Tag Archives: Leeds Ridles

Stories and Legacies of the First World War in Leeds and Yorkshire

The Forum convened on the 13th of September after its summer break.

Members stood to remember a former committee member Doug Emmingham who passed away during the break.

The first speaker for the season was Professor Alison Fell from Leeds University whose subject was Stories and Legacies of the First World War in Leeds and Yorkshire.

Professor Fell ran a project in 2014 with schools, museums and other organisations to establish six research groups covering various subjects related to how the war affected our area.

The majority of local men who joined the army were either drafted into the Leeds Rifles or the Leeds Pals Regiment.  Although a large number of them died in France many also fought in Gallipoli alongside Australians and New Zealanders.  The death rate for British troops was 12%, lower than is generally believed.

Alison related the problems experienced by large employers such as Tetley’s Brewery who lost many skilled workers to the army and related the story of a university academic with a German name although he was British citizen.

The last subject which Alison raised was the settlement of 250,000 Belgian refugees, a large number of who settled in Leeds and were treated as heroes but became less popular as the war progressed.

Duncan Verity proposed a vote of thanks which was enthusiastically supported by Forum members.