Wednesday 27 July 2016

Souvenirs for Soldiers

Tobacco tins were officially handed out to the Bradford Territorials


Bradford had another military display of a very imposing character on Wednesday 3rd February 1915 the troops of the 2nd (Reserve) West Riding Brigade Royal Field Artillery and the 6th (Reserve) Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment parading in Town Hall Square.

The purpose of the parade was for each soldier to receive at the hands of the Lord Mayor (Ald George Robinson) the souvenir tobacco (or sweets) box which is being given to each of the territorial troops of the city and some 1,500 men were recipients of the gift. 

So happy a function had been made possible through the instrumentality of the manager of the Empire theatre (MR Percy Craig) who besides promoting concerts, had, together with friends organised a fund for the laudible object of purchasing presents. The boxes, which are enamelled with the city coat of arms and inscribed “In honour of the Bradford Territorials 1914-15” were distributed to the Bradford men in camp about Christmas time whilst arrangements are being made for the ‘Pals Battalion and the Bradford Men in the Yorkshire Dragoons to have a similar token of the city’s appreciation of their services on behalf of the country.

The ceremony, which took place on the steps of the Town Hall attracted large crowds of people. The members of ‘Company ‘Pals’ battalion constituted a Guard of Honour.

The Lord Mayor said “no doubt these boxes will be prized by the men as a little memento, and when they look at them they will remember they are being thought about at home.

MR Percy Craig said that in providing the boxes they were anxious to show them how proud Bradford was of their splendid effort for dear old England. They believed that if they came back to the city again after being at the front and he hoped they would, they would still have the boxes which he added had been made in England and not in Germany and they will last forever”

The soldiers then marched in single file to the accompaniment of the music of the Artillery Brigade band the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress each handing out the boxes. For over half an hour they were kept busy.

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