Freedom Parade

9 June 2014

On Tuesday 1st July, one hundred and twenty soldiers from the 1st Battalion of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment will march through Accrington, with drums beating, bands playing, colours flying and bayonets fixed. Leading the regiment will be the Band of The King’s Division, a full thirty two piece marching band.

The 1st July is a key date in the history of The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, as it was on this date in 2006 that the Regiment was formed, following the amalgamation of the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment with the two other North West infantry regiments: The King’s Own Border Regiment and The King’s Regiment.  

The 1st July is also a significant date in relation to the Accrington Pals, whose history is linked to the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment and who are interweaved into the very fabric of Hyndburn’s local history, famously forming as they did a Pals battalion to fight in the First World War, with many men from this area answering Kitchener’s call and joining up.

But on 1st July 1916, on that fateful first day of the Battle of the Somme, they suffered severe losses and over six hundred casualties, leaving the community back home shattered and hardly any family untouched, with so many losing husbands, sons, brothers, uncles, friends and neighbours.

This is the first time that the Regiment, known as The Lions of England, has been able to exercise its right to march in the Borough, after being awarded the Freedom of the Borough of Hyndburn, the Borough’s highest honour.

The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment will march through Accrington on the morning of the 1st July 2014, halting in front of the Town Hall where Hyndburn’s Mayor, with the Colonel of the Regiment, Brigadier PS Rafferty MBE, will be invited to inspect the troops. The Mayor of Hyndburn will be joined by Mayors from across Lancashire to show their appreciation and acknowledge their debt of gratitude to the brave members of the Regiment and to honour the sacrifices made by all members of the British Armed Forces and their families.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Miles Parkinson said; “The history of The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment importantly includes the Accrington Pals so it is fitting that they have chosen this the centenary year of the outbreak of the first World War to exercise the Freedom of the Borough. The Regiment already has the Freedom of the Borough of Hyndburn and we want to demonstrate our pride and thanks to our soldiers who risk their lives both at home and abroad to serve our country. The parade will give the people of Hyndburn the opportunity to show their appreciation on behalf of the Borough for their gallant and courageous service.”

Colonel Chris Owen, of The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment said; “It is a tremendous honour for the Regiment and its soldiers to exercise the Freedom of Hyndburn, and it is fitting that we will do so in the home town of the Accrington Pals on the anniversary of their great sacrifice. Parades such as this give us an opportunity to publicly express our gratitude to the communities our soldiers come from. We very much look forward to July 1 and to thanking the people of Hyndburn for their long-standing and continued support.”

The annual Accrington Pals Memorial service at the Pals Memorial on Church St Accrington will also take place on 1st July at 11.30am and members of the public are welcome to attend this.

The time of the march and the parade route will be available on the Council’s website from 19th June 2014.

The Freedom Parade is part of a programme of activities running from 2014 to 2018 in Hyndburn, to coincide with the programme of national commemorations of the First World War. For more details visit:


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