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Accrington Pals

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The 11th (Service) Battalion (Accrington) East Lancashire Regiment.

During WW1, the so-called Kitchener Army was raised from volunteers, after the Regular and Territorial Armies were getting a bit thin on the ground.

Part of the Kitchener Army consisted of the "Pals" Battalions, consisting of units raised from a given location, sometimes from a single employer (I think there was a Glasgow Tramways Bn for example).

Accrington in Lancashire was the smallest town in the realm to raise a Battalion, which was inevitably nicknamed "The Accrington Pals".

Tragically, the first time most of the Pals Battalions saw action was at the Battle of the Somme, 1st July 1916.

The Accrington Pals advanced towards the village of Serre, with the Sheffield City Bn on their left, and the 1st & 2nd Barnsley Pals Rear and Left.

By the end of the battle, 234 men of the Accrington Pals were killed, 131 with no known grave and 350 were wounded, out of a total strength of 720.

A very good book is available, Accrington Pals, by William Turner, ISBN 0-85052-36-5.

There is also an excellent website by Andrew Jackson, who also has a fine Peninsular War website.