Brokenshire attends Guillemont and Ginchy Commemorations in France

Northern Ireland Office

September 3
09:13 2016

Mr Brokenshire will join senior Irish and French Government Ministers at a special ceremony to commemorate all those from the 16th (Irish) Division who made the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefields of the Somme in 1916.

Speaking in advance of the Guillemont and Ginchy commemoration, Mr Brokenshire said:

This is my first visit to the Somme as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and I am honored and humbled to represent the UK Government at this very special ceremony today. It is a privilege to attend Commemorations of this nature, as we remember the incredible heroism of all those from the 16th Irish Division who sustained agonising casualties in successfully capturing Guillemont and Ginchy in September 1916.

As we stand here this morning, in a beautiful part of Northern France, it is hard to imagine the horror of what those brave men must have endured over 100 years ago. That is why it is important we continue to remember that they fought for the freedom that we all enjoy today.

Just as in Great Britain, so across the island of Ireland there was virtually no corner left unaffected by the Battle of the Somme. The contribution and sacrifice of the men who fought in the battle was immense, and we should never forget it.

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