"Recalling the Ironsides" historians appeal for South Lancashire D-Day veterans
The search is on to help unearth real life stories of some of history's forgotten Lancashire war heroes.
A team from the Lancashire Infantry Museum, based at Fulwood Barracks in Preston, are on a mission to identify and get on record stories from some of the last remaining D-Day veterans from the 1st Battalion, The South Lancashire Regiment.
The ‘Recalling of the Ironsides’ the nickname given to the battalion, has received special funding from the Army Museums Ogilby Trust (AMOT)
Led by assistant curator Dominic Butler the project hopes to put together on record the facts of the regiment’s involvement in the D-Day landings and their movements through north western Europe leading to VE Day in 1945.
Dominic, who is also writing a book on the regiment as part of their research, said: “We are aware time is not on our side with this but we have a chance to capture and archive these stories which up to now remain untold.
“Men who were signed up at 18 in 1944 will be around 90-91 now but so few of their stories were told at the time.
“There is a real knowledge gap with very little of their story in the history books.
“The project aims to tell those stories and preserve them for future generations”
The museum collection at Preston covers the history of the South Lancashire Regiment (Prince of Wales Volunteers) from its formation in 1717 as the 40th Foot through the amalgamations that have created the present day Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.
The South Lancashire Regiment would have recruited from the Warrington and St Helen’s area but the team believe veterans are likely to have settled across the north west
A dedicated task-force of 10 are working on the project, each receiving specialist training and new equipment to interview veterans and capture their recollections on film
Dominic added: “Our first point of call has obviously been the military as a means of identifying soldiers - the Royal British Legion are also assisting us.
“This is a regiment which would have suffered mass casualties but there are possibly still veterans out there so our appeal is to find them and even relatives who may know stories of their campaign.”
Any veterans wanting to take part will be recorded for interview by the trained volunteers either at the museum or at home.
Anyone wanting to discover more on the project can visit the museum during their opening hours www.lancashireinfantrymuseum.org.uk and anyone with information can email Dominic at [email protected]