US Rangers ceremony to be held at Sunnylands memorial

A commemoration event is to be held in Carrickfergus next year as part of a reciprocal visit in honour of the US Rangers.
Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

The US Rangers were based at Sunnylands in the town during World War II. It was the only US military unit to be formed on foreign soil.

In August, Mid and East Antrim Deputy Mayor Councillor Beth Adger and a council officer attended the unveiling of a new memorial to the US Rangers in Dieppe, France. In 1942, 50 US Rangers took part in the Dieppe Raid, the first Americans to fight on European soil during the Second World War.

The council will now host a ceremony at Sunnylands Memorial – a permanent tribute to the US Rangers – on June 19 next year, as the culmination of a programme of events during a reciprocal visit.

The US Rangers memorial at Sunnylands, Carrickfergus. Image by GoogleThe US Rangers memorial at Sunnylands, Carrickfergus. Image by Google
The US Rangers memorial at Sunnylands, Carrickfergus. Image by Google

The programme will also be marketed internationally to “showcase Carrickfergus heritage” and to visit other sites in Northern Ireland associated with World War II such as the NI War Memorial Museum.

A report to Mid and East Antrim councillors said: “The visit to Dieppe afforded great networking opportunities where contact was made with a number of dignitaries, military personnel and other associated organisations and prominent individuals all of whom are very interested in visiting Carrickfergus as the birthplace of the US Rangers.”

The weekend programme is expected to cost in the region of £6,000 to include a fun day at a cost of £3,500.

Fun Day

Carrickfergus Castle Alderman Billy Ashe MBE queried the sum of money required to host a fun day event.

Speaking at a meeting of Mid and East Antrim’s Borough Growth Committee at the Smiley Buildings in Larne, Ald Ashe said: “We can get money spent on the Andrew Jackson Centre and can’t get money spent in the town centre. I think £3,500 for a family fun day is a wee bit OTT.

Read More
Hannah Morgan: appeal raises £9,000 following Carrick teen's sudden death

“I think we have it the wrong way round. I think it is an exciting project but I do not see how you can spend £3,500 on a family fun day. In the past, I have put on a family fun day on £200.”

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter