This Day In History

  • 1707 War of the Spanish Succession. After two months of siege, to avoid further pointless bloodshed,  the garrison of the fortress of Lerida (now Lleida) in Spain beats the chamade as the French are about to make their final assault. 600 emaciated survivors of the original garrison of 1800, who had been reduced to living on oatmeal, rice and water, march out under arms and with the full honours of war. They are followed by a similar number of sick and wounded in carts supplied by the victors. Amongst them are several much-reduced companies of Wills' Marines (later 30th Foot, and then 1st East Lancashires), led by the by-then Major General Wills. All are complimented by the enemy commander, the Duc d'Orleans, on their gallant defence
  • 1857 Indian Mutiny. Relief of Lucknow. 82nd Regiment (later 2nd South Lancashires) engage in desperate fighting in the advance to the Martiniere College. The silver-chased "Rajah's Bed Post" staff which is now one of the Museum's most treasured exhibits was captured on this day.
  • 1945 Battleship HMS Nelson reaches Portsmouth carrying 2nd Loyals colours, colour belts and some mess plate. They had been found 2 months earlier in bank vaults in Singapore, where they had remained undiscovered by the Japanese since the capitulation in 1942. They are carried to Preston, where one month later they are ceremonially paraded through the town
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The 1914 Christmas Truces

The unofficial truces which broke out all along the Western Front at Christmas 1914, the first Christmas of the war, have grown in myth and legend in the 100 years since, no doubt because people desperately seek any signs of grace and compassion in that most terrible of wars.

It has been estimated that over 100,000 men from both sides took part in the spontaneous events. Three of our antecedent battalions were on the Western Front at the time –  the 1st and 2nd East Lancashires, and the 1st Loyal North Lancashires – with the 1st East Lancashires being most directly involved.

On the 100th anniversary, our good friends at the Lancashire Evening Post newspaper told their story. Please click on the pictures below to get the full articles, reproduced here by kind permission of the Editor.

 

 LEPScreenshot1  LEPScreenshot2