In common with towns and cities across Europe, Lisburn last week commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.
The city council, the local branch of the Royal British Legion and the members of the public assembled for a dawn service of remembrance at the War Memorial in Castle Gardens.
There they marked the centenary of a battle remembered today as the largest fought on World War One’s Western Front.
More than a million men were killed or wounded during the Somme offensive, making it one of the bloodiest battles in history.
Last Friday, 100 years to the day since the battle began on July 1, 1916, those gathered at Castle Gardens joined in prayer and observed a minute’s silence.
Deputy Mayor, Alderman Stephen Martin, Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council Chief Executive, Dr Theresa Donaldson and Royal British Legion Lisburn Branch President, Captain Raymond Corbett (retired), laid wreaths at the War Memorial, where RBL Lisburn branch Padre, the Reverend Nicholas Dark, led the service.
In the absence of the Mayor, Councillor Brian Bloomfield, who was in France as part of a council delegation attending a Commonwealth Service of Remembrance, the Deputy Mayor read Canadian military doctor and artillery commander Major John McCrae’s famous poem ‘In Flanders Fields’.
“We cannot imagine the horrors endured in the trenches and on the battlefields at the Somme,” said Alderman Martin afterwards.
“Hundreds of thousands of young men were slaughtered and generations of sons, brothers, husbands and fathers never returned home.
“We must never forget their bravery and loyalty.
“These men fought and died for a future they would never enjoy but we are forever grateful and must do all we can to ensure that their powerful legacy lives on throughout the generations to come.”