Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Books honour sacrifice of our Great War heroes

Remembrance Day will see the launch of two new Books of Honour commemorating the War Dead of North Down and Ards.



Compiled by researcher Barry Niblock, the books have been supported by North Down and Ards Borough Councils and will be launched by the mayors of each borough in a combined event on November 11.

The books will subsequently be on sale at £12.99 for the North Down volume and £14.99 for the volume on Ards.

More than 1270 servicemen with Ards/North Down connections who died in the Great War are commemorated in the two books. Photographs along with family and service details in the two Books of Honour add a personal dimension to their sacrifice and the impact of their deaths on family members.

One provider of information was Bangor-born Bill Robinson, whose father George was listed as Missing in Action after the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916, although his death was only confirmed a year later. One of five children, Bill celebrated his 101st birthday in April 2011.

Readers will find in the volume on Ards the story of three brothers, John, James and Samuel Donaldson. The three men enlisted together, were given consecutive service numbers, served in the same company in the same battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles, and all three went over the top and died on the same day – 1st July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

The North Down book tells the story of brothers Marcus and Walter Tyrell from Bangor, who served in the RAF and were killed within two weeks of one another in June 1918. Aged 19, Captain Walter Tyrrell was reported to be Ireland’s fourth ranked air ace.

After the launch, the books will be available to purchase from Ards Borough Council, North Down Museum, Ards Town Hall Arts Centre, and the Tourist Information Centres in Bangor and Ards. Barry will also be signing copies in the mall at Bloomfield Shopping Centre on Saturday, November 12.

REMEMBRANCE DAY SERVICES

The local services are as follows: Bangor – assemble at 10.50am at Cenotaph in Ward Park. 11.00am is the silence, followed by wreath laying followed by the service in Bangor Parish at 11.30am.

Holywood – Ballykeel Flute Band will be playing from 10.30am, and assembly will be at 10.45 followed at 11am by the silence and the wreath laying. The service is in the Church of St. Philip and St. James at 11.30am.

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