Music of First World War heroes lives on

Band of the East Lancashire Regiment reforming after the Battle of the Somme
Band of the East Lancashire Regiment reforming after the Battle of the Somme
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To coincide with the November period of Remembrance, Leyland Band and local historian Stuart Clewlow have worked together to produce a special commemorative brass music CD.

The concept for “Pals on Parade” came during six months of discussions between Leyland Band and Stuart, acting on behalf of the Chorley Pals Memorial Trust.

In July the Trust commissioned the Band who performed an highly emotive concert as part of the centenary commemorations of the Battle of the Somme.

The Battle of the Somme left an unwanted mark on every borough in the land when during the first day alone over 19,000 British men lost their lives.

Nearly three times that number were wounded.

The battle was the culmination of the story of the famous Pals Battalions.

Local historian Stuart Clewlow with Thomas Wyss, conductor of Leyland Band

Local historian Stuart Clewlow with Thomas Wyss, conductor of Leyland Band

Raised in 1914, they were the original band of brothers, who joined up, trained, fought and died together.

The concept was to enforce camaraderie on the battlefield, the reality meant that individual communities would suffer the loss of their sons en masse.

The Pals on Parade concert was held in the Lancastrian Suite of

Chorley Town Hall on Saturday, July 2.

The event was not solely intended as a tribute to the Chorley Pals, nor indeed the story of the Pals Battalions, it was a tribute to mark the centenary of the Somme campaign as a whole and to pay respects to all those who took part in what became the bloodiest of battles.

Stuart said: “It has been a privilege to work with Leyland Band on producing this CD.

“Very early on we realised that this exclusive concert should be recorded for posterity.

“That in itself would serve as a fitting tribute.

“For me the highlight of the recording is ‘Pals March’.

“The music was recovered from the archives of Accrington Library in 2013 and rearranged especially for the Pals on Parade Concert.”

Chris Doran, of Leyland Band, added: “We hope that the recording will be shared and enjoyed for years to come and offer a sense of the emotion and pride felt on the night of the concert.

“We are all very proud of this CD and feel that it offers a well-balanced arrangement of hymns, marches and pieces from the era which was all brought together under the musical direction of our conductor, Thomas Wyss.”

The CD is now available to purchase from Leyland Band for just £10 and they can be contacted via email on leybandpats@btinternet.com and also on the website shop www.leylandband.co.uk.

Pre orders are being dispatched in the next few days.