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British and Irish army bands join forces in WWI tribute

By Staff Reporter

Published 12/08/2016

36th (Ulster) Division at the Somme
36th (Ulster) Division at the Somme

Bands of the British and Irish armies are to come together for the first time to honour the heroism of soldiers from Ireland at the Battle of the Somme.

A beating of the retreat will be held at Enniskillen Castle on the banks of the Erne, bringing together the Irish Defence Forces Army No.1 Band and the band, bugles, pipes and drums of the Royal Irish Regiment.

The unique ceremony will be held on September 10.

Richard Bennett, a trustee at the Inniskillings Museum, said: "The divided Ireland of the years after the end of the First World War afforded the 36th (Ulster) Division the honour of recognition for heroic sacrifice, while the 16th (Irish) Division was forgotten.

"In the words of Thomas Kettle, it became 'a secret sacrifice'.

"One hundred years on, we can now give an equal tribute to the bravery and suffering of the men of both divisions."

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