Obituary – Ian (‘Lofty’) Lofthouse: 1966-2023

H&D recently received the sad news that former England First candidate, Ian (‘Lofty’) Lofthouse had died on February 18th at Royal Blackburn Hospital, after a very short illness, aged only 56. 

In 2007 Lofty stood as an EFP candidate in Higher Croft ward in south-east Blackburn, which at the time was a Labour/Liberal Democrat marginal.

He polled 266 votes (15.2%) coming third, and beating the Tory candidate by three votes! 

What will surprise younger readers is that this was not regarded as a particularly good vote – for that time! We had hoped to poll 20% and maybe get a second place. My, how times have changed for nationalist candidates – who would almost bite your hand off for that sort of vote now! 

Ian is on the right, in the red/black Blackburn Rovers (away shirt) – seen here at an England First Christmas party in Blackburn (December 2006), alongside fellow English nationalists Derek Ainsworth (back left – in Burnley shirt) and Ronnie Banks (front left -in Accrington Stanley shirt)

Although not active for many years, Lofty was a regular fixture at most of H&D’s Memorial Meetings (including our most recent one in Preston in September 2022), and at nationalist and loyalist social-events in Blackburn and Preston. 

Both H&D‘s assistant editor Peter Rushton and myself had known Lofty for almost 20 years. He was not “everybody’s cup of tea” I grant you, and in the pub he never volunteered to buy a round! But that was just Lofty for you! 

Lofty was a massive football fan, and for many years followed his beloved Blackburn Rovers, both home and away. In latter years he did not go to Ewood Park very often – the prices scared him off! Instead, he would come along with us to watch non-league football at Chorley FC. 

It’s ironic that in the new issue of H&D magazine the lead story is – “Should nationalists follow and/or support professional sports teams?” – Lofty’s answer would have been a 100% yes. He supported “England” in almost every sport going, not just football, cricket, and rugby, but even athletics, tennis and even swimming! 

It is incredible to think that it was only just over three years ago that we were with him at the funeral of Lofty’s father (Brian Lofthouse), in Pleasington, Blackburn. Which is where his funeral will take shortly. Lofty – we will miss you buddy.

Mark Cotterill
Editor, Heritage and Destiny

Labour, the BNP and UKIP: getting the facts straight

Cllr Trevor Maxfield, Labour convert from the BNP

A pro-UKIP blog – anticipating an “anti-racist” smear campaign at the Heywood & Middleton parliamentary by-election – has decided to get UKIP’s retaliation in first by attacking a North West Labour councillor’s past membership of the BNP.  In doing so, the Nope not Hope blog – whose story was also picked up by the American-based online news magazine – shamelessly plagiarised several stories published on this website as long ago as 2010.

More seriously, the pro-UKIP blog made no fewer than five basic errors: quite an achievement when the (correct) basis of the story is copied from someone else’s work.

Error 1: Trevor Maxfield was never a BNP councillor.  As we wrote in our original article on his defection to Labour, Cllr Maxfield (or ‘Max’ as he is known to his friends, whether in the BNP, Labour or Darwen’s pubs) was a BNP organiser in his home town about a decade ago – but not a BNP councillor.  (In fact the BNP has only ever had one councillor in Blackburn with Darwen: Robin Evans, elected in a Mill Hill ward by-election in 2002.)

Error 2: ‘Max’ was never a member of the England First Party (EFP).  He was on the verge of defecting to the EFP in 2006 after the party’s two council victories, but Darwen politics was then turned upside down by the decision of millionaire (and former Lib Dem) Tony Melia to launch the ‘For Darwen Party’, campaigning for a separate town council.  ‘Max’ became one of For Darwen’s most important organisers, and in 2007 was elected as a borough councillor for Earcroft ward on Blackburn with Darwen council – not for the BNP, but on the For Darwen ticket. He also became a town councillor for Earcroft on the new Darwen Town Council that was created as a consequence of For Darwen’s campaign.

Error 3: The Nope not Hope blog put themselves at grave risk of legal action by falsely stating that ‘Max’ was “described by his predecessor as being one of the ‘drug dealers and football hooligans’ who made up the local branch of the BNP.”  Former BNP councillor Robin Evans did make this statement, but he was not talking about ‘Max’!  He was referring to a group of Blackburn BNP activists led by Andrew Wells, a well-known football hooligan later imprisoned for under age sex offences.

