Last Post marks 100th anniversary of Harrogate war memorial
Last updated Sep 1, 2023
A bugler played the Last Post in Harrogate today.

The Last Post sounded in Harrogate today at the start of a series of events marking the 100th anniversary of the town’s war memorial.

The memorial was unveiled by Henry Lascelles, the 6th Earl of Harewood, on September 1, 1923.

It cost £12,000 and contains the names of 1,163 men and women who died in two world wars.

Dignitaries and members of the public gathered for a short commemoration led by Padre Ben Norton, the Yorkshire Regiment chaplain, at the memorial at 11am, when a bugler played the Last Post.

Graham Roberts gives an overview of his research.


Graham Roberts

It was followed by a service of blessing  at the nearby West Park United Reformed Church.

Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones, North Yorkshire deputy lieutenant Brigadier David Maddan, North Yorkshire Council chief executive Richard Flinton and Harrogate charter mayor councillor Michael Harrison were among those attending.

Today’s service of blessing

Following the service, a free exhibition opened at West Park United Reformed Church to mark the start of the Cenotaph Centenary.

The exhibition, called More than a Name on a Memorial, looks at the lives of those whose names are inscribed on the memorial.

It uses photographs, documents and archive film to tell the stories of those who laid down their lives — the youngest of whom was 15.

The war memorial was unveiled 100 years ago today.

The dead include Lt Donald Bell, the first professional footballer to join the war in 1915, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for “most conspicuous bravery” at the Somme in July 1916. He was killed by a sniper later that month.

The exhibition draws heavily on years of research by Harrogate man and former army reservist Graham Roberts.

Part of the exhibition at West Park United Reformed Church.


The exhibition tells the stories of those who died.

Mr Roberts used the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website and other resources, such as the website Ancestry and local newspaper archives to conduct his research.

Another local historian, Terry-Mike Williams, who founded New Park Heritage Centre, also played a major role in creating the exhibition, which is open from 10am to 4pm on Fridays and Saturdays and from 1pm to 5pm on Sundays until November 12.

Besides the exhibition, the Cenotaph Centenary also includes a series of illustrated talks, many of which are free, and film screenings at the Odeon to mark the war memorial’s 100 years.

Funds raised will help military charities including SSAFA.

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