A POIGNANT torch lit parade will begin Burnley and Padiham’s commemorations to mark the start of the First World War.

Torches and lanterns will be held aloft as hundreds parade through Towneley Hall on August 4 to the borough’s historic cenotaph Four thousand or more crosses have been installed along the route to mark the number of troops who made the supreme sacrifice in the 1914-18 conflict.

The procession will set off from the Riverside car park at 9.45pm and will be led by Mayor of Burnley, Coun Andy Tatchell.

Lanterns will be provided in limited numbers but people are being invited to bring along their own torches.

Coun Tatchell said: “World War One had a significant impact on Burnley borough, which suffered a disproportionate number of casualties compared to many other towns and cities in Great Britain.

“As a result, the council and all the organisers including Royal British Legion want to show that we remember those who have fallen during the First World War.”

The parade will be followed by a service of remembrance including a speech from the Mayor, arranged by Churches Together in Burnley and Building Bridges, before a two -minute silence is staged.

BBC cameras will capture footage from the Burnley ceremony for a nationwide programme, being broadcast on the night.

There is also a national ‘lights out’ initiative, encouraging households and businesses to turn off illumination between 10pm and 11pm.

Free parking is being provided at the Riverside from 8pm and there will be limited disabled parking close to the hall.