Pandemic-hit Knockagh Somme remembrance broadcast

The bravery and sacrifice of those who lost their lives during the Battle of the Somme will be remembered during a service at Knockagh War Memorial this weekend.

Knockagh Monument.
Knockagh Monument.
Knockagh Monument.

The annual event has been scaled back this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic with a small group of people in attendance at the Greenisland location, in line with public health guidelines on social distancing.

However, Mid and East Antrm Borough Council hopes that as many people as possible will instead join in a period of reflection when the remembrance service is broadcast virtually on its website and social media channels.

The virtual event will include historical contributions from Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Co Antrim and representatives from other Co Antrim councils in relation to both world wars and the Knockagh War Memorial.

The broadcast will also feature historical overviews of the Battle of the Somme and the Knockagh Memorial, as well as musical accompaniments.

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Peter Johnston, said: “While we are unable to gather in large numbers this year for the Somme Remembrance Service at Knockagh, it is important that anyone wishing to join in tribute to the sacrifice made by so many has the opportunity to watch the broadcast.

“Coronavirus restrictions may have caused us to reshape the way we deliver our events to the people of Mid and East Antrim, but Council have shown commitment to respecting the dignity of our fallen heroes and honouring our heritage and history.

“The service, which has been pre-recorded before being broadcast online, will encompass the historical perspective of the Battle of the Somme and the two World Wars and their association with the monument.

“Whilst the general public will be unable to attend, I hope this digital broadcast means they can continue to pay their respects from the comfort and safety of their own homes.”

Cllr Matthew Armstrong said it was “vitally important to remember the sacrifices made by so many from this borough, Co Antrim and across Northern Ireland”.

The broadcast will be streamed online at 11.00am on Sunday (June 28) via council’s website and Facebook page

The largest war memorial in Northern Ireland, Knockagh Monument was erected in remembrance of the men from Co Antrim who died in the First World War.

Although the foundation stone was laid in 1922, the monument was not completed until 1936. After the Second World War, it was dedicated in remembrance to those from Co Antrim who also died in the conflict.


A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper whenever you are able to do so.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper when you can safely.

You can also enjoy unlimited access to the best news from across Northern Ireland and the UK by subscribing to

With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit now to sign up.