A SHORT service will held this morning at the Accrington Pals Memorial on the town's Church Street to remember the 585 casualties on the first day of the Battle of the Somme 103 years ago.

The heavy losses - 235 killed and 350 wounded - have passed into First World War legend.

Although the 724-strong11th Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment became known as The Accrington Pals, its soldiers were also recruited from neighbouring East Lancashire towns such as Burnley, Blackburn and Chorley,.

They went over the top at the start of the bloodiest battle of the 1914-1918 conflict at 7.20am on July 1 1916.

They were the first of more than one million Allied casualties, 57,470 British on the first day, to die or be seriously injured in the 141-day battle.

The special service to commemorate the Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme at the memorial on Church Street Accrington will start at 11am.

Cllr June Harrison, the Mayor of Hyndburn, said; “Everyone is welcome to attend a short service.

This is to remember in particular the Accrington Pals and to commemorate their bravery and sacrifice.

"We will remember them.”