PRINCE Edward honoured hundreds of the region's brave soldiers as he officially opened the Barnsley Pals Centenary Square.

The Earl of Wessex unveiled the square's plaque on Friday in front of big crowds outside Barnsley Town Hall.

The name was chosen to remind future generations of the Barnsley Pals battalions who lived, worked, fought and died in the First World War.

"This is a memorial to the Barnsley Pals and, as we head to the anniversary of the start of the First World War, it's a very timely moment to do this in their memory," Prince Edward said.

"Congratulations to the council here who have done a fantastic job in remodelling this particular area - a dramatic improvement on the car park that was here before."

Sir Steve Houghton, Barnsley Council's leader, said: "We’ve had over 40,000 visitors to Experience Barnsley as a museum. Lots of those are spending time around the fountains, garden and the square.

"It’s become a major tourist attraction in its own right and it's been a big boost to the town centre's economy. Another piece in the jigsaw to make sure we have a town centre fit for the future but once that also recognises its history."