Bushmills and the Great War exhibition and services

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Don’t forget the Bushmills and the Great War exhibition begins in the Hamill Hall, Upper Main Street on July 1st.

Admission to the exhibition is free but it is hoped that people will give a voluntary donation. There are many items that have never been on display before and among them is a bunch of pansies picked at the Somme in May of 1916 by Robert Carson. Also on display will be a set of local medals. This is going to be the best display so far and a Military Cross won by a local man will be another of the latest items. The exhibition runs for a fortnight, 10am to 7pm with Sundays 2pm to 5pm. Teas will be served each day.

Robert Thompson's book, Bushmills Heroes. INBM21-16S

Robert Thompson's book, Bushmills Heroes. INBM21-16S

* Friends of Benvarden is holding a special evening and Service of Remembrance on Friday, July 1 at 7.30pm in Benvarden Orange Hall. The unveiling and dedication of a plaque of Commemoration will also take place. The event is being held to commemorate the sacrifice of the 36th Ulster Division.

* Stranocum LOL749 will be holding their Somme Service to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme on Friday 1st July at Stranocum War Memorial at 8pm. Service will be conducted by Canon A A Johns accompanied by the choir of Bushvalley Primary School.

* Ballymaconnelly Renewal Group is inviting everyone to their First World War Centenary event on Thursday, June 30. The event will be held in Ballymaconnelly Hall from 8.30pm. The event will include Johnston Star Flute Band plus WW1 related music by Diana Culburtson. There will also be a drumhead ceremony with Ballymaconnelly Flute Band as well as a piper and lambeg drums. The lighting of a beacon will be a highlight of the event. For information and tickets call Dessie Elder on 07885758866.

* The Royal British Legion (Dervock Branch) are holding a vigil at the War Memorial Gardens, Carncullagh Road on Friday 1st July at 7.15am to remember and reflect on those from Dervock and District who paid the supreme sacrifice. Mrs McCartney at the formal opening of the War Memorial Institute, Dervock revealed that “Upwards of 42 men had made the supreme sacrifice and about 200 had served”. Source: Larne Times & Weekly Telegraph 25th Dec 1920.

The assembled will listen to the names of those ‘Fallen’ then a minutes silence, a reading of reflection and then the sound of one long whistle blow - mirroring the apprehension 100 years ago as those in the trenches waited anxiously for the “zero hour” at 7:30 am when they went over the top.

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* The Battle of the Somme took place from the 1st July to 18th November 1916 and has come to symbolise the enormous losses and dreadful conditions of the First World War.

Almost every community across the UK and Ireland was deeply affected by the loss of men who had gone to fight at the Battle of the Somme especially those of the 36th Ulster and 16th Irish Divisions of which men from the Ballycastle and District served.

On Friday the 1st of July to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme Ballycastle is holding a community service at the War Memorial to commemorate those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The service will be led by the Very Rev Dr Victor Dobbin Chaplain,Royal British Legion and Clergy from the Churches in Ballycastle and Ballintoy.

The service will begin at 0730 with the blowing of a WW1 whistle symbolising when the soldiers went over the top. The service will continue with prayers and readings.The Names of those killed in the First World War will be read followed by The Act of Remembrance. A Piper will play the Flowers of the Forest and a wreath will be laid.The service will conclude with prayers, the National Anthem and The Blessing.

An welcome is extended to the Community of Ballycastle and District to this Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. For those attending please be at the War Memorial for 7.20 am as the Ceremony begins sharp at 7.30am.