The Road To The Somme Begins

2012-12-29 WillowfieldWide+
Two murals confront each other on Carlingford Street, east Belfast. Here is one, showing a map of the area, a statue of Carson, and a group of volunteers. Detail and close-up of the plaque below.
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Copyright © 2012 Extramural Activity
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2012-12-29 WillowfieldPlaque+
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Copyright © 2012 Extramural Activity
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2012-12-29 WillowfieldDetail+

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Copyright © 2012 Extramural Activity
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text: X00803 X00802 X00801 carson’s volunteers we will not have home rule willowfield unionist hall 28th sept 1912 3,242 sign the ulster covenant road to the somme begins; this mural is dedicated to the men and women of in the 3rd bill was introduced and passed by parliament and although defeated 3 times by the house of lords it was sent for royal assent over 200,000 unionists attended a rally at balmoral including the orange order and unionist clubs which had marched from the city center; here they were addressed by among other sir edward carson leader of the irish unionist party on 28th september nearly 500,000 men and women signed; factories and shipyard in belfast were idle and silent allowing their workers the opportunity to attend church and then to congregate at the city hall; some in their own blood; they then formed into the 2nd battalion of the regiment u.v.f. commanded by dr. william gibson; drilled and trained that was situated about half a mile from this spot; with the onset of WW1 in 1914 these same volunteers stood to the fore to defend the empire as the 8th battalion in the 36th ulster division; many did not return but their bravery and honour will forever be remembered;
they went with songs to the battle they were young straight of limb true of eyes steady and aglow they were staunch to the end against odds uncounted they fell with their faces to the foe they shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old, age shall not weary them nor the years condemn, at the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them

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