Sheffield Memorial Park
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.
Memorial to the Accrington Pals
The memorial was built with red Accrington brick and dedicated to the memory of all members of the Accrington Pals, the 11th (Service) Battalion East Lancashire Regiment, who fought and fell in this location in the opening phase of the Battle of the Somme. The memorial stands in the south east corner of the wood. It is in the position of the 1st July British Front Line where the 11th East Lancs (Accrington Pals) began their attack on that day.
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.