|How did you become interested in the Accrington Pals?
Born and raised in Accrington, I inherited my love of history and interest in the Pals from my dad, Maurice. We were fortunate to make our first trip to Serre in 1972 in the company of Harry Bloor, an Accrington Pal who had been wounded there on 1st July 1916.
Left: The author - Andrew Jackson
My own research into the Pals' history dates from 1980 or thereabouts when I first studied the battalion war diary at the Public Record Office in Kew (now the National Archives). I still remember the thrill in coming across the handwritten notes made by Arthur Rickman, the Pals' commanding officer, on 1st July 1916; the notes have been well publicized since then but at the time it seemed as if they could have lain there unseen for more than 50 years.
How did the website begin?
I had long wanted to write about the Accrington Pals when the development of the web gave me the chance to make use of my research to present the Pals' story in a different way that would complement what was already available in print (notably the fine books authored by William Turner). The first page was uploaded in 1997. That the site has now grown to more than 200 pages owes much to the generosity of people across the world who have given information, photographs and other material.
My grandad was in the Accrington Pals. Why isn't his name on the site?
So far, I've attempted to list only those officers and men who served with the Pals on or before 1st July 1916. A more complete list can be found in William Turner's book, "Accrington Pals". Do bear in mind though that most men from Accrington and district who served in the First World War did so with units other than the Accrington Pals. Try looking also at the Greater Accrington Roll of Honour and the Accrington 1918 Absent Voters List.
How can I find out about my grandad's WW1 army service?
I'll always try to help but please read through my research guide before contacting me with a question. I visit the National Archives every few months, and normally I'm glad to look up the service records of Accrington Pals at no charge.
Why did men volunteer to enlist in the Accrington Pals?
You can expect to find some answers here.
Where can I find photographs of the Accrington Pals?
Photographs are scattered throughout the site, but you will find a good selection in the Gallery.
Where can I find some personal accounts from the Battle of the Somme?
There's a page devoted to personal accounts of the battle, but try also the pages on Ernest Ashwell, Harry Bloor, Otto Lais, Will Marshall, Hubert Rees and Arthur Rickman.
I have to do a project on the Accrington Pals. Send me all the information you have!
Sometimes I'm lost for words....
© Andrew C Jackson 2003