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Grammar pays tribute to First World War dead

Larne Grammar School groundskeeper Mark McIlherron (left) with Principal Jonathan Wylie and Year 10 pupils planting poppy seeds to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.  INLT 21-675-CON

Larne Grammar School groundskeeper Mark McIlherron (left) with Principal Jonathan Wylie and Year 10 pupils planting poppy seeds to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. INLT 21-675-CON

Larne Grammar School has paid special tribute to those staff and pupils who gave their lives during the First World War.

Year 10 history pupils were keen to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War and have now planted poppy seeds in memory of those who died during one of the bloodiest conflicts in human history.

On July 1, 1916, 9,000 men from the 36th Ulster Division went into action for the first time, at Thiepval on the Somme.

Two days later, fewer than 2,500 answered the roll call.

Among those who did not answer were Captain John Griffiths, a former teacher in the school, and Lt William McCluggage, a former pupil.

Twnety-year-old James Walker was also killed in action on January 29, 1917. An old boy of the school, he was born in Ballymacarrett but moved to Larne and was a member of Gardenmore Presbyterian Church.

He was on duty in the front line when a shell hit him and another soldier called Bingham.

Larne Grammar School media spokesman and maths teacher Mark Lambe said: “More than six million men served in the British Armed Forces in the Great War, and nearly 1 million of these lost their lives.

“Set beside these numbers, the contribution by the old boys of Larne Grammar School seems tiny .

“However, when one considers that the total population of the school had scarcely reached 60 at its greatest, the old boys’ payment in pain and blood was enormous.

“With the support of Mr Lee of the technology department and groundskeeper Mr McIlherron, we will have poppies coming into bloom to remind us of the sacrifices were made by former pupils of the school and young men from the local community.”

 
 
 

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