Leeds Pals
Lieutenant Colonel S.C. Taylor and officers of Leeds Pals stand in front of the decorated recruiting tram in June of 1915. Copyright Leeds Libraries and Information Service.
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Call for communities to help commemorate Armistice centenary

A rallying cry has gone out calling on communities in Leeds to be part of a city-wide commemoration to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War.

On Sunday, November 11, 2018, Leeds will join cities around the UK remembering the historic Armistice signing which finally brought the unprecedented conflict to a close a century ago.

To recognise the occasion, Leeds City Council is calling on residents to come forward with their own ideas and events to acknowledge the remarkable milestone.

Events already planned include a service of civic remembrance of the fallen on November 11, a special display celebrating peace at Leeds City Museum as well as a number of concerts and performances taking place locally.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council said: “The centenary of the Armistice is an event of global significance, but also carries great poignance for Leeds, as we remember the lost lives and reflect on the short-lived peace that followed.

“There are some great events taking place across the city, but we really want local groups to let us know their own plans so we can make this a day which brings the whole city together to commemorate a moment in history which should never be forgotten.”

Almost 10,000 Leeds citizens were killed during the First World War, including George Edwin Ellison, the Leeds-born army private who was the last British soldier to die in the war.

The streets of Leeds erupted in celebration at the news the war was over in 1918.

View showing Armistice celebrations at the Barnbow National Filling Factory at the end of World War One.

Many men and some women were still mobilised and away from Leeds, so the responses to the Armistice were led by workers, many of them women, and by some university students, who made or bought flags to wave.

Local news organisations reported the Armistice with great enthusiasm, with the Yorkshire Evening Post writing: “The first effect of the news of the Armistice in Leeds was to empty the munitions factories and to fill the streets with crowds of women and girls and men in overalls singing and cheering and waving little flags.

“By noon the centre of the city was as crowded as during the promenade hours on Saturday and Sunday nights. Long queues were stood outside the shops where flags were sold.”

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