Project Bugle honours fallen of Batley and Birstall

PROJECT BUGLE Tony Dunlop at Batley's war memorial. (d533j428)
PROJECT BUGLE Tony Dunlop at Batley's war memorial. (d533j428)

They sacrificed their lives for their country.

Now a groundbreaking project will create a fascinating archive about the 1,000 soldiers from Batley and Birstall who died in battle.

Thanks to Heritage Lottery funding, a team of dedicated volunteers will share the stories of those brave men through an online database, exhibitions and newsletters over the next five years.

Project leader Tony Dunlop said: “There is nothing like this going on anywhere else in the country. We want to pull all the information together, put it down on record and pass it on to the next generation.

“It is a five year project and in that time we want the public to relive the war as it happened.

“We want to give a greater understanding of the sacrifice made by the men and the impact it had on their families.”

The world war commemoration project will use £17,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to tell the story of every soldier.

Led by volunteers in the community, it will create a web-based database uncovering the stories behind the names etched on the town’s two war memorials.

The records will include photographs, press cuttings, letters and medals.

Mr Dunlop said: “For the next 45 months, from August when the first solider from Birstall died, we are passionate about telling each of the soldiers’ stories.

“We have a burning ambition to collect information that the families hold.

“Families have got treasure in their attics and they do not realise it. Bring it to us and we can tell you all about it.”

The project will include the placing wreaths on the graves of the men buried locally to mark the anniversary of each of their deaths.

Monthly exhibitions in Batley Town Hall and a monthly newsletter titled The Bugle will tell the story of how the war unfolded.

Exhibitions and performances based on WWI are also planned for Batley Festival on September 27.

Groups involved in the project include Batley History Group, Batley Cemetery Support Group and The Royal British Legion.

The Project Bugle launch night will take place at Batley Town Hall on Monday July 28 from 7pm.

The event is part of the monthly Batley History Group meeting but is open to the whole community.

Email to contact the team.