At the outbreak of the war in August 1914 men from the town and surrounding villages answered Lord Kitchener’s call to join up in to ‘Pals’ units.
By early October some 200 men had volunteered and were formed into “The Chorley Pals”. The unit joined the 11th (Service) Battalion (Accrington) of the East Lancashire Regiment – more widely known as “The Accrington Pals”. After training in Caernarvon, Ripon, Cannock Chase and on Salisbury Plain, the regiment left the U.K. in December 1915 heading for Egypt to defend the Suez Canal.
At the end of March 1916, the Battalion was posted to The Western Front arriving on the Somme battlefield in late April. They took part in the Battle of the Somme on the 1st July 1916, going over the top at around 7.35 a.m. in the third and fourth wave attacking German positions in front of the village of Serre. The Chorley Company suffered over half their number of 172 men either killed or wounded.
In February 2010, a memorial was unveiled to the unit on The Flat Iron market in Chorley.