Events remembering the Battle of the Somme

A number of events are planned in the Bradford District during the summer of 2016 to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. The battle was fought between 1 July and 18 November 1916.

At 7.30am on 1 July 1916, 2,000 young men from Bradford left their trenches and by the end of the first hour of the battle 1,770 of them had either been killed or injured.

On this page you will find information about some of the events that are happening this summer as well as links to further local resources about the Battle of the Somme and the First World War.

1 July: Bradford Pals commemoration

At 11am on 1 July, the Lord Mayor will lead a commemoration event at the Bradford Pals’ Memorial in the Memorial Garden behind the Bradford Cenotaph. This annual event remembers the sacrifices made by the Bradford Pals during the First World War.

22 June to 30 September: Garden within a Garden

Acclaimed Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi has painted two public artworks in Bradford inspired by the history of the million-strong British Indian army that fought in the First World War. You can see two different paintings for this Garden Within a Garden project in the temporary gardens of City Park and the Mughal Gardens outside Cartwright Hall.

2 July onwards: Somme 100 – Keighley’s Stories exhibition

An exhibition of Keighley’s stories will open at Keighley Local Studies Library on Saturday, 2 July and will run throughout the summer. The opening event on 2 July will include a talk by Andy Wade and a screening of the film The Battle of the Somme. Join the Facebook event for the day.

2 to 15 July: Exhibition at Shipley Library

More than 350 men from the Shipley area were killed, missing or wounded in the Battle of the Somme. These men will be remembered in an exhibition called Shipley and District Remembers the Battle of The Somme. The exhibition is at Shipley Library from 2 to 15 July.

The research for this exhibition was collated by Shipley in WW1 who will be available between 10am and 2pm in the library on Saturday, 2 July to share information about people who served. Join the Facebook event.

4 to 29 July: Threads of War exhibition at Bradford Local Studies Library

The Threads of War exhibition is a display of contemporary textiles inspired by the First World War. It will be at Bradford Local Studies Library from 4 to 29 July.

4 to 29 July: Yorkshire Pals Touring Exhibition

This exhibition has been provided by York Army Museum and features stories of the Bradford, Leeds and Hull Pals.

The exhibition will be at Bradford Local Studies Library from 4 to 14 July and Bradford City Library from 19 to 29 July.

11 July: free film screening of The Battle of the Somme

On Monday, 11 July, there are two free screenings of the film The Battle of the Somme. Shot and first screened in 1916, this was a groundbreaking documentary that was seen by 20 million people upon release. Join the Facebook event for these screenings.

16 July: WW1 Centenary Activity Day at Bolling Hall

There will be an activity day at Bolling Hall on Saturday, 16 July including activities for children. At the event, you can:

  • Experience a small tented encampment with period weapons, accessories and equipment
  • Handle equipment used by soldiers during the First World War
  • Have fun performing marching drills
  • Learn more about life in the trenches by talking to the soldiers within the encampment.

Join the Facebook event for the day.

Nearby Bowling Park was used as a training camp for the Bradford Pals during the First World War before they were sent to the battlefield. The encampment at Bowling Park would have been visible from Bolling Hall.

3 September: The Somme talk at Bradford Local Studies Library

On Saturday, 3 September Bradford Local Studies Library will host ‘The Somme’ talk by Tricia Platts.

Add your own events to our What’s On guide

If you are organising any events in your community to remember the First World War, you can submit your events to our What’s On guide.

Bradford Libraries blog

Bradford Libraries have a First World War blog where they have been pulling together resources relating to Bradford in the First World War as well as blogging about centenary events.

Bradford Museums blog

Staff from Bradford Museums have been writing about the First World War centenary, including a recent blog post about Bradford and the Battle of the Somme.


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