The Seventh Clitheroe Brownies were among some of the first in the town to pay their respects at a vigil to mark the centenary of the start of tthe Battle of the Somme this morning.
The Brownies paid their respects at the statue of the Unknown Soldier at Clitheroe Castle before heading off to Manchester for a service and parade in the city centre led by the Bishop of Mamchester and attended by representatives of the Royal household, the Government, military personnel and regimental associations and representatives of the Home Front.
Clitheroe’s vigil was launched at 7-30am by Ribble Valley Mayor Joyce Holgate.
A whistle blew marking the start, just as it did 100 years ago when soldiers went “over the top.”
But instead of going into battle participants will stand on a plinth next to the Unknown Soldier for two minutes as a personal mark of respect. The Unknown Soldier occupies a prominent position overlooking the town, his head bowed in the direction of the Western Front.
Coun. Holgate said: “The Battle of the Somme had a profound impact on Lancashire people and the loss of life was devastating, with 1,000 young men losing their lives from Ribble Valley alone.”
At 7-30 pm this evening, the end of the vigil will be marked with a reading of Lancaster-born Laurence Binyon’s poem “For the Fallen” and the sounding of the Last Post.