Because He Loves What Is Behind Him

The Shankill Somme Association’s garden of reflection has added a number of new boards.

The board shown above is JP Beadle’s painting “Battle of the Somme: Attack of the Ulster Division”, which hangs in Belfast City Hall (militaryprints.com). It replaces a painting of a soldier in a field of poppies, seen in The Great War.

To its left is John Singer Sargent’s painting “Gassed”, showing the “aftermath of an indiscriminate mustard gas attack on British forces during the Battle of Arras 21st August 1918” (which also forms a part of a memorial in east Belfast) with the GK Chesterton quote “The true soldier fights not because he hates what is front of him, but because he loves what is behind him”.

Also new – and somewhat out of place – is the Northern Ireland Centenary board featuring James Craig: “It would be rather interesting for historians of the future to compare a Catholic state launched in the south with a Protestant state launched in the north and to see which gets on the better and prospers the more”. There are other “floreat Ultona” boards/murals in the Village (focusing on the B Specials and UDR) and in Rathcoole (where “Ulster welcomes her King and Queen”).

There are also three insignia on the gates (compare with M05717), to the Royal Navy, the Ulster Volunteer Medical & Nursing Corps, and the Royal Flying Corp.

Previously (c. 2017), the undead soldiers of We Shall Not Sleep were replaced with an image of the Cross Of Sacrifice memorial – the original is in Ypres, Belgium but there is also one in the City Cemetery – see One In Design And Intention. At the same time, the poppy plaques for individual local soldiers and the image of the Menin Gate were also added.

The Flanders Field board appears to have survived since 2012 – see Somme Memorial.

The final image below shows the new stone surround for the main memorial. See (again) Somme Memorial and for a close-up of the frosted glass, Reflections On The Somme.

For the 20th anniversary electrical box on the footpath outside, see Shankill Somme Association.

With thanks to Paddy Duffy for the photographs.

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Unhappy Anniversary

Noah Donohoe would have been 17 last Friday (November 25th). The inquest had been due to start on the 28th, but after the Coroner Joe McCrisker ruled at the end of October that it should take place in front of a jury, a preliminary hearing will be held on December 9th at which a new date might be set (Belfast Media | Sunday World).

There are 23 other posts featuring Noah Donohoe on Extramural Activity. This mural is at the entrance to the Kashmir Bar on the Springfield Road; for the mural on the outside wall, see The Best Singers In The West.

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Ireland Out Of The EU

“Britain out of Ireland, Ireland out of the E.U.” Strict Irish independence is the policy of the IRSP (web). Back in 1972, Sinn Féin campaigned against Irish membership in the EEC (DFA), but (in the north) supported the ‘remain’ position on Brexit (UNU).

The poster is on Lecky Road, in the Brandywell, on top of what used to be ‘Derry Women Make Communities’ – see Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History.

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S Company, C Company

Joe Coggle and Paul McClelland were arrested as they sat with weapons in a car on the Falls Road in 1991; they were jailed for 18 years (Independent) but released under the Agreement. The Sunday World also report that the pair were involved in the killing of David Braniff in 1989. Both UVF men are said to be deceased; Coggle died in September.

Coggle had previously served 18 months for running over and killing Elizabeth Masterson in Beechmount in 1986 and her descendants objected to the mural (Irish News | BBC).

S Company was a predecessor to C Company, existing from 1969 to 1974, when C Company was formed (see M08105 for an older S Coy – C Coy mural in Ballygomartin). A previous UVF uzi can be seen in M01186.

Replaces Here Dead We Lie. For mural of five volunteers to the right (in the wide shot), see C Coy Street.

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Loyalist Movilla

Here is a gallery of images from the junction of Upper Movilla Street and Georges Street in Newtownards. In the image above, a handdrawn UDA emblem can be faintly seen, behind the modern board that has fallen down (possibly off a house in Wallaces Street). In a separate post, see IRA Council Demands.

