Larne school remembers former teacher and pupil who fell at the Somme

A former pupil and his teacher who died on the first day of the Battle of the Somme were among those remembered by Larne Grammar School during assembly.

In line with commemorations across the country, the school has been paying tribute to the fallen and marking the centenary of the 1918 Armistice.

Lt McCluggage (left of centre) with Captain Griffiths (right of centre).

Lt McCluggage (left of centre) with Captain Griffiths (right of centre).

A statement from the school read: “Many past pupils and teachers of Larne Grammar School have given their lives to ensure that we enjoy the freedoms that we take for granted today. It is these people that we think of in particular in our own remembrance service.

“On July 1st 1916 nine thousand men from the Ulster Division went into general action for the first time, at Thiepval on the Somme. Two days later, fewer than two thousand five hundred 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.

“Lt McCluggage, from Ballyboley, had been taught science by Captain Griffiths at Larne Grammar School. He then went on to study Civil Engineering at the Queen’s University of Belfast. The two men were reunited in the Larne 1st XV where they played together in the Towns Cup winning side of 1913-1914. Both men were to lose their life on the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916.”

Larne Grammar School also remembered others killed in the Great War, World War Two and in subsequent theatres of conflict.

A tribute to the fallen at Larne Grammar School.

A tribute to the fallen at Larne Grammar School.

On Sunday, the principal was joined by the head girl and head boy in laying a wreath at the cenotaph in the main Larne remembrance service.