THE widow of Accrington Pals historian and author Bill Turner praised the launch of First World War commemorations in Hyndburn.

Ruth Turner joined families of the lost Pals for an ‘historic’ event in Accrington town centre, followed by a memorial service at St John The Evangelist church.

Hundreds of people gathered outside the Broadway office buildings to see the town’s huge remembrance banner, which features images of the Pals taken from Bill Turner’s personal collection.

His wife, Ruth, said: “It was an absolutely marvellous day and so special to me because of the banner and the centenary commemorations and it would have been very special to Bill.

“The whole event has been so spectacular and very emotional.”

Mrs Turner added: “Chronicling the history of the Accrington Pals and recognition for their bravery was my late husband Bill’s life’s work and I was so happy to be able to represent him on this momentous occasion. ”