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Somme Memorial day

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.. Somme Memorial day

Post by Redneck on Mon 30 Jun - 23:20:47


http://www.belfastsomme.com/index.htm( check out our website, just click on the site logo )

Tomorrow night I'll have the honour of playing at the Belfast City Hall cenotaph to commemorate the brave actions taken by the 36th Ulster Division on the 1st of July morning.

Leading the assault on the German lines from the sanctuary of Thiepval woods, on this horrendous day the brave Ulstermen ere the only ones to achieve the military objective.
The remembrance service is to recall the ultimate sacrifice these men from our shores gave in the fight for freedom.

This extract is taken from a book of writings which were actually done at the Somme:-

The lines in memory of the late Colonel Bernard, Commanding the 10th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles were written by Rifleman Dick Cunningham.

The shades of eve were falling in a village overseas,
As we laid our Colonel down to rest 'neath Shell torn apple trees.
The last post having sounded many eyes were moist with tears,
of the men who stood around the grave, all Ulster Volunteers.

He was a credit to the Army, as the 10th say,
every inch the solider, and he proved it every day.
He's gone but not forgotten, his loss we all deplore,
revenge is sweet, we've got it, we can do no more.

On July 1st he nobly fell while leading an advance, in one of the fiercest fights that was ever fought in France.
"NO SURRENDER" was our war cry as over No Man's Land we sped,
T'was echoed all along the line over the dying and the dead.

At 9:00am we started though machine guns on us rained;
Our Battalion, it grew smaller at every yard we gained;
but onward always onward, the trenches now in sight,
the lion reached the eagle, and put the bird to flight.

"Revenge our gallant Colonel's death" was the brave Ulstermen's next cry,
their bayonets glittering in the sun as wave by wave passed by,
"Now give it to the coward chum, we've got them on the run, now paint your bayonet crimson red with the heart blood of the hun"

Our objective gained, our task is o'er at last, for a short time.
We ae relieved and have retired behind the firing line.
We miss many dear faces as our Battalion marches by,
but in our hearts their memory will never, never die.

F.G.A.U





Last edited by Redneck on Tue 1 Jul - 0:58:20; edited 3 times in total
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.. Re: Somme Memorial day

Post by Redneck on Mon 30 Jun - 23:24:47

The last time most of the men in this picture would ever see their beloved City Hall


The Ulster Volunteer Force as they march past the Belfast City Hall en-route to the Somme.

"LEAST WE FORGET".......
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.. Re: Somme Memorial day

Post by Gordy88 on Mon 30 Jun - 23:25:52

A great priviledge indeed Iain,

It is good to see that people still remember the Somme, and indeed other battles from both wars,

I know it is something very close to your heart, as it is to mine, and i hope it all goes well for you and the association


F.G.A.U.
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.. Re: Somme Memorial day

Post by Dai Robb on Mon 30 Jun - 23:35:26

Well written Iain, It is indeed an honour, and one that I know you cherish, power to your elbow my friend.
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.. Re: Somme Memorial day

Post by Redneck on Mon 30 Jun - 23:57:29

My youngest son Donald is there now at the battle fields in France, he's not long off the phone and is in a total state of shock at the carnage that went on during the battles all over France.

The thing which took him by surprise was the calm 'n beauty of the Somme / Thiepval wood area until, they went to the Ulster war museum in the vaults of the cathedral in Albert.
There they show actual footage of the battle field, also there are very graphic displays ( somewhat like the wax works displays ) depicting different battle scenes.

Donald had a slight croak in his voice as he told me of the things he'd seen, forgetting I'd been there with the Army and afterwards with the South Belfast Somme Association.

Listening to Donald's accounts made me very proud that a young man saved his hard earned cash to go and see for himself the kind of things his fellow countrymen done for him all those years ago.

Pity some of today's young offenders couldn't be sent there instead of Spain white water rafting?????Might knock a bit of respect inda 'em.
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.. Re: Somme Memorial day

Post by Piping Connections on Tue 1 Jul - 1:15:47

Here Here Iain

Very Moving and i hope it goes well tomorrow mate
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.. Re: Somme Memorial day

Post by Redneck on Wed 2 Jul - 2:41:27

Just in from the parade, the act of remembrance as always was a very somber affair, however things being as they are now in Ulster all around the City hall was heaving with tourists.

The parade marched into the city hall grounds watched by tourists maybe taken back by the sight of soldiers in period dress and a colour party 18 deep with Battalion and regimental flags of the old guard.

The service was simple, the band ( Sons of Ulster F.B ) played a hymn, short reading from the bible followed by the wreath laying ( selection of S/Airs by myself ) bugler, myself, bugler again.
The band then played Abide with me followed by the National Anthem. Then a surprise........the watching crowds then applauded.
Not something we are used to in these sort of circumstances which we hold in reverence, but they weren't to know. There again it must have been appreciated to warrant a response like that.

This was as Dai and the rest of you said something very close 'n dear to my heart, I never fell a sense of pride in any of my piping engagements as I do on this the 1st of July Somme Memorial service.

NO GREATER LOVE HATH A MAN THAN TO LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS COUNTRY.....1914-1918
F.G.A.U
( if you click on this picture you can see in more detail the mural this picture was taken from on the Shankill road Belfast )

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.. Re: Somme Memorial day

Post by tankiedrummie on Wed 2 Jul - 14:25:56

Sounds as if you had a nice day pal..Its good to remember the past, the sacrifices people have made and still do, to protect not only our freedom but our way of life. God Bless
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.. Re: Somme Memorial day

Post by Redneck on Wed 2 Jul - 21:24:51

Thanks Ian, it was a great day / night.
Donald has just arrived home from the Somme about 30mins ago, once we get the pictures sorted I'll post some here for you all to see.
Just had a quick look through them, some crackers.

@Gordy, yer m8 was doin' the reading at the Somme. Donald got a good pic' of the Rev' Ian Paisley, he was doing the reading on the 1st July morn'.
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.. Re: Somme Memorial day

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