Remembering a lost generation

Bradford Socialists

Artist and Socialist Party member Peter Robson has been commissioned by Bradford Cathedral’s arts space (which is funded by the arts council) to provide paintings at an exhibition in May 2016. The exhibition marks the centenary of the Bradford Pals regiment. It will be moving for the city, and a poignant reminder of what the capitalist war machine can do if left unchallenged.

The Bradford Pals regiment, along with many others, were almost totally annihilated at the battle of the Somme in 1916. These working class men from the Bradford district were clearly being used by the ruling elite, who had previously portrayed the war as a ‘jolly’.

As the first mustard gas canister cracked open in the trenches this myth was dispelled forever. Of the 1,394 men in the regiment who ‘went over the top’, 1,017 were killed.

We can only imagine the horror for the families back home to lose men from many towns in the United Kingdom. Literally a generation of young men were left in the fields of Flanders, with massive social implications.

Peter says: “This commission is a great honour and the paintings will commemorate the working class men and women affected on a mass scale by this conflict.”