Do you have previous generations of your family who fought in the First World War and came from the Kirkheaton, Dalton or Grange Moor areas?

With the WW1 commemorations well under way, the recently formed Kirkheaton family history group are working to discover some of the stories of the people on the local War Memorial.

They are planning to have a presentation and exhibition in St John’s Church, Kirkheaton, during August.

“Several of our church members have already been re-connecting with the history of the ‘Great War’,” says Rector, the Rev Richard Steel.

“Local artist Barbara Sykes has produced an illustrated version of a poem Flanders Field, by local poet Vera Sanderson, whose whole family of that generation went off to war.

Thankfully they all came back, although some were wounded, including an Uncle who was so traumatised he lived the rest of his life in a mental institution.”

“I was so moved by the poem,” says Barbara, “that I just had to paint something and bring it down to the Memorial.”

The Rev Steel added: “You can read the story of one of the people on the memorial, Leonard Firth, at: <a href = ''></a>

“We would love to find photographs and stories of every one of the people whose names appear there.”

If you have a story to tell, or you are interested in helping discover more contact Colin Beaver (Tel 07824 499 600, e-mail:

Other stories include those of long-term Kirkheaton resident Vivien Gill, who lost an Uncle, Tom Greenwood, who was killed just before the end of war in 1918.

He had been a sergeant for much of war and wanted to stay in the ranks, but was made up to 2nd Lieutenant and was killed almost immediately. Although he came from the village he was in the Liverpool Regiment.

Former local butcher Raymond Berry has discovered his father Norris’s Call-Up papers.

He joined the Training Reserve Battalion Machine Gun Corps “He didn’t make it to France,” says Raymond, “for which the family were very grateful, as he probably wouldn’t have come back.”