Belfast Telegraph

Memorials to honour Irish united in war

By David Young, PA

New centenary memorials are being placed in Flanders to mark the triumph and disaster of the two occasions Ireland's unionist and nationalist army divisions fought side-by-side in the First World War.

The tributes commemorate the 36th Ulster and 16th Irish divisions' role in the successful capture of Messines Ridge in June 1917 and their heavy defeat, just two months later, during an ill-fated offensive at nearby Langemark in the first weeks of the infamous Battle of Passchendaele.

The steel silhouette erected close to Messines last week depicts the attempted battlefield rescue of fatally wounded 56-year-old Irish nationalist Home Rule MP Willie Redmond by a young unionist private, John Meeke.

It will be viewed by the Duke of Cambridge, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Princess Astrid of Belgium at the entrance to Wytschaete Cemetery on Wednesday, the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Messines Ridge.

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