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UDR 2 The Story of the Parade

Homepage Article - February 2012

UDR 2 The Story of the Parade

Memorial Service[1]

UDR 2 Parade - Belfast February 2011

On the night of 24th February 1988 at precisely 11. 15pm a large explosion rocked the city centre of Belfast. A bomb had been detonated by command wire behind a hoarding where the Castle Court centre was being built. As the dust and debris began to settle 2 UDR soldiers lay motionless on the ground near where the explosion had taken place.

Private James Cummings, 22, was dead after taking the full force of the bomb’s shockwave and nearby lay Private Freddie Starrett, also 22. He lay clinging to live even though a nail from the destroyed hoarding was embedded in the back of his head. UDR colleagues rushed to their assistance but unfortunately Pte. Starrett died of his injuries in the early hours of the morning at the Belfast City Hospital.

A second bomb intended for the security forces on the follow up operation failed to explode and was defused by the army.

Two soldiers, both Orangemen, with their whole lives in front of them murdered as they carried out their duty defending all of the people of Northern Ireland. But unfortunately a whole generation have forgotten about these two brave men along with the many others who gave their lives protecting us from the cowards of the IRA.

However their names will not be forgotten by all. The Starrett and Cummings family hold a short memorial service in Belfast City centre at the spot where the two soldiers fell. It is at this service that our fellow Brothers of LOL 710, Ballymacarrett District LOL N.6 organise a parade every year to offer their support to both families. It has also been Garryowen’s privilege for the last two years to walk with Ballymacarrett District to the service and offer our support.

Garryowen is a UDR lodge and was founded to ensure that the proud name of the Ulster Defence Regiment and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice would not be forgotten. So to walk in this parade to offer our support to the families of two fallen UDR soldiers is something that we are privileged and very proud to do. This is what we walk for, this is why we wear our collarettes and this is why every member of Garryowen is proud to walk in this parade.

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