‘It’s paramount we honour all those who made the supreme sacrifice’

Ballymena War Memorial.
Ballymena War Memorial.

A final public call has been issued for people to come forward with names missing from the Ballymena and District First World War Memorial.

In 2013 it was discovered that some local soldiers who died in The Great War were not honoured on the memorial with research by History Hub Ulster indicating up to 172 names could be missing.

Two drop-in sessions will take place today (Tuesday, May 1) in The Braid Museum atrium 2pm - 3pm and 7pm - 8pm. All names submitted will be verified prior to inclusion on the War Memorial.

The Mayor, Councillor Paul Reid, said: “Thank you to all of those who have come forward with new information regarding names they believe to be missing from the Ballymena and District War Memorial.

“The Missing Names Project has taken five years to complete and council is hoping that this summer will see those names added to the memorial.

“ I would urge anyone with any names to be considered to come along to these sessions as it’s paramount that we honour all those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has undertaken to have the engraving of verified names completed for the National Centenary of the Armistice on November 11, 2018.

The local government authority added that if you are unable to attend one of these sessions, you can contact Noreen Mullan on 028 2563 5029.

Ballymena and District War Memorial was unveiled in 1924 after a fundraising effort raised just over £1,000.

It is unknown how the 495 names were gathered by the then War Memorial Committee in the early 1920s but through professional research, using agreed criteria, it has emerged that some of those who were killed in action or subsequently died of wounds have been overlooked until now.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council will be seeking funding from the War Memorials Trust to cover the cost of the work. Council extended thanks to local historians who have carried out research on the fallen from the mid-Antrim area in WW1.