Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

First World War fallen to be remembered in Northern Ireland 100 years on

Troops take a perilous walk along the trenches of Ypres in October 1917

Northern Ireland is preparing to commemorate one of the most significant centenaries in history – the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.

Special events are being held in several areas to remember the start of the conflict which saw millions from around the world die, including soldiers from all over Britain and Ireland.

In Belfast, the outbreak of the Great War will be remembered at a poignant centenary service in St Anne's Cathedral on Monday, August 4.

This is one of a number of services marking the 100th anniversary of the start of the war, and the Queen will be represented in Belfast by the Duke of York.

The Secretary of State Theresa Villiers will also be in attendance with other representatives of civic and political life.

Senior figures from the main churches in Northern Ireland will be present along with representatives of other faith communities. Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht for the Republic, will also attend.

The service will be led by the Dean of Belfast, the Very Rev John Mann, and the preacher is the Most Rev Dr Richard Clarke, Archbishop of Armagh.

Young people will light five candles during the service, each representing a year of the war. The Duke of York will read a lesson and will light a candle to commemorate the occasion.

This will be placed beside one of the eight volumes of books kept in the cathedral which record the names of all those from across the island of Ireland who fought and died during the 1914-18 conflict.

Organiser Jeffrey Donaldson said: "We face a decade of significant centenaries in Northern Ireland and on the island of Ireland and I feel it is important that these should not become divisive. The global events that took place during 1914-1918 involved people from across the island and the political divide and had a profound effect on the history of Ireland in the 20th century.

"We owe it to those who sacrificed their lives with such valour to ensure that the centenary is used to promote better understanding between our various traditions on this island."

Admission to the service, which begins at 7pm, is by invitation only.

Where to pay your respects

Coleraine — A candle-lit vigil will be held in the town centre at 10.30pm on Monday followed by the tolling of church bells at 11pm.

Carrickfergus — At 10pm, the Knockagh Monument will be lit for an hour as part of the national ‘Lights Out’ campaign, along with the borough’s beacon

Craigavon — Craigavon Museum Services are hosting an exhibition entitled ‘Living with World War I: Life in the Craigavon Borough 1912-1918’ in the High Street Mall, Portadown, during August and September.

Ballymena — In line with the UK-wide vigil initiative, a single light will be left on in The Braid after 10pm on Monday.

Ballymena Council is hosting a link to a historical website which tells the story of Ballymena in the First World War. Google Ballymena 1914-1918.

Antrim — In the Steeple area, a candle-lit vigil will be held followed by the release of lanterns into the sky.

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