Welcome again to Then and Now, where each week we compare images of Merseyside landmarks, buildings, streets and events from bygone days with how they look today.

Our moving main image this week is not from Liverpool at all, but the war-ravaged streets of the French city of Lille in October 1918.

The story, however, is profoundly local as the soldiers marching down the road are proud members of the Liverpool Irish 8th Battalion of the King’s Liverpool Regiment.

Lille had been liberated after four long years of occupation and its townsfolk were keen to welcome the Liverpool lads. One young boy is delighted to be wearing a soldier’s tin hat as well as carrying his rifle.

There are smiles of relief on the weary faces of the Merseyside men, some of them so young, as the First World War neared its end.

The King’s Regiment (Liverpool) was first raised in 1685. It served with distinction in the early Afghan campaigns, Second Boer War, World Wars I and II and the Korean War.

WW1 Western Front 1918
Kings Army regiment 1966
The Regiment formed 49 battalions in the First World War. More than 15,000 men died fighting in the trenches of the Western Front, Salonika and the North West Frontier.

No less than nine Victoria Crosses, the British army’s highest decoration for valour, were awarded to the King’s Regiment during World War I.

The new King’s Regiment (Manchester and Liverpool) was formed in September 1958.

Our later image, from 1966, shows members of the anti-tank section of the King’s Regiment relaxing with a pint after breaking their own record time for gun drill.

*Unmissable wartime images from Liverpool and the North West are included in Clive Hardy’s latest hardback book The Home Front – Britain 1939-45.

It’s available for £14.99 from inostalgia.co.uk or the order hotline 01928 503777 – or get three books for 25 per cent off in iNostalgia’s Summer special promotion.