I have always been interested in understanding our military history and how all our communities helped mould the country that we live and prosper in today. I passionately believe that we must remember those that have served our country and those that have given their all for our country and the life we lead.
I believe that it is noble of you, the members of the Ancre Somme Association, to perpetuate the memory of those that have gone before us both in the locally raised Battalions during the Great War of 1914-1918 and onto further wars and conflicts around the world and Empire. Service men and Volunteers have shaped our Ulster and British traditions and our way of life. It is only fitting that we remember these men and their service.
The Ancre Somme Association's trip to mark the 100 year anniversary of the Battle of the Somme was both solemn and fitting remembering the great sacrifices that were made by the volunteer battalions on The Somme in 1916. From a personal point of view it was tremendously pleasurable being in the company of so many people who shared my interest and belief in the strategic aims of the Ancre Somme Association.
As the Associations Patron I take up the baton and will rise to the challenge. I fully support The Ancre Somme Association's Mission, 'To Actively Commemorate, Educate & Raise Awareness on the Events Preceding, Surrounding and Following the Battle of the Somme Including Subsequent Conflicts, Battles & Wars.'
I believe that we as an Association can march forward, or as the Royal Irish Fusiliers war cry stated we can Clear the Way (Faugh a Ballagh). It is an honour to be the Patron of The Ancre Somme Association.
Lt Col Ant Maher, Patron, Ancre Somme Association.