Belfast Telegraph

Video: Somme commemoration parade passes off peacefully in east Belfast

A parade marking the Battle of the Somme has passed off peacefully in east Belfast.

Hundreds of bandsmen took to the streets on Monday evening - passing by the nationalist Short Strand area.

But despite a massive police operation - which including the erection of a massive barrier separating marchers from the nearby estate - there were no reports of any serious trouble on Monday evening.

The Battle of the Somme, whose 97th anniversary is commemorated this year, began on July 1, 1916 in the high expectation of a major victory that would bring the carnage of the First World War to an end. By the time it petered out the following November, more than one million soldiers from both sides had died.

Among the victims were thousands of Irish soldiers, with many more wounded. The catastrophic loss of life was exacerbated by much of its occurrence on the first day of the Battle and two days in the following September.

About 5,500 casualties were from the 36th Ulster Division on July 1. The 16th Irish Division had 4,330 casualties in September, of whom 1,200 were killed. These came mainly from the other three provinces.

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