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British Transport Police join dignitaries to pay their respects to the fallen at Preston railway station

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Preston Pals

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The last major service to commemorate the Preston Pals at Preston railway station will take place on Monday 23 July.
Officers from British Transport Police will be among those laying wreaths at the memorial to the Preston Pals of ‘D’ Company of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment at the station.
Dignitaries including the Lord Shuttleworth KG KCVO, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Lancashire, the Mayor of Preston, representatives of the military, the local Veterans Association, Virgin Trains, who manage the station, and an Army Cadet from Rossall School will all place wreaths to remember the fallen. Around 200 people are expected to attend Monday’s event to pay their respects.

The service will be held on Monday 23 July from 10.30 am, remembering the day in 1916 that most of the company were killed or wounded in the battle of Bazentin-le-Petit on the Somme, when it is believed around 70 per cent of the 250 from the regiment were killed.

Acting Chief inspector Neil Hubbs said: ‘It is an honour to remember those from the Preston Pals who served and lost their lives in the Great War and is especially significant for ourselves, as part of the railway family, as the memorial is at the station, given it was the last piece of home that many ever saw.
“We will join together to remember their service and sacrifice.” 

Andrew Mather, Chairman of the Preston Pals War Memorial Trust, said: ‘If it had not been for Rita Finley’s letter to the Lancashire Evening Post in 2008 asking why there was no Memorial to the Preston Pals, there would not have been the Memorial we see on Preston Station today. This was made possible by funds raised through public subscription from the people of Preston, with major sponsorship from companies and individuals in and around Preston. I thank everyone involved in the whole project over the past decade, but in particular I salute the Preston Pals, whose memory will now live on through their Memorial on Preston station’.

The Memorial was erected in 2012 at the station as this was the last place most of the Pals saw as they left their loved ones behind and set off to serve in the Great War.
The company was formed in 1914 after the Secretary of State for War Earl Kitchener called for a volunteer army. The idea was to encourage groups of friends or ‘Pals’ to sign up and go to war together.

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