The quick shuffling of feet at Preston railway station will come to a quiet stop next week as the station remembers the city’s wartime fallen.
Taking place on Monday, a service to commemorate the 250-strong 7th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, known as the Preston Pals, will take place in the station, which was a gateway for soldiers leaving the city to go to the front line in the First World War.
The Lord-Lieutenant of Lancashire, Mayor of Preston Coun Trevor Hart, the local Veterans Association, and an Army Cadet from Rossall School are all set to lay wreaths to remember those from the city that died during the war.
Andrew Mather, Chairman of the Preston Pals War Memorial Trust, said: “If it had not been for Rita Finley’s letter to the Lancashire Evening Post in 2008 asking why there was no memorial to the Preston Pals, there would not have been the memorial we see on Preston Station today.”
The service is taking place on Monday, July 23, the date in 1916 that 70 per cent of the company were killed or wounded in the battle of Bazentin-le-Petit on the Somme.
Andrew added: “I thank everyone involved in the whole project over the past decade, but in particular I salute the Preston Pals, whose memory will now live on through their Memorial on Preston station.”
Around 200 people are expected to pay their respects at the service at 10:30am.
Officers from British Transport Police are also set to attend.
Acting Chief inspector Neil Hubbs said: ‘It is an honour to remember those from the Preston Pals who served and lost their lives in the Great War and is especially significant for ourselves, as part of the railway family, as the memorial is at the station, given it was the last piece of home that many ever saw.”