Heroes of Accrington Pals to be honoured
AMBITIOUS plans to remember the Accrington Pals could include a TV drama, a commemorative beer and a Book of Honour.
Hyndburn Council has revealed a host of plans to mark the heroes’ upcoming centenary, including planting displays of poppies across the borough.
Years of research into the Accrington Pals is to be created into a Book of Honour containing all the casualties suffered from July 1 to 5, 1916, compiled by historian Walter Holmes based on his research with the late Bill Turner.
The period of celebrations to remember the heroes’ centenary has also been extended from two years to four, from 2014 to 2018.
A number of other ideas are being considered according to the group, such as a Channel 4 drama production about the families left in Accrington when the men went to war. It is set to cover the week following the battle.
The council is also hoping to remember the Pals with a memorial overlooking the town on the Coppice, which would be paid for with lottery funding.
Currently councillors are assessing designs for a sculpture expected to be around 12 metres high and placed in front of the Coppice.
The Accrington Pals Commemorative Group, founded by the council, is also exploring painting a Pals’ commemorative date on the Coppice, similar to the ‘1612’ display on Pendle Hill to remember the Pendle witches.
Leader of the council Miles Parkinson said: “There are some particularly poignant dates to be remembered and we need to commemorate them in a way that will be remembered.
“We have set up this special group to make the arrangements and we are really grateful to the volunteers and interested parties helping us do this.”
Other plans include events for those interested in genealogy, searching for relatives who had been in the battalion. A major Centenary Concert at Accrington Town Hall is also expected to take place.
Plans to create a Commemorative Beer has seen Hyndburn Council contact breweries to discuss the plans, with councillors visiting breweries this week.
The Book of Honour is to be a gift from historian Walter Holmes and Bill Turner’s widow, Ruth, in memory of Bill, to be formally presented to French dignitaries as part of a visit to Serre.