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The Bradford Pals were the 16th and 18th Battalions of the West Yorkshire Regiment. The Pals regiments were units of men who lived, worked and socialised together. They then all signed up together. These units were raised early in the war as it was clear that Britain’s professional army was too small.
The recruitment for the men started on 8th September and they were encouraged to join the army sacrificing their personal needs for the service their country. The men were trained at the Manningham Lane Skating Rink and by the 26th of September a full Battalion of 1,069 was formed. These were to be the 16th (service) Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment (1st Bradford).
The 2nd Bradford or 18th (service) Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment was sanctioned on January 22nd 1915. By this time more advertising was needed as the initial patriotism had worn off. A new scheme was started in April 1915 with money rewards given to soldiers who brought in new recruits. The regiment jointed the first Pals Battalion in Ripon on the 20th May.
The 1st and 2nd Braford Pals were a regiment of about 2,000 men who, during the First World War, suffered 1,770 casualties in the first hour as they attacked the village of Serre.