Belfast Telegraph

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Northern Ireland fans pause to remember Battle of the Somme fallen

Published 19/06/2016

The Great War. 1914-18. Flanders.
The Great War. 1914-18. Flanders.
Corporal Adolf Hitler, right with two other soldiers and a dog during his stay in a military hospital, WWI, Pasewalk, Pomerania. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
United We Stand - Postcard showing uniformed men representing Britain, Irish National Volunteers and Ulster Volunteers flanking a sailor with a sword in one hand and a gun in the other presented as united on the outbreak of war. The verse reads 'Old discords have sunk to oblivion, For the honour of Britain they stand, In Unity shoulder to shoulder, In defence of the old homeland.' Collection Ulster Museum
Troops at the Battle of the Somme
Rifleman Jackson Clarke of the Royal Irish Rifles (circled) marching off to war. He survived the Great War, remaining in the army until 1931. Pic from Stephen Kerr
First World War image of a British soldier pulling colleague from rubble. It is unlikely that the helped soldier would look as cheerful as he does or that the helper would pull the buried and probably injured man in so unprofessional a way if he had been lying beneath the weight of soil and rubble after an explosion. It is more likely that the man has slipped and fallen into this position while examining damage, the aftermath of which is depicted here. (Hogg, A. R ) © National Museums Northern Ireland Collection Ulster Museum
Women in Britain say go! - Hill, Siffken and Co (LPA Ltd) - First World War Recruitment poster; 'Women in Britain say Go!' This poster, produced by E V Kealey, in 1915 for the First World War British Army Recruitment Campaign shows an image (by artist Ernest Ibbetson) of mother and children at open window watching troops march off to war. which reflects the growing engagement of middle-class women in public life, civic and recruitment campaigns Parliamentary Recruiting Committee Poster no.75. Original accession card states it is Parliamentary Recruiting poster No.72 Collection Ulster Museum
First World War image of a British stretcher party surveying wounded on battlefield. (Hogg, A. R) © National Museums Northern Ireland Collection Ulster Museum
First World War image showing soldiers in snow with tanks on backs. The men may be carrying some kind of disinfectant or else a de-icing fluid as it is visibly a cold winterís day. The item on the cart looms rather like the flue of a fire or heater, indicating that the men may well be carrying hot water. (Hogg, A. R ) © National Museums Northern Ireland Collection Ulster Museum
First World War image showing British soldiers washing in water held in shell hole, which appears to be the location for several British graves as indicated by the wooden crosses surrounding the crater, where the men may well have perished in an earlier explosion. (Hogg, A. R) © National Museums Northern Ireland Collection Ulster Museum
Theres room for you. Enlist to-day - W.M. Strain & Sons Ltd. - First World War recruitment poster; 'Theres room for you. Enlist to-day.' froman original drawing by W.A. Fry. Poster shows a cheery scene of soldiers going off to war by train. Published by the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee, London; poster no.122 Collection Ulster Museum
First World War image of British soldiers marching over battlefield. The devastation caused by repeated shellfire over four years left some parts of the Western Front and its hinterland a total ruin. (Hogg, A. R) Photograph © National Museums Northern Ireland Collection Ulster Museum
First World War image of a British soldier at machine gun post. Machine gun fire was sometimes effective against low-flying German planes. Note the bolt-holes for the gunner to hide during bombardment, the trench spike against the skyline and the horn of what may well be a gas-alarm. (Hogg, A. R) © National Museums Northern Ireland Collection Ulster Museum
First World War image of a British first aid team treating wounded soldier. There are three orderlies, treating a soldiers treating a man on a stretcher with head and shoulder injuries. The location would appear to be littered with shells and shell boxes and there is a building which has been damaged by artillery fire or an explosion. (Hogg, A. R) © National Museums Northern Ireland Collection Ulster Museum
First World War image of British soldiers wearing capes carrying shovels, road-building party, along the Western Front, probably wet and muddy conditions of Flanders, 1917. The Irish soldier and poet Francis Ledwidge was killed in just such a group as this at ëHellfire Cornerí at Ypres in 1917. (Hogg, A. R) © National Museums Northern Ireland Collection Ulster Museum
First World War image of British soldiers grouping in battlefield. The road is long which soldiers marched to and from the front were known to enemy artillery which by the end of the war was becoming more and more accurate in its fire. Note the posts which mark the line of the road, all too easily spotted by air reconnaissance (Hogg, A. R) © National Museums Northern Ireland Collection Ulster Museum
First World War image of tank and troops. Tanks were first used in September 1916, at Delville Wood. There were over 6,000 tanks in allied possession by the end of the war whereas the Germans did not greatly make or use them. (Hogg, A. R) © National Museums Northern Ireland Collection Ulster Museum
'Everyone should do his bit. Enlist now' - Roberts & Leete Ltd. - First World War recruitment poster; 'Everyone should do his bit. Enlist now.' Poster with boy scout standing musing in front of a wall covered in recruitment posters. Published by the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee London No.121 Original artwork by Baron Low Collection Ulster Museum
