MAGUIRESBRIDGE PARISH CHURCH, Co. Fermanagh.

That the parish of Maguiresbridge had a great record in the Great War was evident by the roll of honour inscribed on the beautiful marble tablet erected to perpetuate their memory by their fellow parishioners on the north wall of the church, and unveiled at an impressing and befitting memorial service in the church on Sunday afternoon. The memorial contains the names of 10 men who paid the supreme sacrifice, and 36 others who had served their King and country faithfully and well, and were restored to their relatives.

There was a large congregation, drawn from all parts of the district, and the service was most impressive, the Bishop of the diocese (Right Rev., M. Day, D.D.), Ven. Archdeacon M’Manaway, M.A., Enniskillen, Rev., R. M’Tighe, LL.D., Lisbellaw, Rev., J. O’Connor, M.A., Monaghan; Rev. S.R. Anderson, B.A., Lisnaskea; Rev. R. Warrington, B.D., Aughavea; Rev. I. H. Pratt, M.A., and Rev. Edward M’Kew, incumbent, taking part, while Captain Sir Basil S. Brook, Bart., M.C., and Mr. J. Porier-Porter, D.L., were amongst those present.

At a stated time during the service the clergy, headed by the two churchwardens (Messrs. W. G. Henderson, J.P., and Andrew Scholes), walked down the centre aisle towards the tablet, where the Bishop (Dr. Day) called on Captain Sir Basil S. Brooke, Bart, M.C., to remove the Union Jack covering and unveil the memorial.

Before doing so Captain Sir Basil Brooke addressed the congregation, who remained standing, and said that it had been a subject of the very greatest admiration the large numbers from the province of Ulster who had obeyed the call of duty at a time when their homes and freedom were threatened. Many of them paid the supreme sacrifice, and many others, they were glad to know, had returned home to carry on their duties and to continue to fight for freedom and the protection of their homes. Might he suggest that every loyal person in Ulster would keep sacred those two minutes on the 11th November, inaugurated by his Majesty the King, as a time of silence, in order to keep sacred and not allowed to fade the names of those who made the supreme sacrifice and to help the young generation and others to realise what they had fought for, and, if necessary, to emulate their example.

Sir Basil then unveiled the tablet, and committed it the charge and guardianship of the congregation.

The Bishop then dedicated the tablet to the glory of God and to the memory of those who laid down their lives from that parish in the cause of truth and liberty, and in recognition of the noble readiness and self-sacrifice on the part of those who had gone forth from the parish prepared to lay down their lives, but were eventually restored to their relatives. He also read the King’s letter of sympathy to relatives of deceased soldiers.

Captain Sir Basil Brooke then read the inscription on the roll of honour inscribed on the tablet as follows:

‘To the glory of God and in sacred memory of those who gave their lives for the cause of freedom for King and country in the Great War.

Bowes, James, Lance-Corporal,

Armstrong, Alexander,

Irwin, Robert,

Johnston, William,

M’Elroy, James J.,

McFarland, Alfred,

Symington, John C.,

Thompson, James,

Wilson, John,

Woods, John R.,

These Also Served

All honour to the following who have also served and in God’s good providence have returned home in safety: -Royal Navy-Thos. Symington; King’s Own-Capt. Chas. G. S. Irvine; Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers-Lieuts. John S. Irvine, John W. Graham, Lucius Knight, Francis Mac D. Watson, Cadet W. A. F. Graham, Sergt.-Majors Humphrey Boyd, M.M.; Robt. J. McClintock, M.M.; W. J. M’Clintock, Corporals J. Rowes, D.C.M.; George Canavan, Robt. J. Howe, J. Veitch, Lance-Corporal R. Rainbird; War Workers-Mae A.M. Graham, Edmund Armstrong G. Armstrong, W.J. Armstrong, John T. Booth, John Bustard, Geo. Crawford, Herbert Forde, W. Hicks, John T. Howe, John J. Lunny, Melville W. Lunny, James Murphy, Arthur McClure, Thos. Robinson, Alfred Symington, John F. Taylor, Gerald L. Thompson, John Thompson, James Logan (R.I.P), Hume Wilson.’

The Bishop then committed the tablet to the charge of the two churchwardens and their successors.

In the course of an interesting and appropriate sermon, the Bishop referred to the sacrifices of those mentioned on the roll of honour, and said their heroism and self-sacrifice should never be forgotten.

The praise service was led by an augmented choir, under the leadership of Mrs. M’Kew, who presided at the organ, and included the anthem ‘What are those arrayed in white.’

Towards the close of the service ‘The Last Post’ was sounded by Sergt. Jackson, who with Capt. Bolitho, Sergt. Potts, and Sergeant Major Snodden, of the Inniskilling’s, who travelled from Omagh on the invitation of the Rector and Select Vestry for the occasion.

The service wound up with the singing of the National Anthem.

 

The Impartial Reporter and Farmers’ Journal, July 20, 1924.

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