Remembering the fallen, 100 years on...

How the war was reported in 1914.
How the war was reported in 1914.

Europe at war!

That was the headline news in the Spen Valley on August 6, 1914 – two days after Great Britain declared war on Germany.

The outbreak of war, as reported in the Heckmondwike Herald

The outbreak of war, as reported in the Heckmondwike Herald

Scenes of great excitement were described as members of the Territorial Army were called back to Cleckheaton and Heckmondwike by the War Office.

There was great excitement in both towns as the soldiers prepeared to leave for their barracks – and into a war from which they might not return.

To mark the centenary of World War I, this year the Guardian will be looking back at the men of the Spen Valley who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

We want to tell as many of the soldiers’ stories as we can, to paint a picture of the impact the war had on the valley and ensure their bravery is never forgotten.

The First World War was one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with nine million combatants killed.

Life in the trenches was almost as deadly as the machine gun fire and mortar shells hurled across No Man’s Land.

And back home, fallen husbands, fathers, brothers and friends were mourned by the communities left behind.

We vowed to remember them.

Throughout this year we will commemorate the Great War in the Guardian each week – and we need your help.

While the soldiers and civilians who lived through the war are no longer with us, many people will have grandparents or great-grandparents who were handed the legacy of the war years.

Pictures, diaries, newspaper cuttings, letters and medals can help us to shine a light on what the people of the Spen Valley endured between 1914-1918.

If you would like to share your family and friends’ stories of the war, whether on the front lines or back home, contact reporter Samantha Robinson on 01924 487143 or email