First World War image of a British soldier using periscope to look over rim of trench. The soldier also exhibits other features of trench hardware such as water-bottle and Lee Enfield rifle. There were various models of periscope, some improvised by the men themselves. (Hogg, A. R) © National Museums Northern Ireland Collection Ulster Museum
Posters and Memorabilia at the launch of the National Library's World War One Family History Roadshow which takes place between 10am and 7pm on Wednesday March 21st next. Pic Steve Humphreys 15th March 2012.
British troops manhandling a field gun, World War I
Belfast Telegraph. Page. Wednesday 5/8/1914 "Britain Declares War on Germany"
German troops and dogs prepared for the threat of 'chemical warefare' during the Great War, with gas masks.
Women making cartridges for British troops during the Great War. 1914-18
The return of British pow's, from the Great war, met on arrival at London by frienfs and family with refreshments.
Awarded the Victoria Cross for services in the Great War: Edmund De Wind (top left) James Somers (top right) Captain JA Sinton (centre) J Duffy (bottom Left) Robert Quigg ( bottom right)
Lord Kitchener inspects the 36th Ulster Division before deployment to the Great War.
British troops supply line during the Great War.
Crowds in Belfast line the streets as soldiers returning from the Great War march past Belfast City Hall.
British artillery on parade during the Great war.
British infantrymen occupy a shallow trench in a ruined landscape before an advance during the Battle of the Somme
Men of war: soldiers remove an injured man from the battlefield
The will of Private John Fleetwood, grandfather of Mick Fleetwood, who died during the First World War
First World War soldiers were treated for venereal disease in a camp at Chiseldon, Wiltshire.
The 36th Ulster Division march past at Belfast City Hall in May 1915
Undated handout photo of the front page of the Flanders Fields Post, a newspaper inspired by the historic Wipers Times created by First World War soldiers Captain FJ Roberts and Lieutenant JH Pearson in 1916, which has been recreated to mark the centenary of the war.
File photo dated 04/08/14 of the Grenadier Guards being watched by a crowd as they leave Wellington Barracks in London for active service in France at the beginning of World War I, as royalty, political leaders and families of the fallen will unite in Belgium and the UK today in marking 100 years since Britain entered the First World War.
The wills of soldiers who died during the First World War will be made available online
Family handout photo of Captain F. J. Roberts with his son Bill Roberts in 1914, as a newspaper inspired by the historic Wipers Times created by First World War soldiers Captain FJ Roberts and Lieutenant JH Pearson in 1916, has been recreated to mark the centenary of the war.
Undated family handout photo of Captain F. J. Roberts with his division, as a newspaper inspired by the historic Wipers Times created by First World War soldiers Captain FJ Roberts and Lieutenant JH Pearson in 1916, has been recreated to mark the centenary of the war.
Letters home from the Western Front in the First World War gave a snapshot of the horrendous conditions suffered by Ulster soldiers in the trenches
16-year-old Lee Dunion re-enacts the conditions in the trenches as a soldier in Thiepval Woods during the First World War
File photo dated 17/08/14 of British soldiers from the Royal Welch Fusiliers and the Cheshire Regiment in a Belgian town on their way to Mons as part of the British Expeditionary Force, as royalty, political leaders and families of the fallen will unite in Belgium and the UK today in marking 100 years since Britain entered the First World War.
Sgt David Harkness Blakey who died in 1916
Handout photo issued by London Transport Museum of Ole Bill, a 1911 B-type bus No. B43 flanked by standard bearers in the Armistice Day parade 1920 as wreaths are being laid at bus stations and garages across London in memory of the transport workers who died in the First World War.
A British soldier uses a periscope device in a First World War fire trench, as it was revealed a system of practice trenches have been found in Hampshire
File photo dated 20/08/14 of the scene outside the Enlisting Office in Thogmorton Street, London, at the beginning of the First World War, as royalty, political leaders and families of the fallen will unite in Belgium and the UK today in marking 100 years since Britain entered the First World War.
Men of the Royal marines landing at Ostend, during the Great War. 1914
Family handout photo of Capatain FJ Roberts (right) with family (L-R) Bert, Will, Nell and Fred Roberts, (front) dad Henry and mom Mary Roberts in 1900, as a newspaper inspired by the historic Wipers Times created by First World War soldiers Captain FJ Roberts and Lieutenant JH Pearson in 1916, has been recreated to mark the centenary of the war.
Records show newspapers urged women to send 'small comforts' like cigarettes and warm clothes to troops in the trenches
Research suggests most people in the UK do not realise the First World War extended beyond Europe
Wooden wing sections from a First World War bi-plane have been saved by RAF conservation experts
The Winchester Whisperer, a journal handwritten on toilet paper that was circulated by conscientious objectors who were imprisoned for their beliefs during the First World War. (Religious Society of Friends in Britain/BBC/PA)
Horror of the trenches: many from here made the ultimate sacrifice in the First World War
Family handout photo of a young Captain F. J. Roberts, as a newspaper inspired by the historic Wipers Times created by First World War soldiers Captain FJ Roberts and Lieutenant JH Pearson in 1916, has been recreated to mark the centenary of the war.

