Belfast Telegraph

A dignified hush falls across land in remembrance of our war dead

By Adrian Rutherford

Towns and cities across Northern Ireland fell silent yesterday to commemorate the end of the First World War.

People observed a two-minute tribute at 11am to remember those who lost their lives in conflicts.

In Belfast, Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon led the commemoration at the City Hall.

Similar events were held across the country, including Londonderry and Lisburn.

At Grey Point Fort in Helen's Bay, one of the two Vickers 6-inch bore guns was fired at a memorial service.

This year's events held special significance, marking 100 years since the start of the Great War and 70 years since the D-Day landings.

A service was also held in Dublin, where Stormont Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster was among the guests.

She was at St Ann's church in Dawson Street, where she was joined by NIO Minister Andrew Murrison and Irish Arts Minister Heather Humphreys.

The service was followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at the Cross of Sacrifice in Glasnevin Cemetery.

In Lisburn, a memorial service was held at the city's war memorial. A short act of remembrance was led by Jackie McCartney, president of Lisburn Branch of the Royal British Legion, and its chairman, retired Major John Jamieson.

Meanwhile, in east Belfast the Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson, laid a wreath on behalf of the institution.

Mr Stevenson said: "This year is particularly significant as we mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

"A century later we quite rightly remember all those who served and those who made the supreme sacrifice on the front line.

"We think particularly of those in the 36th Ulster, as well as the 10th, 11th and the 16th Irish Divisions, and reflect on the many tens of thousands of members of the Orange Institution worldwide who bravely enlisted at that time.

"We recall the courage and fearlessness of those who fought at the Somme and other battlefields, many who took their Orange ritual and tradition with them to the trenches, with some even wearing their sashes as they went over the top to face the enemy.

"They did so alongside fellow soldiers from the Roman Catholic and nationalist traditions, whose valour was equal to that of their Protestant peers, and we rightly acknowledge that joint and unified gallantry today in our commemorations."

In east Belfast, pupils at Campbell College marked Armistice Day with a special ceremony.

More than 500 of its pupils enlisted and fought in Belgium and France, but 126 never returned.

Meanwhile, an event was held at Belfast Boys' Model School, where pupils have been learning about their ancestors who served during the war.

Each pupil carried a postcard image of the First World War soldier they researched during the event.

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