Accrington Pals (Kindle)
Accrington Pals is being re-released due to popular demand after being out of stock for sometime. The first book to be published in the now highly acclaimed Pals series. The Accrington Pals were the most famous of all the battalions, based upon research in local and national archives, and interviews with the battalion's handful of survivors, their many relations and descendants, it contains a great number of hitherto-unpublished eye-witnessed accounts and photographs. Accrington Pals will appeal to all those interested in the Great War, together with anyone in and around the Accrington area with an interest in family history.
I though this was likely to be a good book when I saw the name of the author. Andrew Jackson has, for many years, operated a website about the Accrington Pals, the 11th (Service) Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment. It is a model of clarity and good research, and unlike many of the other works on this unit covers all of the “pals” story and not just the dreadful day of 1 July 1916. For any aspiring researcher of a unit, a battle or a war memorial, you would profit from looking at Jackson’s work as a standard to be achieved. The book is well written and engaging, taking us from pre-war days and providing non-Lancastrians with a good idea of the area and life there in 1914, through the days of enlistment and training and out into the theatre of war. In a sense, the climax comes early as the Accrington Pals went into action at Serre on the first day of the Somme, and suffered terribly heavy losses. Things were never quite the same again for the battalion but Jackson reveals that the local nature of the battalion remained for much of the war. The experience of the artillery brigade, a howitzer unit, was inevitably different but it too had its tragedies and triumphs and all are covered here. Excellent.The Long Long Trail