and a short precis about the unveiling in 1923 by General Sir Ian Hamilton.
A poem called “One Thousand Men Are Walking”, written by 14-year-old school pupil Joshua Dyer, was read by a member of Batley History Group.
Wreaths were laid by Jane Roberts and Martin James, who have worked tirelessly to put together soldiers’ stories and written various books about the memorial, which were on display in the RAFA Club after the service.
There were also two standard bearers present and three enactors came along dressed in First World War uniforms.
A Batley History Group spokesperson said: “Despite the weather there was a good turnout including Kim Leadbeater MP and Councillor Gwen Lowe, president of Batley and Birstall RBL.
“Our groups felt it was extremely important to hold this service.
“Looking at the names of all the people killed from our area in WWI, WWII and Iraq fills us with great emotion. They all gave their lives for us by serving our country and so many were so young.
“The war memorial is a place where you can sit and have quiet reflection and remember all those brave men and women.
“We must and we will always remember them.”