A memorial to the Liverpool Pals who served during World War One has been unveiled by HRH The Earl of Wessex .
It follows a three year campaign by The Liverpool Pals Memorial Fund to create a permanent tribute to remember the men and boys who volunteered during the Great War.
The £85,000 frieze, designed by Liverpool sculptor Tom Murphy and funded through donations, was unveiled by HRH Prince Edward.
Following the unveiling, the focus shifted to St George’s Hall where a recreation of the Liverpool Pals signing up took place – exactly one hundred years to the day since it happened, in answer to Lord Derby’s call for recruits.
More than 1,000 men were recruited on 31 August 1914 alone. Over 6,000 men were initially signed up in 1914 – enough soldiers to serve in four battalions and for two reserve battalions. Many were killed in action and never returned home.
Lt Col (retd) Anthony Hollingsworth MBE, Chair of The Liverpool Pals Memorial Fund, said: “We are delighted and proud that through people’s kind donations we are able to provide a fitting memorial to those brave men and boys, albeit 100 years on. It will allow everybody to share the proud history of the Liverpool Pals who were the first of all the famous Pals battalions and the last to be stood down.”
Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Erica Kemp, said: “In 1914, many of our young men wished to serve alongside their friends, family and work colleagues, and sadly many paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“The Liverpool Pals will always be remembered as friends, colleagues and relations who joined up together, served together and, for so many of them, died together.
“A century on, we have rightly paid tribute to their bravery with a fitting memorial which will be a constant reminder to all those entering and leaving the city at Lime Street.”
The memorial tells the story of the Liverpool Pals through a series of dramatic images – from their formation through to their emotional farewells when they left the city, onward to scenes from the battlefield, their return from war and the commemoration this year.
Sculptor Tom Murphy said: It has been a privilege to be chosen to sculpt the Liverpool Pals Memorial and I have ensured that the theme of remembrance permeates the entire work.
“Each figure depicted is lost in their own memories of someone or somewhere dear to them – friends, loved ones or simply home. It is fitting to have this artwork of remembrance at this major gateway to honour those brave men and boys that did not make it back home.”
Ian Joslin, area director for Network Rail, said: “The railway played a vital role to help mobilise troops during WWI and it is fitting that Liverpool Lime Street will be home to this memorial to the Liverpool Pals.
“It is a reminder of the sacrifices the soldiers made and is an honour for the station to be its permanent home.”