Error 4: While keen to throw as much mud at ‘Max’ as they can, Nope not Hate‘s Ukippers clearly don’t know that their target’s nationalist associations go back a lot further than a decade.  During the late 1980s he was involved with the ‘Flag Group’ faction of the National Front.

Former BNP organiser Trevor Maxfield (now a Labour councillor) appropriately standing far left at the bar during the 2006 Heritage and Destiny Christmas social!

Error 5: The photograph highlighted by Nope not Hate was taken at a Heritage and Destiny social event in Blackburn, not Bradford.  Moreover the blog claims that a “luminary of the far right” called “Dave Smith” was also in the picture.  Presumably they mean the late Dave Brown, whose obituary accompanied the photo.  Dave Smith is another Labour councillor in Darwen: he has no connection with the BNP, Heritage and Destiny or any other nationalist organisation.

So aside from all these basic errors by Nope not Hate, what are the actual facts of ‘Max”s association with the Labour Party?

As we explained in 2010, For Darwen – including ‘Max’ – ended up in a coalition with Conservative and Lib Dem councillors ruling Blackburn with Darwen.  However after a row over council cuts – specifically over the closure of a swimming pool in a white working class area – ‘Max’ and one of his For Darwen colleagues effectively overturned the council leadership in September 2010 by voting with Labour.

‘Max’ himself later defected to Labour and in 2011 was re-elected as a Labour councillor for his ward, as we again reported at the time.

It’s quite obvious why Blackburn Labour Party ignored Max’s political record: he held the balance of power and put them back in control of the council! This really had nothing at all to do with Liz McInnes, as she is a councillor in Rossendale, which although sharing a constituency with Darwen is in a different council. (Rossendale & Darwen is one of those constituencies that cross council boundaries.)

The closest connection between McInnes and Max is that they both gave endorsements to Jack Straw’s son Will in his (successful) campaign to win the Labour parliamentary nomination for Rossendale & Darwen.

In many ways the most bizarre aspect of the story is UKIP’s pious pretence of ‘anti-racism’, which leads them to attempt a futile ban on ex-BNP members – even though a prominent UKIP activist in Scotland is a former member of the ultra-hardline American national socialist movement National Alliance!

The truth is that UKIP has many ‘racist’ members and officials, but their ‘racism’ is of a petty, reactionary kind.  Essentially UKIP is a neo-Thatcherite party, most of whose policies and attitudes are symptoms of (not cures for) our national problems.


Ten Labour councillors (including a former BNP organiser) from Britain’s most racially divided borough – Blackburn with Darwen –  have been cleared by a major standards inquiry of malpractice over the controversial approval of proposals for a Muslim prayer room in Beardwood.

The 11-month probe by an independent investigator exonerated all of them, including planning committee chairman Jim Smith, “of conduct bringing the councillor or council into disrepute”. Smith a hard-line left-winger represents Mill Hill ward, which was once won by the BNP in a by-election in 2002.
Beardwood was once a well sought after place to live in Blackburn by the white middle class, but over recent years has become more and more enriched. The Conservatives hold all three local ward (Beardwood with Lammack) seats which include local Tory leader Michael J. Lee.
However one-third of the ward’s population (according to the 2011 Census) is now Asian.  Though 62.6% of the ward remains White, the electoral writing is on the wall for local Tories, especially if Labour is able to mobilise the Muslim vote.
Local government consultant Mike Dudfield said borough Labour leader Kate Hollern’s intervention over the application to transform the car park of the former Beardwood Garden Centre, on Preston New Road, into an Islamic religious centre in 2011 involved nothing “inappropriate”.
Several of the 12 local complainants said the report failed to properly examine their concerns.

Cllr Jim Smith – new hard left ally of former BNP organiser

The permission has since been declared invalid because the council owns a small part of the land, now to be auctioned before the process can be started again.

