A HISTORIC standard linked to those men from Keighley who were among the first to fight in the First World War has been reinstalled in Keighley Shared Church.

A service of rededication will be held at the Shared Church this Thursday (Nov 8) for the standard of the Keighley branch of the Old Contemptibles Association.

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

The Men of Worth military history project – supported by Keighley Town Council – took responsibility for the association's standard in 2013, as at the time there had not been anywhere suitable for the church to display the artefact.

Ian Walkden, of Men of Worth, explained: "Before the installation could take place it was noticed the standard and it's case needed some repair. This, along with a full conservation, would have to be carried out first to protect its future.

"The job was given to Caroline J Booth, textile conservator, whose imagination and skill brought new life to the banner's appearance. The work was financed by Keighley Town Council, who have help us save another piece of the town's history.

"It was agreed with Keighley Shared Church's management committee that the standard would be positioned on the north wall, above the War Memorial Chapel.

"But due to its size and weight a team of volunteers was needed, and was found in family and friends of the project, a church warden, members of the Duke of Wellington's Regimental Association and the Yorkshire Volunteers Regimental Association – Keighley branch.

"The installation was overseen by local builder Tom Eakin. Men of Worth thank them all for their efforts."

The Old Contemptibles Association's name comes from a dismissive comment allegedly made about the 80,000-strong British Expeditionary Force, which travelled to fight in France in 1914.

The German Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm reputedly branded these troops as a “contemptible little army”.

As a defiant gesture the surviving British soldiers later adopted this insult – referring to themselves as the Old Contemptibles.