Order to fall silent for Armistice centenary

editorial image
Share this article

A number of specially arranged memorial services, parades and other events, will take in the coming days as the Orange Institution marks the centenary of the ending of the First World War.

Orangemen and women are expected to take participate in various acts of remembrance as the nation pauses to pay its respects to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice on the front line a century ago. Armistice Day will be held this Sunday.

Ahead of the national commemorations, a series of Orange events will take place across Northern Ireland and the border counties.

As is tradition, the institution will hold its annual remembrance service, hosted by Thiepval Memorial LOL 1916, at the memorial garden at Schomberg House.

Deputy Grand Master Harold Henning will lay a wreath on behalf of the membership at the event on Saturday morning.

On the same day, County Armagh Grand Orange Lodge will host an Armistice centenary parade and service in Loughgall. The parade, featuring district bannerettes, will be led by Drumderg Flute Band and Portadown Ex-Servicemen’s LOL 608. The act of remembrance will include the unveiling and dedication of a Tommie silhouette. The service, at 3pm, will be held at Museum of Orange Heritage in the village.

In Co Londonderry, a garden of remembrance will be formally opened by Newbuildings Victoria LOL 1087. The service in the village commences at 2.30pm.

Meanwhile, a special festival of remembrance will be hosted in Clogher by the respective Grand Lodges of Tyrone and Fermanagh. The festival, this evening, will incorporate music and re-enactments to mark the Armistice centenary.

Also, tonight, Lurgan District LOL No 6, in conjunction with the Royal Black Institution, are organising a night of remembrance at Brownlow House, featuring songs, music and drama.

Tomorrow, Magherafelt LOL No 3 are holding another remembrance festival at Magherafelt High School, commencing at 7.30pm.

It is estimated as many as 200,000 Orangemen and women from across the world served during the First World War, with thousands seeing action at the Somme and other seminal battles. At least five Orangemen were awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry.

Speaking ahead of the Armistice commemorations, Grand Master Edward Stevenson said: “One hundred years later, we quite rightly remember with pride all those who served, and in particular those who lost their lives, during the momentous battle of the First World War.

“As we approach the centenary of the end of the Great War, it is only fitting we recall the courage and fearlessness of those who fought on our behalf. Many of whom took their Orange ritual and tradition with them to the trenches, with some even wearing their sashes as they went over the top to face the enemy. We remember and pay our respects to them all.”