Leeds to host large First World War centenary commemoration event

A large commemoration event hosted by the Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Dr Ingrid Roscoe is to be held in Leeds city centre this Saturday to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

Featuring one of the biggest military parades the city has ever seen, up to 800 Armed Forces personnel will gather in Leeds on Saturday 26 July to join members of the public in remembering those people who volunteered to join regiments in Yorkshire when war was announced in 1914.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, Leader of Leeds City Council said:

"It is extremely important that as part of the centenary commemorations marking the start of the First World War in 1914, we reflect on all aspects of the conflict and remember those people who fought from both our city and the region.

"This occasion is one of the ways that as a city we are commemorating this poignant event, which will feature one of the largest parades Leeds has ever seen, a special service at the Minster and a Bligny Parade."

A range of events are set to be held on the day, which will begin at 10.40am with a parade march on to Millennium Square and an inspection by the Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor David Congreve and the Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire. This will be followed by a parade march around the city centre from 12 noon by members of the regular and reserve forces that concludes at Leeds Minster. A commemoration service led by the Reverend Canon Tony Bundock will then be held at the Minster from 1pm before a Bligny Parade is undertaken by 4 YORKS and Leeds comrades at 2.10pm.

Stands and stalls will also be displayed in Millennium Square as part of the commemorations, which will end at approximately 3.30pm.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor David Congreve said:

"The legacy of the First World War left a lasting impact on our city, region and people, and this commemoration to mark the beginning of the conflict one hundred years ago will honour and remember those people who volunteered to join regiments in Yorkshire.

"Hundreds of military personnel will take part in a number of events as part of the commemoration, and I look forward to joining people from our city, Yorkshire and beyond on the day."

The Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Dr Ingrid Roscoe said:

"The parade and church service is being held in recognition of the suffering of an entire generation of men, women and children whose lives were destroyed or blighted by the terrible war that began 100 years ago this coming week.

"The solemn commemoration is in honour of all who were involved in the Great War, whether on active service or working at home, for instance in factories or on the land. It also honours all combatants killed or injured serving our country since then. We are particularly glad that fourteen Elizabeth Cross recipients and their families will be present as well as several wounded veterans."

Notes to editors:

Please note the following road closures during the parade and selected road closures for certain times of the day. The roads specified below will be closed in sequence between 12:00 noon and 13:00 hours on Saturday 26th July 2014 for the First World War Centenary Commemoration Military Parade.

The parade will be controlled by a rolling road closure. The Police will be in attendance and limited access for residents and access for emergency vehicles will be maintained.

The parade will assemble in Millennium Square and proceed via a route comprising of Millennium Square, Calverley Street, The Headrow, Vicar Lane, Briggate, Kirkgate terminating at Leeds Minster.

The use of all parking bays located on Portland Crescent, Portland Gate, Percival Street, Rossington Street, Cookridge Street (north of Millennium Square), Kirkgate and Maude Street Car Park will be suspended from 18:00 hours on the preceding evening until 13:00 hours also including the loading bay on Calverley Street which will be suspended from 09:00 hours until 13:00 hours on the day of the Parade.

For safety reasons, both High Court Lane and the westbound feeder lanes to Kirkgate will also be closed to vehicular traffic from 11.30 hours until 15.00 hours on the day of the parade.

For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk