View of the Undercliffe Cemetery Promenade

Thinking About World War One At Undercliffe Cemetery

There are over 200 military graves from a wide variety of conflicts at Undercliffe Cemetery. Many of these are WW1 service personnel who are buried here or are remembered on a family grave.

As part of the centenary of the start of World War One, 4 August 1914, Undercliffe Cemetery Charity has come together with relatives and partner organisations to tell the stories of local people who served in the “Bradford Pals” and other regiments. Our project “Thinking About WW1 at Undercliffe Cemetery” has two key aims:

  1. To record for future generations who these men and women are and their personal stories.
  2. To make this archive available for young people today and for future generations, so that the major issues thrown up by such a momentous event can be explored.

Research and interpretation activities will continue throughout the period 2014 to 2018 and will include booklets, exhibitions, factsheets, filming, guided tours, horticulture, music, photography, theatre. Materials collected, recorded and developed will be available through our website and events at the cemetery. Please get in touch if you would like to get involved or for further information. We are especially keen to hear from schools and young people’s groups who would like to participate.

The project started in 2014 with an open day where families were invited to share memorabilia, photographs, stories, artefacts. This culminated in a trail and a booklet entitled “Listen to Our Stories”, and performance of a specially commissioned two act play entitled “Undercliffe; Over by Christmas”, written by Oliver Knight (Tantalus Theatre) and directed by Peter Huntley, Second Floor Theatre. The booklet was launched at a 3-day open event at the cemetery, 11 – 13 July 2014 where the play was performed each day. Please follow the links below to explore this project further.

Booklet with trail map: "Listen to Our Stories"

A snapshot of the event was captured on film by Bradford City of Film.

What Next?

“Soldiers of the Somme” is the title of a new project currently under development. This will tell the story of the “Somme Offensive”, which started on 1 July 1916 through the experience of 16 soldiers who were involved and are remembered at Undercliffe Cemetery. A 2-day event on an open day format is planned for Friday 8 July and Saturday 9 July at Undercliffe. The event will feature display boards, tours, WW1 period demonstrator and active drama around the site.

Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge the support of Heritage Lottery Fund, Then and Now programme for financial support.

We also offer our sincere thanks to our partner organisations for their support and commitment which enables this work:

  • Barkerend Primary School
  • Bradford Grammar School
  • Bradford Metropolitan District Council
  • Bradford World War One Group
  • British Legion, Bradford Branch
  • Carlton Bolling College
  • Hanson Academy
  • Immanuel College
  • Killinghall Primary School
  • Lloyds Bank
  • Local Studies Department, Bradford Libraries
  • Morrison Supermarkets PLC
  • The Peace Museum
  • Peel Park Primary School
  • Second Floor Theatre
  • Tantalus Theatre
  • West Yorkshire Archives, Bradford
  • YMCA, Bradford