Ballycarry children’s Somme Centre visit supported by General Steele Fund

Fund trustees with the pupils at the Steele Memorial prior to the school visit to the Somme Centre.
Fund trustees with the pupils at the Steele Memorial prior to the school visit to the Somme Centre.

Senior pupils of Ballycarry Primary School have visited the Somme Centre in Co Down as part of their studies.

The trip was sponsored by the General Sir James Steele Memorial Trust Fund and prior to travelling from the village the pupils laid a wreath in memory of the village general at his memorial on the amenity green.

Ewan McKeaveney lays a wreath at the General Steele Memorial on behalf of Ballycarry Primary School.

Ewan McKeaveney lays a wreath at the General Steele Memorial on behalf of Ballycarry Primary School.

Chairman of the General Steele Trust Fund, Dr. David Hume MBE, briefly addressed the group on the life and times of the wartime general, who was born in Ballycarry in 1894.

He said it was appropriate that the visit was occurring close to the 75th anniversary of the D Day Landings, which General Steele had helped to plan.

Fellow trustees Rev. Dr. John Nelson and Mrs. Carla McKeaveney were also present at the short ceremony, after which the children spent an enjoyable day at the Somme Centre in Conlig.

The General Steele Trust Fund decided two years ago to directly sponsor an annual trip by the primary school, as well as remaining open for applications from individual young people who had engaged in work within communities.

General Steele with Field Marshal Montgomery reviewing troops.

General Steele with Field Marshal Montgomery reviewing troops.

In the past the Trust has sponsored young people from the village who have been engaged in community outreach work in Peru and India.

General Sir James Steele officially opened Ballycarry Primary School in 1953.

In a distinguished career, General Steele also become Commander-in-Chief and High Commissioner in Austria in 1946 and the following year Adjutant-General to the Forces, a role which saw him partly manage the Army’s transition from war to peace.‎ He remained mindful of his origins and his final wish was that his remains were to be returned to rest in the small village of Ballycarry.