Accrington Pals Trail by William Turner

By William Turner

Follow the footsteps of the friends of their trip from Lancashire to their education camps in England and Wales and to the villages and battlefields of France. A complete account, with maps and photographs, of a buddies Battalion's carrier during the battle.

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Taylor is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, whilst Pte. Watson is buried in Euston Road Cemetery in grave no. I G 22. Percy Crabtree was born in Padiham, near Burnley, in 1888. He returned to teaching after the war. After several local posts he became headmaster of Lomeshaye School, Nelson. In 1944 he was appointed headmaster of Bradley School, Nelson. He retired in 1948. He had a strong religious faith, working all his life for the Methodist church. He was a life-long teetotaller. He was an enthusiastic local historian, photographer and artist in water-colour.

There was a bench and a cabinet for dangerous drugs. Bottles of other drugs, boxes of ointment and powders occupied shelves which covered every spare inch of the walls. Dr. ’ ‘In response, a miner walked in, took a chair, stripped a bandage from his hand and popped his hand into the bowl. After a few minutes of soaking Dr. Hodges showed me a most ghastly mess and renewed the dressing very quickly. As the man walked away, Dr. Hodges looked me in the eye and said “You can manage that”. I was paralysed but managed to nod my head.

The training for this was in addition to normal duties, so for a short time Fred had three jobs – batman, runner and bomber. On 24 September the Battalion moved south to Salisbury Plain. Q. Fred also decided that when the time came to go abroad he would finish being a batman. He saw his future as a bomber and nothing else. He enjoyed the company of his fellow-bombers and he was, in his own words, “Fighting fit and ready for anything”. Divisional training started on Salisbury Plain. The weather turned foul.

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