Second annual parade on horizon

Pride of Knockmore Flute Band pictured arriving at Lisburn War Memorial for a short act of remembrance conducted by the Rev John Pickering.
Pride of Knockmore Flute Band pictured arriving at Lisburn War Memorial for a short act of remembrance conducted by the Rev John Pickering.

Lisburn’s Pride of Knockmore Flute Band is busy finalising plans for its second annual joint remembrance parade with the Orange Order’s Lisburn District No6.

Organisers are hoping to build on the success of last year’s inaugural event.

It saw hundreds of Orangemen assemble to mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War One and remember all those from Lisburn who fought and died in both World Wars and subsequent conflicts.

Though honouring the sacrifice of many, for the Knockmore band that sacrifice came to be exemplified by one man.

Hailing from the area that would later become Knockmore, and educated at Friends school, Captain Walter Charter Boomer was an officer in the First Lisburn Battalion of the UVF, who, having then enlisted as a private in the 11th battalion Royal Irish Rifles, was commissioned on July 2, 1915 and left for France in October that year as a Second Leiutenant with D Company.

He was awarded the Military Cross in the autumn of 1917 “for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when in command of his company”, and died - aged 27 - at Becelaere, east of Ypres, on October 1, 1918, while serving as a Captain with 12 RIR.

Having themselves researched Captain Boomer, band members were delighted to later track down and meet his great nephew, Reni Boomer, from Belsize Road, Lisburn and learn still more about a man who, according to the band’s Ian Gilbert, is seen as representative of all the area’s fallen soldiers.

Open to all Orange brethren this year’s act of remembrance is to take place on November 7. Brethren are to assemble at 10.45am at Lisburn Orange Hall.

Led by Pride of Knockmore Flute Band , the parade will set off at 11am, making its way to Lisburn war memorial for an 11.30am wreath-laying and service of commemoration.

The parade will then make its way around the city centre and back to the Orange Hall for an afternoon of commemorative events and entertainment from 12.30-6pm.

The programme includes a World War One exhibition and a talk by historian Quincy Dougan.

Also, the music of Altnaveigh Memorial Pipe Band, Scottish dancers ‘Bright Lights’, flautist Jane Watterson playing Irish war tunes and laments, other music and refreshments.

All money raised by the event will go to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.