Keighley honours the men who left to fight in 1914

Keighley town mayor Councillor Graham Mitchell addresses the gathering

Alan Cooper with the Duke of Wellington standard

Ian Wilson holding the Keighley Old Contemptibles Association standard, accompanied by Andy Wade of Men of Worth

Armed forces veterans and members of the public attending the ceremony

From left, the representatives who read out the names of members of the Keighley Old Contemptibles Association, alongside Reverend Dr Jonathan Pritchard and Keighley mayor Councillor Graham Mitchell

Keighley resident Tommy Watson, whose father Charles Watson served in the Royal Field Artillery during the war

First published in Keighley by

KEIGHLEY paid a dignified tribute to the men from the town who marched off to fight at the start of the First World War.

At least 150 people attended a half-hour ceremony on Monday morning at the cenotaph, in Town Hall Square, to honour those men from the district who were part of the British Expeditionary Force to France and Belgium in August 1914.

The standard of the Keighley branch of the Old Contemptibles Association was paraded, as a mark of respect to the members of this organisation.

The association was formed after the First World War to represent the men who were part of the early stages of the bloody conflict on the Western Front.

During the ceremony the names of 77 local members of the Keighley branch were read out by representatives of the Royal British Legion, Keighley Town Council, the Soldiers, Sailors & Airmen's Families Association and the general public.

Keighley mayor Councillor Graham Mitchell and Andy Wade of the Men of Worth military history project both delivered speeches explaining the background of the association and the meaning of its standard.

Coun Mitchell said: "We are not here today to remember fallen comrades, that is for another day. This is to remember and give thanks to the brave men from Keighley who answered the call to arms on that day 100 years ago."

The Reverend Dr Jonathan Pritchard led a short service, a prayer and a blessing and music was provided by an ensemble from Haworth Brass Band.

Among those present on Monday was 85-year-old Tommy Watson, who lives off Fell Lane. "It means a lot to be here, and I've enjoyed it," he said.

Mr Watson's father, Charles, had been a gunner in the Royal Field Artillery for two years before the war's outbreak, and was one of the first to be sent off to fight in 1914.

He fought in the British army's earlies First World War battles. Later in the war he was gassed at Passchendaele, but he recovered and was dispatched to the frontline again.

He survived the war and moved from his home town in County Durham in 1940 to come and live in Oakworth.

Mr Watson said: "Only a short time after he moved he was amazed to see the name Lawrence Wood on the cenotaph at Oakworth.

"Lawrence was the first man my father saw killed in the war. He'd been friends with him, and after Lawrence was killed my father was ordered to go and collect his ammunition.

"Lawrence wouldn't have said exactly where he was from, so it was a complete surprise for my father to see his name commemorated in Oakworth."

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