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Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
Northern Ireland



09 November 2018

The past came powerfully and poignantly to life for teenagers from Northern Ireland recently as they made a pilgrimage to the World War 1 battlefields of Belgium and France in May.

A hundred years after the guns fell silent, the local Cadets learned about the unprecedented loss of life in ‘the war to end all wars'. Accompanied by expert guides, the Cadets toured museums and cemeteries and explored the trench and tunnel systems where so many fought and died, and discovered that many of those who sacrificed their lives were themselves little more than teenagers.

It was an emotional, and occasionally overwhelming, experience for the young visitors, as well as an opportunity to deepen their understanding. David Williamson from Ballynahinch Squadron Air Cadets is pictured at Theipval memorial beside the name Robert Bacon. Robert Bacon is David’s Great-Great Uncle who died on the 1st of July 1916. He was a soldier with the 10th Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. He has no known grave and is named on the Thiepval Memorial. He was from Portstewart and the family connection is though David’s paternal grandmother.