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

This week our main image shows soldiers marching along London Road in 1919 after returning from Belgium at the end of the First World War.

The men are from the Manchester Regiment 8th Battalion. Crowds have gathered to welcome them home.

The regiment fought on the front line during the conflict, seeing action in the battles of the Marne, Aisne and Ypres.

Nine battalions were involved in the first day of the Battle of the Somme on July 1st 1916. They included the Manchester Pals – local men who enlisted together as part of Lord Kitchener’s New Armies.

More than 57,000 men were killed, wounded or went missing that day – the deadliest in British Army history.

The war poet Wilfred Owen served with the Manchester Regiment, winning the Military Cross for his leadership at Joncourt. He was killed in action at the Sambre-Oise Canal one week before the Armistice was signed in November 1918.

London Road, Manchester - Then London Road, Manchester - Now

The roots of the Manchester Regiment date back to 1685 when its forerunner, the Lancashire Militia, was raised by the Earl of Derby.

The regiment came into existence in its own right in 1881 when the Lancashire Militia amalgamated with the 63rd and 96th Regiment of Foot to form the Manchester Regiment.

London Road is much quieter today as photographer Nicola Mazzuia’s image shows. The busy street is almost empty as people stay at home due to the coronavirus lockdown.

*Many more images from Then and Now are featured in The Changing Face of Manchester published to mark the 150th anniversary of the M.E.N.

It’s on sale at £14.99 including postage and packing. Order your copy online at inostalgia.co.uk or ring the order hotline on 01928 503777.