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Lasting tribute to war heroes

Preparing to mark the centenary of soldiers setting off from Lytham two days after the outbreak of the First World War with a blue plaque on the site of the former Drill Hall at Henry Street,. From left: author Andrew Norris; history project co-ordinator James Hatfield; Alan Dagger, whose grandfather was involved; Marion Coupe, chairman of Lytham St Annes Civic Society; Ed Nash, president of Fylde Veterans and Christine Irvine, manager of The Homestead sheltered accommodation which now occupies the site

Preparing to mark the centenary of soldiers setting off from Lytham two days after the outbreak of the First World War with a blue plaque on the site of the former Drill Hall at Henry Street,. From left: author Andrew Norris; history project co-ordinator James Hatfield; Alan Dagger, whose grandfather was involved; Marion Coupe, chairman of Lytham St Annes Civic Society; Ed Nash, president of Fylde Veterans and Christine Irvine, manager of The Homestead sheltered accommodation which now occupies the site

Lasting tribute will be paid to a group of Lytham war heroes as the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War is commemorated later this summer.

A blue plaque in memory of 130 Territorial soldiers from the town will be unveiled on August 6 – 100 years to the day after they marched to war within 48 hours of the conflict being declared.

The soldiers, members of E Company, the Lytham Territorials, 4th Battallion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, were at summer camp in 
Kirkby Lonsdale when war was declared on August 4 and were one of the first companies in Britain to set off to war.

The men, mostly from Lytham, hastily returned to town from where they marched to Preston railway 
station and then to an army camp in Swindon. From there they left for Flanders, where they took part in the Battle of Festubert in the summer of 1915. Fourteen members of the company were killed in that battle.

The blue plaque, provided by Lytham St Annes Civic 
Society, will be placed in Henry Street. At the time it was the location of the company’s Drill Hall and is now the site of The Homestead retirement flats.

It will be unveiled on the wall of The Homestead at 9.15am on the centenary of the company’s marching to war by Fylde mayor Coun Kevin Eastham, accompanied by military, civic and Civic Society representatives.

Coun Ed Nash, the current town mayor of St Annes who is also president of Fylde Veterans, Fylde Council Armed Forces member and Community Covenant Leader, will be among those at the ceremony and said: “This is an important part of the history of Fylde. These departures for the front were soon seen in many towns, but I suspect that Lytham’s was one of the first.

“I hope that many people will come along to see the 
unveiling of such an important plaque.”

 

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