On 23 July 1916 the Preston Pals saw their last major action at Bazentin-le-Petit on the Somme. Many were killed and wounded, and for this reason a Commemorative Service was held on 23 July 2014 at the Preston Pals War Memorial on Preston Railway Station.Advertisement
The commemorative service, kindly organised by Andrew Mather, Chairman and founder of the Preston Pals War Memorial, was attended by special guests, The Lord Shuttleworth KCVO, HM Lord Lieutenant; The High Sheriff of Lancashire, Barry Johnson; Col Bernard Stam and the Mayor of Preston, Cllr Nick Pomfret.
A short service was read by Rev Richard Cook, Railway Chaplain N.W. & Manchester and readings were by Fr Frank Hull S.J. and Cllr Tom Davies. who also was the leader of the Standard Bearers. The piper for the occasion was Bob Wilson.
During the service a notable and growing public attendance ensued of railway passengers who were either waiting to board or alight their trains. Many were inquisitive as to what it was all about, many expressing their delight at the enterprising event when they realised the reason for the commemoration.
Following the service, light refreshments were served to the guests on the unused platform 7 of the railway station.
The Preston Pals War Memorial, which was carved by John Shaw, one of England’s finest letter carvers, was installed and unveiled in 2013 and was paid for by sponsorship and public donations.
You can find out more about the Preston Pals at the organisation’s website.
Were you there at the commemorative event? Let us know in the comments below.