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Summary

  1. A two-minute silence is held to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme
  2. Services to remember the Accrington Pals take place in northern France and in Lancashire
  3. The Pals suffered heavy losses and thousands of Lancashire men were killed or wounded
  4. Will Young's Symphony at the Tower concert at Hoghton Tower cancelled due to flooding

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All times stated are UK

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The Somme: Our live coverage across the day

Live updates from a special day of events marking the centenary of the start of the Battle of the Somme have finished.

Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme
Getty Images

We'll be back from 08:00 on Monday with the latest news, sport, weather and travel from across the county. 

You can contact us via Facebook or Twitter.

The Somme: Their final resting place

The Somme: A hero's legacy lives on

Sophie Fitzpatrick from Ormskirk has been researching her Great Great Uncle, Oliver Gregory, after recently discovering he fought in World War One.

Somme - Sophie Fitzpatrick

He died aged 20 after being hit by German machine gun fire.However, his legacy remains after the recent christening of a baby in Sophie's family - Oliver Gregory.

The Somme: From cabinet maker to the front line

Bill Hoyle's father, William, moved to Blackburn from the Isle of Man when he was a child and started an apprenticeship as a cabinet maker before joining up.

Somme - Bill Hoyle

Here Bill proudly shows off the medals his dad won during the Great War.  

The Somme: Stories told a century on

Share your memories of loved ones who fought during World War One.

Memories from World War One
BBC

Contact us via Facebook or Twitter.

The Somme: The soldiers who fought

Over an eleven-and-a-half mile long section of the front, 18 divisions of the British Army prepared for battle. For the most part, they were young volunteers from every corner of the Empire, with little experience of combat.

Somme front line
Getty Images

Many of the soldiers had volunteered and been trained in the months before the battle. However they had not experienced combat first hand.

List all regiments involved in first day of the Somme

By 4am on 1 July 1916, the majority of the British soldiers massed in the trenches ready for battle. Today, we will tell some of their stories. 

The Somme: Memorial service to take place at Accrington railway station

A memorial service has taken place at Accrington railway station this afternoon to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.

Accrington station
BBC

The Accrington Pals, who suffered heavy casualties on this day a hundred years ago, left the town together from the station.

Rev. Dr Richard Cook, who is the railway chaplain for the north west, conducted the service.

Latest headlines from Lancashire

  • Ceremonies have taken place in France at the location where servicemen from Lancashire fought on the first day of the Battle of the Somme
  • A two-minute silence marked the precise time British, Commonwealth and French soldiers went "over the top" 
  • A wreath to remember the infamous Accrington Pals was laid by the Mayor of Hyndburn, Judith Addison 

Your Somme: Sign up with this interactive guide

Discover the excitement, determination and commitment of those who signed up to the Pals batallions in World War One.

Join up with the BBC's interactive guide to the Battle of the Somme.

Lancashire servicemen
BBC

Weather: Cool and breezy this weekend

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

It will be cool this weekend with sunny spells and showers.

BBC Weather forecast for the North West

The Somme: British casualties in the first hour

Sixty thousand British soldiers were deployed in the first hour of the attack.

Battle of the Somme
BBC

The initial assault was a disaster. The British made some gains but suffered 30,000 casualties, with 19,240 men killed on the first day.    

Read more on BBC iWonder: Somme - 141 days of horror

The Somme: 31 Chorley Pals were killed on the first day of action

The Chorley Pals, like their fellow men from towns around Lancashire, suffered heavy losses in World War One.

Chorley Pals
Brian Fisher

When hostilities broke out in early August 1914, Captain James Milton from Chorley took steps to form a Pals battalion in Chorley and district.

A total of 222 Chorley Pals served in World War One, with 31 killed on the first day of the battle.

The Battle of the Somme: Commemoration in pictures

Events are continuing across Lancashire to commemorate 100 years since the Battle of the Somme.

Battle of the Somme
BBC

A total of 19,240 British soldiers lost their lives on the first day of action and it was the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army.

On the first day of the Battle of the Somme, at least 584 of the 720 troops who took part were killed, wounded or missing.  

At the going down of the sun - BBC Radio Lancashire remembers them.

The Somme: Anatomy of a trench

When we think of soldiers in the trenches, we tend to imagine them under constant enemy fire. 

Trench
BBC

In fact, the trenches were an elaborate network designed to keep men safe. A typical soldier spent only 15% of his time in the firing line.  

BBC iWonder: How did so many soldiers survive the trenches?

