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Anniversary parade in memory of UDR soldiers

The annual memorial parade and service of remembrance to mark the murder of two young UDR soldiers who were also members of the Orange Institution took place in Belfast on Saturday, February 29.

The parade, organised by Ulster Defenders of the Realm LOL 710, which was formed 26 years ago, is regarded as the first major parade of the year.

The event saw a wreath-laying ceremony at the scene of the atrocity and a service of remembrance conducted by Rev. David McIlveen.

Relatives of the deceased were also present.

Frederick Starrett and James Cummings, both 22, were killed by an IRA booby-trap device as they arrived to close the security gates on Royal Avenue on February 24, 1988. Both soldiers were members of lodges in Ballymacarrett No 6 District; Banner of the Cross LOL 1310 and Johnston’s Golden Star LOL 1934 respectively.

The parade made its way from Templemore Avenue to Royal Avenue.

Worshipful Master of LOL 710, David McGrath, said: “This memorial parade continues to be one of the most important parades in the lodge calendar. The large numbers present will be a fitting tribute to Fred and James and show their families that the sacrifice of these two young men is not forgotten, as we honour their memory.”

Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Harold Henning; Grand Secretary Rev. Mervyn Gibson and Spencer Beattie, County Grand Master of the County Grand Orange Lodge of Belfast were in attendance.

The bands on parade were Pride of the Raven Flute, Millar Memorial Flute, Legananny Accordion and Ballymena Corps of Drums.



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