NO fewer than a dozen troops from East Lancashire secured a Victoria Cross for valour shown in battle during the First World War.

But the exploits of these decorated few only tell a fraction of the tale of the six boroughs’ unstinting contribution to the 1914-18 conflict.

And the Lancashire Telegraph will be examining the horror of the trenches, the plight of conscientious objectors, even the role of a women’s peace crusade, which swept through Blackburn, Burnley and Nelson in a special edition, which went on sale on Monday.

The moment peace was declared, from our pages on November 11, 1918, is also recreated.

Hundreds of volunteer troops were to fall in the mud and bullets of the Somme, in a single day on July 1, 1916.

The history of the Accrington Pals, remembered across the area and captured by community historians such as Walter Holmes and the late Bill Turner, remains etched on our psyche.

Their departure, from stations along the East Lancashire line, with the infamous pledge that it would ‘all be over by Christmas’, soon rang hollow.

In a poignant series of letters, sent back to the Home Front, the slow realisation that they were being sucked into a grinding stand-off, where ‘success’ was often measured in feet and inches, is reflected in the correspondence.

Before too long warfare had made heroes of ordinary men, serving in the East Lancashire Regiment and beyond.

Former Blackburn millhand William Henry Grimbaldeston’s single-handed capture of machine gun posts in Belgium rightly earned him a VC.

On his own initiative, similar actions by Burnley-born Thomas Whitham, near Ypres, received a similar reward. Today he has a sixth form named after him in the town.

But he hit hard times after the war and was forced to pawn his Victoria Cross, before succumbing to peritonitis at an early age, epitomising how life was not always so rosy for the returning heroes.

Blackburn Rovers and Burnley players were among those signing up, and our special edition details the sacrifices made by the Rovers inside forward Eddie Latheron, and the Clarets league-title lifting captain Tommy Boyle.

For perhaps the only time in our history, the Lancashire Telegraph will have a Sunday dateline, in honour of the Armistice.