First World War memories are brought to life by photographs

First World War memories are brought to life by photographs

Territorials in Guiseley in 1913

The Guiseley Company of Territorials waiting on the station platform

Second contingent of Territorial Army volunteers who would be sent overseas to fight in the FirstWorld War.The photograph, which is part of the Aireborough Historical Society collection, was taken outside the Drill Hall on Victoria Road in 1914,

Newspaper cutting from the Aireborough Historical Society, showing some of the local men who were killed or injured in the Great War.

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submitted pix: Pictured at the official opening of Rawdon Community Library are - left to right: David Ingham, Lis Moore, Jackie Shemilt, Stuart Andrew MP, John Davies, Dawn Collins and Bob Barber (Chairman Rawdon Parish Council). (8720163)

First published in News Ilkley Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

As they waited on the station platform in 1914 the Guiseley Company of Territorials were standing on the edge of the abyss.

Setting off to do their duty on the very first day of the Great War these soldiers could hardly have imaged the horrors which were about to unfold.

The poignant photograph, from the Aireborough Historical Society collection, was taken on Tuesday August 4, 1914 - the day war was declared.

It shows troops crowding onto the platform at Guiseley after they had been ordered to join their regiment at its headquarters in Skipton.

That evening Captain Chaffer and Lieutenant Law departed from Guiseley station with 62 men. Crowds assembled from the Drill Hall on Victoria Road to the station to cheer them on their way.

The Wharfedale and Airedale Observer reported: "Long before the hour of the march to the railway station crowds began to gather in Victoria Road, at the tram terminus and along Station Road, and by nine o'clock these thoroughfares were packed by a seething mass of the inhabitants, anxious and desirous of giving the Territorials an enthusiastic send-off."

The cheering crowds and enthusiastic soldiers had no way of knowing how appalling the conflict would be - leaving many millions dead in its wake.

The photograph, which so perfectly captures an historic moment is part of a WW1 exhibition being staged at Rawdon Community Library.

The display is being mounted by Rawdon Local History Group , which meets at the library on the last Thursday of each month at 10.30am.

The photographs and other memorabilia can be viewed from the beginning of August, to coincide with the start of the war a century ago. It will run until at least November. Copies of local, national and international photographs will be displayed along with information about different aspects of the war. There will also be books, articles and features about the conflict as well as a Book of Memories - showing the memorial or grave of every local serviceman who was killed.

The history group said: "If anyone has a memory of a relative or family friend killed during the war, they are requested to record it and add it to information about the person mentioned in the Book. It will form an enduring record for future generations to see.

"Rawdon Community Library is now funded and run by the local community, businesses and benefactors and contributions to its upkeep would be much appreciated. It is open from 10am to 6pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and from 10.00am to 1.00pm on Saturdays."

Aireborough Historical Society is to stage its own WW1 exhibition on Saturday, September 13, during National Heritage weekend.

The exhibition at Yeadon Town Hall will mark the Centenary of the Outbreak of World War 1. It will features displays from the society's collection of artefacts and photographs -of which there are hundreds. It will be open free to the general public from 10am until 4pm.

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