Belfast Telegraph

Remembrance Sunday: A solemn day of reflection as thousands pay tribute to Northern Ireland’s war dead

Sunday’s remembrance service
Sunday’s remembrance service
PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne lays a wreath during an act of Remembrance is held at the Cenotaph in Belfast City Hall on November 10th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne lays a wreath during an act of Remembrance is held at the Cenotaph in Belfast City Hall on November 10th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney lays a wreath during an act of Remembrance is held at the Cenotaph in Belfast City Hall on November 10th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Commodore M Quinn of the Royal Navy lays a wreath during an act of Remembrance is held at the Cenotaph in Belfast City Hall on November 10th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
An act of Remembrance is held at the Cenotaph in Belfast City Hall on November 10th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
An act of Remembrance is held at the Cenotaph in Belfast City Hall on November 10th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
An act of Remembrance is held at the Cenotaph in Belfast City Hall on November 10th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne lays a wreath during an act of Remembrance is held at the Cenotaph in Belfast City Hall on November 10th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
The American Consul General, Ms E Kennedy Trudeau lays a wreath during an act of Remembrance is held at the Cenotaph in Belfast City Hall on November 10th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast Peter McReynolds lays a wreath during an act of Remembrance is held at the Cenotaph in Belfast City Hall on November 10th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney lays a wreath during an act of Remembrance is held at the Cenotaph in Belfast City Hall on November 10th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Minister for Defence Procurement Anne-Marie Trevelyan lays a wreath during an act of Remembrance is held at the Cenotaph in Belfast City Hall on November 10th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast Peter McReynolds lays a wreath during an act of Remembrance is held at the Cenotaph in Belfast City Hall on November 10th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
An act of Remembrance is held at the Cenotaph in Belfast City Hall on November 10th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Fionnuala Jay-O'Boyle CBE lays a wreath during an act of Remembrance is held at the Cenotaph in Belfast City Hall on November 10th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
An act of Remembrance is held at the Cenotaph in Belfast City Hall on November 10th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
An act of Remembrance is held at the Cenotaph in Belfast City Hall on November 10th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
An act of Remembrance is held at the Cenotaph in Belfast City Hall on November 10th 2019 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Allan Preston

By Allan Preston

People fell silent at cenotaphs across Northern Ireland as thousands gathered to mark Remembrance Sunday.

In Belfast politicians stood with military veterans as Tanaiste Simon Coveney laid a green laurel wreath alongside those of the city's Deputy Lord Mayor Peter McReynolds and Chief Constable Simon Byrne.

Mr Byrne called the event "a solemn reminder of the sacrifices of others to protect our truth and peace".

The SDLP was also represented by MLAs Nichola Mallon and Claire Hanna.

It is understood that Belfast Lord Mayor, Sinn Fein's John Finucane, will take part in events to mark Armistice Day on Monday morning.

In Enniskillen Taoiseach Leo Varadkar laid a wreath, standing alongside Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith and DUP leader Arlene Foster.

Elsewhere, in Ballygawley, three soldiers who survived an IRA bomb attack on a bus paid their respects. James Leatherbarrow, Dave Hardy and Mike Drew had been travelling back to an Army base in Omagh on August 20, 1988, when a bomb exploded, killing eight of their colleagues.

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Mr Hardy, who returned to the scene for the first time last week, was among the 28 wounded and suffered serious injuries including a bleed on the brain, collapsed lung and multiple broken bones.

In Londonderry the Lord Lieutenant Dr Angela Garvey was among those laying a wreath at the remembrance service also attended by church leaders.

Meanwhile, in London the royal family led the national tributes at the Cenotaph in Whitehall.

The Prince of Wales laid a wreath of poppies on behalf of the Queen, who watched on from a nearby balcony.

Speaking in Belfast City Hall on Sunday, Vivian Bowman (61) said the service in its grounds had extra meaning as her father, a D-Day veteran, passed away in December.

"My dad was a Regimental Sergeant Major in the Royal Ulster Rifles and completed almost 30 years service," she said.

