Somme Association parade

The booklet in memory of Second Lieutenant James H Calvert.
The booklet in memory of Second Lieutenant James H Calvert.
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The Ancre Somme Association will be holding their “Victory on the Homefront” booklet launch at on Friday (March 25) at 7.30pm in Brownlow House, Lurgan in memory of ‘the brave British soldiers who lost their lives during the rebellion of 1916’.

The will also be holding a commemoration parade in Lurgan on Saturday afternoon to the town’s war memorial.

The Association has seen rapid growth in their membership over the past few years and currently has branches and members in Portadown, Lurgan, Cookstown, South Armagh, Kilkeel, Armagh City, Lisburn and Scotland. They welcome all no matter their creed, colour or religion. All they ask of their membership is that they support the ongoing study and research of the historical findings derived from the events preceding, surrounding and following the Battle of the Somme on the 1st July 1916 and subsequent wars, battles and conflicts.

A spokesman said: “Over the coming weeks much will be said about this period of our history and most will infer that from the 24th–29th April 1916 a rising took place instigated by the Irish people revolting against British rule.

“The reality was that those behind the rebellion were in the minority, not just in Ireland but a minority within their own community, and had very little support from the people they purported to represent.”

He added: “The lack of support for these rebels was evident on Sunday as the defeated rebels were marched across Dublin to prison. Crowds of Dubliners stood at the kerbsides to hoot and jeer them, In one of the poorer quarters the shawlies pelted them with rotten vegetables and the more enthusiastic disgorging the contents of their chamber pots over the beaten rebels.”

The spokesman added: “The purpose of this booklet is to remember those brave British soldiers who were killed in Dublin during the 1916 Rebellion. The booklet is dedicated to Second Lieutenant James H Calvert of the 6th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles who lived in the Avenue Road area of Lurgan. James was gunned down by rebels on Monday 24th April 1916 and is buried in the Seagoe Cemetery in Portadown.

“James is commemorated on the Lurgan College, Lurgan town and Queen’s University Belfast War Memorials. It was reported that Lieutenant Calvert’s funeral cortege was one of the largest that had been seen in Lurgan up until that time.”

Speakers at the booklet launch will include historian and columnist Quincey Dougan, Lt Col Anthony Maher, London Irish Rifles Association, Northern Ireland Branch Chairman and historian and author Richard Edgar.

The Association are also holding a memorial parade on Saturday (March 26). A service will be held at Pollock Drive, Lurgan at 2.30pm. The parade will leave Pollock Drive at 3pm and make its way through the Mourneview Estate via Union Street to the War Memorial before heading out along High Street and Queen Street, through the Avenue Road Estate and eventually finishing at Lurgan Rugby Club..

For more information visit the association’s website at www.ancresommeassociation.co.uk or email ancresommeassociation@gmail.com