New Pals Book Set For July 1 Launch Date

The 1st of July has been chosen by two Chorley based historians and authors to launch a book on the First World War.

Steve Williams and John Garwood with the new "Chorley Pals" book

Steve Williams and John Garwood with the new "Chorley Pals" book

That was the day, 93 years ago, that the Chorley Pals went over the top at the start of the Battle of the Somme – one of the costliest days, in terms of casualties, in the history of the British Army. Steve Williams and John Garwood are both Trustees of the Chorley Pals Memorial and their new book, about their local Pals Company, is part of a fundraiser to pay for the names of the original 223 men to go on the plinth of a statue, scheduled to be unveiled in the town next February.

The book has 160 pages and over 300 photographs and covers the history of the Chorley Pals from their formation in September 1914 right through the Great War. There are eye-witness accounts of the attack on the 1st July 1916, maps, diaries and a complete breakdown of everyman who served in the Company – one of four units who eventually made up the 11th (Service) Battalion (Accrington), the East Lancashire Regiment – known collectively as “The Accrington Pals”.

The launch will take place at Chorley Central Library from 10.30 a.m. on Wednesday, 1st July and the authors will be on hand to sign copies of their book until 1.30 p.m. There will also a small exhibition about the Chorley Pals, which will then be on display in the Community History section in the Library for a week.

The front cover of the new book

The front cover of the new book

Author Steve Williams, who is also Secretary & Co-Founder of the Chorley Pals Memorial says “The new book carries on from the excellent work done by John Garwood, over the years. He first wrote a short history about the Chorley Pals back in 1988, up-dating it in 1992. Since then the Internet has helped with research as well as more information coming from a variety of sources, including families of the original Pals. The interest in the First World War and the Pals has never been so great”.

Lindsay Hoyle, the town’s M.P. and Co-Founder of the Chorley Pals Memorial Appeal says “Steve and John have worked hard on this new book and I ask the people of Chorley to support them and the appeal by buying a copy”.

The authors acknowledge the help from the Community History section at Chorley Library and John Garwood said “We are regular visitors to the Library doing research so it was the logical place to launch to the book”.

Funding has come from the National Lottery ‘Awards for All’, with all the proceeds from the sale of the book going to the appeal.

How To Order

Priced at just £12.95, copies can be purchased on the day in the Library, whilst the book launch and exhibition being free to everyone. After the launch, the book will be on sale from any branch of Chorley Building Society and can also be purchased from Lindsay Hoyle’s Constituency Office at 35 – 39 Market Street in Chorley, direct from the Chorley Pals Memorial by calling 01254 854298 or sending a cheque for £15.95 made payable to “Chorley Pals Memorial Fund” to 42 Smithy Close, Brindle, Chorley, PR6 8NW.