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Irish Guards remembered at event to mark war centenary

By Donna Deeney

Published 29/09/2016

Irish Guards from north and south came together at the Woodland Trust's Brackfield Wood
Irish Guards from north and south came together at the Woodland Trust's Brackfield Wood
His Grace The Duke of Abercorn KG, former Colonel of the Irish Guards, drummer Adrian Cathcart, and Patrick Cregg, director of the Woodland Trust, at the tree-planting ceremony in Brackfield Wood

Members of the Irish Guards from both Northern Ireland and the Republic have been commemorated in a poignant tree-planting ceremony at Brackfield Wood in Londonderry.

The event was organised by the Woodland Trust to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

The Duke of Abercorn and serving soldiers from the Regimental Association from both sides of the border - accompanied by their Irish Wolfhound mascot Domhnall - took part in the event.

An oak tree was planted in memory of Irish Guardsmen who served in the war, and especially those who died, at Brackfield - one of just four flagship woods taking shape across the UK to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

Patrick Cregg, the director of the Woodland Trust, said: "We're extremely grateful to the Irish Guards for joining us to make such a poignant and lasting contribution.

"We hope that others, local people and visitors will be encouraged to explore this precious young woodland.

"Brackfield Wood, by the banks of the stunning River Faughan, will be a place for quiet remembrance.

"The saplings are already springing to life and before too long will provide much-needed homes for the valley's precious wildlife, which includes the red squirrel."

The Woodland Trust - with the help of local people and groups - has already planted 15,000 native saplings at Brackfield as part of an ambitious 40,000 target.

The trees will be a peaceful and flourishing tribute to the people of Ireland who lost their lives and loved ones.

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