The Deputy Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Stewart McDonald, hosted a service of rededication for Ballymena’s Second World War Memorial last Sunday, 15th October.
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council partnered with the Ballymena Branch of the Royal British Legion to organise the rededication of the Ballymena and District Second World War Memorial.
The Service at Ballymena Memorial Park was in the presence of HM Vice Lord-Lieutenant for the County of Antrim, Mrs Miranda Gordon, DL. The Officiating Chaplin, Mrs Joan Parkinson spoke at the event of the need to remember the Fallen and the importance of working for peace.
Members of History Hub Ulster who recently undertook research on behalf of the MEA Council (managed by the Braid Museum team) to identify additional names to be added to the Ballymena War Memorial. (L-R) Michael Nugent, Catherine Burrell, and Gavin Bamford.
Several cadets from the local Cadet Corps took part by reading out the 43 additional names of the Fallen which have been added to the memorial by Council.
Families of the Fallen who have been added to the memorial also attended and poignantly laid poppy crosses in memory of their loved one.
Councillor and veteran Alan Barr with his father Roy Barr (right), and cousin Leonard Barr (left).
For one local councillor, the service was particularly poignant. Councillor Alan Barr attended as a representative of the local Council, but also as the great great nephew of Adam Barr who served in both world wars, and who had his name added to the Ballymena War Memorial.
In 1906 Adam Barr, along with his brother James, emigrated from County Antrim, to Jaffray, British Columbia. Aged 28, Adam enlisted in the 54th (Kootenay) Battalion, Canadian Infantry at Vernon, British Columbia on the 23rd June 1915.
Adam (right) with his comrades in France. The writing on the wood, held by the soldier in the middle, reads 'Somewhere in France'.
Adam was moved to England with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in 1915, before he was transferred to France with the Canadian Machine Gun Corps. Eventually he was returned to England in 1919 for return to Canada. When World War II broke out, Adam re-enlisted and held the post of recruiting sergeant.
Through his years of service in the military, the man who hailed from County Antrim excelled through the ranks, and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal on the 17th of June 1918.
Commenting following the special Service, Councillor Barr said:
"This afternoon I was honoured and humbled to attend the re-dedication of the war memorial in Ballymena.
"My great great uncle Adam Barr’s name was added to it along with 42 other names.
"Adam served in both world wars with the Canadian Army. Sadly he died in service a few years after World War Two ended. Lest we forget."
Band of the Royal Irish Regiment.
Members of the Royal British Legion.
The Service was also attended by the HM Vice-Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Miranda Gordon, DL, the Deputy Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Stewart McDonald and Davy Davison, Chair of the Ballymena Branch of the Royal British Legion, who laid wreathes at the Memorial.
The Royal Irish Regiment Band provided musical accompaniment and after the rededication service the Royal British Legion paraded via Wellington Street to the Royal British Legion Services Club on Trostan Avenue.
Pictured at the dedication ceremony are (L-R) Davy Davison, Chair of the Ballymena Branch of the Royal British Legion; HM Vice-Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Miranda Gordon, DL; and Deputy Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Stewart McDonald.
Deputy Mayor, Alderman Stewart McDonald laying a wreath on behalf of the citizens of Mid & East Antrim Borough.
A reception at The Braid followed at which the Deputy Mayor noted:
“As Deputy Mayor of the Borough I was honoured to participate in this afternoon’s solemn unveiling and rededication.
“The Ballymena Borough and Rural District Second World War Memorial was unveiled on 4 September 1955 by Mayor-General Sir Allan Adair. The memorial is situated alongside the First World War Memorial cenotaph in the Memorial Parkand creates a local focus for communal reflection and Acts of Remembrance.
“This event has been organised in in recognition of the 43 additional names of the Fallen and is a day of significance for our own and future generations. This has been a very poignant day within my term of office and I would like to thank all involved and those who attended.”
Local cadets who participated in the Service.
The Ballymena War Memorial
Above and below: Names added to the local Memorial.