Belfast Telegraph

Orange walkers to remember Great War's fallen

By Adrian Rutherford

A group of Orangemen walking the Western Front for charity will pay their respects at the gravesides of two Catholic soldiers who died in battle.

Members of No Surrender LOL 20, from Banbridge and the surrounding district, will trek 130km in a walk of remembrance for the fallen of the Great War, travelling from the Thiepval Memorial in France to the Menin Gate in Belgium.

A total of 17 participants aim to complete the journey over four days, starting on Sunday.

Proceeds will go the children's cancer unit in the Royal Hospital and Cure4cam, aiding the family of Cameron Truesdale who are raising money to travel to Mexico so the 13-year-old can receive treatment for a brain tumour.

Lodge secretary Stuart Magill said their planned route would incorporate notable battle sites, including the Somme, Messines, Passchendaele and Vimy Ridge.

Brethren also intend to pay their respects at the gravesides of two Catholic soldiers, Major Willie Redmond and Rifleman Anthony O'Neill, the youngest member of the 36th Ulster Division to be killed, aged just 15.

Mr Magill said the challenge would have great poignancy for those taking part. He plans to lay a wreath in memory of his great-great uncle, William Close, on the 103rd anniversary of his death.

"Five of the group have direct relations who paid the ultimate sacrifice and all will be remembered on our journey," he added.

"As we walk members will be passing numerous memorials and cemeteries. At all of these stops we plan to lay wreaths."

To donate visit the JustGiving website, searching for walk of remembrance.

Belfast Telegraph

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