THE TOWN which produced one of Britain's best known and bravest battalions, the Accrington Pals, cannot now get together enough volunteers to run its branch of the British Legion.
When the 11th battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment lost 594 out of 720 men on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, many of them from Accrington, their bravery and sacrifice went down in military history alongside the Light Brigade.
Today the Royal British Legion branch in the town has just 35 members, many of them ageing, and none willing to take on the roles of branch officers.
The county administrators have warned members that action will have to be taken if there are no volunteers and the branch could become a sub-branch of one of the more successful branches such as Church and Oswaldtwistle, which has more than 100 members.
The prospect of the Pals' branch of the Royal British Legion disappearing has dismayed Hyndburn MP, Greg Pope, as well as the Accrington Pals historian Bill Turner.
Roy Lockwood, vice-chairman of the Church and Oswaldtwistle branch is convinced Accrington people will rally to the colours as their ancestors did in World War 1.
He said: "There are a lot of ex-servicemen and their families in Accrington and they are proud of the town and its history. I don't think they will allow the memory of the Accrington Pals to fade, any more than they want those who served in later wars to be forgotten.
"You only have to look at the splendid turnout in Accrington for Remem-brance Day to see the people of the town are proud of their heritage. At the same time we help and support ex-servicemen and their dependents through our charitable work and I believe the town's military men will want to see that continue.
"I will do anything I can to help the Accrington branch find new members and people who are willing to take on the key committee roles. A successful branch needs about six or seven people at the top, willing to give some of their time, and the main task is to run the annual poppy day appeal.
"If Accrington cannot produce half a dozen good people to do this job it isn't the place I think it is."