Large crowd in tribute to remember war dead

Large crowd in tribute to remember war dead

15 November 2023

SUNDAY’S remembrance commemoration in Downpatrick was one of the best attended in the county town in recent years.

A large number of people, including young people, gathered at the cenotaph in New Bridge Street where a total of 15 wreaths were laid.

The chairman of the town’s Royal British Legion branch, Mr Keith Straney, said he was delighted to see such a large gathering and thanked everyone for their support.

A number of youth organisations took part in the parade from The Mall in English Street. They included Inch Scouts, who were making a welcome return, while Down High School was represented.

They joined Legion members, ex-service personnel and representatives of the PSNI, Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service and other organisations, as well as relatives of loved ones who had lost their lives.

The parade marshal was Mr Sammy Daye and the parade was led by Dunmore Silver Band. The Royal British Legion standard bearer was Mr Raymond 

Martin and the Royal Air Force Association standard bearer was Mr Andrew Conn.

The religious ceremony was conducted by Dean Henry Hull, Fr Maurice Henry, Rev Owen Patterson and Rev Rosalind Taggart.

Following the sounding of The Last Post, Mr Straney recited Binyon’s Lines from the steps of the cenotaph after which there was a minute’s silence.

A wreath on behalf of the Royal British Legion was laid by Mr Neville Rooney, who was escorted by Mr Trevor McKibbin and Mr Andrew Fitzpatrick.

The wreath on behalf of the Royal Air Force Association was laid by Mr Jim Smyth.

A wreath on behalf of Newry, Mourne and Down Council, was laid by the vice-chairman, Cllr Gareth Sharvin.

Other wreath were laid by the following:

PSNI – Con S Law, escorted by Con J Skimin.

NI Fire and Rescue Service – Firefighter Kevin Hanna.

Inch Scouts – Mrs Dawn Stocking, escorted by Mr Tristan Stocking and Ms Deirdre Pim.

1st Crossgar Boys’ Brigade – William McCormick, escorted by Ruben Watson and Alex Watson.

Clough Girls’ Brigade — Rachel McNerlin, escorted by Emily Blakely and Ava Watson.

Down High School – Nathan Forsythe.

Downpatrick Women’s Institute – Mrs Debbie McKibbin, escorted by Mrs Geraldine Gray and Mrs Sharon McVeigh.

Ulster Unionist Party – Mr John Hanna.

Alliance Party – Mr Patrick Brown MLA.

DUP – Cllr Alan Lewis.

Lecale District LOL No 2 – Mr William Long, District Master, escorted by Mr Andrew Watson and Mr Michael Hill.

Lecale District Royal Black Institution Chapter – Mr Samuel Barratt, Worshipful 

District Master, escorted by 

Mr Phil Colmer, District Registrar.

Bells Hill Apprentice Boys – Mr Alex Stevenson, escorted by Mr Andrew McAuley and Mr Stephen Strain.

Mr David Moreland, escorted by his sister, Mrs Gwen Orr, laid a wreath in memory of his brother, UDR Private John Moreland, who was shot dead by the IRA while delivering coal 

in Downpatrick in December 1988.

Wreaths were also led by representatives of the UDR Association and Downpatrick Red Hand Defenders Flute Band.