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Somme anniversary marked with ceremonies across NI

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Belfast, Alderman Frank McCoubrey, lays a wreath at the Cenotaph at Belfast City Hall

Belfast, Alderman Frank McCoubrey, lays a wreath at the Cenotaph at Belfast City Hall

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Belfast, Alderman Frank McCoubrey, lays a wreath at the Cenotaph at Belfast City Hall

The Lord Mayor of Belfast took part in a wreath-laying ceremony as the 104th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme was marked yesterday.

Many men from the 36th (Ulster) division and the 16th (Irish) division lost their lives in the battle, which began on July 1, 1916.

In Belfast the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at the cenotaph was led by Frank McCoubrey, following a special meeting of the City Council.

Also in Belfast, members from Lodges in Ballymacarrett District LOL No 6 held simultaneous acts of remembrance at five war memorials in the east of the city.

These were Strandtown War Memorial, Belmont Road; Willowfield War Memorial, Woodstock Road; Cregagh War Memorial, Picardy Avenue; Workman Clark & Co. Memorial, Titanic Quarter; and the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland War Memorial at Schomberg House, Cregagh Road.

The commemorations were in lieu of the annual Battle of the Somme parade, which was cancelled due to Covid-19.

The District Master, Wor. Bro. Sammy Sharkie, led the commemorations by laying the wreath at Strandtown where the parade traditionally stops each year for a short service.

Low-key ceremonies also took place in other towns and villages across Northern Ireland.

On the north coast the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Mark Fielding placed a wreath at Portstewart War Memorial to mark the anniversary.

A wreath was also placed at Northern Ireland's national war memorial, the Ulster Tower, in France.

Belfast Telegraph