Have the Preston Pals had their last major commemorative ceremony in the city?

This week's commemoration of the Preston Pals is expected to be the last major service held in memory of the battalion.

Flag bearers at the ceremony
Flag bearers at the ceremony

Andrew Mather, Chairman of the Preston Pals War Memorial Trust, confirmed that the service at Preston railway station on Monday (July 23) – which marks a century since the Great War ended – is the last of three to honour those from the city who fell during the First World War.

It follows the unveiling of the Preston Pals memorial in the station in 2012 and a service in 2016 to mark 100 years since the Battle of the Somme.

The year also marks the end of Mr Mather’s 10 years as Trust chairman, something he said has been “worth every minute”.

Flag bearers at the ceremony

“There will be similar events I am sure but I am standing down as chairman within the next three to four months,” the 80-year-old explained.

Going forward a Trustee will represent the Pals on the annual Remembrance Day service next to the war memorial on the Flag Market.

At Monday's service six wreathes were laid by The Lord Shuttleworth, Preston Mayor Trevor Hart, Colonel Nick Medway, British Transport Police Inspector Neil Hubbs, Andy Clare of Virgin Trains, and Sgt Aryton Mills from Rossall School.

“They all played a very special part in the day,” Andrew added.

A traditional brass band took part in the ceremony

The service concluded with The Last Post and two minutes silence, both of which were well respected.

The crowd
One serviceman saluting his fallen comrades