History[change | change source]
In the year 700 AD, two Irish princes, Lugli and Luglien, were on a pilgrimage to Rome. On the road between Boulogne and Thérouanne, near Ferfay, they were attacked and killed by robbers. Their servants buried the bodies, but they were moved by a storm to the castle of the Bishop of Thérouanne. This was seen to be a miracle. When the Normans invaded, the bodies, now holy relics, were moved to a safer place on an island with a marsh all around it. Years later, the sister of the princes, Lilia, came to pray at the chapel built to hold the relics. The town was named Lillers, after her.
World War 1[change | change source]
In World War I, Lillers was the site of a big British military hospital. Nearly 900 soldiers are buried the cemetery. They include two winners of the Victoria Cross, Corporal William Richard Cotter and Major David Nelson.