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Beacon on Rathlin Island brings Great War commemoration to a close

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An international commemoration to mark the end of World War One reached a poignant conclusion on Rathlin Island on Sunday (November 18th).

The island was the last region in the UK to host a beacon-lighting ceremony as part of the Battle’s Over series of events, following on from similar proceedings in Ballycastle, Ballymoney, Coleraine and Limavady on November 11th.

The Battle’s Over programme provided an opportunity to pay tribute to all those who lost their lives during the Great War, signifying 100 years of Remembrance.
Alongside the beacon, a service took place at St Thomas’ Church on the island, where wreaths were laid at the graves in the adjoining graveyard to remember lives lost on HMS Racoon and HMS Viknor.

The Deputy Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Trevor Clarke who attended the Act of Remembrance said: “It was an honour for us to bring an end to Battle’s Over in such a unique location in this poignant way. The Great War is part of Rathlin Island’s rich maritime history so it was fitting for the community to have this opportunity to remember.

Along with the wartime graves, the wreckage of HMS Drake lies just of the island shoreline following a torpedo attack in 1917. A buoy still marks the site where 18 lives were lost and this serves as a lasting reminder of how our area was directly affected by events of 100 years ago.”

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