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Lest we forget: Dignitaries lay wreaths to remember Battle of the Somme fallen

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Sombre: Lord Mayor of Belfast Kate Nicholl lays a wreath at the Cenotaph at Belfast City Hall. Credit: Kelvin Boyes

Sombre: Lord Mayor of Belfast Kate Nicholl lays a wreath at the Cenotaph at Belfast City Hall. Credit: Kelvin Boyes

Councillor Stephanie Quigley, Keith Chare and Gregory Campbell at the Somme commemoration in Coleraine

Councillor Stephanie Quigley, Keith Chare and Gregory Campbell at the Somme commemoration in Coleraine

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson performs the wreath laying ceremony at the Somme memorial in the grounds of Stormont. Credit; Matt Mackey

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson performs the wreath laying ceremony at the Somme memorial in the grounds of Stormont. Credit; Matt Mackey

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Sombre: Lord Mayor of Belfast Kate Nicholl lays a wreath at the Cenotaph at Belfast City Hall. Credit: Kelvin Boyes

New DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson laid a wreath yesterday to remember the lives lost in the Battle of the Somme.

The 105th anniversary of the battle was marked at ceremonies across Northern Ireland.

The battle began on July 1 1916 and remains the bloodiest in the Army’s history. A total of 19,240 British troops were killed within 24 hours. Almost a tenth of those who died on the first day were from the 36th (Ulster) Division.

In Belfast, Sir Jeffrey joined dignitaries including Lord Mayor Kate Nicholl in remembering the dead. Other events were held in towns and cities across Northern Ireland.

In Coleraine, UUP councillor Richard Holmes laid a wreath on behalf of Causeway Coast Council. He said: “Today we gathered to mark the beginning of the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and remember those many thousands who fought and died for the freedoms we enjoy today. The sacrifices made by these soldiers is incalculable and it’s imperative we continue to demonstrate our civic gratitude for the courage and bravery demonstrated over 100 years ago.”

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