Monday 22 October 2018 12:15:13 AM

A Village At War Book Launched In Killyleagh
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A new war book for schoolchildren has been launched in Killyleagh.
A Village at War‘ tells the story of Killyleagh and Shrigley in the First World War.
Written by journalist Chris Hagan, the chairman of Killyleagh Remembers the Great War, the book contains a collection of short stories about the war and many of those who fought and sacrificed their lives.

Mr Tony McCusker, of the Heritage Lottery Fund, helps launch the new war book for schoolchildren at an event in Killyleagh Library. He is joined by Louise Craig and Kayleigh Mills, of Killyleagh Integrated Primary School, and Katelyn Fegan and Oliver O’Hare of St Mary’s PS, Killyleagh.

It was launched by Mr Tony McCusker, a Board member of the Heritage Lottery Fund, at a special schools event in Killyleagh Library on Friday. 

Around 40 senior children from St Mary’s Primary School, Killyleagh and Killyleagh Integrated Primary School came together to be presented with a copy of the book. It includes exercises to let them explore the events of 1914-18 as they affected the local community.
Councillor Billy Walker, local Rowallene Councillor, commended Chris Hagan for his work over the past couple of years on the theme of the First World War and its impact on Killyleagh.  He said: I am very much impressed by Chris Hagan’s contribution in remembering events and people around the Great War now just over a 100 years ago. He has included people such as Philip Orr, historian, and Paul Clarke, TV presenter, weaving the events together and ensuring that the children of Killyleagh never forget the horrors of the war.”
The schools were also presented with copies of a specially produced DVD in HD in which relatives of those who fought during the Great War, from the Killyleagh and Shrigley areas, tell their family story for posterity.
Mr Hagan said: It was the fifth consecutive year that we have worked with the two schools, and we are grateful to the two principals, Mr Jason Milligan and Miss Dolores Miller, for the pupils’ participation in this 2017 event.
“The book was produced with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of a programme of cross-community events marking the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Messines and Passchendaele. This was the first time that soldiers from the 36th Ulster Division fought alongside the 16th Irish Division.
Mr Mccosker said: “The Heritage Lottery Fund was delighted to be involved and pleased to see primary schoolchildren engaged in learning about the past.”
Mrs Ann Fee of the Sloane’s History Group then introduced Mr Austin Cheevers and Miss Zena McAllister who captured the attention of the young people with their family stories from the war. Mr Cheevers showed his grandfather Mr David Watson’s entrenching tool, used on the Western Front. And Miss McAllister displayed a 70 year-old doll given to her by her relative, Mr James Morrison, one of most decorated survivors of the war from Killyleagh. 
Copies of the book are to be presented to the senior pupils of Derryboy Primary School in  the New Year.

Miss Zena McAllister talks to the children about James Morrison, from Killyleagh, who won the Distinguished Conduct Medal during the Great War.