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MESSINES RIDGE, BELGIUM (JUNE 6, 2017) (REUTERS) TOWER AT ISLAND OF IRELAND PEACE PARK MAN MOVING BARREL SIGN READING (English): "Island of Ireland Peace Park" / MAN BRINGING BARREL INTO PEACE PARK AND ANOTHER EXITING BIG TENT BEING ERECTED AND PILE OF EQUIPMENT STANDING NEARBY SOLDIERS WALKING BY WITH FLAGS ROLLED UP SOLDIERS STANDING WITH ROLLED FLAGS (SOUNDBITE) (English) HISTORIAN, CAROLE WALKER, SAYING: "From an Irish perspective it's the first time that you see two Irish divisions, as in north and south, unionist and nationalist, fighting together side by side. Both had been fighting at the Battle of the Sommes in 1916, but at completely different times - one in July, the 36th Ulster division fought on the July 1, the 16th Irish division then fought later on the 3rd of September, 1916. But when you come up to here in this area, both divisions go into the line together. So what you have is unionists and nationalists fighting side by side and dying side by side as well, so it's very symbolic really for the island of Ireland." SOLDIERS GIVING INSTRUCTIONS / OTHER SOLDIERS LISTENING SOLDIERS STANDING BY IRISH ROUND TOWER (SOUNDBITE) (English) HISTORIAN, CAROLE WALKER, SAYING: "By having Prince William here and by having the Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny) here, it's very important, particularly to those families who lost their relatives in the First World War. For them to see that support from that level is extremely important for them." SOLDIERS REHEARSING MARCHING MAN WHEELING EQUIPMENT IN RAIN / SOLDIERS SHIELDING FROM WIND AND RAIN BEHIND IRISH TOWER VARIOUS OF PLAQUE WITH TEXT OF PEACE PLEDGE ROAD SIGN READING (English): "MESEN - MESSINES" AND TOWN IN BACKGROUND FIELD AND WIND BLOWING HEAVILY / TOWN SEEN IN DISTANCE VARIOUS FLAGS OF ALLIES IN WORLD WAR ONE FLYING FROM A HOUSE STATUE OF SOLDIER IN SQUARE SIGN READING (English): "The New Zealand Soldier - Jan Dieusaert" STATUE OF SOLDIER STATUE AND ROAD SIGNS POINTING TO WAR CEMETERIES HEADSTONES AT WYTSCHAETE MILITARY CEMETERY PEOPLE WALKING AT CEMETERY (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHAPLAIN TO THE SECOND BATTALION ROYAL IRISH REGIMENT OF BRITAIN, PADRE DONALD, SAYING: "I'm here also on a personal journey of remembrance as well. My great-great uncle emigrated from Ireland, from Carrickfergus, and he moved to New Zealand, and he ended up joining the Anzacs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) and he survived Gallipoli (battle in Turkey), survived the Sommes, and ended up here at Messines, so I hope to visit his grave in the next day or so, and remember him in a very personal and meaningful way."
Dateline: 2017

British And Irish Troops Prepare For Battle Of Messines Centenary

Item ID: 110576465

By: Reuters

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