In December 2011, the plans were recommended for refusal by officers, but councillors voted 10 to five to grant permission creating a storm of complaints from local White people.
Blackburn with Darwen council standards committee launched an investigation and will consider Mr Dudfield’s report next Thursday.
It found no evidence to support allegations the councillors had “predetermined” their decision in a Labour group meeting or wilfully ignored for political reasons the officers’ recommendation to refuse because of fears about parking, traffic and overdevelopment.
The ten councillors involved are Jim Smith, Parvaiz Akhtar, Eileen Entwistle, Brian Taylor, Zamir Khan, Suleman Khonat, Carl Nuttall, Phil Riley, Abdul Rehman and Trevor Maxfield (the former Blackburn BNP organiser).
According to Cllr. Smith, Cllr. Maxfield had a “road to Damascus” type conversion three years ago, when he quit nationalism to join the Labour Party.
Several complainants rejected the conclusions in letters to Mr Dudfield with Barbara Stillman a local Jewish women, claiming “clear evidence of a predetermined decision” and accusing the report of portraying Beardwood residents as “paranoid, delusional and racist”.

Cllr Maxfield with former allies in the For Darwen Party

Mr Dudfield highlighted a legal difference between predisposition and pre-determination and found no evidence Cllr. Hollern or a Labour group meeting made the decision before the planning meeting.

Accepting objectors believed “collusion was taking place”, Mr Dudfield added the majority of the committee getting a decision wrong did not prove any malpractice.

Jack Straw in trouble – again!

Jack StrawBlackburn MP Jack Straw – who served as Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary under Tony Blair, and later as Justice Secretary under Gordon Brown – has been served with legal papers by solicitors acting for Abdel Hakim Belhadj, one of the commanders of the anti-Gaddafi forces that took control of Libya last year.

This follows detailed allegations in the Sunday Times published last weekend (April 15th) suggesting that Straw personally authorised an operation which amounted to a judicial kidnapping, and ended with Mr Belhadj being handed over to Gaddafi’s torturers.  This illegal process known as “rendition” took place in 2004, when Mr Belhadj and his wife were seized by CIA agents in Bangkok and flown to Libya, where they suffered “torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, batteries and assaults.”

Last autumn Straw claimed in a BBC Radio interview:
“The position of successive foreign secretaries, including me, is that we were opposed to unlawful rendition, opposed to torture or similar methods and not only did we not agree with it, we were not complicit in it, nor did we turn a blind eye to it.”

It seems that MI6 were concerned by this denial and feared that they might have to take the rap.  According to a source quoted by the Sunday Times, senior MI6 officers therefore met with Straw within days of the above interview and “reminded him that he had signed off on it.  He was shown evidence and he did accept that he had signed off on the rendition.”

This isn’t the first time that Mr Straw has been at the centre of controversial and perhaps illegal conduct in the senior ranks of a Labour government.  At the very start of his political career in the mid-1970s he was drawn into a plot by then Labour leader Harold Wilson to leak damaging information to the media about then Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe, who Wilson feared might be about to enter a coalition with Conservative prime minister Edward Heath.  Wilson knew that Thorpe was a secret homosexual, and that his unstable ex-lover Norman Scott could ignite a scandal that would destroy him.

Straw’s role was revealed in 2002 by the former Downing Street press secretary Joe Haines in his book Glimmers of Twilight.  Wilson was building up a dossier of evidence against Thorpe which could if necessary be leaked to the press.  Some of the key evidence was in Norman Scott’s national insurance file, and Wilson therefore asked his Social Security minister Barbara Castle to obtain the confidential file from her department.

Castle wasn’t happy about taking part in this dirty tricks operation, so Prime Minister Wilson told her to “get Jack Straw” (then Castle’s special adviser) to do it.  The file was obtained by a civil servant and Jack Straw duly wrote a report on the affair which was passed via Castle to Downing Street.

Within a few years it had all ended in tears, for everybody except Jack Straw.

Jeremy Thorpe was exposed and had to stand trial at the Old Bailey for conspiracy to murder his ex-lover.  He was acquitted but the scandal cost him his seat in Parliament.

Harold Wilson resigned as Prime Minister in 1976, for reasons which have yet to be fully explained.

Barbara Castle was put out to grass by Wilson’s successor Jim Callaghan.  She left Parliament in 1979 to become an MEP, and Jack Straw succeeded her as MP for Blackburn.  He has been in the House of Commons now for more than 33 years.

Nationalist Unity Meeting – Burnley – 10th March 2012

All England First supporters are encouraged to attend the upcoming Nationalist Unity meeting, which is being held in the once nationalist stronghold of Burnley, in East Lancashire, on Saturday March 10th at 1pm.

