North Down Borough Councillors attend Commemoration at The Somme
Tuesday 3rd July 2012
During my time in the Somme region I was especially struck by the incredible bravery of our troops during the attack on the 1st July.
Joint Statement: Councillor Peter Martin [DUP] and Councillor Andrew Muir [All]
“I feel extremely grateful for the opportunity to pay respects on behalf of North Down Borough Council to the fallen at the Battle of the Somme. The level of shared suffering that endured across the Island of Ireland is vast with 32,186 killed, wounded or missing from 36th (Ulster) Division, 28,398 from 16th (Irish) Division and 9,363 from 10th (Irish) Division. After visiting many cemeteries and the wreath laying ceremonies at Thiepval monument, Ulster Memorial Tower and at Guillemont for 16th Irish Division it is clear that we must redouble our efforts to learn more about our Shared Past to build reconciliation and avoid the horrors of war.”
“During my time in the Somme region I was especially struck by the incredible bravery of our troops during the attack on the 1st July. Amidst a hail of German heavy machine gun and artillery fire the men of the 36th Ulster Division advanced fearlessly with a battle cry of ‘No Surrender!’ They were the most strategically successful Division on the first day – penetrating the German lines to the extent they could not be supported effectively. I felt very honoured and extremely humbled to be able to represent the people of North Down at four separate services of Remembrance to the fallen in the region. Captain Wilfred Spender puts the effect of the attack by the 36th Ulster Division more succinctly than I ever could,
‘I am not an Ulsterman but yesterday, the 1st. July, as I followed their amazing attack, I felt that I would rather be an Ulsterman than anything else in the world’.”