Weekend of events in Clogher Diocese to mark 100 years after the end of the First World War


A special weekend of events will be taking place in Enniskillen.

A full weekend of events will be taking place in various locations across Clogher Diocese during the weekend of Remembrance Sunday.

Apart from the traditional Remembrance Day services and ceremonies in churches across the Diocese on Sunday, 11th November, a number of additional events are planned to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the ending of the First World War.

This centenary event is being marked across the country as it coincides with the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice.

A series of talks have been running all week in Enniskillen, each one taking a different aspect of the First World War. On Friday, 9th November, the topic will be “Remembrance now and then; the Presbyterian Church Memorial Window” presented by Gordon Brand and Richard Watson in the Riverview Room at Enniskillen Presbyterian Church.

On Saturday, 10th November at Inniskillings Museum, there will be a steam traction engine display from 11am and between 11am ��' 12 Noon BBC Radio Ulster will be broadcasting live. At 11.30am, a presentation; “Inniskillings at War in their own words” will be given by Year 13 students and talks by volunteers. Between 12 Noon and 4pm Lough Erne Amateur Radio Club will broadcast live with “Celebrating Armistice First.”

On the Saturday afternoon, in St. Macartin’s Cathedral Hall, the Women’s Institute will be holding a tea party to mark “Battle’s Over” with the continued display of the steam traction engine.
On Sunday, 11th November, events begin early at 6am at Enniskillen Castle where there will be a ceremony to mark the day 100 years ago when the guns fell silent at the end of the First World War.

Poignant anthem

This will be followed at 10.50am with the Act of Remembrance at the War Memorial at Belmore Street, Enniskillen followed by the church service at 11.30am in St. Macartin’s Cathedral which is being broadcast live by RTE Television. During this service, the Cathedral Choir will be singing an anthem for the first time, based on the text of a letter penned almost 100 years ago by Canon Charles Albert Robinson, then Rector of Magheraculmoney, near Kesh. He wrote to his parishioners in December 1918 expressing his steadfast faith and the sentiments of one who lived through the horror and destruction of war, and experiencing at first hand the pain of enduring personal loss.

Canon Robinson’s only son, Lieutenant Charles Arthur Robinson, served in the 4th Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and Machine Gun Corps and fell in action in the Great War at the close of a well fought day on Easter Monday, 9th April 1917, aged 20. The memorial in his memory is in Ardess Parish Church.

The anthem “Thankfulness should be in every heart” has been set to verses by John Owens, a longstanding member of the Cathedral Choir and set to music by Glenn Moore, Cathedral Organist.

On Sunday evening there will be a Service of Thanksgiving in St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church, Enniskillen at 6pm to commemorate the end of hostilities 100 years ago followed at 6.40pm with a Piper’s Tribute when 100 pipe band musicians from the Fermanagh Massed Pipes and Drums play hymns in Church Street. At 6.55pm The Last Post will be sounded on the original bugle that sounded the charge of the 36th (Ulster Division) at the Battle of the Somme. This will be followed at 7pm with the lighting of the Beacons of Light from St. Macartin’s Cathedral and the Ringing of the Bells of the Cathedral at 7.05pm.

North Fermanagh First World War exhibition

In North Fermanagh, a First World War Centenary Remembrance Weekend will be taking place at Ardess Parish Centre where an exhibition will bring together an array of memorabilia including medals, information on casualties, information about First World War nurses and many other items.
Their programme begins on Friday, 9th November when the exhibition will be visited by pupils from primary schools. In the evening, there will be an opening address given by retired Lieutenant Commander Peter Archdale of the Royal Navy and a presentation by journalist, Maurice Neill on the soldier, Private William McBride who was featured in the ballad ‘The Green Fields of France’ and his connections with Irvinestown.

The exhibition continues on the Saturday between 10am to 5pm with a talk at 3pm on the Irish divisions’ involvement in the war by Major Alan McFarland, Ex-Royal Tank Regiment with music by pipers.

On Remembrance Sunday, the exhibition will be open between 3pm and 7pm followed by a Centenary Service of Remembrance at Ardess Parish Church featuring the Rector, Canon Henry Blair; the Curate, Revd Philip Bryson; Revd Steven Foster, Revd Alan Irwin, Father Frank McManus, Silver Tones Choir and Ballinamallard Silver Band.

152 men from North Fermanagh and the Pettigo area of Donegal have been identified as having been killed during the First World war and they were buried in cemeteries across Europe, Asia and Africa.

Later in November, on Sunday, 25th November, there will be a special service, A Commemoration of the End of the First World War in Lisbellaw Parish Church at 7pm when the speaker will be the Bishop of Clogher, the Right Revd. John McDowell.