Row erupts over Accrington Pals banner

This Is Lancashire: An artist’s impression of the banner for Accrington town centre An artist’s impression of the banner for Accrington town centre

A ROW has broken out over a huge Accrington Pals banner planned for the town centre.

Office buildings in Broadway will disappear behind the 7.5m by 65m banner, as part of First World War commemorations over the next four years.

But it has been claimed two pictures featured on the banner show soldiers from Chorley, who would not consider themselves Accrington Pals. Local historian Walter Holmes, who has extensively researched military history, said: “I have identified men in those pictures. I know two groups are from Chorley.”

Mr Holmes said the Accrington Pals, or 11th East Lancashire Regiment, comprised four companies.

A Company was made up of Accrington men, B Company of soldiers from Church, Rishton, Clayton-le- Moors and Great Harwood, while C and D Companies drafted in men from Chorley and Burnley.

Mr Holmes said: “They formed a battalion but never referred to themselves as the Accrington Pals, they referred to themselves as Burnley or Chorley Pals.

“To put pictures on an Accrington building of two groups of men from Chorley will have people from Chorley laughing their socks off.”

But council leader Miles Parkinson, who is also chairman of the Accrington Pals Centenary Commemorations Group, said: “The pictures were brought in by Ruth Turner, the widow of Accrington Pals historian Bill Turner, so the pictures are of the Pals.

“We are commemorating the First World War and the focal point is the Accrington Pals, which is where individuals came from, as well as from towns around.

“People are saying some of the people are not from Accrington, but it’s a picture of the battalion. Individuals may have come from Chorley but the picture is from Bill's collection.”

Coun Parkinson said he hoped the banner would be installed in February.

Comments (6)

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12:21pm Tue 31 Dec 13

Blackburnley says...

The reaction from Mr Holmes is petty to say the least, I don't think many from Chorley would laugh at the events of July 1st 1916.
The reason for the banner is to commemorate one of the most awful events in the history of our nation and the world. The sentiments could relate to almost anywhere in the country but "The Accrington Pals" has a special connotation. When the first world war, and the pals regiments, are discussed anywhere in the UK, the first town to be mentioned is Accrington,
The reaction from Mr Holmes is petty to say the least, I don't think many from Chorley would laugh at the events of July 1st 1916. The reason for the banner is to commemorate one of the most awful events in the history of our nation and the world. The sentiments could relate to almost anywhere in the country but "The Accrington Pals" has a special connotation. When the first world war, and the pals regiments, are discussed anywhere in the UK, the first town to be mentioned is Accrington, Blackburnley

12:42pm Tue 31 Dec 13

Casper's mum says...

I don't think it will have people from Chorley laughing their socks off but surely it couldn't be that difficult to ensure the poster included Accrington soldiers if it is to be place in Accrington.
I don't think it will have people from Chorley laughing their socks off but surely it couldn't be that difficult to ensure the poster included Accrington soldiers if it is to be place in Accrington. Casper's mum

2:38pm Tue 31 Dec 13

past it says...

Do not dishonor in any way what all soldiers went through during WW! by squabbling over a poster
Do not dishonor in any way what all soldiers went through during WW! by squabbling over a poster past it

8:40pm Tue 31 Dec 13

3 for 10p says...

I've got a excellent idea, let's scrap the whole madcap thing. Glorifying War is never a good thing, especially this one.
Did you realize it is known as the boss's war.
I've got a excellent idea, let's scrap the whole madcap thing. Glorifying War is never a good thing, especially this one. Did you realize it is known as the boss's war. 3 for 10p

11:58pm Tue 31 Dec 13

ToffeeGuy says...

It will a fitting reminder of the horrors of war and the sacrifice of these brave young men....whilst I am queuing for my cheese and onion pasty in Greggs.
It will a fitting reminder of the horrors of war and the sacrifice of these brave young men....whilst I am queuing for my cheese and onion pasty in Greggs. ToffeeGuy

11:45am Wed 1 Jan 14

mavrick says...

past it wrote:
Do not dishonor in any way what all soldiers went through during WW! by squabbling over a poster
Well said past it. The horrors affected thousands of soldiers from around the area.
[quote][p][bold]past it[/bold] wrote: Do not dishonor in any way what all soldiers went through during WW! by squabbling over a poster[/p][/quote]Well said past it. The horrors affected thousands of soldiers from around the area. mavrick

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