Remembrance Sunday in the UK is the second Sunday in November, which is the closest to November 11, the anniversary of the armistice of 1918 that ended the First World War and on which the dead of both World Wars are commemorated.
Here at Nidderdale Museum we have the opportunity for Remembrance every time we walk through our War Room, where you hear the tramp of marching boots and you find a wide range of items on display from both World Wars.
From the 1880s Pateley Bridge had a Volunteer Corps of young men, the fore-runner of the Territorial Army. They trained in the Drill Hall, part of the Old Brewery in Bridgehousegate, and the officers of the Corp were the landed gentry and other important people from the area, including Lieutenant John Hawkridge Metcalfe who was one of the commanders. Oliver Kingdon, headmaster of the Board School was the sergeant, and the other ranks were filled by quarry men and other local working folk.
This proved to be very popular and there were regular reports of their activities, and the weekly orders for the force were published in the local press. They held regular church parades; they formed a band and played musical concerts in different places about the town; they held sports days; they went on training camps to such places as Whitby, and they carried out mock attacks as exercises. Colin Chadwick, on his informative website about Pateley during the First World War and the significance of its war memorial, refers to them as ‘The Pateley Bridge Territorials’.
Outbreak Of War
In August 1914 they were at camp when war broke out, and enlisting under William Oddy, the local solicitor, they went off to see action in France. Many who laid down their lives in The Great War are commemorated on memorials up and down the dale. Those from Pateley Bridge, as well as those who survived and returned, are recorded on the war memorial in the Recreation Ground. Funding for this had been raised through public sponsorship following a meeting held by the Pateley Bridge War Committee in February 1919.
The memorial was unveiled in 1922, and is exceptional in that it contains the names of those who both went and came back from World War I. Others from the Second World War were added later. There are four attached bronze plaques which bear names and inscription in raised lettering, with main inscription as follows:
“to the glory of god/and in loving memory/of the men of pateley/bridge who fell in the/great war 1914-18/ [names] in commemoration of the/ men of pateley brdge/who served in the great/war 1914-18 and returned./ [names] in memory of/the men of pateley bridge/who fell in the world war/1939-1945/ [names]”
A remembrance service is organised by the local branch of the Royal British Legion at the Nidderdale memorial every year.