A POIGNANT procession along the former Padiham railway by schoolchildren commemorated the sacrifice of those who departed from the town to meet their fate in the Great War 100 years ago.

Troops boarded trains at Padiham, bound for the front, a century ago and many never made it back.

Today the old trackbed has been revived as Padiham Greenway and the images of some of those who made the supreme sacrifice were displayed along the route.

Nearly 500 pupils from St Leonard’s, Padiham Green, Padiham Primary and St John’s schools took part in the Memorial Park service, led by the Rev Mark Jones, Vicar of Padiham.

The gathering included recitations by individual pupils, recalling the experiences of some of those who died, in the form of a poem, psalm or reading, and St Leonard’s s choir sang We Will Remember, before the Last Post was played by teacher Tim Mason. Children then made their way to the park’s cenotaph and laid hundreds of wooden crosses, each one identifying a local soldiers who died in the conflict.

Bev Holmes, St Leonard’s headteacher, said: “To see so many children marching to the beat of the drum and chanting ‘We will remember’ made this a very moving occasion."