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Webmatters : Sheffield Pals: 1 July 2006
Rough Map of Area

Sheffield City Battalion

Re-dedication of Sheffield Pals Monument

The monument in the village of Serre stands on land donated by the villagers and was originally unveiled on 21 May 1923 by Lt Colonel G H Wedgwood DSO the current Commanding Officer of the 1st Bn York and Lancaster Regiment.

The dedication was carried out by the wartime Vicar of Sheffield, Archdeacon Gresford Jones (Then Bishop of Kampala).

In returning for the 90th Anniversary of the opening of the Somme, the Regiment and people of Sheffield wished to show their continuing friendship and support for both the village of Serre and the nearby town of Bapaume.

Amongst those taking part were Mrs Rose Brown the daughter of Captain Tunbridge, Adjutant of the Sheffield Pals on 1 July 1916 and Colonel Geoffrey Norton, whose uncle was wounded during that fateful day.

Following the war Sheffield not only financed the building of twelve houses in Bapaume for those in need but also the Lawrence School – l’école Lawrence.

The school is now named after Mr George Lawrence, a razor manufacturer from Sheffield, who had helped finance its construction.

As a small plaque on the wall commemorates, the school was opened on 9 July 1939.

A second plaque near the door gratefully recognises the generosity of Mr Lawrence and the citizens of Sheffield.

A director of Sheffield United FC (and benefactor for the Bramall Lane stand) Mr Lawrence funded other gifts to the French people and was tragically killed during the Blitz whilst taking food and drink to his factory workers.

The building is no longer used as a primary school but a small museum on the first floor contains the Sheffield Roll of Honour and boxed cutlery presented by the Lawrences to each of the schoolchildren in 1939.

A well organised day, with the heat and sunshine reminding us all of another hot summers day 90 years ago.

I would like to thank Colonel Norton for having invited me along and apologise for any errors in the text and captions.

 

A few photos from events in Serre and Bapaume

Taking our places Just getting the translations correct Delivering the sermon Clr Jackie Drayton, Lord Mayor of Sheffield The reading by Colonel Geoffrey Norton The Bishop of Sheffield, the Rt Rev Jack Nicholls The re-dedication Sounding the Last Post Clr Peter Wooten, Mayor of Rotheram Mrs Joan Brown - daughter of the adjutant Brigadier Ronnie Eccles replies on behalf of the Regiment The Lawrence School The Sheffield Roll of Honour held by the town M Delevoye le Maire de Bapaume showing off the school cutlery The Lawrence School

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