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Accrington Pals’ legacy to be marked in style
MONTHS of commemorations, including memorials, concerts and marches could mark the centenary of the Accrington Pals.
Hyndburn Council has outline plans to put in place a two-year remembrance period, from the centenary date of the First World War in 1914, recruitment of the Pals, up to the Battle of the Somme in July 1916.
Hyndburn Council, which has set up a dedicated Pals Commemorative Committee, said that the 2014-2016 celebrations of their legacy could include a permanent memorial to the Pals on the Coppice, to mark the centenary.
Other plans are to set up numerous ‘Friends Of’ groups in each of Hynd-burn’s townships, with events at the locations where the Pals were recruited.
The council hope that each of these organ-isations could apply for Heritage Lottery funding.
Deputy leader of the council and chairman of the committee, Clare Pritchard said: “The Accrington Pals and their legacy is something that we are rightly very proud of in this borough.
“It didn’t seem right to confine the memorial events to one day, it will be an ongoing programme of events over two years, where hopefully we can do them proud.” Locations in the borough, relating to the Pals, would also form part of a historical ‘Pals Trail’ and local groups would plant areas of ‘Pal’s Poppies’.
Ideas for major events to mark key dates include a ‘Last Night of the Proms’ concert in Oakhill Park, town centre parades, and a commemorative service at St John’s Church in Accrington, the site of the Pals chapel.
Other plans could involve a Roll of Honour presentation to France and a twinning arrangement with a community near the Somme battlefield.
Coun Pritchard said: “We have only had one meeting but already we have some very exciting ideas put forward.
“We will need to plan very carefully and work with other groups. Funding is also an issue, and we will have to look at applying for grants.
“We would also absolutely encourage any groups or societies in the borough who could add something to the comm-emorations to get in touch.”