Mayor Ashe joins tribute to the fallen at Gallipoli

The Mayor, Councillor Billy Ashe, laying a wreath at an earlier commemoration in Co Antrim, before joining the Somme Association's delegation on the Gallipoli battlefields. INCT 40-979-CON
The Mayor, Councillor Billy Ashe, laying a wreath at an earlier commemoration in Co Antrim, before joining the Somme Association's delegation on the Gallipoli battlefields. INCT 40-979-CON
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Mid and East Antrim Borough Council was formally represented by the first citizen at the Gallipoli Pilgrimage.

MEA Mayor, Councillor Billy Ashe joined the Somme Association’s Commemorative delegation on the Gallipoli battlefields.

The Gallipoli campaign formally ended in late September 1915 when the 10th (Irish Division) withdrew leaving behind more than 2,000 of their men who had been killed, including many from across Mid and East Antrim Borough.

Speaking before the trip to Turkey, Cllr Ashe said he would be proud to represent the borough on such a poignant occasion.

Mr Ashe commented: “In order to pay my respects on behalf of all our citizen, I will be attending a special commemoration service at the Division’s memorial, which the Somme Association and the Irish Government unveiled in 2010.”

Previously, to mark the actual centenary, a Service of Remembrance, in conjunction with the Royal British Legion, was held during September at Ballymena Cemetery.

Cllr Ashe laid a wreath alongside those of descendants of Private John Kerr and Private Adam McAteer, local soldiers who lost their lives at Gallipoli.

That wreath-laying service, led by the Mayor’s Chaplain, Rev Sam Grant, of Christchurch Carrickfergus and Rev Jones, Station Chaplain, Aldergrove Flying Station, was held at the grave of the Clarke Family whose son, Captain John Clarke, also died at Gallipoli and had been acknowledged for his war service on his family headstone.