Relatives of the historic Accrington Pals are invited to a memorial service.

The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment is holding a service in honour of the 11th (Service) Battalion (Accrington) The East Lancashire Regiment ,who were more commonly known as the Pals, next month.

The regiment holds the service every February to commemorate the Pals leaving their Accrington home on February 23, 1915.

In the run up to the First World War centenary celebrations which begin next year, Lt Shelley Whitehead is hoping to contact as many relatives as possible to make sure they are included in events and activities.

THE pictures here are some of the 90 brave Accrington Pals who lost their lives at the Battle of the Somme in 1916. They are the only such photographs in existence. Their names will never be forgotten.
THE pictures here are some of the 90 brave Accrington Pals who lost their lives at the Battle of the Somme in 1916. They are the only such photographs in existence. Their names will never be forgotten.
 

Lt Whitehead said: “I have been organising these services for 18 years, ever since the Pals’ chapel opened at St John’s Church and through that I have been able to meet a lot of family members but I know there are more out there. I have contacts with about 100 people connected but many of them are getting older as they are children of the Pals and live all over the country.

“We imagine there are people who are grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-nieces and nephews who may want to get involved in the service and the celebrations.” Lt Whitehead has a great-great uncle who was an Accrington Pal.

She said: “It’s almost like a badge of honour that you have a Pal as a relative. Obviously for the people directly related to the Pals the service will have different meaning and we imagine there may be people who want to remember their relatives who haven't before.”

This year’s memorial service is on Sunday, February 17 at St John’s Church from 2.40pm to 3pm. Anyone who would like to attend the service can email Lt Whitehead at thesomme1916@aol.com .