Conservation Work

Keighley Old Contemptibles' Association Standard


Ian Walkden and Mick Hastings with the standard at Keighley Drill Hall

We'd heard this standard in it's glass case had been removed from the wall at Keighley Shared Church and was being stored under a sheet. We managed to get permission to take it to Keighley Drill Hall in order to have it installed there in pride of place along with other standards in similar glass cases. However, the future of the Drill Hall looked in doubt at the time with the withdrawal of the Territorial Army from Keighley and we moved the standard to the Civic Centre for safe keeping.

Our Director Ian Walkden successfully negotiated funding from Keighley Town Council to have the standard conserved and an expert in textile conservation from Cliffe Castle declared that the standard was fit to be put on display but needed some work to mount it properly in its case. For example, it was held up in the case by four rather rusty drawing pins, which were damaging the cloth.

Andy Wade describes the standard of the Keighley Old Contempibles' Association

Andy Wade describes the standard of the Keighley Old Contemptibles' Association

We paraded the standard in August 2014 when we commemorated in Keighley, the centenary of the start of the Great War. We read out the names of the Old Contemptibles who had returned home and been members of the association in Keighley and several relatives of these men came along to see them honoured in this way.


Peter Karkoszka carries the standard for it's final parade in Keighley

We also paraded the standard in Keighley in the Remembrance Day parade and it was given lead position in the parade. The standard was carried with great pride and honour by Army veteran Peter Karkoszka. After this parade the standard went to the conservator for the work to be carried out on it.

The work included lining the case with a backing cloth and support sheet to mount the standard properly and it was sewn in place very carefully with each tassel being individually sewn in position.


The fully conserved KOCA standard set in its case with full support from the new back board and cloth covering.

3 Responses

  1. This is a wonderful project and I am delighted to hear of the successful rescuing and conservation of the standard for the old Contemptibles and of the way this small band of soldiers has been honoured. My Grandfather went to France in early 1915 and just missed being an old contemptible but was always proud of them and their heroism
    • Andy Wade
      Thank you very much Helen, we're very pleased with the way it's turned out. Most of the early British Expeditionary Force was wiped out by the end of November 1914, so the ones who survived the war were indeed a rare bunch! We are also very proud of them for what they did. If you Grandfather was local to Keighley and the Worth Valley we would be very interested in hearing more about him, if you would like to use our submission form, we would then be able to look further into his Army career during the Great War period. Best wishes, Andy.
      • Thank you for your reply. I am sorry but my grandfather was from Hampshire and served in the Hampshire regiment and was then transferred to an Irish regiment. My other Grandfather was from Darwen and served in the East Lancs where he was awarded the Military Medal for his bravery during the raid onSan Quentin May 1917.

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