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First airbase in Ireland is protected to mark WW1.

Byline: MICHAEL MCHUGH

THE first military airbase in Ireland has been protected to mark the centenary of World War 1. Whitehead Aerodrome was established in October 1915 and was home to Royal Naval Air Service airships which patrolled the Irish Sea looking for German U-boats.

The former site at Bentra Golf Course has been preserved as a WW1 centenary field by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

Mayor Audrey Wales said: "This is a very exciting initiative from Fields in Trust which is being embraced by the council as part of its commitment to marking the centenary of WWI in a very public way."

The primary task for the airships stationed at the Bentra was to protect the Larne-Stranraer ferry and guard incoming convoys in the North Channel from German submarines, the History Hub Ulster said.

When winds permitted, the crew would look for submarines on the surface.

Success depended on close co-operation between the naval airmen and the warships operating from Larne harbour.

Centenary Fields is a project run by charity Fields In Trust, in partnership with The Royal British Legion.

Across the UK, parks, playing fields and community gardens are being protected to mark the anniversary of World War I.

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 8, 2016
Words:207
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