ONE Fermanagh man has paid an emotional visit to his grandfather's grave in Belgium, 93 years after he died in conflict there in 1917.

Maurice Spillane from Enniskillen joined other people from Fermanagh in the trip, organised by the International School of Peace Studies.

"It was a very moving experience," admits Maurice, who was the first member of his family to ever visit the grave of his grandfather, John.

John Spillane, originally from Enniskillen, was in the Irish Guards and was killed on the first day of the Third Battle of Wipers. He is buried in Artillery One in Belgium. As a poignant tribute to his dead grandfather, Maurice laid a cross and poppy on his grave.

"I was affected by visiting his grave more that I thought I would be. We where able to pin-point where my grandfather was buried. It was a very emotional moment when I put my hand on the gravestone and realised that he had been buried there for 93 years and nobody from my family had visited before. I did cry, yes, but I was comforted by the other people on the trip," explained Maurice.

"Many of the graves were unmarked so I was lucky in that I was able to find my grandfather's. Many did not. Most of the people on the trip were sadly unable to locate their relatives as easy as me. It was pretty sad. They were upset as well, no doubt about it. But then you would be with something like that. The people that died during that war and other wars, and have no graves for whatever reason, are known only to God. There's a sign there that says that," he said.

Maurice hopes his tear-jerking visit to Belgium will encourage others from all sides of the community here, to look back at their family tree and learn more.

"Oh, I couldn't recommend it more. Especially now as most of the details are available on the internet. Anybody who has relatives that died in the First World War, Battle of the Somme and any other wars should make an attempt to visit their graves to see where their family members are buried. Anybody that does this will find the entire journey a very rewarding experience." he said.