Pendle to honour those killed in Battle of the Somme

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A series of special acts of commemoration has been planned in Pendle to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme.

The Somme was one of the bloodiest battles of the First World War and fighting broke out on July 1st, 1916.

On the first day around 20,000 British soldiers were killed and another 40,000 were wounded, many seriously. The battle raged on for another 141 days and in total some 420,000 British soldiers lost their lives. The toll was worse for the German forces who lost 500,000 men and the French forces lost over 250,000.

The names of those from Pendle who lost their lives at the Somme are all permanently remembered on War Memorials across the borough.

And special events are being planned to remember them.

At the Nelson war memorial at noon on July 1st there will be a short service, the Deputy Mayor, Coun. David Whalley, will lay a wreath and that will be followed by a bugle call and two minutes silence.

That will be preceded by two other events on the same day.

The Mayor of Pendle, Coun. Rosemary Carroll, will attend the special service at Sough Park in Barnoldswick at 10-45am and that will be followed by another service at Salterforth War Memorial at 11-45am.

And in between those events, a Somme Wreath will be laid at the War Memorial in Barrowford at 11am.

And there are two further events the following day.

There will be a parade and march starting at 10-15am at the Colne Legion Club and proceeding to the War Memorial in Albert Road for a service and wreath-laying at 10-30am.

And a full parade and service will take place at the memorial in Brierfield at 11am, with the Deputy Mayor again laying a wreath.

Many people are planning to make special trips out to the Somme over the next few weeks.

And with that in mind the Nelson and District Branch of the Royal British legion has a number of wreaths and poppy crosses available at its offices in Holmefield House on Gisburn Road, Barrowford.

The offices are open on Wednesday and Thursday mornings.

On behalf of the Britush legion, Christine Sutcliff said: “These are special events so please turn out and remember those who were in this horrific conflict.”