Northern Ireland football fans have made an emotional pilgrimage to a First World War battle site where thousands of their countrymen died a century ago.

The Ulster Tower near the Somme was built on land gifted by the grateful French for the ill-fated attack British troops from places like East Belfast made against overwhelming German defensive lines.

Northern Ireland fans pay their respects at the Ulster Tower, Thiepval
Northern Ireland fans pay their respects at the Ulster Tower, Thiepval

Supporters held a brief ceremony at the stone memorial complete with piper and prayers. They also played a football match against a local town.

Jim Spratt, committee member at the Amalgamation of Northern Irish Supporters' Clubs said: "We are here supporting Northern Ireland and we are doing them proud.

"These men did the world proud and we need to all remember that."

The centenary of the start of the July 1 Somme battle will be marked in a fortnight and dozens of supporters in Paris for Tuesday's crunch game against Germany made the trip north.

The 36th Ulster Division's initial attack near the Somme village of Thiepval was a success but the force could not hold territory gained.

At least 2,200 were confirmed dead during days of carnage involving faulty bombs and with failed communications, guides said.

Their shells landed on their own men and even the prevailing wind blew the gas back towards them.

Messengers carrying orders from headquarters to the front lines to retreat were killed and the troops never received them.

Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016
The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Pictured: Representatives of the 1st Shankill Somme Association fired a gun to represent the shelling of the trenches before the charge. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Pictured: Representatives of the 1st Shankill Somme Association fired a gun to represent the shelling of the trenches before the charge. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Pictured: Winston Irvine. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Pictured: Stephen Smith, Darren Layton, and Tommy Harrison. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Pictured: Irene Braiden, Gary Kennear, and Evelyn Sheilds. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, with feeder parades starting from all parts of Belfast, meeting at City Hall, and laying wreaths in memory of the those who lost their lives. Pictured: Cloughfern Young Conquerors. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, with feeder parades starting from all parts of Belfast, meeting at City Hall, and laying wreaths in memory of the those who lost their lives. Pictured: Pride of Ardoyne on parade. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, with feeder parades starting from all parts of Belfast, meeting at City Hall, and laying wreaths in memory of the those who lost their lives. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, with feeder parades starting from all parts of Belfast, meeting at City Hall, and laying wreaths in memory of the those who lost their lives. Pictured: The Pride of Ardoyne pass Clifton Street Orange Hall. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, with feeder parades starting from all parts of Belfast, meeting at City Hall, and laying wreaths in memory of the those who lost their lives. Pictured: Members of the Loyal Orange Lodges form up. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, with feeder parades starting from all parts of Belfast, meeting at City Hall, and laying wreaths in memory of the those who lost their lives. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Pictured: Ricky and Nathan Magowan, William and Jacob Galloway, and Ethan Floyd. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, with feeder parades starting from all parts of Belfast, meeting at City Hall, and laying wreaths in memory of the those who lost their lives. Pictured: Members of the Loyal Orange Lodges await the start of the parade. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, with feeder parades starting from all parts of Belfast, meeting at City Hall, and laying wreaths in memory of the those who lost their lives. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, with feeder parades starting from all parts of Belfast, meeting at City Hall, and laying wreaths in memory of the those who lost their lives. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, with feeder parades starting from all parts of Belfast, meeting at City Hall, and laying wreaths in memory of the those who lost their lives. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, with feeder parades starting from all parts of Belfast, meeting at City Hall, and laying wreaths in memory of the those who lost their lives. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, with feeder parades starting from all parts of Belfast, meeting at City Hall, and laying wreaths in memory of the those who lost their lives. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, with feeder parades starting from all parts of Belfast, meeting at City Hall, and laying wreaths in memory of the those who lost their lives. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, with feeder parades starting from all parts of Belfast, meeting at City Hall, and laying wreaths in memory of the those who lost their lives. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, with feeder parades starting from all parts of Belfast, meeting at City Hall, and laying wreaths in memory of the those who lost their lives. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, with feeder parades starting from all parts of Belfast, meeting at City Hall, and laying wreaths in memory of the those who lost their lives. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, with feeder parades starting from all parts of Belfast, meeting at City Hall, and laying wreaths in memory of the those who lost their lives. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, with feeder parades starting from all parts of Belfast, meeting at City Hall, and laying wreaths in memory of the those who lost their lives. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, with feeder parades starting from all parts of Belfast, meeting at City Hall, and laying wreaths in memory of the those who lost their lives. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, with feeder parades starting from all parts of Belfast, meeting at City Hall, and laying wreaths in memory of the those who lost their lives. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, with feeder parades starting from all parts of Belfast, meeting at City Hall, and laying wreaths in memory of the those who lost their lives. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 18th June 2016 The Battle of the Somme Centenary parade took place today, followed by a re-enactment of the battle in Woodvale Park, with thousands in attendance. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Stephen Kennedy, a minister in Lurgan in Co Armagh, said prayers.

He said: "There was a huge amount of blood and much of it was Ulster blood.

"Soldiers decided that they would lay down their lives for our freedom.

