Leeds Pals: History of the 15th (Service) Battalion (1st Leeds) the Prince of Wales’ Own (West Yorkshire Regiment), 1914-18
The “Pals” battalions were a phenomenon of the Great War, never repeated since. Under Lord Derby’s scheme, and in response to Kitchener’s famous call for a million volunteers, local communities raised (and initially often paid for) entire battalions for service on the Western Front. Their experience was all too frequently tragic, as men who had known each other all their lives, had worked, volunteered, and trained together, and had been shipped to France together, encountered the first full fury of modern battle on the Somme in July 1916. Many of the Pals battalions would not long survive that first brutal baptism, but their spirit and fighting qualities have gone down into history.
This book tells the history of one of the best and most successful of these remarkable units – the one raised from among the thriving business community of Leeds. The book is based upon research in local and national archives, including contemporary press reports, and upon interviews with the battalion’s handful of survivors and their relations and descendants, and contains many hitherto-unpublished eye-witness accounts and photographs.
You can buy the book here.