AS veterans gathered in Normandy on Saturday to mark the 65th, and last, official remembrance of the D Day Landings, one of the few remaining Lisburn men who was there passed away.
Mr Billy Moore, who landed with the Royal Ulster Rifles in Normandy on 6th June 1944 slipped away peacefully early on the morning of 6th June 2009. He is survived by his wife Edna, son Billy, daughter-in-law Lynda" grand-daughter Suzanne and her husband Ruben.
The funeral took place on Tuesday June 9, with the Service being held in Lisburn Cathedral, conducted by the Rev. Canon Sam Wright, assisted by the Rev. Canon Alex Cheevers.
|A piper leads Mr Moore's coffin to the church for the funeral service .|
Before the Service began the coffin was piped into the Cathedral, carried by four members of the Royal Ulster Rifles Old Comrades' Association (Lisburn Branch).
The coffin was draped in the Queen's Colours and the R.U.R. Standard - surmounted by the Caubeen with the black hackle of the Royal Ulster Rifles.
The Act of Remembrance at the end of the Service was led by Major (Retired) John Jamieson who gave the Oration. A Regimental Piper and Bugler added the perfect notes to a very moving Service and Ceremony. On the way out of Church the coffin, carried by the Royal Ulster Rifles pall-bearers, was again preceded by the Piper. The procession made its way to Blaris New Cemetery for the interment. All present were invited to tea in the Cathedral Hall. Just last week the Star carried an interview with Mr Moore by Canon Cheevers to mark the anniversary of the landings.
He told how, after joining the Army in June 1942, he was put into the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Ulster Rifles and sent to a camp at Droitwich for training before boarding the boats at Portsmouth for the invasion.
"When we got to Cambes Wood (a few miles inland) we got a hammering from the Germans" he recalled. "They hit us with tanks and machine guns — they hit us with everything. We had to draw back and reform. If the mothers had seen their sons lying stretched out, nice in their uniforms" stretched out as if they were sleeping — but they were dead.
"I buried my mate at Cambes Wood. We were having a wee smoke and a wee pow-wow on the edge of the trench when we heard a shell coming over and jumped. He wasn't quick enough and got it in the back. A lot of good mates were killed at Cambes Wood."
Nearly 200 men of the 2nd Battalion were killed, wounded or missing after the fighting at Cambes Wood, and after the taking of Cambes-en-Plein village.
Later, when the Battalion had fought its way up north, Mr Moore was hit in the leg and the hip in Belgium in an attack in which his friend was killed. He was flown home to Birmingham and spent several months in hospital. He suffered from his wounds throughout the rest of his life.