Tonight, Her Majesty the Queen keeps vigil at Westminster Abbey to commemorate the eve of the Somme offensive in 1916. This bloodiest of battles involving the British Army witnessed the unparalleled slaughter of men on both sides. It particularly affected East Lancashire, whose Pals battalions had enthusiastically signed up.
Photographed is Accrington Town Hall which became the focal point for the community's grief when it became clear that the Ill-fated Accrington Pals had all but been annihilated.
According to Percy Holmes, a contemporary, "I remember when the news came through to Accrington that the Pals had been wiped out. I don't think there was a street in Accrington and district that didn't have their blinds drawn, and the bell at Christ Church tolled all the day."
One day, at Christ's return, we shall beat our spears into pruning hooks. Until that time, we shall remember them.