Pictured is Northern Ireland fans on the streets close to the Titanic Slipways in Belfast as Northern Ireland take on Germany during Euro 2016 game in Paris. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Pictured is Northern Ireland fans on the streets close to the Titanic Slipways in Belfast as Northern Ireland take on Germany during Euro 2016 game in Paris. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Pictured is Northern Ireland fans on the streets close to the Titanic Slipways in Belfast as Northern Ireland take on Germany during Euro 2016 game in Paris. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Pictured is Northern Ireland fans on the streets close to the Titanic Slipways in Belfast as Northern Ireland take on Germany during Euro 2016 game in Paris. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Pictured is Northern Ireland fans on the streets close to the Titanic Slipways in Belfast as Northern Ireland take on Germany during Euro 2016 game in Paris. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Pictured is Northern Ireland fans on the streets close to the Titanic Slipways in Belfast as Northern Ireland take on Germany during Euro 2016 game in Paris. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Pictured is Northern Ireland fans on the streets close to the Titanic Slipways in Belfast as Northern Ireland take on Germany during Euro 2016 game in Paris. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Pictured is Northern Ireland fans on the streets close to the Titanic Slipways in Belfast as Northern Ireland take on Germany during Euro 2016 game in Paris. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Pictured is Northern Ireland fans on the streets close to the Titanic Slipways in Belfast as Northern Ireland take on Germany during Euro 2016 game in Paris. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Pictured is Northern Ireland fans on the streets close to the Titanic Slipways in Belfast as Northern Ireland take on Germany during Euro 2016 game in Paris. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Pictured is Northern Ireland fans on the streets close to the Titanic Slipways in Belfast as Northern Ireland take on Germany during Euro 2016 game in Paris. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Pictured is Northern Ireland fans on the streets close to the Titanic Slipways in Belfast as Northern Ireland take on Germany during Euro 2016 game in Paris. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Pictured is Northern Ireland fans on the streets close to the Titanic Slipways in Belfast as Northern Ireland take on Germany during Euro 2016 game in Paris. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Pictured is Northern Ireland fans on the streets close to the Titanic Slipways in Belfast as Northern Ireland take on Germany during Euro 2016 game in Paris. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Pictured is Northern Ireland fans on the streets close to the Titanic Slipways in Belfast as Northern Ireland take on Germany during Euro 2016 game in Paris. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Pictured is Northern Ireland fans on the streets close to the Titanic Slipways in Belfast as Northern Ireland take on Germany during Euro 2016 game in Paris. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Pictured is Northern Ireland fans on the streets close to the Titanic Slipways in Belfast as Northern Ireland take on Germany during Euro 2016 game in Paris. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Pictured is Northern Ireland fans on the streets close to the Titanic Slipways in Belfast as Northern Ireland take on Germany during Euro 2016 game in Paris. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Fans showing their support at the Titanic Fanzone, Belfast as they watch Northern Ireland V Germany in Euro 2016. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 21, 2016. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Pacemaker Press Belfast 21-06-2016: Fans showing their support at the Titanic Fanzone, Belfast Northern Ireland as they watch Northern Ireland V Germany in Euro 2016. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 21-06-2016: Fans showing their support at the Titanic Fanzone, Belfast Northern Ireland as they watch Northern Ireland V Germany in Euro 2016. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 21-06-2016: Fans showing their support at the Titanic Fanzone, Belfast Northern Ireland as they watch Northern Ireland V Germany in Euro 2016. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 21-06-2016: Fans showing their support at the Titanic Fanzone, Belfast Northern Ireland as they watch Northern Ireland V Germany in Euro 2016. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 21-06-2016: Fans showing their support at the Titanic Fanzone, Belfast Northern Ireland as they watch Northern Ireland V Germany in Euro 2016. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 21-06-2016: Fans showing their support at the Titanic Fanzone, Belfast Northern Ireland as they watch Northern Ireland V Germany in Euro 2016. