An interesting place to visit introducing the enormity of losses to the northern Pals Battalions. Trenches and shell holes are preserved.
Park on the main road and walk up the track. There is no parking up the hill and the local farmer is enthusiastic about maintaing clear routes across his land.
The Memorial Park is in the location of the British Front Line for 1st July 1916. At the time there were four small woods in this sector. They were known on British Army maps from south to north as Matthew Copse, Mark Copse, Luke Copse and John Copse.
During the war the trees in these copses were shattered by artillery shellfire, leaving the tree trunks as splintered stumps. The wood was fenced off to form the site of the Memorial Park and its grounds and trees now cover the location of three of the copses: Mark, Luke and John. Matthew Copse, which was sited just to the south of the Memorial Park, has not regrown into a wood.
Sheffield Memorial Park remembers the men of the British Army’s 31st Division who served with the Pals Battalions. Of the 12 battalions in the 31st Division, all but two were recruited from Yorkshire, one of these being from Durham and the other from Lancashire. The Pals Battalions were formed in the autumn of 1914 following a recruiting drive by the War Office. Thousands of men rushed to the recruiting offices to join up as enthusiastic volunteers to help with the war effort.