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  • "So sad, so many men following their Patriotism being blindly led by Generals who were fighting the then "Modern War" with what were at the time out of date.

    Men who were cold bloodedly sacrificed through inept decisions, to bolster egos by leaders who were safe areas of the theatre unwilling to lead from the front in case they became casualties. The arrogance of these leaders was never more shown in the way they treated soldiers suffering from shell-shock which was something they were never likely to experience. Havin lost my Grandfather in the Great War I hold my head high with pride in his and all the others who made the Supreme Sacrifice, but I also hold it low in shame of the so called "Generals" not only from our side but also from the other side who followed the same edict.To relatives and descendants of Accrington, Burnley, Church, Oswaldtwistle and all other areas where PALS Battalions were raised, you have and always will have my deepest respect. I hope the memories of these young men will never be allowed to fade, not only on 11th Novembers, but also in our daily lives. People may say "Time to move on" for these brave men time has 'Stood Still' so people of today can have their opinions, but please never ever denigrate their short lives or how they met their God."
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Accrington Pals exhibition to mark 95th anniversary

PREPARING FOR WAR Officers of the Accrington Pals in the Drill Hall, Accrington in  1915. With them, front row, centre, is the then Mayor, John Harwood

PREPARING FOR WAR Officers of the Accrington Pals in the Drill Hall, Accrington in 1915. With them, front row, centre, is the then Mayor, John Harwood

First published in Baxenden Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A POIGNANT exhibition commemorating the Accrington Pals is set to open in the town to mark the 95th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.

Members of Baxenden Community Forum and Pals expert, Walter Holmes have just completed a special display at the Haworth Art Gallery, Accrington.

The exhibition opening will open on Friday, July 1, 90 years to the day since hundreds of lives were lost when British Battalions went ‘over the top’ in Northern France.

In the first 30 minutes of the battle, 235 Accrington men were killed and 350 injured.

In resultant four-month offensive, there were around a million casualties among all forces involved.

Bill Mathews, Frank McVan and Michael Clarkson from the Baxenden Community Forum have selected various items of Pals memorabilia for a historical information display.

In addition there also hung three commemorative mosaics designed and created by Hyndburn children and artist Sue Gibson for the 90th anniversary commemoration in 2006.

Historian Walter Holmes, supplied in-depth research photographs of the young men who were part of the regiments.

Haworth learning and access Officer, Yvonne Robins said: “It was great to involve the local community in selecting and putting up the exhibition, although the information on show is a poignant reminder of how so many young men lost their lives.”

The exhibition is on show at the Haworth until October 30.

There will also be a short act of remembrance at the Chorley Pals Memorial on the Flat Iron, Chorley at 7.30am on Friday.

A wreath will be laid by trustees of the Chorley Remembrance project at the exact time the offensive began.

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