Short History of Liverpool Pals
Service Battalions
17th service Bn. The Kings Liverpool Regiment 18th service Bn. The Kings Liverpool Regiment
19th service Bn. The Kings Liverpool Regiment 20th service Bn. The Kings Liverpool Regiment
Reserve Service Battalions
21st service Bn. The Kings Liverpool Regiment 22nd service Bn. The Kings Liverpool Regiment

Over the coming months and years The Liverpool Pals Memorial Fund will be campaigning within Liverpool and the surrounding areas to have a Monument placed within Liverpool City Centre, to the memory of the men and boys who volunteered at the start of the Great War. It is hoped to have it in place in time for November 2015 the 100th anniversary of the Pals leaving England, many for the final time. The memorial will only become a reality with your support.
As the First World War has recently passed from living memory to history, it is now more important than ever to ensure that the sacrifice made by so many is not forgotten. While many of us may buy a Poppy during November and observe the two minutes silence, others will walk by a memorial without a second thought, but how many of us actually stand at a memorial and take stock of the lives lost and the stories behind the names etched on the stone.
What is important to remember about The Pals is that these men were not regular soldiers but were volunteers mainly from the business community in Liverpool and the surrounding areas, such as Cheshire (now Wirral), North Wales and Lancashire. They will have worked in the same buildings as some of us, lived in the same houses, drank in the same pubs. They were ordinary men who volunteered to serve King and Country leaving behind them the safety of home and the security of employment. Many were never to return.
What follows is a short history of the Liverpool Pals which I hope will give you an insight into the experience of the Pals and the enormous losses suffered which left so many broken-hearted families.

Britain delares war on Germany.

Lord Kitchener makes his famous appeal for volunteers, 100,000 are required.

Lord Derby�s idea to form Pals Battalions is put forward to the Liverpool Press which announces a meeting to be held on 28/08/14 suggesting that men �wishing to join a battalion of comrades to serve their country together� should report to the meeting.

Lord Derby addresses the meeting which is packed to capacity:

�This should be a battalion of Pals, a battalion in which friends from the same office will fight shoulder to shoulder for the honour of Britain and the credit of Liverpool.

I don�t ask you to uphold Liverpool�s honour it would be an insult to think that you could do anything but that, but I do thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming here tonight and showing what is the spirit of Liverpool, a spirit that should spread through every City and Town in the Kingdom.

You have given a noble example in coming forward. You are certain to give a noble example on the field of battle�

By 10.00 am 1,050 men have been recruited at St George�s Hall, this is to become the 17th Battalion. Lord Derby tells the thousands waiting to return on 02/09.

St George�s Hall witnesses thousands more men prepared to enlist. The 18th Battalion is formed.

Over 3,000 men have now enlisted and Lord Derby has to call a temporary halt to the recruiting campaign. The 19th Battalion is formed.

As Service regiments of the Kings Liverpool regiment the Pals would be expected to wear the Kings badge the White Horse of Hanover. However, in recognition of Lord Derby�s role in their formation, King George V approves the Eagle and Child cap badge for the Pals Battalions. The Eagle and Child being the Derby family crest and the family motto is also included Sans Changer which translates simply as without change.

By November having made fresh appeals the 20th Battalion is formed. There are enough for a further two reserve battalions the 21st and 22nd.

Due to the suddenness of the call up, there was a serious shortage of equipment. As a result the Pals started their training with only 100 outdated rifles per 1000 men. They were billeted around the area in makeshift camps at Sefton Park, Knowsley Hall, Hooton Park race course and Prescot.

By early 1915 the progress of the war on the Western Front, or lack of it, meant that the Pals had to prepare for Trench warfare and so had to practice digging. However as there was little free open land to practice on, they were to begin digging Lord Derby�s land at Knowsley Hall. This earned them the nickname of Derby�s Lapdogs and there are even reports of some men receiving the White Feather.

The Pals Battalions leave Liverpool for training at Grantham. The Pals become the 89th Brigade.

The entire 89th Brigade is now based at Salisbury Plain for final training.

Between the 6th and 7th November all of the Pals Battalions embark for France.

Reginald Rezin becomes the first Pal to be killed in action.

The Battle of the Somme commences, the heaviest losses ever suffered by the British Army as 19,240 men are killed in one day and over 40,000 more are wounded. The Liverpool Pals take the village of Montauban from the Germans, one of the very few successes of the day. In doing so however over 200 men are killed.

The Pals are part of an attack on another village, this time Guillemont. The attack fails and the Pals lose nearly 500 men killed on the day which later becomes known as Liverpool�s blackest day.

The Battle of the Transloy Ridges begins. By 22nd October, 226 Pals are killed.

Battle of Arras begins, this is one of the costliest battles of the war in terms of days fought and lives lost. The Pals are heavily involved.

The Pals battalions move from France to the Ypres salient in Belgium.

The Battle of Passchendaele begins. Between 31/07 and 03/08/17 there are 11 officers and 223 other ranks killed.

The Lancashire Hussars (16 officers and 290 men) are drafted into the 18th Battalion to form the 18th (Lancashire Hussars) Battalion The Kings (Liverpool Regiment)

By the end of 1917 the Pals have lost 22 officers and 518 other ranks killed in seven months on the Ypres salient.

Following a decision by the Army to reduce the number of battalions the 20th Battalion ceases to exist and its men move to the three remaining Pals Battalions.

The Battle of the Lys commences

The Pals battalions are sent to train American troops.

The 19th Battalion is effectively disbanded leaving two surviving Battalions. The 19th is absorbed into the 14th Battalion of the Kings (Liverpool Regiment).

The 18th Battalion is amalgamated with the 14th and the new battalion becomes the 18th (Lancashire Hussars Yeomanry) The Kings (Liverpool Regiment)

The 17th Battalion leaves France and embarks for Russia.

The 18th Battalion attacks the Germans near Marbaux in what proves to be the Pals last engagement of the war. 13 men are killed.

The Armistice is signed and the First World War is over.

The last of the 17th Battalion leave Russia for home.
Just over 2,800 men have been killed by the end of hostilities during the Great War and the campaign in Russia.

Thank you for taking the time to read this brief overview. We hope it has given you an insight into the proud story of The Liverpool Pals.
Please help us in this worthy cause.

Donations can be sent by cheque
C/O 13 Mossfield Road
L9 8BB
and made payable to The Liverpool Pals Memorial Fund.

Registered with The Charity Commission 1140555