IT HAS been 93 years since the famous Accrington Pals Regiment first took to the battlefield.
And Hyndburn folk have remembered the brave soldiers who lost their lives during the Battle of the Somme which began on 1 July 1916 and ended on 18 November 1916.
The regiment was formed in 1915 after 1,100 friends from Accrington and the surrounding communities enlisted together.
On the first day of the Battle of the Somme, they suffered severe losses - 235 men were killed and a further 350 were wounded.
The Pals continue to hold a special place in the hearts’ of many today with the new health centre on Paradise Street named in memory of the regiment.
And thanks to the efforts of fundrasiers, the Accrington Pals’ Chapel at St John’s Church will remain as a permanent tribute to the regiment. Last year the Observer and church official Andy Shepherd helped raise £50,000 through the Aspire Appeal to save the church and keep the chapel open.
Mr Shepherd said: "It’s wonderful to see how people came together to support the appeal. In fact people are still getting in touch wanting to donate to the appeal and help the church.
"I think the Pals are very important to the community. The Pals worked together as a group of friends and that is something which resonates with the community today."
It is hoped the church will re-open later this year once final funding comes together.
Hyndburn Council leader Peter Britcliffe shared his feelings about the Pals.
He said: "When I was a little lad, there were a lot of older women in the area who were widowed and I think that reflected the loss of so many of the Pals. The battle changed the area forever."