Owen Paterson – 2010 Comments on the Somme Commemoration

The comments made by Owen Paterson, the then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, on 2 July 2010.

It is a deeply moving experience to remember the tens of thousands of men who died in this battle for their country and to see the war graves so meticulously maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Today I have the honour to lay wreaths at the memorials on behalf of the UK; it is with particular admiration that I reflect on the connection the people of Northern Ireland have with the Somme.

I also admire the dedication of organisations such as the Somme Heritage Centre who work tirelessly to ensure future generations learn about the Battle of the Somme and help ensure that what happened here in 1916 is never forgotten.