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Town set to honour two of most celebrated sons

By Eddie McIlwaine

Blue Plaques from the Ulster History Circles are to be unveiled in Lurgan in honour of two of the town's celebrated sons.

Distinguished Field Marshal Sir John Dill (1881-1944) and literary giant George William Russell (1867-1935) will be remembered this Wednesday.

The Army chief's ceremony will be at 30-33 Market Street where he was born the son of a bank manager, in the morning (11.30am) and the one for GW Russell in the afternoon (1.30pm) at 12 William Street where he first saw the light.

Dill was actually born on Christmas Day 1881 and grew up to have a distinguished military career culminating in his appointment as head of the British military mission to Washington in 1942. He was respected by the Yanks and when he died, still in harness towards the end of World War 11, a service of remembrance was held.

He belongs to a handful of non-Americans granted the right of burial in Arlington National Cemetery mainly due to the fact that he was a vital link in the joint American-British military operations during the war.

Russell grew up in Dublin and under the nom de plume of AE he was a founder figure of the Irish literary revival alongside WB Yeats and Lady Gregory. He was also a talented artist.

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