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 21-06-2016: Fans showing their support at the Titanic Fanzone, Belfast Northern Ireland as they watch Northern Ireland V Germany in Euro 2016. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 21-06-2016: Fans showing their support at the Titanic Fanzone, Belfast Northern Ireland as they watch Northern Ireland V Germany in Euro 2016. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 21-06-2016: Fans showing their support at the Titanic Fanzone, Belfast Northern Ireland as they watch Northern Ireland V Germany in Euro 2016. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 21-06-2016: Fans showing their support at the Titanic Fanzone, Belfast Northern Ireland as they watch Northern Ireland V Germany in Euro 2016. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 21-06-2016: Fans showing their support at the Titanic Fanzone, Belfast Northern Ireland as they watch Northern Ireland V Germany in Euro 2016. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 21-06-2016: Fans showing their support at the Titanic Fanzone, Belfast Northern Ireland as they watch Northern Ireland V Germany in Euro 2016. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 21st June 2016 Northern Ireland fans gather in the Fanzone at the Titanic Quarter to watch Northern Ireland face Germany. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 21st June 2016 Northern Ireland fans gather in the Fanzone at the Titanic Quarter to watch Northern Ireland face Germany. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 21st June 2016 Northern Ireland fans gather in the Fanzone at the Titanic Quarter to watch Northern Ireland face Germany. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 21st June 2016 Fans who won Gold Level VIP tickets pictured with Northern Ireland legend Billy Hamilton, who made the assist in the 1982 World Cup. Fans pictured are, Robert Grierson, Karen Connolly, and Dianne Atkinson. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Fans at the Northern Ireland fanzine at Titanic slipways in Belfast for Northern Ireland's crucial Euro 2016 clash against World Champions Germany in Paris. Photo by Peter Morrison/Belfast Telegraph
Fans at the Northern Ireland fanzine at Titanic slipways in Belfast for Northern Ireland's crucial Euro 2016 clash against World Champions Germany in Paris. Photo by Peter Morrison/Belfast Telegraph
Fans at the Northern Ireland fanzine at Titanic slipways in Belfast for Northern Ireland's crucial Euro 2016 clash against World Champions Germany in Paris. Photo by Peter Morrison/Belfast Telegraph
Fans at the Northern Ireland fanzine at Titanic slipways in Belfast for Northern Ireland's crucial Euro 2016 clash against World Champions Germany in Paris. Photo by Peter Morrison/Belfast Telegraph
Fans at the Northern Ireland fanzine at Titanic slipways in Belfast for Northern Ireland's crucial Euro 2016 clash against World Champions Germany in Paris. Photo by Peter Morrison/Belfast Telegraph
Fans showing their support at the Titanic Fanzone, Belfast as they watch Northern Ireland V Germany in Euro 2016. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 21, 2016. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Fans showing their support at the Titanic Fanzone, Belfast as they watch Northern Ireland V Germany in Euro 2016. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 21, 2016. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Northern Ireland fans (left to right)Joanne King, Tanya Naycott and Helena Mateer at the Titanic Fanzone, Belfast before they watch Northern Ireland V Germany in Euro 2016. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 21, 2016. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Fans showing their support at the Titanic Fanzone, Belfast as they watch Northern Ireland V Germany in Euro 2016. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 21, 2016. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Fans showing their support at the Titanic Fanzone, Belfast as they watch Northern Ireland V Germany in Euro 2016. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 21, 2016. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Fans showing their support at the Titanic Fanzone, Belfast as they watch Northern Ireland V Germany in Euro 2016. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 21, 2016. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Fans showing their support at the Titanic Fanzone, Belfast as they watch Northern Ireland V Germany in Euro 2016. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 21, 2016. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Fans showing their support at the Titanic Fanzone, Belfast as they watch Northern Ireland V Germany in Euro 2016. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 21, 2016. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 21st June 2016 Northern Ireland fans gather in the Fanzone at the Titanic Quarter to watch Northern Ireland face Germany. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 21st June 2016 Northern Ireland fans gather in the Fanzone at the Titanic Quarter to watch Northern Ireland face Germany. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 21st June 2016 Northern Ireland fans gather in the Fanzone at the Titanic Quarter to watch Northern Ireland face Germany. