poppy field


Among the battalions of British volunteers who fought at the Battle of the Somme, one name often attracts greater attention - the Accrington Pals. But why are they so well known?

Following a rallying cry by War Secretary Lord Kitchener, battalions were formed across the country, including in the east Lancashire town of Accrington where about 1,000 men signed up.

"It's gone down as being the smallest town or borough in Britain to raise a complete battalion,"

Approximately 700 men from the Accrington Pals went into action on 1 July 1916; 585 men became casualties, 235 killed and 350 wounded in about half an hour. The battalion's commander, Lieutenant-Colonel A. W. Rickman, was among the wounded.

The Accrington Pals were effectively wiped out in a matter of minutes on the first day on the Somme.


Lest we forget