Tommies to feature at East Lancashire Concert Band performance in Preston

The East Lancs Battalion band in 1917
The East Lancs Battalion band in 1917
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A band which led the first parade of a newly formed Battalion as the First World War broke out will perform a tribute concert.

The East Lancashire Concert Band, descended from the Accrington Old Band which formed in 1842, will play at an evening in Preston.

ELCB at an Armed Forces concert

ELCB at an Armed Forces concert

In 1914 it was the Accrington Old Band that led the first parade of the 11th Service Battalion.

To honour this, the East Lancs band played a concert in Accrington Town Hall in 2014.

And a final tribute concert is now set to take place at the Guild Hall in Preston on Saturday, November 10.

A spokesman said: “Reputedly all but one of the original East Lancs Battalion band were killed while acting as stretcher bearers.

“We want to remember not only those who fought and died for our tomorrow but those who died in support roles, the band will be joined at this concert by a There But Not There Tommie.

“Each of the Tommies represents someone who was killed in the First World War.

“They don’t have individual names, you can use each one to represent one of your relatives who lost their lives.”

While one Tommie will sit onstage alongside band members at the concert another will sit as guest of honour with the audience in the front row.

The spokesman added: “During the interval, anyone wanting to sit next to our guest of honour could have their photo taken ‘with their relative’ - a poignant moment indeed.”