Anniversary of the Somme ceremony City Hall (July 1951)

From the News Letter of July 1951

Monday, 5th July 2021, 10:00 am
Veterans lay a wreath in the grounds of Belfast City Hall during the 101st anniversary of the Battle of the Somme in 2017. Picture: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye
Veterans lay a wreath in the grounds of Belfast City Hall during the 101st anniversary of the Battle of the Somme in 2017. Picture: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye

The 35th anniversary the Battle of the Somme was commemorated Belfast this week in 1951 with wreath-laying ceremony at the Cenotaph and the Garden of Remebrance.

The News Letter noted that it had been an impressive scene as the Lord Mayor, councillor J H Norritt, in black and gold gown, and wearing his chain office, with the High Sheriff, councillor T W Harpur, and the Town Clerk, Mr J Dunlop, led a procession members the City Council, representatives of the government, the services, the churches, the British Legion and the Orange Order to the Cenotaph.

A guard honour was furnished by the 60th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery, under the command of Captain D G Dobson, and a sentry was posted at each comer the base of the Cenotaph.

The Lord Mayor read a resolution which had been passed at a special meeting the City Council earlier recording the feeling of gratitude the citizens of Belfast to “the brave men of the 36th (Ulster) Division who, by their glorious conduct on that day, made an Imperishable name for themselves and their Province, and whose heroism will never forgotten so long as the British Empire lasts”.

As the notes of Last Post, sounded by buglers of the band the Royal Ulster Rifles, rang out the Union Jack was lowered slowly to half-mast.

Afterwards wreaths were laid and Reveille was sounded.

Carrickfergus bell ringing

A team from the Northern branch of the Irish Association of Change Ringers had visited the tower of St Nicholas’ Church in Carrickfergus and rang a peal Oxford Treble Bob Major, consisting 5,066 changes.

The ringers came from Holywood, Londonderry and Drogheda.

Afterwards they and their friends were entertained by the Carrickfergus bellringers and welcomed by Canon J C Rutherford and Mrs Rutherford.

Mr Pratt replied on behalf the visitors. Before leaving, they gave an exhibition change ringing on hand-bells.