07/11/2008

War Memorial Dedicated

There was a timely accolade for Northern Ireland's Royal British Legion this week with a visit by Prince Michael of Kent.

Just days in advance of the traditional November Remembrance Day services, (Standard Bearer, Joe Corr, is pictured, preparing for the 11th Hour at Knockagh) the Prince was the guest of honour at a commemorative service to mark the opening of Belfast's War Memorial building.

The Northern Ireland War Memorial - previously housed in the Legion's former headquarters in Waring Street - has now moved to Talbot Street, in the heart of the fast-developing Cathedral Quarter.

It is now the official memorial to the men and women of Northern Ireland who laid down their lives in the conflicts of the two World Wars, and also houses a special memorial dedicated to those who perished in the Belfast Blitz of Easter, 1941.
News Image
HRH was greeted by Lady Carswell, Lord Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast and went on to meet Lieutenant Colonel Hogg, Chairman of the Northern Ireland War Memorial who accompanied HRH during the engagement.

Prince Michael of Kent also inspected Standard Bearers on parade from The Royal British Legion, Royal Naval Association, Regimental Associations and Royal Air Force Association.

The Very Reverend Dr Houston McKelvey, Dean of Belfast, lead a service of dedication and, to a fanfare provided by buglers from The Royal Irish Regiment, His Royal Highness unveiled a stone to commemorate the occasion.

Numerous remembrance services will take place this weekend across Northern Ireland, with the main event being at the City Hall Cenotaph on Sunday.

However, at the same time, a small party from Whiteabbey Royal British Legion will return to the imposing hill-top County Antrim War Memorial at Knockagh, (pictured above) which dominates the area around Belfast Lough.

The traditional two-minute silence and wreath laying will take place, followed in the afternoon by the official Newtownabbey parade, wreath laying and church service.

(BMcC)

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