Leeds Pals, 15th Bn West Yorkshire Regiment.


A good gilt brass cap badge of the Leeds Pals, a volunteer regiment of Kitchener’s Army raised by Francis Martineau and the Lupton brothers as one of those local regiments which fought bravely but suffered terrible losses, devastating whole streets in the City. The badge, 50 x 42mm, is composed entirely of the coat of arms of the City of Leeds with its motto and no military references. It retains both its fixing lugs and the gilt is only rubbed a little on the high points of the design, chiefly on the owl supporters’ wings. The good quality of the badge could indicate that it was an officer’s.

The regiment served in the Suez area before returning to France in 1916 where it suffered terrible casualties on the 1st day of the battle of the Somme with 24 officers and 504 other ranks wounded, of whom 15 and 233 were killed. As a surviving diarist recorded poignantly, “We were two years in the making and ten minutes in the destroying”.   jul12/5

1 in stock