Somme centenary postage stamp to be issued in Republic

Grand Lodge Director of Services, Dr David Hume, has welcomed confirmation from the Irish postal service that it will recognise the centenary of the Battle of the Somme in 2016
Grand Lodge Director of Services, Dr David Hume, has welcomed confirmation from the Irish postal service that it will recognise the centenary of the Battle of the Somme in 2016

A postage stamp commissioned in the Irish Republic to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme has been welcomed by the Orange Order.

Irish postage service An Post said the new stamp would be released in September 2016.

By the time the five-month battle had ended in November 1916, the British had suffered almost 420,000 casualties, the French 195,000 and the Germans around 650,000. It was one of the bloodiest of World War One. British troops from both the 36th Ulster Division and the 16th Irish Division fought side by side in the trenches.

Orange Order director of services David Hume said the new stamp “will be of great significance to the Protestant community, particularly in the border counties” of the Republic.

Dr Hume added: “Many members of the 36th Ulster Division from Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal were to serve in the Battle of the Somme and sadly many of them did not return home having made the supreme sacrifice on the front line.

“The Battle of the Somme is one of the most significant centenaries which is taking place over the next few years, and it is important that it is commemorated at an official level.”