The meeting is one of a series being organised by the Centre For Democratic Nationalism and the Democratic Nationalists.

Speakers – so far – will include:
Andrew Brons – BNP MEP
Dr. Jim Lewthwaite – Democratic Nationalists
Peter Rushton – England First Party
Richard Edmonds – National Front
Ken Booth – North East Patriots
Chris Jackson – National Front

(left to right) Simon Bennett, election organiser for Burnley BNP in its glory days; Steve Smith, founder of the Burnley BNP branch that won the first ever BNP councillors outside London in 2002; Peter Rushton, election agent for the successful EFP candidates who won seats in Jack Straw's back yard in 2006

(left to right) Simon Bennett, election organiser for Burnley BNP in its glory days; Steven Smith, founder of the Burnley BNP branch that won the first ever BNP councillors outside London in 2002; Peter Rushton, election agent for the successful EFP candidates who won seats in Jack Straw's back yard in 2006

State of the Movement 2011

Nick Griffin struggling to think up excuses as he contemplates election disaster in May 2011.

Nick Griffin struggling to think up excuses as he contemplates election disaster in May 2011.

An extensive analysis of the state of the nationalist movement following the May 2011 elections has been published online and will be covered in a forthcoming issue of Heritage and Destiny magazine.

This article by Heritage and Destiny assistant editor Peter Rushton uncovers the extent of the crisis that has now derailed the British National Party as a serious electoral force.  BNP councillors and candidates across the country have now paid the price for years of incompetence, corruption and authoritarian factionalism by their party chairman Nick Griffin.

Click here to read the full article.

Mr Rushton concludes:

A new nationalist coalition will need to adopt the following as absolute essentials, the sine qua non for nationalist success and the very opposite of the Griffin approach.

  • Nationalist parties must prioritise training and support for councillors.
  • Nationalist parties must demand the highest standards of behaviour from party officials and candidates for public office.
  • Nationalist parties must harness the talents of the best available individuals in our ranks.  The cult of the leader is far less important than the need to build a successful leadership team.

Richard Edmonds has pointed the way forward.  It is for other leading nationalists inside and outside the ranks of the BNP to decide how they can best contribute towards the rescue of the movement.  I strongly suspect that the BNP is holed below the waterline, and that either constitutional finagling or financial collapse will intervene to prevent Richard Edmonds and his team from completing their rescue operation.

If I am right, then senior figures in the BNP should right now be preparing clear statements that they are prepared to stand alongside Richard Edmonds and his team, either in a rescued and rebuilt BNP (which I regard as an almost impossible proposition) or in a new post-Griffin coalition.  The need for such a clear statement is urgent.  If nationalism continues to drift through the summer, there might be little left to rescue of the party that elected two Euro MPs in 2009.

State of the Movement 2011 is online here.

Support Our Troops – Soldiers to march through Blackburn in homecoming parade on Wednesday December 1st


All Lancashire England First Party supporters are urged to support the homecoming parade for the Soldiers of the 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment who are to march through the streets of Blackburn to celebrate their return from Afghanistan on Wednesday December 1st.

EFP supporters will be meeting up with like-minded Patriots and Loyalists from Blackburn, Burnley, Preston and Lancaster in the town centre on the morning of the parade.  There will be an English nationalist social in the afternoon/early evening following the parade, details of which will be given out on the day.

Some 120 soldiers in full uniform will then exercise the regiment’s right under the Freedom of the Borough to march through town.

England First Party Chairman Mark Cotterill (a former Blackburn councillor) called for anyone against the war to show the soldiers respect.  He said:
“There will be people who support the War and people who are against it, out in Blackburn on December 1st. Whatever your personal feelings are towards the Con-Lib Government and New Labour before them, please put that to one side and support our brave Lancashire troops.”

“Afghanistan is a sensitive issue. Somebody’s freedom fighter is another person’s terrorist. However, if the sight of Lancashire troops parading through an English city upsets you that much, then please stay away. Stay at home, in the pub or in your community centres. I just hope that all extremists stay well clear of Blackburn on December 1st and the troops get our full support.”

The last time soldiers marched through Blackburn was in October 2001 when what was then the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment celebrated the Freedom of the Borough, which was awarded in 1948 to The East Lancashires – one of the regiments which has subsequently merged to become what is now The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. The historic regiments which formed the Duke of Lancaster’s were:
The East Lancashire Regiment
The South Lancashire Regiment
The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment
The King’s Own Royal Border Regiment
and The King’s Regiment.


