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Accrington pays tribute to its fallen heroes

A Lancashire town came to a standstill today as thousands turned out to remember the legendary Accrington Pals.

On the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme in World War 1, when the Pals' suffered huge losses, the streets were packed as the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment marched through the town in memory of the Pals.

And in true Lancastrian fashion it wasn't a sombre affair as Paul Crone reports.

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Gallery: Accrington honours its heroes of the Armed Forces

Service as Accrington honours soldiers past and present. Credit: Paul Crone/ITV News
Crowds gather ahead of the parade. Credit: Paul Crone/ITV News
Hundreds have gathered for today's events. Credit: Paul Crone/ITV News
1 Lancs parade through Accrington. Credit: Paul Crone/ITV News
Duke of Lancaster's marching band. Credit: Paul Crone/ITV News

Soldiers parade in honour of Accrington Pals

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion Duke of Lancaster's Regiment will march through Accrington today.

The regiment, known as the lions of England, will pay tribute to the Pals - who suffered significant losses on this day in 1916, at the start of the Battle of the Somme.

It's also eight years today that the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment was formed.

The history of The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment importantly includes the Accrington Pals so it is fitting that they have chosen this the centenary year of the outbreak of the first World War to exercise the Freedom of the Borough.

"The Regiment already has the Freedom of the Borough of Hyndburn and we want to demonstrate our pride and thanks to our soldiers who risk their lives both at home and abroad to serve our country.

"The parade will give the people of Hyndburn the opportunity to show their appreciation on behalf of the Borough for their gallant and courageous service."

– Leader of the Council, Cllr Miles Parkinson

It is a tremendous honour for the Regiment and its soldiers to exercise the Freedom of Hyndburn, and it is fitting that we will do so in the home town of the Accrington Pals on the anniversary of their great sacrifice.

"Parades such as this give us an opportunity to publicly express our gratitude to the communities our soldiers come from."

– Colonel Chris Owen, of The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment

The annual Accrington Pals Memorial service at the Pals Memorial on Church St Accrington will also take place on July 1 at 11.30am.

The time of the march and the parade route are available on the Council's website.

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Smith brothers bring Christmas cheer to troops

Smith brothers were amongst North West boxers who visited Weeton Barracks Credit: ITV
Serving up Christmas dinner to troops Credit: ITV

Liverpool boxing stars the Smith brothers were amongst a group of North West boxers who have helped bring some festive cheer to local troops.

Liam, Stephen, Paul and Callum helped serve up Christmas dinner to soldiers from 2nd Battalion the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment at Weeton Barracks near Blackpool. The regiment has a strong tradition of boxing.

Christmas lunch at Weeton Barracks Credit: ITV

Duke of Lancaster's soldiers parade in Burnley

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster Credit: ITV Granada

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment will parade through Burnley today to celebrate their return from Afghanistan.

4 hundred and 30 soldiers from the battalion arrived back from Helmand Province last month.

Colonel Chris Owen, Regimental Secretary of The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, said:

"As the Infantry Regiment of the North West of England we are immensely proud of the longstanding, close bonds we have with the region's communities.

We are particularly honoured that the 1st Battalion, on its return from Afghanistan, is able to parade through Burnley and say thank you for the tremendous support it received from the town whilst it was away."

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