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 21st June 2016 Northern Ireland fans gather in the Fanzone at the Titanic Quarter to watch Northern Ireland face Germany. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 21st June 2016 Northern Ireland fans gather in the Fanzone at the Titanic Quarter to watch Northern Ireland face Germany. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 21st June 2016 Northern Ireland fans gather in the Fanzone at the Titanic Quarter to watch Northern Ireland face Germany. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 21st June 2016 Northern Ireland fans gather in the Fanzone at the Titanic Quarter to watch Northern Ireland face Germany. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 21st June 2016 Northern Ireland fans gather in the Fanzone at the Titanic Quarter to watch Northern Ireland face Germany. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 21st June 2016 Northern Ireland fans gather in the Fanzone at the Titanic Quarter to watch Northern Ireland face Germany. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 21st June 2016 Northern Ireland fans gather in the Fanzone at the Titanic Quarter to watch Northern Ireland face Germany. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 21st June 2016 Northern Ireland fans gather in the Fanzone at the Titanic Quarter to watch Northern Ireland face Germany. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 21st June 2016 Northern Ireland fans gather in the Fanzone at the Titanic Quarter to watch Northern Ireland face Germany. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 21st June 2016 Northern Ireland fans gather in the Fanzone at the Titanic Quarter to watch Northern Ireland face Germany. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 21st June 2016 Northern Ireland fans gather in the Fanzone at the Titanic Quarter to watch Northern Ireland face Germany. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 21st June 2016 Northern Ireland fans gather in the Fanzone at the Titanic Quarter to watch Northern Ireland face Germany. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 21st June 2016 Northern Ireland fans gather in the Fanzone at the Titanic Quarter to watch Northern Ireland face Germany. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 21st June 2016 Northern Ireland fans gather in the Fanzone at the Titanic Quarter to watch Northern Ireland face Germany. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 21st June 2016 Northern Ireland fans gather in the Fanzone at the Titanic Quarter to watch Northern Ireland face Germany. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Fans showing their support at the Titanic Fanzone, Belfast as they watch Northern Ireland V Germany in Euro 2016. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 21, 2016. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Fans showing their support at the Titanic Fanzone, Belfast as they watch Northern Ireland V Germany in Euro 2016. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 21, 2016. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Fans showing their support at the Titanic Fanzone, Belfast as they watch Northern Ireland V Germany in Euro 2016. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 21, 2016. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 21st June 2016 Northern Ireland fans gather in the Fanzone at the Titanic Quarter to watch Northern Ireland face Germany. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 21st June 2016 Northern Ireland fans gather in the Fanzone at the Titanic Quarter to watch Northern Ireland face Germany. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
GAWA fans enjoying the warm up to the kick off at the Fan Zone Titanic, Belfast. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye ©
GAWA fans enjoying the warm up to the kick off at the Fan Zone Titanic, Belfast. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye ©
Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye Belfast, UK - February 12 , Pictured is fans during the Northern Ireland fan zone in association with Vauxhall held at the Titanic Slipways as Northern Ireland take on Poland in the Euros on February 12, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Northern Ireland fans whilst watching the UEFA Euro 2016, Group C match between Northern Ireland and Poland at the Titanic Museum, Belfast. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Sunday 12th June 2015 Northern Ireland v Poland Fan Zone Titanic Belfast GAWA Fans enjoying the warm up too the kick off.
GAWA fans enjoying the warm up to the kick off at the Fan Zone Titanic, Belfast. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye ©
GAWA fans enjoying the warm up to the kick off at the Fan Zone Titanic, Belfast. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye ©
GAWA fans enjoying the warm up to the kick off at the Fan Zone Titanic, Belfast. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye ©
GAWA fans enjoying the warm up to the kick off at the Fan Zone Titanic, Belfast. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye ©