Dozens of events commemorate centenary of Battle of the Somme

Lancashire Telegraph

Lancashire Telegraph

Sombre reflection tinged with hope for the future will be the theme of dozens of events taking place in East Lancashire this weekend to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

Cricket: Lancashire's Ecclestone receives England call-up

BBC Sport

England women have named 17-year-old Lancashire left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone in the squad for the three-match Twenty20 series against Pakistan.

Sophie Ecclestone
ECB

England coach Mark Robinson said: "Sophie brings youth, vitality and another left-arm spin option."

Football: Man City's Byrne relishing Blackburn loan move

Andy Bayes

Reporter, BBC Radio Lancashire

Blackburn Rovers' new loan signing Jack Byrne believes his loan move from Manchester City will benefit his long-term career aspirations.

Jack Byrne
Getty Images

The Republic of Ireland Under-21 international said: "I'm at Blackburn because I'm trying to make a career for myself.

"Not everybody's going to play for Manchester City and there's no shame in that, but I want to give myself the best opportunity."

Blackburn town centre to undergo major restoration project

We'll continue with Somme anniversary coverage shortly, but first let's bring you up to date with other stories from across Lancashire this lunchtime.

A major restoration project has been given the go-ahead in Blackburn.

King George's Hall
Google

The Townscape Heritage scheme, in conjunction with students from Blackburn College, includes restoring and refurbishing up to 25 historic buildings, at a cost of about £3m.

It will focus on the Northgate Conservation area, King George's Hall and nearby properties.

The architectural work will run over the next five years.

The Somme: King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment suffered heavy first-day losses

This Quartermaster's Diary shows the heavy losses suffered by the King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

Quartermaster's Diary shows the heavy losses

The day before the fighting began there were 906 men.

Twenty-four hours later, only 519 remained.

The Somme: Chelsea Pensioner remembers the last Preston Pal with personal pride

Tim Padfield

Assistant editor, BBC Radio Lancashire

Steve Allen, Preston's only Chelsea Pensioner, has fond and personal memories of the Preston Pals.

His uncle Jim was the last surviving member of the band of men who fought with distinction.

The Preston Pals fought on the Somme as part of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.  

Latest headlines for Lancashire

  • Commemorations for the Battle of the Somme have taken place across Lancashire and in France
  • A Poulton man suffers serious injuries after being run over by his own truck
  • Two of the three Symphony at the Tower events at Hoghton Tower are cancelled due to bad weather

The Somme: Grandson of Accrington Pal praises 'uplifting' commemoration

A relative of one of the Accrington Pals has described being in the town for the commemoration service as "uplifting".

Jeremy Harvard
BBC

Jeremy Harvard is from South Africa but now lives in Australia.

He is the grandson of Sergeant George Haynes who signed up in 1914.

“It’s been well worth the journey," said Mr Harvard. "It’s been very uplifting being here in Accrington.”

The Somme: 'I'm here to be close to him' - an Accrington Pal remembered

A commemoration has taken place at the location in northern France where the Accrington Pals went "over the top" exactly 100 years ago.

View more on twitter

Jane Clarke is there to remember her great-grandfather William Henry Parkinson.

"It's like the last piece of the jigsaw to be near him," she said.

"We've seen what those lads must've gone through and I don't think anyone could imagine what it was like."

Grandson of Accrington soldier honours the fallen

Heavy rain blights Lancashire musical event

Two of the three concerts of the weekend's Symphony at the Tower event in Lancashire have been cancelled.

Hoghton Tower
Hoghton Tower

The organiser, Cuffe and Taylor, released a statement saying Will Young's concert and the Symphony Spectacular at Hoghton Tower have been called off because of the weather.

It added: "Joe Bonamassa’s concert will go ahead on Saturday July 2 but will now be moved to Preston Guild Hall due to the Hoghton Tower arena site being unsafe."   

Anyone who bought tickets for the event will receive an automatic refund.

Hoghton Tower
BBC

Weather: Dry at first with blustery showers developing

BBC Weather

A mostly dry, bright and breezy start for many with sunny spells.

Weather forecast
BBC

Through this afternoon, blustery showers will develop and spread in from the west, turning heavy in places with the risk of hail and thunder. Feeling cool.  

More from BBC Weather 

Somme service in France 'hard to take in'

A councillor who led a service in France for fallen soldiers in the Battle of the Somme said it was "hard to take in".

Hyndburn delegation
BBC

Hyndburn councillor Judith Addison said: "To be here on the actual centenary and to think those young men from our local community came over the top, it's so hard to take in."

