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Cookstown ceremony to mark Centenary of end of First World War

ORANGE brethren in the Cookstown and South Londonderry areas will converge on Cookstown on Sunday 16th September for a Parade and Act of Remembrance to commemorate the ending of the First World War 100 years ago.

Over 100 brethren from the Moneymore and Cookstown Orange Districts will take part in the parade and service of remembrance at the town's Cenotaph at 5.30pm.

Orange Lodges from the Cookstown District No 3 will meet at the Fairhill at 5pm with Orange Lodges affiliated to the Moneymore District No 10 meeting at the Moneymore Road Corner at the same time.

Both Districts will then take part in a parade from their respective ends of the town and meet at the Cenotaph in the town's main street, where a wreath laying ceremony will take place and a short Act of Remembrance observed.

Accompanying the two Orange Districts will be Tamlaghtmore Silver Band and Ringsend Pipe Band.

The gathering at the Cenotaph will take the form of a religious service, conducted by the Rev Hugh Ross and the Guard of Honour will be performed by acting soldiers dressed in period costume.

Welcoming all Orange brethren, the Worshipful District Master of Cookstown District No 3, Most Wor Bro Glen Espie, told the Courier: “It is important that we commemorate these events and remember those whose sacrifice 100 years ago meant we can now enjoy the freedom which so many take for granted today.

“Everyone is welcome to come along to the short service at the Cenotaph on Sunday 16th September, when those of all faiths and no faith, who gave their lives on the battlefields of Europe, will be remembered.”

A similar parade and Act of Remembrance involving both Orange Districts took place in Cookstown four years ago to mark the beginning of the First World War, which lasted from July 1914 to November 1918.

Described as the "war to end all wars", more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, were mobilised in one of the largest wars in history.

Over nine million combatants and seven million civilians died as a result of the war and the names of those from the District who, were among the fallen, are inscribed on Cookstown Cenotaph.

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