Carrickfergus to host Battle for Hitler Line commemoration

B (North Irish Horse) Squadron of The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry will parade to honour those who died in action during the Battle for the Adolf Hitler Line, on 23 May 1944. INCT 20-790-CON
B (North Irish Horse) Squadron of The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry will parade to honour those who died in action during the Battle for the Adolf Hitler Line, on 23 May 1944. INCT 20-790-CON

The heroism of those who fought in the bloody Battle for the Adolf Hitler Line will be remembered in Carrickfergus on Saturday, May 20.

The North Irish Horse will commemorate one of the hardest fought battles in the history of a local Army regiment.

Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for the County of Antrim, Joan Christie, OBE and the Canadian Defence Attaché, Colonel R Radford CD will be in attendance.

They will undertake an act of remembrance and wreath laying to recall how many members of what is now B (North Irish Horse) Squadron of The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry died in action during the battle, on 23 May 1944.

The North Irish Horse Regiment went into action supporting Canadian infantry in Italy in 1943. The battle achieved its aim, but at a terrible cost, with over 1,000 Canadians killed or missing and 34 officers and men of the North Irish Horse Regiment killed, 36 injured and 25 tanks destroyed.

Members of Mid and East Antrim Borough Councill will also pay tribute to the fallen.

The Mayor, Councillor Audrey Wales MBE said: “To this day, the regiment wear the Maple Leaf - the national emblem of Canada - which was awarded as a battle honour by the Canadian Government as a result of this action following the heavy losses in what was called Operation Chesterfield.

“It is vital we never forget the heroism of those who fought in such battles as the Adolf Hitler Line and remember all they went through.

“The unit’s Churchill tanks - that were so integral to breaching The Adolf Hitler Line - were actually constructed in Carrickfergus and last year, council appropriately honoured B (North Irish Horse) Squadron by granting them the Freedom of the Borough.”

The commemoration commences at 10.30am at Carrickfergus Cenotaph with an act of remembrance followed by a parade to St Nicholas’ Church for a service of remembrance.

A parade to the Town Hall will see Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant and council members taking the salute, followed by a reception in the Antrim Street location.