THE heroics of the Accrington Pals will be marked with a special concert exactly 100 years to the day after the battalion marched through the town to show their support for the war effort.
The Accrington Pals Centenary Concert, presented by East Lancashire Concert Band, will be held from 7.30pm at Accrington Town Hall on September 27.
The show will include the first-ever performance of Letters for Home, a symphonic poem by composer Dr Peter Meechan.
On the last Saturday of September 1914 the same band - then known as Accrington Old Band - played as the newly-recruited Accrington Pals Battalion marched past the town hall.
Current Hyndburn Council leader, Miles Parkinson, said he expected the concert to reflect the ‘air of patriotism and excitement’ of that day.
His predecessor, Captain John Harwood, who had spearheaded the recruitment initiative, stood proudly in front of the town hall as the parade passed by.
Coun Parkinson said: “The East Lancashire Concert Band has a rich and proud history linked with the Pals and this is set to be a superb event to mark the centenary of when the newly-recruited Accrington Pals Battalion marched past the Town Hall.”
BBC Radio Lancashire will record the event, directed by Dale Grindrod, for broadcast at Christmas.
Ian McGuinness, of East Lancashire Concert Band, said: “It is a great privilege for us to be marking the momentous events in Accrington 100 years ago in which our band predecessors were directly involved.
“We look forward to supporting the people of East Lancashire in their commemorations over the next four years.”
Before each movement of the new piece, there will be a reading by ‘The Bard of Oswaldtwistle’, Dylan Owen, while actors Alasdair Craig, who plays Wilfred Owen, and Simon Jenkins, who plays Siegfried Sassoon, will deliver spoken excerpts from their Accrington Pals play.
There will be solo performances by singers Steve Taylor, Sophie Proctor and Stephanie Johnson.