• 11 November 2014

Garvaghy parish marks WW1 anniversary with poignancy and imagination

The folk in Garvaghy Parish church have a flair for marking important historic milestones and this past weekend they have put together a display of WW1 memorabilia to mark the 100th Anniversary of the beginning of the First World War.

The first thing that greets you as you enter the church is a replica WW1 trench (right). In fact you have to walk along the duck boards through the trench to find your pew. The trench is constructed exactly as the trenches were with personal items hanging on the sides. There are gas masks, items of clothing, photos and even a shaving mirror. 

Other displays around the church include memorabilia and uniforms from both World Wars and other conflicts. There is poetry as well as letters from the front and bunting with the names of those who served and returned from the war. We have a floral display with poppies and four large poppies with a poem marking the four men who fell, Lance –Corporal David G. McKeown (McEwan), Privates William Wallace, William F. Vint and David Thomas McKeown.

We hope that the trench and displays will reach out to the young people in the parish and help instil the importance of remembering the young men who sat in the same pews, saw the same undulating countryside and felt the same sun, wind and rain yet marched away from this little part of County Down, four of them never to return.

The parish church will be open today, Tuesday the 11 November from 9.30 am to 12 noon for visitors to look at the exhibits and to pay their own tributes if they wish.

With thanks to Alma Ferguson