The United Kingdom experienced 723,000 deaths directly as a consequence of the war and the Empire total was over one million. It was calculated that if the dead marched four abreast down Whitehall it would take over three and a half days for them to pass the Cenotaph, the line of marching men would stretch back to Durham.
In 1921 local communities raised tremendous sums of money to build memorials to the men lost during “the war to end all wars”. This was not without controversy, many felt that the money would be better spent helping the bereaved and grievously wounded. Eventually Pudsey, Farsley and Calverley built memorials to the fallen, Stanningley, Bramley and Rodley built Church halls to help the living. This year saw the building and dedication of memorials to the fallen of Bramley and Rodley. A large number of men from Stanningley have been left without a permanent civic memorial. For numerous reasons there are a number of men associated with Pudsey who also do not appear on Pudsey Cenotaph. There are a small number of servicemen from the region buried in Pudsey Cemetery who are also not commemorated locally. As a start on the long journey to gain these casualties of the First World War recognition, a wreath bearing their names will be laid at Pudsey Cenotaph at 11am on Remembrance Sunday.
Over 138,000 Indian troops fought in Belgium and France during World War I, many of them Sikhs. More than one quarter of these soldiers would became casualties. After the bloody battle of Neuve Chapelle in 1915 the Sikh regiments had lost 80% of their men, 3 regiments stood at only 16% of their original compliment. With thanks to Harbinder Singh who is working to preserve their memory.
1st November 1914, Able Seaman Bertram Alfred Loakes, KIA battle of Coronel aboard HMS Good Hope. Son of Harry and Francis of 28 Somerset Road, Pudsey. The Good Hope was the first ship lost in a surface fleet action by the Royal Navy since The Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
Blog postings by Damon Sugden on behalf of Pudsey & Farsley Royal British Legion Branch and in association with Pudsey Civic Society.