800-strong parade through Leeds proves fitting tribute to First World War fallen

First World War commemorative parade sees service personnel march past Leeds Civic Hall on their way to Leeds Minster. Picture by Gerard Binks.

First World War commemorative parade sees service personnel march past Leeds Civic Hall on their way to Leeds Minster. Picture by Gerard Binks.

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Proud servicemen and women have joined Yorkshire army cadets and hundreds of onlookers to pay a poignant tribute to the lives lost in the First World War.

One of the largest military parades in Leeds’ history saw around 800 members of the armed forces gather in formation in the shadow of Leeds Civic Hall at Millennium Square before marching through the city on Saturday.

Servicemen and women outside Leeds Civic Hall ahead of First World War commemoration parade through Leeds city centre. Picture by Gerard Binks.

Servicemen and women outside Leeds Civic Hall ahead of First World War commemoration parade through Leeds city centre. Picture by Gerard Binks.

Local dignitaries including the Lord Lieutenant for West Yorkshire Dr Ingrid Roscoe inspected the soldiers ahead of the parade through Leeds to a service of commemoration at Leeds Minster, which was then followed by a further parade by 4th Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment in memory of the 1918 Battle of Bligny.

The sun beamed brightly on a ceremonial occasion that proved a fitting mark of respect to those who served in a conflict that started 100 years ago on August 4 1914.

Brigadier Charlie Herbert, commander of 4th Mechanized Brigade based in Catterick, said: “It is only fitting that the armed forces past and present and their affiliated organisations remember those soldiers that fell and pay their respects.”

A total of 14 Elizabeth Cross recipients attended the Leeds Minster service alongside the likes of Coun Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council, and the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Coun David Congreve.

The initial parade through Leeds, which marched through the city centre to the sounds of The Band of the Yorkshire Regiment, proved the start of a series of council-run events to pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice, including the launch of exhibitions at Leeds Central Library and Leeds City Museum on August 4.

Coun Wakefield added: “It is extremely important that as part of the centenary commemorations marking the start of the First World War in 1914, we reflect on all aspects of the conflict and remember those people who fought from both our city and the region.”

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