|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 publicised 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 books authored by William Turner). The first page was uploaded in 1997. That the site has now grown to reach almost 800 pages owes much to the generosity of people across the world who have given information, photographs and other material.
Have you written a book about the Accrington Pals?
Pen & Sword published my book "Accrington's Pals: The Full Story" in 2013. Including much content that has come to light since the publication of William Turner's books, it tells the story of the Great War as it was experienced by both the Accrington Pals and the Accrington & Burnley Howitzers.
My grandad was in the Accrington Pals. Why isn't his name on the site?
Be sure to check both the Nominal Roll and the more detailed list of those officers and men who served with the battalion on or before 1st July 1916. Do bear in mind however 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.
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. The photographs may only be downloaded for personal use, unless my prior permission has been given.
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.
© Andrew C Jackson 2019