A wanted poster for the Zionist terrorists (including two future Israeli Prime Ministers) who killed hundreds of British soldiers in Palestine from 1945 to 1948

It is especially obscene that the self-styled patriots of the English Defence League have sought to abuse the sacrifice of British forces in Afghanistan to build support for the criminal Zionist regime in Israel – given that Zionist terrorists built Israel on the murder of British soldiers such as 19 year old Private A. Kenyon of the South Lancashire Regiment, whose comrades of later generations will be marching through Blackburn on December 1st.

Private Kenyon was one of three British soldiers killed in an Irgun bomb attack on the Goldsmith Officers’ Club in Jerusalem (click here for a photo of this atrocity), and he lies in the Ramleh War Cemetery outside what is now the Israeli city of Ramla. Newsreel footage of Private Kenyon’s funeral is online here.

The leader of the terror gang responsible for Private Kenyon’s murder (and the deaths of hundreds more British servicemen in the war against Jewish terrorists from 1945 to 1948) was Menachem Begin, who became Prime Minister of Israel from 1977 to 1983. Other Irgun killers included the parents of Tzipi Livni, Foreign Minister during Israel’s recent criminal war in Gaza.

Nor should Blackburn’s MP Jack Straw take any role in December’s ceremony, given his own disgraceful role as Britain’s Foreign Secretary for almost five years between 2001 and 2006 – the very years during which catastrophic decisions were taken to commit British troops to an illegal war in Iraq and an unwinnable war in Afghanistan. In his recent evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry, Straw admitted that his role was decisive in determining whether Britain went to war in Iraq.

In a “secret and personal” memo to Tony Blair in March 2002 (available online here) Straw admitted that British military involvement in an attack on Iraq without a new UN resolution would probably be illegal and that it was difficult to see how toppling Saddam would be of any benefit. Yet he still ended up supporting the decision to go to war – in other words he was happy to send British troops to war when he knew this was probably illegal and pointless!

Architects of War - Jack Straw and Condoleeza Rice

Architects of War - Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice

If you wish to join the EFP in Blackburn on Wednesday December 1st, call our office – 07833 677484 or email us at –

“Retarded Reprobates”? More trouble in the English Defence League


Long suffering members of the English Defence League have been branded “retarded reprobates” by the organisation’s supposed leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, alias Tommy Robinson, who objects to recent questions about his profits from EDL merchandising.

The EDL is a politically confused gang, who wave Israeli flags and proclaim their “anti-racist” credentials at every opportunity, but whose members also pose for some peculiar photos!

Click here to read a full EFP analysis of the English Defence League.

Meanwhile the Lancashire Evening Telegraph reports that former Blackburn with Darwen councillor Michael Johnson has been condemned as “a rather foolish individual” by the Conservative ex-leader of the council Colin Rigby, after Mr Johnson spoke at the EDL’s recent demonstration in Bradford.

Ex-BNP men hold balance in Blackburn with Darwen


[see reports by the Lancashire Evening Telegraph and BBC News]

Two former British National Party members, including Trevor ‘Max’ Maxfield the former BNP organiser for Blackburn with Darwen, now hold the balance of power on Blackburn with Darwen council and are expected to put Labour back into office in this racially divided East Lancashire borough.

Cllr Maxfield (who was BNP branch organiser for the area in 2003-4) and fellow Earcroft ward councillor Anthony Meleady (also ex-BNP) were elected as members of the For Darwen Party, which campaigned for the town of Darwen to have its own council rather than being dictated to by its larger neighbour Blackburn. For Darwen was always a peculiar coalition, led by local millionaire and former Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Tony Melia.

Even after achieving their aim of a Darwen Town Council, the party’s representatives remained on the overall Blackburn with Darwen Council, where they came to hold the balance of power and joined a coalition with the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, forcing Labour into opposition in the area for the first time.

Only a few weeks ago Cllr Maxfield became a member of the Borough’s Executive alongside his then allies in the Conservative and Lib Dem parties. However he quickly became the focus of local protests after being made responsible for implementing cutbacks, including the closure of the Shadsworth leisure centre in one of Blackburn’s most deprived neighbourhoods.

