Great War VC heroes celebrated at memorial
Ahead of November's official centenary commemorations to mark the end of the First World War, a special service was held yesterday to honour more than 40 Irishmen who received the Victoria Cross for acts of valour between 1914 and 1918.
Organised by the Northern Ireland First World War Centenary Committee, the service was attended by the families of the VC holders, veterans' groups, members of the armed services, forces chaplains, government and political representatives.
An act of remembrance also took place, which involved a two-minute silence and the laying of wreaths. The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Rt Rev Dr Charles McMullen, who led the service in Belfast, said: "It was a privilege to have been asked to take part in this special service of remembrance to honour the valour of those Irishmen who won the Victoria Cross during the Great War.
"The scale and horror of what took place in those four years is well documented and can only deepen our respect for those who went from these shores voluntarily, including my two great uncles who didn't return, and those who won the highest award for their courage, the Victoria Cross."
Two schoolchildren recited poems they had written as part of the Never Such Innocence project, which aims to engage young people with the centenary.