"He was a D-Day veteran who went in on the gliders and was there for the crossing of the Rhine. He went on to serve in Korea, Cyprus and Borneo as well.

"Last year was also very special with the centenary but today there was a lot more younger people here, which is good to see."

Jim Bowman (73), who served in the Royal Ulster Rifles, added: "This is always a very special day. My colleagues are very important to me and we always supported each other no matter what."

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar places a wreath during the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in Enniskillen, held in tribute for members of the armed forces who have died in major conflicts. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar places a wreath during the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in Enniskillen, held in tribute for members of the armed forces who have died in major conflicts. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith places a wreath during a Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in Enniskillen, held in tribute for members of the armed forces who have died in major conflicts. PA Photo. Picture date: Sunday November 10, 2019. See PA story ULSTER Remembrance. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and DUP Leader Arlene Foster at a Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in Enniskillen, held in tribute for members of the armed forces who have died in major conflicts. PA Photo. Picture date: Sunday November 10, 2019. See PA story ULSTER Remembrance. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
DUP leader Arlene Foster places a wreath at a Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in Enniskillen, held in tribute for members of the armed forces who have died in major conflicts. PA Photo. Picture date: Sunday November 10, 2019. See PA story ULSTER Remembrance. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Crowds gather at a Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in Enniskillen, held in tribute for members of the armed forces who have died in major conflicts. PA Photo. Picture date: Sunday November 10, 2019. See PA story ULSTER Remembrance. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar places a wreath during the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in Enniskillen, held in tribute for members of the armed forces who have died in major conflicts. PA Photo. Picture date: Sunday November 10, 2019. See PA story ULSTER Remembrance. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
(left to right) Northern Ireland Secretary Julien Smith, DUP leader Arlene Foster and Taoiseach Leo Varadkat at a Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in Enniskillen, held in tribute for members of the armed forces who have died in major conflicts. PA Photo. Picture date: Sunday November 10, 2019. See PA story ULSTER Remembrance. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar places a wreath during the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in Enniskillen, held in tribute for members of the armed forces who have died in major conflicts. PA Photo. Picture date: Sunday November 10, 2019. See PA story ULSTER Remembrance. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at a Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in Enniskillen, held in tribute for members of the armed forces who have died in major conflicts. PA Photo. Picture date: Sunday November 10, 2019. See PA story ULSTER Remembrance. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
(left to right) Northern Ireland Secretary Julien Smith, DUP leader Arlene Foster and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at a Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in Enniskillen, held in tribute for members of the armed forces who have died in major conflicts. PA Photo. Picture date: Sunday November 10, 2019. See PA story ULSTER Remembrance. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
(left to right) Northern Ireland Secretary Julien Smith, DUP leader Arlene Foster and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at a Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in Enniskillen, held in tribute for members of the armed forces who have died in major conflicts. PA Photo. Picture date: Sunday November 10, 2019. See PA story ULSTER Remembrance. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
(left to right) Northern Ireland Secretary Julien Smith, DUP leader Arlene Foster and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at a Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in Enniskillen, held in tribute for members of the armed forces who have died in major conflicts. PA Photo. Picture date: Sunday November 10, 2019. See PA story ULSTER Remembrance. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Northern Ireland Secretary Julien Smith and DUP leader Arlene Foster at a Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in Enniskillen, held in tribute for members of the armed forces who have died in major conflicts. PA Photo. Picture date: Sunday November 10, 2019. See PA story ULSTER Remembrance. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at a Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in Enniskillen, held in tribute for members of the armed forces who have died in major conflicts. PA Photo. Picture date: Sunday November 10, 2019. See PA story ULSTER Remembrance. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Friends Eddie Bell (82) from Belfast and Eddie Carr (69), originally from Tyneside, were there to remember lost family members and to show solidarity with their former colleagues.

Mr Bell served in the Royal Ulster Rifles in the 1950s in Cyprus and his own father was killed while serving in Italy in 1943. "It means an awful lot to us, remembering all the people that died," he said. Mr Carr was in the Royal Corps of Transport in West Germany in the 1960s. His grandfather died during the Russian convoys and his dad served in the Merchant Navy.

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