This week Cllr Maxfield quit the Executive (and the For Darwen Party) and joined Labour, where he expected to be followed by his former BNP colleague Cllr Meleady. They argued that conscience would not allow them to push through the Tory/LibDem budget cuts.

For the time being Cllr Maxfield remains leader of the Darwen Town Council, but his former allies are set to oust him since the Maxfield-Meleady block and Labour combined will not control sufficient votes to keep him in power at town council level even though they will probably take control of the overall Blackburn with Darwen Borough. Ironically another former BNP organiser in Blackburn, Nick Holt last year joined the Conservative Party but was not allowed to become a Tory candidate because of his BNP past.

Many observers are now predicting a collapse of the For Darwen and Liberal Democrat parties at next year’s elections and a big swing to Labour, but what must Blackburn’s large Asian population make of this strange turn of events? More importantly, will any political party address the obscene waste in Britain’s defence spending on wars that have nothing to do with our national interest, leaving national and local government unable to pay for essential public services?

July 1916 remembered

England First Party branches across Lancashire are remembering the anniversary of the horrific slaughter on the Somme in 1916. Among the most tragic aspects of this holocaust were the heavy casualties suffered by the so-called “pals” battalions of volunteers, groups of friends, neighbours and work mates who were recruited to serve together, resulting in the decimation of towns and workplaces in a single day.

Some of the 'Accrington Pals' on the rifle range at Ripon, Yorkshire, before embarking for Egypt. They fought in early 1916 in defence of the Suez Canal before heading for France, and their decimation on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

Some of the 'Accrington Pals' on the rifle range at Ripon, Yorkshire, before embarking for Egypt. They fought in early 1916 in defence of the Suez Canal before heading for France, and their decimation on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

Probably the most famous were the ‘Accrington Pals’ who formed the 11th Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment, recruited in September 1914. The battalion consisted of four companies, each of 250 men: W Company from Accrington itself, X Company from the surrounding district (including some from Blackburn and nearby villages), Y Company from Chorley, and Z Company from Burnley.

Within about half an hour on the first day of the Battle of the Somme – 1st July 1916 – 700 of the Accrington Pals went into action, suffering 585 casualties.

A landmine explodes at Hawthorn Ridge on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, 1st July 1916

A landmine explodes at Hawthorn Ridge on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, 1st July 1916

In Preston 250 of the first volunteers in September 1914 became the ‘Preston Pals’ – D Company of the 7th Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. Two hundred of these fell during the second phase of the Battle of the Somme which began on 14th July at Bazentin-le-Petit.

Seven battalions of ‘Manchester Pals’ were recruited – overall almost 10,000 men of whom 4,776 were killed during the course of the 1914-18 war.

It was entirely a matter of luck whether a particular battalion was decimated or not, depending on where they happened to be sent. The battalion raised in Oldham were known as the ‘Oldham Comrades’ and suffered relatively light casualties. By contrast the 22nd Battalion of the Manchester Regiment, raised in the city centre mostly from cotton workers, suffered 472 casualties of the 796 men who saw action on the first day of the Somme.

20,000 British soldiers were killed on that first day, with a further 35,000 wounded. A month later their commanders accepted there was going to be no breakthrough, and dug in for a campaign of attrition, with further offensives in September and November.

A bleak war of attrition followed the failure of the initial British offensives at the Somme.

A bleak war of attrition followed the failure of the initial British offensives at the Somme.

Though by the final end of the Battle of the Somme on 21st November 1916 the British Army had gained only two miles of territory after four and a half months of fighting and 420,000 casualties – two men for every centimetre of ground gained – historians are divided over whether the battle should be termed a military disaster.

One recent analyst, Prof. Gary Sheffield has concluded:
“The battle of the Somme was not a victory in itself, but without it the entente would not have emerged victorious in 1918.”

Yet as with the second European civil war of 1939-45, one thing can be said for certain. For the men and families of the Accrington Pals, the Preston Pals and their equivalents across the country, there was to be no victory.

A Vickers machine gun crew wearing gas masks near the Ovillers section of the Somme battlefield, where the 600 men of the 'Grimsby Chums' - 10th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment - suffered 500 casualties

A Vickers machine gun crew wearing gas masks near the Ovillers section of the Somme battlefield, where the 600 men of the 'Grimsby Chums' - 10th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment - suffered 500 casualties

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