Services to remember the Accrington Pals have taken place this morning in France and in the town.

Latest headlines from Lancashire

  • Commemorations are being held to mark 100 years since the start of the Battle of the Somme
  • Services to remember the Accrington Pals takes place in France and Accrington
  • Two of the three concerts of the weekend's Symphony at the Tower event at Hoghton Tower are cancelled

Why are the Accrington Pals famous?

Rumeana Jahangir

Reporter, BBC News Online

Among the battalions of British volunteers who fought at the Battle of the Somme, one name often attracts greater attention - the Accrington Pals. But why are they so well known?

Lancashire soldiers
Hulton Archive

Following a rallying cry by War Secretary Lord Kitchener, battalions were formed across the country, including in the east Lancashire town of Accrington where about 1,000 men signed up.  

"It's gone down as being the smallest town or borough in Britain to raise a complete battalion," explains local historian Andrew Jackson.

A reference to the Accrington Pals in Martin Middlebrook's historical account The First Day on the Somme caught the eye of the late dramatist Peter Whelan, who was then inspired to write a play about the battalion that debuted in 1981.

Commemoration service in Accrington

A commemoration service for 100th anniversary of Battle of the Somme was held in Accrington.

Watch it here

Accrington Pals Memorial
BBC

'Proud to serve his country' - a daughter's memory

Thomas Henry Lawless was one of those who fought at the Somme with the 1st East Lancashire Regiment.

Somme - Joyce Holgate

His daughter, Ribble Valley Mayor Joyce Holgate, is commemorating the infamous battle by choosing the Royal British Legion as one of her chosen charities during her mayoral year.    

Listen: A Tommy's story

Will Marshall from Burnley, the last survivor of the Accrington Pals, gave a vivid account of going over the top at the Battle of the Somme. 

Pte Will Marshall on "going over the top" at the Somme

His memories were recorded in an interview for the North West Sound Archive.

Will died in 1995, one month short of his 102nd birthday.

The Somme: Learning about the battle on the front line

Graham Liver

Presenter, BBC North West Tonight

One youngster from Accrington with BBC Radio Lancashire's Graham Liver.

Somme
BBC

Latest headlines: Commemorating the Battle of the Somme

This morning's top stories:

  • Events are taking place across the UK and in northern France to mark 100 years since the start of the Battle of the Somme
  • A service has been held in France to remember the sacrifice of the Accrington Pals who suffered heavy losses in the first hour of battle
  • A two minute silence marked the moment when the British and Allied offensive began

The Somme: Accrington Stanley FC's tribute to 'brave lads'

Ceremonies to remember the Pals who died on the Somme

Tim Padfield

Assistant editor, BBC Radio Lancashire

The people of Lancashire have paid tribute to the Accrington Pals who died on the Somme.

Accrington Pals Memorial
BBC
commemoration service from Accrington for 100th anniversary of Battle of the Somme I
BBC

A service in France was led by lay reader Judith Addison to mark the 100th anniversary of Battle of the Somme. 

And a commemoration service has been held in Accrington to remember the thousands of Pals from the town who lost their lives in northern France.

Ceremonies are being held all over the county.

The Somme: 'I've got tears in my eyes' for the Accrington Pals

One man has travelled thousands of miles to pay his own tribute to the servicemen who fought in the Battle of the Somme.

Lancashire Fusiliers
Getty Images

Accrington-born Peter Greenhalgh now lives in Marine del Rey in California.

"I've got tears in my eyes for those poor men that died here," he said.

"My father and grandfather told me a lot of stories about the Accrington Pals and about the people who were killed here."

The Somme: 141 days of horror

The battle, which commenced on 1 July 1916, lasted a total of 141 days.

Battle of the Somme
PA
  • On the first day of the battle, the British death toll was 19,240 
  • Despite heavy British losses, Douglas Haig, the British general, agreed to continue the attack 
  • Some 70,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers with no known grave are commemorated at Thiepval Memorial  
  • Although largely considered a ground offensive, it was also fought in the air

The Somme: Falling silent to remember the Accrington Pals

Latest headlines: Commemorating the Battle of the Somme

This morning's top stories:

  • Commemorations are under way in France and across Lancashire to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme
  • A two-minute silence will be held in Thiepval in France at 07:28 BST to mark the start of the offensive on 1 July 1916
  • A series of special events will take place across Lancashire, including a civic commemoration to remember the Accrington Pals