Slideshow: Morley commemorates WW1 with 1914 Festival

Morley played host to a weekend to remember as it celebrated the lives of those who experienced one of history’s biggest conflicts.

Queen Street was alive with heritage on Saturday as the town was decked out for a 1914-style event.

Queen Street was transformed back into an early 20th century street at the weekend. (W304s431)

Queen Street was transformed back into an early 20th century street at the weekend. (W304s431)

People filled the street in dress from the era, while a replica tram – similar to the one which visited Morley with Leeds PALS as part of the recruitment process in 1914 – also showed up. There was also a 1914-style recruitment tent, a market and songs from the day.

Morley’s town events manager Rachael Kennedy said around 3,000 people turned up on the day.

“I have been doing this job for a few years and I have never seen such a good turnout for an event in Morley – Queen Street was packed from one end to the other,” she said.

“I am really surprised how popular the WWI events have been – a lot of people have relatives who still remember WWII so it might be easy to think of WWI as the ‘forgotten war’, but this shows that’s not true.

“So many people have been so enthusiastic about finding things out about their ancestors who were involved.”

A parade then took place on Sunday to remember the fallen soldiers.

The procession formed outside Morley Town Hall at 10.30am before making its way to the war memorial at Scatcherd Park.

It included a drumhead service, in which the instruments were assembled to create a make-shift altar as they were in the battlefields.

The parade, which was assisted by the Salvation Army band, was led by re-enactors in period uniform, one of whom was on horseback.

Wreaths were placed on behalf of the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and town Mayor of Morley.

The congregation gathered at the base of the war memorial’s steps before the drumhead service led by the Rev Mike Godfrey.

Morley Town councillor Terry Grayshon, who organised the event, said: “This was not so much a remembrance service, more a commemoration about the horrors that took place.

“When people signed up, they were told it would all be over by Christmas, and they did not envisage what they would have to go through.

“It is important we remember them.”