An evocative look back at Huddersfield’s war starts tomorrow.

A new guided walk called the World War One Trail is being launched in the town.

One walk takes place tomorrow evening (August 5) while the second is planned for August 19.

They are planned to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I, which was marked with a series of commemorative celebrations at home and abroad.

The Huddersfield tour will illustrate the role, commitment and compassion shown by the community during the conflict.

 

The walk will begin at the railway station - the scene of many emotional departures and arrivals.

It also takes in the Drill Hall and the old Huddersfield Infirmary, later the Technical College, which was the main treatment centre for wounded soldiers during the first part of the war.

Walkers will also visit places such as Market Place and Huddersfield Town Hall, where fundraising took place as well as meetings for the pro and anti-war movements.

The former Examiner offices in Ramsden Street are another point of interest, as the newspaper promoted patriotism and published graphic accounts from the battlefields.

Brian Heywood and Angela Sykes will lead the walk from 6.30pm at St George’s Square. There is a charge of £3.

The walks are part of a series launched by the Discover Huddersfield Partnership which cover a number of themes including Huddersfield’s heritage, public art and the Shuddersfield Ghost Trail.

Their studies have also brought moving stories about some of Huddersfield’s sporting heroes who fought in The Great War.

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Harold Wagstaff, Douglas Clark, Albert Rosenfeld, Benjamin Gronow and Fred Longstaff were all part of Huddersfield’s ‘Team of All Talents’ which won all four rugby league trophies on offer that year. But all played a part in the war.

Wagstaff was mobilised on September 9, 1916 and served with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in France and then in Egypt.

Clark enlisted and joined the Army Service Corps and in 1917 took part in the Battle of Messines and the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele). Clark was awarded with the Military Medal for his bravery in bringing forward an ammunition column whilst under heavy fire.

Rosenfeld joined the Army Service Corps and later saw action with the Australian army at Gallipoli.

Gronow had previous service with the 7th (Cyclist) Battalion, Welsh Regiment, Territorial Force, before enlisting in the Army Service Corps. Motor Transport as a Driver on 1st June 1915. He was made Acting Sergeant and was posted to France.

The only one not to survive was Longstaff who joined the Bradford ‘Pals’ 1st/6th West Yorkshire Regiment. ‘Pals’ regiments were springing up everywhere, with whole communities enlisting - they lived together and would fight together.

He was on the Somme in July 1916 and came under heavy shellfire, before the Germans approached the British trenches with bombers and a new weapon, liquid fire (flame throwers).

Longstaff scrambled into his firing step as the Germans appeared and was faced with a sudden searing flame which shot out across the ground. He was seriously wounded and was one of 40 soldiers from his battalion injured that morning and transferred to a nearby field hospital. Medical staff made every effort to save his life, but ultimately failed.

For details of the trails email info@discoverhuddersfield.com.

Fred Longstaff, who was killed in the Great War