Fallen named on lodge’s new 1914-1918 bannerette

The platform party at Saturday's unfurling of a new bannerette by Ballykeel LOL 472 dedicated to the members of the lodge who were killed in the 1914-1918 war. Lodge officers were joined by the Rev. Bro. Alatair Smyth and Bro. Tom Elliott MP for the ceremony. INBT 26F Banner 1
The platform party at Saturday's unfurling of a new bannerette by Ballykeel LOL 472 dedicated to the members of the lodge who were killed in the 1914-1918 war. Lodge officers were joined by the Rev. Bro. Alatair Smyth and Bro. Tom Elliott MP for the ceremony. INBT 26F Banner 1

A new bannerette dedicated to the memory of the Great War fallen from Ballykeel LOL472 has been unfurled in Ballymena.

Around 30 members of the lodge served in the 1914-1918 conflict with six men losing their lives.

McNEICE, Daniel, 19627, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on the 1st July 1916. He was the son of John McNiece, Queen Street, Harryville, Ballymena. He left three daughters, eldest of which was 10 in 1916. His sister Sarah was the wife of James Thompson who was also KIA. He is commemorated on theThiepval Memorial and in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church.

McNEICE, Daniel, 19627, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on the 1st July 1916. He was the son of John McNiece, Queen Street, Harryville, Ballymena. He left three daughters, eldest of which was 10 in 1916. His sister Sarah was the wife of James Thompson who was also KIA. He is commemorated on theThiepval Memorial and in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church.

Three of those men died as a direct result of the actions fought on July 1, 1916 at the Battle of the Somme.

And the venue chosen for the dedication ceremony was a poignant choice.

Back in 1914 the same three men would have been standing in a long queue as Ballymena’s Protestant Hall was transformed into a recruiting centre for the 12th Royal Irish Rifles of the newly formed 36th(Ulster Division).

Furthermore, the three men may well have been in the hall two years earlier when it was the venue for an anti-home rule speech by Unionist leader, Sir Edward Carson.

LENNOX,  James,  1925, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds on the  22nd August 1916. Aged 24,  he was born Ballymena and enlisted in Clandeboye. He was the son of James and Sarah Lennox, Edward Street, Ballymena. He is buried in Etretat Churchyard, Seine Maritime, France. He is commemorated in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church

LENNOX, James, 1925, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds on the 22nd August 1916. Aged 24, he was born Ballymena and enlisted in Clandeboye. He was the son of James and Sarah Lennox, Edward Street, Ballymena. He is buried in Etretat Churchyard, Seine Maritime, France. He is commemorated in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church

The men whose names are included on the new bannerette were:-

Rfn. Joseph Richardson, No. 8068, killed in action 24/10/1914, 2nd R. Irish Rif. of Alfred Street, Ballymena.

Rfn. Daniel McNiece, No. 19627, killed in action 01/07/1916, 12th R. irish Rif. of Queen Street, Ballymena.

Rfn. James Lennox, No. 1925, died of wounds 22/08/1916, 12th R. Irish Rif. of Edward Street, Ballymena.

Cpl. (later Sergeant) Herbison from Hill Street, Ballymena, was killed in August 1916. His bravery on 1st July was remarked upon by his company officer, Capt. W. B. Stuart (MC, KIA Nov.22 1916). 
HERBISON, Robert, 19026, Sergeant, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on the 27th August 1916. He was born at Clonavon, Ballymena and enlisted in Ballymena. He is buried at Ration Farm Cemetery Annexe, Ploegsteert, Belgium.  He is commemorated in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church.

Cpl. (later Sergeant) Herbison from Hill Street, Ballymena, was killed in August 1916. His bravery on 1st July was remarked upon by his company officer, Capt. W. B. Stuart (MC, KIA Nov.22 1916). HERBISON, Robert, 19026, Sergeant, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on the 27th August 1916. He was born at Clonavon, Ballymena and enlisted in Ballymena. He is buried at Ration Farm Cemetery Annexe, Ploegsteert, Belgium. He is commemorated in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church.

Sgt. Robert Herbison, No. 19026, killed in action 27/08/16, 12th R. Irish Rif. of Springwell Street, Ballymena.

Private Arthur Holmes, Military Medal, No. A/21026, killed in action 30/04/1917, 16th Btn Canadian Inf. (Manitoba Regt.) originally of Hugomont Villas, Ballymena.

Rfn. Thomas Taggart, No. 1636, killed in action 03/08/1917, 14th R. Irish Rif. of Alfred Street, Ballymena.

Descendants of Sgt. Robert Herbison and Rfn. Daniel McNiece were present for the ceremony.

HOLMES (MM), Arthur,  A/21026, Private , 16th Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regt.) was KIA on the 30th April 1917. He was the second son of David and Jane Holmes, Hugomont Villas, Ballymena and brother of David..  He is buried Orchard Dump Cemetery, Vimy Ridge. He is commemorated on the family headstone in Ballymena New Cemetery, Cushendall Road, Ballymena.

HOLMES (MM), Arthur, A/21026, Private , 16th Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regt.) was KIA on the 30th April 1917. He was the second son of David and Jane Holmes, Hugomont Villas, Ballymena and brother of David.. He is buried Orchard Dump Cemetery, Vimy Ridge. He is commemorated on the family headstone in Ballymena New Cemetery, Cushendall Road, Ballymena.

Members and guests were welcomed to the function by the Wor. Master of Ballykeel, Bro. Garry Brown and chairman for the proceedings, Bro. Matthew Armstrong.

After an opening hymn ‘All people that on earth do dwell’, the Rev. Bro. Alastair Smyth led the gathering in prayer.

Afterward, the Rev. Smyth reflected on the scale of sacrifice which had occurred on the first day on the Somme and how it’s impact had such a powerful and long running impact on Northern Ireland.

This was followed by a short historical talk on the men named on the bannerette which was delivered by Des Blackadder who has researched the role played by Ballymena men of all classes and creeds in World War One for many years.

The presentation of scissors for the unfurling was made by Miss Grace Brown to Mrs. Ann Nevin who said she was honoured to carry out the duty.

After an address by Bro. Tom Elliott MP, a vote of thanks was proposed by Deputy Master, Bro. Jonathn Nevin and seconded by Past Master and Treasurer, Gary Templeton.

A little over 100 years ago, Unionist leader Sir Edward Carson addressed an anti-home rule meeting in the same room of the Protestant Hall in Ballymena where Saturday's unfurling took place. The hall was also used as a recruiting venue at the outbreak of war.

A little over 100 years ago, Unionist leader Sir Edward Carson addressed an anti-home rule meeting in the same room of the Protestant Hall in Ballymena where Saturday's unfurling took place. The hall was also used as a recruiting venue at the outbreak of war.

Afterward, the lodge and their guests gathered in the adjacent Memorial Park for a short wreath laying ceremony and two minutes’ silent contemplation.