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Singer Chris De Burgh pays tribute to fallen Irish soldiers who lost their lives in World War One

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Chris De Burgh with Rev Baden Stanley at the Rememberance Flower Festival and Exhibition at Christ Church in Bray. Photo: Arthur Carron

Chris De Burgh with Rev Baden Stanley at the Rememberance Flower Festival and Exhibition at Christ Church in Bray. Photo: Arthur Carron

Chris De Burgh with Rev Baden Stanley at the Rememberance Flower Festival and Exhibition at Christ Church in Bray. Photo: Arthur Carron

Singer Chris De Burgh has led the tributes to the fallen Irish soldiers who lost their lives in World War One at a special concert and floral remembrance ceremony.

The Wicklow resident opened the ‘Christmas 1914 Concert of Remembrance’ in the Christ Church in Bray last night, where he spoke to the several hundred people in attendance about his family’s involvement in the war.

The ‘Lady in Red’ singer spoke movingly about his grandfather, General Eric De Burgh, and his three grand-uncles, who battled on the frontline in the Great War.

“The younger one was the first one to be killed.  He was probably the first officer to be killed in the First World War,” the father-of-three said.

“Tommy, he died in the autumn of 1914. The other three all survived, and my grandfather spent four years in the trenches.”

Mr De Burgh told the Irish Independent that he “acquired” a letter in a British auction last year from a young, unknown soldier who wrote to his mother describing to her events that he witnessed as part of the ‘Christmas Truce’ which occurred along the Western Front.

This letter was the centerpiece of last night’s event, and he opened the ceremony by reading a passage to the audience.

“He describes what happened, and how on Christmas Eve on the 24th, the Germans stopped firing around midday.  They put candles all along and started singing Christmas carols.  And then there was this extraordinary situation where they met in no mans land.  I actually brought a picture of them talking talking to each other, and they swapped buttons, helmets and caps, and the letter describes a game of football.”

The 66-year-old, who is the father of model Rosanna Davison, said he feels it is important to pay tribute to and remember the 50,000 Irish people who died during World War One.

Adding:  “I think it is really important that they would be remembered.  I  have two sons, 26 and 24-years-old, and both of them 100 years ago, no doubt would have joined up.”

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