A service which commemorates the Accrington Pals – the brave men of Accrington and surrounding areas who left for war in France 103 years ago – will be held next weekend.
The annual service for the men of the 11th (Service) Battalion (Accrington) East Lancashire Regiment will be held on Sunday, February 18.
The event commemorates the valedictory service which was held before the Pals left their home towns in February of 1915.
Recruitment for the battalion only took 10 days as hundreds of men joined up together. The majority were killed or injured at the Battle of the Somme on July 1, 1916.
Shelley Whitehead, who organises the memorial event, said: “We commemorate the service the battalion gave and the lives that were given in France.
“We try to recreate the valedictory service as best we can.”
Shelley says that the Pals relatives will be taking part in the service, as well as cadets and other representatives from the armed forces.
She said: “We have Pals relatives take part in the service and are finding more and more through research.
“There are Pals relatives across the world, including as far away as South Africa.”
Shelley is hoping to involve as many relatives of the Pals in the service as possible and has asked that people contact her directly if they would like to take part.
She also said that organisers are looking to the future and are turning their attention to young people with connections to the Pals.
She has asked that any young people with an interest in getting involved, should contact her directly.
The service will get underway at 2.45pm at St John’s with St Augustine’s Parish Church on Addison Street in Accrington - though people are requested to be seated for 2.30pm.
Disabled access to the church is through the vestry and this is signposted from Dowry Street.
Anyone with any other special requirements should contact Shelley.
Refreshments will be available from St John with St Augustine Primary School hall, on Maudsley Street, after the service.
Any enquiries should be directed to Shelley Whitehead on 01254 884583 or firstname.lastname@example.org.