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Accrington Pals Trail by William Turner

By William Turner

Follow the footsteps of the associates of their trip from Lancashire to their education camps in England and Wales and to the villages and battlefields of France. A finished account, with maps and images, of a friends Battalion's carrier during the battle.

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One can add to these, of course, the ‘Accrington Pals’. It must be said however, that the name is something of a misnomer. Although the Pals were formed in Accrington by the Mayor of Accrington, only one of the four original companies (250 men each) was of men originally from Accrington. A second, the ‘District’, was of men from the surrounding townships, the third from Chorley (with a Blackburn Detachment of fifty men), and the fourth from Burnley. Workers at Martholme Colliery, Great Harwood.

On 30 July the Battalion left Rugeley for a recruiting visit to the home towns of Accrington, Blackburn, Burnley and Chorley. All went on a welcome leave. After four days they entrained for Ripon, north Yorkshire. Ripon was now transformed from a quiet market town to a vast military camp with some 30,000 troops in the area. ’s, cooks, sanitary men, batmen, et al, completed his musketry course. The complete firing course, on ranges with targets at one hundred yards to six hundred yards, took four weeks.

He sent me straight to the Medical Officer [Captain ‘Jack’ Roberts RAMC] at the Regimental Aid Post (in Railway Hollow). O. into giving me a drop of rum, but all I got was “Rum? You can’t have any rum, but here’s a tetanus injection!. ‘I wasn’t badly hurt. Just bits of shrapnel. After about four nights in hospital in France, I came to England. When I eventually got back to the Battalion I found that Sergeant Ingham had died from his wounds. ”‘ Sgt. Ben Ingham 15368 of Burnley, is buried in Euston Road Cemetery, Colincamps, Grave number ID 9.

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