‘Gallipoli 100th anniversary should be marked by council’

Councillor Mark Baxter at a recent awards night.
Councillor Mark Baxter at a recent awards night.

A local councillor has called for the 100th anniversary of the Gallipol campaign to be marked locally.

At the July monthly meeting of the ABC council Lagan River Councillor Mark Baxter suggested the council should honour the sacrifice of all those from the borough who fell at Gallipoli in World War One.

He suggested marking the centenary with a tree planting ceremony.

Commenting after the meeting, he said: “The Great War had many infamous and bloody battles and I suppose being form this part of the world we think mainly of the battle of the Somme and rightly so as the 36th Ulster division suffered great loss and many of us can trace relatives back to that part of our history.

“Looking back though we can also see that the battle on the Turkish peninsula which went on from April 2015 until the following January saw the loss of some 25,000 British and Irish soldiers.”

He added: “Approximately 46,000 allies fell there and was the greatest loss of life for the Australian and New Zealand forces indeed its commemorated every year in those countries in April on ANZAC day .

“Many from this borough lost their lives there which must have seemed like the other side of the world 100 years ago.”He continued: “I can think of one local man PTE Joseph King who was from Maralin and lived in Donacloney.

He was killed in action on 21 August 1915. His brother, I believe, was also killed at the Somme the following year .

He concluded: “Such harrowing times for them and indeed the families they left behind.

“I feel it’s very fitting that all these people to whom we owe such a great debt are remembered by the council.”