GAWA fans enjoying the warm up to the kick off at the Fan Zone Titanic, Belfast. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye ©
GAWA fans enjoying the warm up to the kick off at the Fan Zone Titanic, Belfast. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye ©
GAWA fans enjoying the warm up to the kick off at the Fan Zone Titanic, Belfast. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye ©
GAWA fans enjoying the warm up to the kick off at the Fan Zone Titanic, Belfast. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye ©
GAWA fans enjoying the warm up to the kick off at the Fan Zone Titanic, Belfast. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye ©
GAWA fans enjoying the warm up to the kick off at the Fan Zone Titanic, Belfast. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye ©
GAWA fans enjoying the warm up to the kick off at the Fan Zone Titanic, Belfast. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye ©
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Sunday 12th June 2015 Northern Ireland v Poland Fan Zone Titanic Belfast GAWA Fans enjoying the warm up too the kick off.
GAWA fans enjoying the excitment at the Fan Zone Titanic, Belfast. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye ©
GAWA fans enjoying the excitment at the Fan Zone Titanic, Belfast. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye ©
GAWA fans enjoying the excitment at the Fan Zone Titanic, Belfast. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye ©
GAWA fans enjoying the excitment at the Fan Zone Titanic, Belfast. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye ©
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Sunday 12th June 2015 Northern Ireland v Poland Fan Zone Titanic Belfast GAWA Fans enjoying the warm up too the kick off.
GAWA fans enjoying the excitment at the Fan Zone Titanic, Belfast. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye ©
GAWA fans enjoying the excitment at the Fan Zone Titanic, Belfast. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye ©
GAWA fans enjoying the excitement at the Fan Zone Titanic, Belfast. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye ©
GAWA fans enjoying the excitement at the Fan Zone Titanic, Belfast. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye ©
Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye Belfast, UK - February 12 , Pictured is fans during the Northern Ireland fan zone in association with Vauxhall held at the Titanic Slipways as Northern Ireland take on Poland in the Euros on February 12, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Northern Ireland fans whilst watching the UEFA Euro 2016, Group C match between Northern Ireland and Poland at the Titanic. Belfast. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Emily Gray during the Northern Ireland fan zone in association with Vauxhall held at the Titanic Slipways as Northern Ireland take on Poland in the Euros on February 12, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Northern Ireland fans whilst watching the UEFA Euro 2016, Group C match between Northern Ireland and Poland at the Titanic Museum, Belfast. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Fans during the Northern Ireland fan zone in association with Vauxhall held at the Titanic Slipways as Northern Ireland take on Poland. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Fans during the Northern Ireland fan zone in association with Vauxhall held at the Titanic Slipways as Northern Ireland take on Poland. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)Fans during the Northern Ireland fan zone in association with Vauxhall held at the Titanic Slipways as Northern Ireland take on Poland. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Fans during the Northern Ireland fan zone in association with Vauxhall held at the Titanic Slipways as Northern Ireland take on Poland in the Euros on February 12, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Fans during the Northern Ireland fan zone in association with Vauxhall held at the Titanic Slipways as Northern Ireland take on Poland. ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Fans during the Northern Ireland fan zone in association with Vauxhall held at the Titanic Slipways as Northern Ireland take on Poland in the Euros on February 12, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Fans during the Northern Ireland fan zone in association with Vauxhall held at the Titanic Slipways as Northern Ireland take on Poland in the Euros on February 12, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Fans during the Northern Ireland fan zone in association with Vauxhall held at the Titanic Slipways as Northern Ireland take on Poland in the Euros on February 12, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Fans during the Northern Ireland fan zone in association with Vauxhall held at the Titanic Slipways as Northern Ireland take on Poland in the Euros on February 12, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Fans during the Northern Ireland fan zone in association with Vauxhall held at the Titanic Slipways as Northern Ireland take on Poland in the Euros on February 12, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)

