‘Village debt of honour is finally paid’

A parade took place from the community centre to the new Ballycarry War Memorial on Sunday INLT 43-664-CON
A parade took place from the community centre to the new Ballycarry War Memorial on Sunday INLT 43-664-CON

Ballycarry War Memorial was officially unveiled and dedicated on Sunday afternoon by the Lord Lieutenant of County Antrim, Mrs. Joan Christie.

Mrs Christie praised the local community for their efforts in commemorating those who had lost their lives, noting that it was particularly relevant to reflect on such loss during the centenary year of the outbreak of the First World War.

Convenor of the War Memorial Committee Dr David Hume MBE said that at the heart of the story of the 30 names on the memorial was the personal loss suffered by each family. He added that a debt of honour had finally been paid by the local community to those who had lost their lives in the two world wars.

A short religious service at the memorial was led by three local clergy, Rev. Dr. John Nelson, Rev. Gabrielle Farquhar and Rev. Mike McCann, with musical accompaniment led by Killyglen Accordion Orchestra. The Mayors of Carrickfergus and Larne laid wreaths, as did the Royal British Legion and

Ballycarry Primary School. A warrant officer from the Royal Air Force who is originally from the village laid the wreath on behalf of the Community Association.

The names of the Fallen were read by locals while a piper and a bugler from the Royal Irish Regiment also took part.

The event was preceded by a parade of Royal British Legion and uniformed organisations from the community centre led by Major Sinclair Memorial Pipe Band. The parade was in the charge of Ex-RSM Billy Thompson, a member of the Community Association.

Chair of the group Mrs Valerie Beattie, said that it had been an emotional day for local people, particularly those whose families had lost loved ones: “This was a very memorable and poignant day for us all, but particularly for those with relatives listed on the memorial.

“As a group we are so pleased that we have been able to bring this memorial about after many years of determined effort and it is now an important landmark in Ballycarry,” she said.