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Leeds joins with French town to mark the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme

This week Leeds sent a wreath of poppies to the French town of Bus-lès-Artois to pay tribute to the members of the Leeds Pals who tragically lost their lives during the Battle of the Somme.

Bus-lès-Artois holds a special link with Leeds as it was here where the Leeds Pals and Leeds Rifles regiments were billeted after they arrived in France in 1916, just before the beginning of the Battle of the Somme.

The first of July marks the anniversary of the start of the Battle, which was one of the bloodiest battles in Word War 1. The Leeds Pals suffered huge losses during the battle, with just 72 out of the 750 members left uninjured by nightfall of the first day.

To commemorate the occasion this year, the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Eileen Taylor, sent a wreath of poppies on behalf of the city, to be laid at the Leeds Pals & Leeds Rifles Memorial which was erected in 2006.

Commenting on the occasion, Councillor Taylor said: “Bus-lès-Artois will forever hold a special place in the hearts of the citizens of Leeds. It’s important that we continue to remember and pay tribute to those who lost their lives fighting for our freedom.”

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