Accrington Pals historian Bill will be honoured

Bill Turner talking to pupils about the history of the Accrington Pals.

Ruth Turner with a banner of the Pals in the town centre

First published in News Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Hyndburn reporter

LATE Accrington Pals historian Bill Turner will be honoured with two commemorative plaques, it has been announced.

They will be placed in Accrington Reference Library, and in the town hall, by the Accrington Pals Centenary Commemorations Group.

He has been called deserving of the accolade by local leaders because of his work researching the Pals and its soldiers’ backgrounds.

Hyndburn mayor Judith Addison joined Mr Turner’s widow Ruth last month to unveil a huge remembrance banner, on the Broadway office buildings in Accrington.

She said: “The plaques should certainly be installed because Bill Turner, more than anybody else, has done research into the Accrington Pals.

“He died relatively young, and whilst he did a tremendous amount of work he would have done more if he had lived longer. I really think Bill deserves this recognition and I hope it’s while I’m still mayor because I only have ten weeks left in office.”

Historian Walter Holmes worked with Mr Turner extensively, and carried on researching the Pals after his death in 2007. Mr Holmes said: “It’s a good idea. Ruth will be over the moon about it as well. I call on Ruth regularly just to talk about things, and she is happy somebody is still showing an interest in the Accrington Pals.”

The brass plaques are being stored at Hyndburn Council’s office building in Accrington, and will be installed at future ceremonies, chair of the Pals commemorative group, council leader Miles Parkinson said.

He said: “Bill Turner has helped to keep the memory of the Accrington Pals alive, and this is a proper time to recognise that dedication.

“The first plaque will be installed at the library where Bill did his research, and the second in front of the mayoral parlour in the Town Hall.”

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