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Permanent exhibition to the Pals

THE Accrington Pals are to be given a permanent exhibition to ensure their brave sacrifices are never forgotten.

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THE Accrington Pals are to be given a permanent exhibition to ensure their brave sacrifices are never forgotten.

The news broke just before the recent memorial mass for the Pals, which was attended by massive numbers at St John's Church in Accrington.

About 600 people flocked into the church to remember the valiant First World War battalion which was decimated at the Battle of the Somme - one of the 20th century's bloodiest battles.

The exhibition will feature photos previously unseen by the public and a variety of items from the local studies section of Accrington Library.

Announcing the development, historian and Accrington Pals expert Bill Turner said: "We are a few weeks away from it all getting going, but we have been given a space for the exhibition at Oswaldtwistle Mills. We wanted to create this a few years ago but now we're nearly there."

Council leader Peter Britcliffe applauded the move. He said: "It's a wonderful gesture from Oswaldtwistle Mills and a wonderful example of business working well with the community."

The service was an open event, attended by representatives of various faiths. The Rev Ian Robertson, who conducted the service, said: "It went very well indeed. The inter-faith officer for Blackburn and Darwen was there, along with a representative from the Association for Jewish Ex-Servicemen."

"The emphasis was on looking back at the history of what happened, but also present-day situations of war. The focus should be on reconciliation and healing for world affairs. We need to accept people of other faiths and creeds."

The sermon was given by guest minister, the Rev Roy Parker, of Cannon Street Baptist Church, Accrington.