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Hundreds of veterans, cadets, relatives and community leaders paid their respects to the Accrington Pals at a church service.

It marked 100 years after the brave battalion attended a Valedictory Service before marching off to fight in the First World War.

Around 500 people gathered at St John’s Church in Accrington to commemorate their sacrifices and included relatives and descendants of soldiers who fought and died.

Candles of remembrance were lit by Pals relatives, who also carried pictures of their heroes for a display at the front of the church.

Captain Shelley Whitehead, of the Lancashire Army Cadet Force, helped organise the service and said it was an ‘excellent day’.

She said: “It was very, very cold which was typical of what the Pals would’ve had 100 years ago. It was quite nice that we could mimic that.

“It was a really nice way of remembering it. We tried to recreate the service they would’ve had 100 years ago and have the same pomp and ceremony and done with military overtones.

“It was just a nice way of paying our respects. It was a lovely church service.”

Capt Whitehead said they also enjoyed involving more youngsters in the service to help pass on the story of the Pals to a new generation.

She said: “We had a lot of young people involved this time doing prayers, carrying some of the 49 standards down the aisle and helping with the collections.

“We wanted to try and bring more young people in and educate them and try to keep the memory of the Pals alive for many more years to come.”

Mayors from across Lancashire attended the service on Sunday, February 22 along with the newly appointed Bishop of Burnley.

Hyndburn Mayor Munsif Dad said: We had a very good attendance and I was very honoured to take part in the service.

“It was very well organised.

“The Accrington Pals are well remembered, not just here and in Lancashire, but right across the country for the sacrifices they made and their courage.”