Relatives pay respect to remember war victims

Relatives pay respect to remember war victims

8 September 2021

A SPECIAL ceremony has been held in Killyleagh to honour those lost at sea during two World Wars.

The focus of last Sunday’s event was on those who gave their lives in the Royal Navy and the Merchant Navy during the Second World War. 

Organised by the Killyleagh Coastal Rowing Club, the event was supported by the Killyleagh Remembers the War group and the Killyleagh Royal British Legion. 

Three wreaths were symbolically laid at sea, close to Dunnyneil Island, by the crews of the two Skiffie boats from Killyleagh. They were later retrieved from the water by sea cadets and placed at the town’s War Memorial.

The original intention was to have a remembrance event at sea last year to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War but, due to Covid, it was one of the many events — organised with the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund NI — that had to be cancelled in Killyleagh.

The MC for the weekend event was Mrs Ann Fee of the Coastal Rowing Club and Sloane’s history group, with the names of those lost at sea between 1939 and 1945 read out. 

The name of Killyleagh-born James Hughes, killed at sea during the Falklands War, was also read out.

Relatives of many of those who perished in the war years were at the harbour side for the ceremony conducted by former padre Rev Hector Wanliss.

Binyon’s lines were recited by Killyleagh and Killinchy Royal British Legion chairman Mr Billy Croskery.

Among those in attendance were Stormont education minister Mrs Michelle McIlveen and Strangford Assembly member Mr Harry Harvey. 

There was also be a photographic display of those killed at sea.