Rallying cry to find former Lancashire soldiers for special celebration

Former members of the Queens Lancashire Regiments carry a regimental time capsule, on foot, 130 miles from the QLRs traditional home in Fulwood Barracks, Preston to the National Arboretum, Alrewas, Staffordshire. They arrived on September 13, 2019, the anniversary of the Battle of Quebec, one of the regiments principal battle honours. Pictured, front left Colin Gifford; front right Steve Tranter; rear left Annette Lowton; rear right Nicola Partington; rear Dave Freeman
Former members of the Queens Lancashire Regiments carry a regimental time capsule, on foot, 130 miles from the QLRs traditional home in Fulwood Barracks, Preston to the National Arboretum, Alrewas, Staffordshire. They arrived on September 13, 2019, the anniversary of the Battle of Quebec, one of the regiments principal battle honours. Pictured, front left Colin Gifford; front right Steve Tranter; rear left Annette Lowton; rear right Nicola Partington; rear Dave Freeman

Ex-soldiers who served in the old Queen’s Lancashire Regiment are being sought so that they can attend the biggest event since the regiment was amalgamated into today’s Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment in 2006.

Over the past four years, a monumental fundraising effort has seen former members raise an incredible £160,000 to build a permanent memorial to the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment at the National Memorial Arboretum.

Queen's Lancashire Regiment's time capsule, containing regimental artefacts, records and memorabilia placed in the ground at the site of the new memorial on Quebec Day, September 13, 2019. The anniversary of the Battle of Quebec in 1759 was celebrated as a Regimental Day throughout the 36-year history of the Queens Lancashire Regiment.

Queen's Lancashire Regiment's time capsule, containing regimental artefacts, records and memorabilia placed in the ground at the site of the new memorial on Quebec Day, September 13, 2019. The anniversary of the Battle of Quebec in 1759 was celebrated as a Regimental Day throughout the 36-year history of the Queens Lancashire Regiment.

The group reached its target this year and, fittingly, the memorial will be unveiled on March 25 – exactly 50 years since the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment was first formed.

More than 500 veterans, serving soldiers and their families are already booked to attend the event which takes place from noon until 3pm at the National Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire.

But organisers are keen to make contact with as many more former members of the regiment as possible and are encouraging them to attend the unveiling.

Joe Horvath, chairman of the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment Veterans Charity, said: “Raising these funds has been an incredible achievement and we have to thank everybody who contributed. It is extremely fitting that the memorial, a unique testimonial honouring Lancashire’s armed forces, will be unveiled exactly 50 years since the regiment was founded.

“This will be a long – term memorial to 50 years of Lancastrian soldiering and the wider history of the antecedent regiments. We would love to see as many people there as possible and will do all we can to help people attend.”

The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment was an infantry regiment of the British Army formed on March 25, 1970. It combined the two Lancashire Infantry Regiments, the Lancashire Regiment, formed in 1958, and the Loyal Regiment, established in 1881.

In its 36-year history it served in multiple operations in Northern Ireland between 1970 and 2001, as well as the Falkland Islands in the aftermath of the 1982 war, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2006 the regiment merged with the King’s Regiment and the King’s Own Royal Border Regiment into the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.

The National Memorial Arboretum is the UK’s year-round centre of Remembrance; a spiritually uplifting place which honours the fallen, recognises service and sacrifice, and fosters pride in our country.

The Arboretum is part of The Royal British Legion family of charities. It employs 50 staff and has more than 200 volunteers.

More than 200 special events are held annually. The Act of Remembrance, including a silence, is observed daily in the Millennium Chapel.

The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment memorial fundraising group has organised coaches to help transport people to the event. The unveiling will be followed by a lunch at the Arboretum which will see many old friends and colleagues reunited.

The ceremony takes place at noon on Wednesday, March 25. Entrance is free but tickets are required for security reasons.

Tickets can be applied for at www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/queens-lancashire-regiment-memorial-event-registration-88491044095?aff=eand