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William King Memorial Flute Band

On the left is the story of William King,and on the right, the story of the William King Memorial Flute band (Fb), including the death of Bobby Stott on, forty-seven years ago yesterday. These images were taken during the summer; the board was vandalised two weeks ago (BelTel).

William King “was born in Co Donegal in 1920. He was one of a family of 14 … He served in the army during the Second World War and at the time of his death on 24th September 1969, he worked as a security guard at Du Pont in Maydown. A widower, he was a father of four … and lived in the Fountain area of Londonderry … In the hostile atmosphere of Londonderry in the weeks following the ‘Battle of the Bogside’ in August 1969, William was badly beaten by a group of nationalist rioters in London Street, close to the Fountain … and later died from a heart attack precipitated by these injuries. … unlike the victims of Bloddy Sunday, William King and the other approx. 250 people who died as a result of the terrorist campaign throughout the “Troubles” would not receive any enquiries or attention as time passed.”

“On 6th April 1974 having mastered 8 tunes, the band is dedicated on the “Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall” by Dean George Good … On the 25th November 1975, band member Bobby Stott, a part-time member of the Ulster Defence regiment, was murdered by the IRA in The Fountain … [in 1982] they competed at the “Band Championships of Ireland” and were placed 2nd but after this setback the Wm King would go on to dominate the melody band contest scene for the next 30 years.

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Christmas Meat

Yesterday was Thanksgiving in the United States, also commonly known as “turkey day”, and the orgy of eating is today followed by the orgy of spending – Black Friday. The terms are gradually creeping into local parlance, to mark an artificial beginning to the Christmas shopping season. One local petrol chain made headlines yesterday with its “Thanksgiving Thursday” promotion (BelTel | Belfast Live gallery), while one Woodvale butcher is encouraging people to “order your Christmas meat now”, using a saving club if necessary.

The mural underneath is Dan Kitchener’s Night Taxi.

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Supporting Republican Political Prisoners

This is the wall at the south end of the Creggan shops that was first muraled in response to the ceasefire (see Time For Peace). This IRPWA (web) board “supporting republican political prisoners” is now in disrepair but it is unclear whether or not it will be replaced, as new construction on Central Drive has greatly reduced its visibility while the new sports centre across the street provides a much more prominent notice-board (see Central Drive).

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The Longest Reign

“I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service.” said Princess Elizabeth on her 21st birthday on April 21st, 1947, five years before she became queen. As the info board to the right describes, “In 2015, she became the longest reigning monarch in British history, surpassing her great-great grandmother, Queen Victoria. In 2016, she became the oldest reigning monarch in the world! … In 2017 Her Majesty and her loyal consort Prince Philip marked their 70th wedding anniversary – the longest royal marriage in British history.”

“This artwork was commissioned by Queens Park Women’s Group to celebrate the platinum anniversary of the reign of our beloved monarch Queen Elizabeth II and was officially opened by Mr David McCorkell KStJ, Her Majesty’s lord-lieutenant for County Antrim on 25th August 2022.”

The wide shots show two other murals above and below this one; above is How Nobly They Fight And Die, below is South East Antrim Remembers.

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Bap McGreevy

IRA volunteer Frank “Bap” McGreevy spent 15 (Irish Times) or 17 (An Phoblacht) years in Long Kesh (for a crime of which he was innocent, says Anthony McIntyre; possibly the car bombing of the Klondyke Bar in Sandy Row). He was attacked by two assailants at his home in (the old) Ross Street, near this memorial board, in March 2008 and died of his wounds after three days in hospital.

As the wide shots below show, there are now a dozen pieces along this stretch of the Falls Road. The other pieces have all been seen in previous posts. For close-ups, see
Kieran Abram with Charlie Hughes
plaque and map of The Falls Road Massacre
Unrepentant Republicans Billy McKee, Alec Murphy, and Brendan Hughes; the Falls Curfew
Web Of Corruption: Drop The Rents; PSNI Not Supported; Divis 81 in Defund The Police
For A Socialist Republic

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