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Gallery: Church packed for Accrington Pals memorial service
A MEMORIAL service to commemorate the 97th anniversary of the Accrington Pals was attended by more than 200 people.
The annual service was held in St John’s Church, in Addison Street, earlier today - the Sunday closest to the date the Pals left their home town to start their training before entering the Battle of the Somme.
Around 720 men from the East Lancashire Regiment were part of the attack on Serre, which was a First World War battle, and more than 580 were either killed, injured or declared missing during the assault.
Before the service, which was attended by family members of some of the soldiers, men dressed as First World War fighters paraded towards the venue carrying flags.
Coun Tony Dobson, who represents the Barnfield ward, said the hour long service, which was also attended by mayors and mayoresses from across Lancashire, went extremely well.
He said: “I thoroughly enjoyed it.
“It is good for young people to learn about the history of wars and it is very important for us to remeber those people who have fallen.
“Without those wars being won, we probably would not live in the society we do today.”
The service was led by Rev John Binks said the service was held at St John’s each year because of the Pals’ memorial chapel there.
He said: “It was very poignant.
“It was lovely to see the church so well-populated with people for such a good cause. “We have to keep their memories alive and we can all learn something from their dedication.”