The first ever Pals Prom will kick off centenary commemorations of the Battle of the Somme in Accrington this weekend.

The 100th anniversary of the sacrifice of the Accrington Pals at Serre is fast approaching and several poignant events are planned to mark this momentous occasion in June and July.

Writing in his Observer column, Hyndburn council leader Miles Parkinson said the events will recognise and honour the Pals.

He said: “The Pals 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.”

The bandstand in Oakhill Park in Accrington will host the ‘Pals Prom’ on Armed Forces Day, Saturday, June 25.

There will be a day of family activities in the park starting at 11am, followed later at 6pm by the Accrington Pals Prom, featuring performances by the East Lancashire Concert Band.

This is the first event to be organised by the Accrington Pals Prom Group in partnership with the Royal British Legion.

The Pals’ March to the Front will then be marked on Thursday, June 30 with a series of community walks setting off from various locations across Hyndburn.

The march will converge on Oakhill Park, culminating in a visual art performance ‘Falling’ at 7pm, featuring local people representing the Pals.

Creative director Gayle Knight said: “We are looking for 50 walkers and one lead walker for each of the routes.

“Walkers will be carrying a backpack between them to represent the weight of the backpacks that the soldiers carried on their March to the Front.”

If you would like to walk or lead the walks, email or call 01254 398319.

Later that evening, from 9pm to 10pm The Royal British Legion, Accrington, joined by members of Accrington Pipe Band and Royal Artillery Band, will lead a candlelit vigil at the Pals memorial.

Programme of events:


Oakhill Park, Accrington. Family fun day from 11am, followed by Pals Prom from 6pm

Thu, June 30

March to the front community walks converging on Oakhill Park for ‘Falling’ visual art performance at 7pm

Pals memorial, Church Street, Accrington. Candlelit vigil from 9pm to 10pm

Fri, July 1

Civic Commemoration, Pals Memorial, Church Street. Accrington 7.20am

The Civic Commemoration will be a special version of the annual Pals Memorial Service, 100 years since the Pals went ‘over the top’. Email or call 01254 388111.

Roll Call, Accrington Town Centre 9am

A roll call starting from 9am for the Accrington Pals. Email or call 01254 398 319.

Commemorative Concert - Accrington Town Hall 6pm

BBC Radio Lancashire’s live Somme Day Centenary concert from 6pm to 8pm in Accrington Town Hall. Limited tickets, call 01254 380293.

Sat, July 2

Commemoration fair on Barnfield Street in Accrington, 10am to 1pm

Jointly organised by Benjamin Hargreaves primary school and St Paul’s Church, including tombola, bric-a-brac, face painting, bouncy castle and barbecue. Free entry and a donation will be given to Help For Heroes.

Tue, July 5

In Memory of the Accrington Pals - Commemorative Film

The Ballroom, Accrington Town Hall - £3 per person (Tickets limited to 100). Call the Box Office on 01254 380 293. The Pals trails leaflet is available from the Town Hall or you can download it from the Hyndburn council website.