Solemn tributes with respect for the fallen

Solemn tributes with respect for the fallen

15 November 2023

THE traditional Remembrance Sunday parade in Killyleagh took place in gloomy weather conditions.

Persistent rain on a cold November afternoon reflected the solemnity of the occasion as people lined the parade route and gathered at the top of the town for the wreath-laying ceremony.

The parade, led by Wellington Memorial Silver Band, made its way from the harbour to the top of High Street and featured representatives from the Killyleagh and Killinchy Royal British Legion branch and local youth organisations.

Also taking part were family members who lost loved ones during two world wars and other conflicts, members of other organisations and the Army Cadets.

Following the short walk to the war memorial in a heavy drizzle, a short religious service was conducted by the Rev Jonathan Craig and the Rev Adrian Dorrian.

They were joined ahead of the reflective wreath-laying ceremony by Killyleagh and Killinchy Royal British Legion branch members and other ex-servicemen for the short cross-community religious ceremony.

In addition to the Wellington Memorial Silver Band, musical accompaniment was provided by pipers and a drummer from Hollymount Pipe Band.

Mr Billy Croskery, chairman of the Killyleagh and Killinchy Royal British Legion branch, recited Binyon’s Lines, in memory of those who died in the great wars, with the two minutes’ silence observed impeccably.

Mr Croskery also recited the Kohima Epitaph —“When you go home tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow we gave our today.”

Killyleagh’s annual act of remembrance remains a special occasion for many people, especially those whose relatives served during the two world wars and other conflicts, many of whom paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Sunday’s open air service remembered all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, laying down their lives for others.

One hundred and five years after the guns fell silent on the western front in November 1918 to mark the end of the First World War, the historic moment has been recalled ever since at remembrance events.

The young and the old stood shoulder to shoulder in Killyleagh to remember those who laid down their lives in war in the cause of freedom, justice and peace, with people bowing their heads in prayer for all all those who suffered.

Many from the Killyleagh area laid down their lives during two World Wars with their names adorning the town’s War Memorial at the side of the town’s castle where a total of 19 wreaths were laid.

Wreaths were laid by the following:

Killyleagh and Killinchy Royal British Legion — Billy Croskery escorted by Ivan Forsythe.

Mrs Sally King, Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Co Down, laid a wreath on behalf of the Down Lieutenancy and was escorted by Jimmy Heaney.

UDR Regimental Association — Elinor Moore, escorted by Andrew Gregg.

Burma Star Association — Matthew McMaster, escorted by Cllr Terry Andrews.

Killyleagh Girls’ Brigade — Chloe Magowan escorted by Jorja Moucka and Leah Cash.

Newry, Mourne and Down Council — Cllr Terry Andrews, escorted by Cllr Callum Bowsie.

Killyleagh Integrated Primary School — Jake Craig, escorted by Jessica Dinsmore and teacher Matthew McFerran.

Royal Navy — Mrs Roberta Johnston in memory of Samuel Rutherford Morrison RN, escorted by her son, Ben.

Army Cadets — Maisie Harris, escorted by Ella Williams and Sgt Chloe Chadwick.

PSNI — Sgt James Boyle, escorted by Constable Darren Cushley.

Toye Flute Band — David Irwin, escorted by Warren McCallister.

Killyleagh LOL 1077 — Willis Marshall, escorted by Terry Murphy and Brian Osborne.

St John’s Church Youth Club — Corey Hilditch, escorted by Thomas Adair and Lucas Moucka.

Killyleagh Apprentice Boys — Ralph Meneely, escorted by Ian McKelvey.

Mr Austin Cheevers laid a wreath in memory of his relatives who were killed in the First and Second World Wars.

Mrs Janet Redmonds laid a wreath in memory of her brother, James Hughes, who was killed during the Falklands war. She was escorted by Mr Billy Croskery.

Mrs Yvonne Moore laid a wreath in memory of her grandfather, James Calvert. Daniel Kewall, accompanied by his father, Martin, laid a wreath of behalf of 2 Rifles, while Mrs Suzie Carberry laid a wreath in memory of her uncles, William and Robert Walker.

Following the wreath-laying ceremony, the parade made its way to Killyleagh Presbyterian Church for  a cross-community service led by the Rev Jonathan Boyd.