Comment: Bramley War Memorial is a beacon of both remembrance and community spirit

bramley war memorial
bramley war memorial

It’s impossible not to be touched by the stories of the 746 fallen servicemen named on the striking Bramley War Memorial, writes John Baron.

Or by the fact that the £100,000 obelisk – unveiled in 2014 – was originally paid for through a two-year local fundraising campaign by committed volunteers, local businesses and council grants.

The volunteers behind the Friends of Bramley War Memorial group announced this week that they’re looking forward to a date with Prince Andrew after securing a Duke of York Community Initiative Award, which encourages and rewards innovative and inspirational community projects in the region.

bramley remembrance 1
Remembrance. Photo: Roy Wilson, Friends of Bramley War Memorial.

The award, which lasts for five years, gives Royal recognition to projects as well as offering business management support and access to an in-house funding stream.

The volunteers are one of a number of community organisations across west Leeds who are proving that community spirit is alive and well. They’re proof of what can be achieved by ordinary people can do with commitment, determination and a ‘can do’ attitude. They’re an inspiration to others.

One of the people behind the group is Rodley resident John Barker. In announcing the award, he said:

“[the award] is testament to the fantastic generosity and support of local businesses, individuals and community organisations, (especially Bramley Baptist Graveyard team and staff at Parks & Countryside at Leeds City Council).”

Volunteers regularly tidy the war graves in Bramley Baptists Church graveyard.

Highlighting people who make a difference in the community is one of the reasons The Dispatch is running its ‘Good Eggs‘ scheme. We’ve been amazed by the sheer number of people who selflessly give up their time to help or support others. There’s more of it out there than you think.

It may surprise you to know that this article you’re reading now is written by a volunteer and this website is run by a board of community-spirited people who freely give up their time to ensure people in West Leeds are better connected with what’s going on in their area.

The award ceremony for the guys at Bramley War Memorial will take place at Sheffield Cathedral and HRH Prince Andrew will make the presentation. Take inspiration from that – could it be you and your community initiative in a few years’ time? What’s stopping you getting more involved in your community?


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