As the world stops to commemorate 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Somme this week, events have already begun taking place across Fermanagh to remember the local men who lost their lives at the famous battle.
Among other events that have already taken place around the county, in Enniskillen an exhibition on the Somme was held at the Ely Centre last week, in conjunction with the Lisbellaw and South Fermanagh World War One Society, that was attended by hundreds of locals, while in Lisnaskea last Friday night the community shared in a special re-enactment of the battle. A special service of remembrance will take place in Lack tonight.
The main service tomorrow morning will take place at Enniskillen Castle, home of the Inniskillings Museuam, however there are many more ceremonies and commemorations taking place in towns and villages around the county at day break on tomorrow morning.
Commemorations will be taking place from Enniskillen to Kesh and Lisbellaw to Brookeborough, and will be have a distinct cross-community feeling, with the thousands of Fermanagh men who fought at the Somme coming from all backgrounds and faiths.
Gary Wilson is involved with the Kesh commemorations said their events were open to everyone.
“There were 49 men from north Fermanagh who lost their lives at the Somme, that’s Kesh, Lack, Ederney and into Pettigo areas,” he said. “The came from both sides of the community, and what is now both sides of the border, and we want our commemoration to reflect that.”
With an exhibition by historian David Keys running at the Kesh YFC Hall all week, the Kesh commemoration begins at 7am on Friday morning, starting with a piper’s lament and short prayer in the village centre. Then, at 7.28am, sounds of the battlefield that the soldiers would’ve heard as the battle began, will be played throughout the street.
“It really will bring people back 100 years to what it was really like for these young men,” said Mr Wilson.
A wreath will then be laid at the former home of young soldier Private Robert McClintock, who was killed on the first day of the Somme, while the rest of the days events include a parade later in the day and an open-air service.
In Lisbellaw, where there will be three window displays in shops to commemorate the Somme all this week, the village will mark the occasion by lighting a beacon at 7am on Friday, followed by wreath laying and a service.
Tony Watson of Lisbellaw and South Fermanagh World War One Society, who organised the events, will not be there, however, as he and his son will be joining around 18 other Fermanagh locals who are travelling to the Somme for Friday.
With them they will be carrying a sash, loaned to them by a local Orange Lodge, that had been carried into battle by a young Fermanagh soldier who was wounded in the battle.
To read more.. Subscribe to current edition
Posted: 7:30 pm June 30, 2016