The Accrington Pals are to be individually honoured as part of the Battle of the Somme commemorations.

Each soldier will have their name read out at a roll call ceremony in Accrington town centre on July 1 to mark the centenary of the famous battle, which took place in the middle of the First World War.

Families and ancestors of the soldiers will be able to observe a dedicated minute’s silence of remembrance to each of them, with names read out in alphabetical order.

The exact location for the roll call, part of a programme of events to honour the memory of the Accrington Pals, is yet to be decided, although outside the town hall is the likely venue.

Hyndburn council leader Coun Miles Parkinson said details are being finalised for a programme of events to serve as a fitting tribute to the Accrington Pals.

He said: “This is a significant year in the borough’s history.

“This event is part of a series of commemorative events which are being planned to mark the centenary of the Accrington Pals’ devastating losses in the Battle of the Somme and to mark the sacrifice of all those who fell in the Great War.

“The centenary events are for everyone, right across the borough, to recognise and commemorate the Pals and their sacrifice, and their place in the borough’s rich history.

“Partners are finalising details of the various events and we’ll update our website as more information becomes available.”

A ‘Pals Prom’ will be held in the bandstand at Oakhill Park in Accrington on Armed Forces Day on Saturday, June 25, with a Last Night of the Proms-style performance by the East Lancashire Concert Band, which has been organised by the Accrington Pals Prom group.

Volunteers are also being sought for a major visual art event in the park on Thursday, June 30, organised by the Civic Arts Centre and Theatre in Oswaldtwistle, entitled ‘Falling’.

Out of 720 Accrington Pals who took part in the attack at the Battle for Serre in France on July 1, 1916, 584 were killed, injured or missing.

A special room dedicated to the Accrington Pals containing artefacts, famous images and boards telling their story was opened at Accrington Town Hall in August 2015.

Volunteers needed for performance in Oakhill Park

Volunteers are being sought for a visual art performance commemorating the Accrington Pals.

Gayle Knight, creative director at the Civic, said they need 720 volunteers for the performance entitled Falling, which will be staged at Oakhill Park in Accrington on Thursday, June 30, at 7pm.

She said: “This huge performance will be both visually stunning and thought provoking.

“We need 720 volunteers to represent every Accrington Pals soldier that went over the top at the Somme on July 1, 1916.

“This performance will celebrate their friendship, bravery, and their sacrifice.

“It will also remember the soldiers who made it back home, who shaped the East Lancashire we know today.”

People of all ages and backgrounds are needed to make up the numbers and no acting or other experience is needed.

The Civic is also hoping to stage other events to mark the centenary of the battle as part of Hyndburn Borough Council’s programme of events.

For more information about volunteering, call Sophie Fitzpatrick at the Civic Arts centre on 01254 398319 or email