"They literally numbered their days to secure our future."

After days of partying the fans relaxed over tea and biscuits at the small interpretive centre, which contains wine bottles and rusted spoons recovered from the front.

They toured Thiepval Wood, from which Irish troops launched at times abortive attacks.

The bombs wobbled and never reached their targets, the Germans on the horizon, and often landed among their own men, according to guides.

A total of 2.5 million grenades were moved through Thiepval Wood, many using mules.

Among the relics recovered from archaeological digs were razors, combs and shaving brushes in perfect condition - a remnant of civilisation for men who spent days in the mud and squalor of the trenches.

Iodine used to treat infection, tins of corned beef and belt buckles were among the other traces of the soldiers retained.

Many of the dead and wounded were left in a bunker deep underground, according to records.

Trenches have been preserved in the condition they were in, complete with bags which would have been filled with the chalky soil to provide protection.

Darren Morton, 33, from Lisburn near Belfast, has been following Northern Ireland throughout the tournament.

He said the soldiers did not realise they fought and died for tiny advances in the front line and added the history of the Somme should be taught as part of the curriculum.

"Kids today are not being educated about it.

"It is more garbage they are being educated on."

He claimed: "You ask a 15-year-old about the Somme and they would not be able to tell you.

"But you ask them about a reality TV show and they will be able to tell you everything. It just shows you the way society has changed."

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From Belfast Telegraph