Somme Commemoration parade in Lurgan

The Ancre Somme Association staged a commemoration parade in Lurgan on Monday evening (July 1).

The parade - marking the 103rd anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme, comprised of the members of the association, Craigavon Protestant Boys Flute Band and Upper Bann Fusiliers Flute Band. Special guests included Robin Swann MLA, Carla Lockhart MLA, Doug Beattie MLA as well as Councillors Stephen Moutray and Darryn Causby representing Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.

At the Somme Commemoration Parade are (from left) Jonathan Johns, Lexi Davidson, Carla Lockhart, Ashley Forbes, Richard Edgar, Robin Swann, Doug Beattie and David Martin.

At the Somme Commemoration Parade are (from left) Jonathan Johns, Lexi Davidson, Carla Lockhart, Ashley Forbes, Richard Edgar, Robin Swann, Doug Beattie and David Martin.

As the parade left Brownlow House Association Ambassador, Carla Lockhart MLA, laid a wreath to the fallen before the parade made its way to High Street where a short service was held in memory of Lurgan born Private William McFadzean VC.

On this the 103rd Anniversary of his death acting Chairman Ashley Forbes stood in the shadow of the newly erected bronze bust of William and asked all those present to remember the courage and bravery he had shown as he placed his body over exploding bombs to save his fellow comrades.

ASA Honorary President David Martin led with a short prayer while fellow Association member Richard Edgar recited the poem entitled “Soldier Boy McFadzean”. As the piper, Tim Wharton, played a lament Lexi Davidson laid a wreath on behalf of the Association.

The parade then made it way to Flush Place where a wreath was laid by Association member Stephen Jones in memory of the late ASA Scotland Chairman Harry Fairley.

The parade then continued along Market Street to the War Memorial where a service was held in remembrance of all those who gave their lives in both World Wars and subsequent Wars, Battles and conflicts.

During the service wreaths were laid on behalf of all those who took part in the commemoration before the Exhortation was delivered by Clive Higginson. The service concluded with the bugler, Aaron Watson, playing the Last Post and Reveille.

The parade then continued along Market Street and made its way back to Brownlow House where all on parade were dismissed after a few words of thanks from ASA Honorary President, David Martin and the National Anthem.

A spokesman said: “The officers and members of the Ancre Somme Association would like to once again take this opportunity to thank all those who helped organise, manage and took part in this year’s Battle of the Somme Commemoration. In particular the people of Lurgan for their continued support as we remember those who gave their tomorrows for our todays.”