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Row erupts over Accrington Pals banner
11:22am Tuesday 31st December 2013 in News
A ROW has broken out over a huge Accrington Pals banner planned for the town centre.
Office buildings in Broadway will disappear behind the 7.5m by 65m banner, as part of First World War commemorations over the next four years.
But it has been claimed two pictures featured on the banner show soldiers from Chorley, who would not consider themselves Accrington Pals. Local historian Walter Holmes, who has extensively researched military history, said: “I have identified men in those pictures. I know two groups are from Chorley.”
Mr Holmes said the Accrington Pals, or 11th East Lancashire Regiment, comprised four companies.
A Company was made up of Accrington men, B Company of soldiers from Church, Rishton, Clayton-le- Moors and Great Harwood, while C and D Companies drafted in men from Chorley and Burnley.
Mr Holmes said: “They formed a battalion but never referred to themselves as the Accrington Pals, they referred to themselves as Burnley or Chorley Pals.
“To put pictures on an Accrington building of two groups of men from Chorley will have people from Chorley laughing their socks off.”
But council leader Miles Parkinson, who is also chairman of the Accrington Pals Centenary Commemorations Group, said: “The pictures were brought in by Ruth Turner, the widow of Accrington Pals historian Bill Turner, so the pictures are of the Pals.
“We are commemorating the First World War and the focal point is the Accrington Pals, which is where individuals came from, as well as from towns around.
“People are saying some of the people are not from Accrington, but it’s a picture of the battalion. Individuals may have come from Chorley but the picture is from Bill's collection.”
Coun Parkinson said he hoped the banner would be installed in February.
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