Ancre Somme Association






On Saturday 26th October the Ancre Somme Association held its 10th Anniversary dinner in Brownlow House, Lurgan. The event was hosted by the charismatic BBC Presenter, Liam Beckett MBE and sponsored by Statement Menswear, Portadown. Guests were greeted by award winning piper Ian Burrows who played a selection of tunes as attendees entered Brownlow House.


The night got underway with Ancre Somme Association Honorary President, David Martin, welcoming all to the event. A raptures round of applause circulated around the room as David welcomed special guests Liam Beckett MBE and The Swingtime Starlets as well as many dignitaries including Mr David Simpson MP, Mrs Carla Lockhart MLA, Mr Andy Allen MBE MLA, Cllr Margaret Tinsley Deputy Lord Mayor Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council, Cllr Mark Baxter Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council, Cllr Paul Berry Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council, Alderman Bill Keery Mayor Ards & North Down Borough Council, Mrs Linda Keery Mayoress Ards & North Down Borough Council, Councillor Alan Givan Mayor Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Mrs Elizabeth Givan The Mayoress Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Alderman Paul Porter Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Cllr Maureen Morrow Mayor Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, Cllr Beth Adger Deputy Mayor Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, Cllr Keith Turner Mid & East Antrim Borough Council and Cllr Alan Rainey Fermanagh & Omagh District Council. A special welcome was also given to the ASA Scotland members who were in attendance.


Before the room fell silent everyone again put their hands together for the introduction of the Ancre Somme Association Patron, Lt Col Ant Maher. Lt Col Maher thanked everyone for their attendance and the support they have shown the association. He went on to thank the members for their commitment to the association and looked forward to working with them in the future.


After the meal Liam Beckett MBE took to the stage. He firstly conducted the raffle which was in aid of AA Veterans Support. The raffle was won by William Woods and he was presented with a glorious print donated by Andy Allen MBE MLA. We are delighted to announce that the raffle raised £670 and will be used by the charity to help veterans and their families across Northern Ireland.


Next to take to the stage were the fabulous Swingtime Starlets. This professional close harmony trio performed a selection of songs from the 40’s Wartime Era as well as the Hollywood’s Golden Age. Their renditions of these iconic songs transported all in attendance back through the years.


Liam then became auctioneer as he helped raise much needed funds that will enable the association to carry out their work across the United Kingdom. We are pleased to announce that £1050 was raised through the auction. We would like to thank the following who donated prizes to the auction. Cllr Paul Berry, Lurgan Rugby Club, Coleraine Football Club, Liam Beckett and the association committee.  


As the night continued Liam welcomed key members of the association to the stage. To enable those in attendance to get a better understanding of the association, and the roles its members play, Liam interviewed them in his own unique style. Mark Jameson, Ant Maher, Lexi Davidson, John Jenkins, Tommy Davidson, Mark Henry, David Martin, Carla Lockhart MLA and Andy Allen MBE MLA were all interviewed regarding the association and also on their other interests.


Before the formalities were brought an end Ancre Somme Association chairman, Mark Jameson, presented various individuals with gifts in appreciation of the support they have shown the association over the past 10 years. Presentations were also made by Ancre Somme Association Scotland Branch chairman, John Jenkins, to various individuals for the support they have shown the members in Scotland.


Lt Col Ant Maher brought proceedings to an end by once again thanking everyone for their attendance and then invited them to retire and join him, and the members of the association, and reflected on the proceedings of the night.  Music was provided afterwards by the very talented local singer, Andy Whittaker.    


The officer and members of the Ancre Somme Association would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that sponsored, supported and attended this event. Special thanks must go to Liam Beckett MBE, The Swingtime Starlets, Brownlow House, Statements Menswear, Andy Whittaker, Cllr Paul Berry, Lurgan Rugby Club, Coleraine FC and finally we thank all the councils across Northern Ireland for the support they have shown our association.


Your support will help ensure that our members can continue with our commitment to educate future generations regarding their past while remembering the sacrifice made by our courageous British Armed Forces.



Mark Jameson


Ancre Somme Association.