Programme of events to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme is launched
A programme of events to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme has been launched,
The programme, created by Belfast Somme 100, will run from September – November, and include concerts, film, lectures, walks, exhibitions, poetry, debates, theatre and family activities.
Karen O'Rawe, Chair of History Hub Ulster and Belfast Somme 100 said the events are aimed at improving the public's understand of the circumstances and events of the battle.
"The impact of the Somme on Belfast is remembered in this, our final programme of events," she said.
"The people of our small city heaved with tears of grief as their young men were killed and maimed, no matter what their background. Belfast Catholic, Protestant, Jew or Quaker - all served and died together at the Somme.
"The close links between people can be seen in our programme of events. Follow Rifleman Willie Kerr, a young Catholic man who enlisted in the YCV in Medal In The Drawer, and his friend, young Protestant Rifleman George Kirkwood on the big screen at City Hall as part of the Castleton Lantern Project.
"The Kirkwoods and Kerrs were just two Belfast families who received telegrams announcing the deaths of their sons.
"The programme runs for 141 days across Belfast, the exact duration of the Somme campaign in 1916, and this Autumn it features a range of commemorative events including concerts, film, lectures, walks, exhibitions, poetry, debates, theatre, children and family activities."
Local events throughout Belfast will continue through till the end of November. Activities will include the opening of a new memorial and lighting of a beacon at Skegoneill Avenue in November, a Somme Day Community Festival to launch Tree Tank in South Belfast, the 'Row on Row' remembrance event at Pitt Park on 18th November and a new activity and learning book on the Somme to be circulated free to schools and community centres and interactive workshops aimed at educating children and young people.
Full information, updates and ticketing is available at www.belfastsomme100.com, on Facebook and on twitter @belfastsomme100.