The Battle of the Somme was commemorated yesterday (July 1) to remember those from Country Antrim and right across Ireland who fought in the conflict 102 years ago.
As well as having representation from the Navy, Army and Air Force, young people added poignancy to the formal ceremonies by laying wreaths at the memorial in their own contribution to remembrance.
Held at the County Antrim War Memorial, Knockagh, there was a solemn act of remembrance at 11am, when the salute was taken by the Queen’s official representative, Mrs Joan Christie, CVO, OBE, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for County Antrim.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Lindsay Millar, was joined by representatives from all County Antrim councils, a number of veterans’ associations and High Sheriff, Miss Gillian Bingham.
In a ceremony revived by the locally-based Whiteabbey Royal British Legion over a decade ago, wreaths were laid and the traditional two-minute silence observed.
Councillor Millar said: “Council is proud to play a part in the organising of this ceremony and welcomes the ever-growing attendance, including members from the Royal British Legion, Armed Forces and local schools.
“It is encouraging to see the younger generation involved in remembering our fallen.
“It’s important that the spirit of selflessness that the soldiers of the Somme epitomised is seen and recognised for years to come.”
The event is now organised by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council in conjunction with a cross-county committee formed to restore, maintain and continue the commemorative use of the giant obelisk.