“Officer in command Vol. Ernest “Ernie” Dougan (30/04/65-22/03/20) Ballyduff/Glengormley Ulster Volunteer Force 1st East Antrim Battalion.” Dougan died at the beginning of lockdown and so the public commemoration of his passing did not take place until 2022. He was also involved in the Ballyduff Community Redevelopment Group (Fb). According to a Sunday World article, Dougan did not join the UVF until sometime after the Agreement, after he was given a punishment beating by the UDA in north Belfast (see Irish Times | Mirror) and moved out to Ballyduff.
“South East Antrim UDA UYM. In proud memory of Brig John Gregg, CO Gerry Evans, Andrew Gillespie, Billy Graham, Jamie Penny, Ken Thursby, T. Daly, J. McClure, B. Hobbs, B. Smyth”. Graham replaces William Hutchings, and Thursby is a new addition. The original version of the mural, dating back to 2004, included J. Kelly, W. Gordon, G. Fittis, A. Helm (M05230) – these are perhaps below the fence-line.
Gregg was a hero to loyalists for seriously injuring Gerry Adams in 1984; he was killed in the Adair feud in 2003 (Guardian). Evans was killed by the INLA in Glengormley in April, 1994 (Sutton). He was remembered long ago (1996) in a Cloughfern mural – see T00217.
Kilgreel Road (Parkhall), Antrim. Compare to the similar SEA UDA murals in Ballymena and (formerly) Glengormley.
An explicitly UDA mural returns to the Grange estate (Ballyclare); the previous Young Guns board fell down. Two men were imprisoned in October (2022) (Belfast Live) and November (4NI), the former from the estate, in connection with investigations into the Ballyclare UDA in February, 2021. Two others were arrested in Larne and Ballyclare in September (BelTel).
The 11th and 12th battalions of the Royal Irish Rifles were part of the 108th brigade and the 36th (Ulster) Division in WWI.
On July 1st, 1916, the 12th battalion’s objective was to reach the German trenches beyond Beaucourt railway station with the 9th battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers (Armagh, Monaghan & Cavan Volunteers); they were cut down by machine-gun fire and unable to achieve their goal. Robert Quigg of the 12th Rifles and Geoffrey Cather of the 9th Fusiliers were awarded the VC (see previously VCs Of the 36th). The 11th was part of the attack on the Schwaben Redoubt and reached the German second line before being pushed back in the evening. (Royal Irish | Web Matters)
UVF volunteer Denver Smith was killed in the early morning of January 1st, 2000 by a gang of six men with machetes and pikes; the incident was perhaps drugs-related (Guardian | BBC-NI | Irish Times). The iconography, however, is all related to WWI, with soldiers moving across the fields of Flanders in the mural, above, and mourning by a graveside in the memorial garden, below.
“‘Let no man ever think for a moment that I will not stand to the very death if it is necessary in the interests of Ulster and of the Ulster people.’ Captain James Craig, first prime minister of Northern Ireland.”
To go with the fighting words, Craig is shown here in military uniform – though he was a young man when joined the Royal Irish Rifles and served in South Africe for two years (1899-1901), with the Imperial Yeomanry and the Imperial Military Railways. As the politician who was instrumental in the Ulster Volunteers and the creation of Northern Ireland (and prime minister until his death in 1940), he is usually shown in civilian clothes – see e.g. Floreat Ultona | Ulster Welcomes Her King & Queen | Because He Loves What Is Behind Him
The source of the quote is unknown – please comment or get in touch if you can say what it is from. It’s also not clear what uniform Craig is wearing – the cap badge is the ‘lion on crown’ used e.g. by officers of the Devonshire yeomanry; it is perhaps a officer’s dress uniform for the Imperial Military Railways (though see the IMR pouch badge). Craig was also assistant adjutant to the 36th Division (DIB).
This board from the Maiden City Somme Society (Fb) traces the history of 1912-1918, from the protests against Home Rule and the signing of the Ulster Covenant (both the men’s (middle left) and women’s (top row, second from left) versions of the declaration are shown; also in the top row are postcards seen previously in The Red Hand And The Winning Hand and Ulster Girl), to the formation and training of the Ulster Volunteers (specifically the City of Derry regiment – emblem left of the city crest), to the Ulster Division’s service in WWI (specifically the 10th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers or ‘Derry Volunteers’ – emblem right of the city crest) shown in the bottom row by JP Beadle’s painting (see Over The Top) flanked by the Thiepval and Ulster Tower memorials.
The board was launched in August 2016 in the Fountain, Londonderry.
“S.L.M.M.F.B.” [Sergent Lindsay Mooney Memorial flute band] “In glorious memory: Lindsay Mooney, Ben Redfern, Cecil mcKnight, Gary Lynch, Ray Smallwoods, William Campbell. ‘At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them.'”
The flute band was formed in 1973 after the St. Patrick’s day death of Lindsay Mooney, a UDA member killed by the premature explosion of a bomb near Lifford, County Donegal (Sutton). The band’s 50th anniversary march takes place on the 18th (Bands Forum), though it was not in operation between 1993 and 2013 (NI World).
Ulter Tower in Thiepval, France, provides a background for 13 jigsaw pieces with partial images relating to the Great War, including a uniform with a Victoria Cross and badge of the 36th (Ulster) Division, the 10th (Irish) Division, the 16th (Irish) Division, and the Royal Irish Fusiliers (and a fourteenth piece for information).
Kilgreel Road, Antrim. The mural is more than a decade old and is bleached from the sun (the pinks were formerly brown); on the former site of The People’s Army (a UVF board).
“This artwork, commemorating the sacrifices made during the Great War and subsequent conflicts, was produced by the young people of Parkhall Youth & Community Club and was completed in 2010. It is part of a larger Re-imaging project undertaken by Parkhall Cultural Awareness Association & Parkhall Community Association. 14 jigsaw pieces are representated as that was the age of the youngest soldier to die on the Somme. The Royal Irish Fusiliers, who recruited in the Antrim area, served with the 10th Irish Division and 36th Ulster Division during World War I. The cap badge is surrounded with poppies. The poppy is an international symbol commemorating the sacrifices of members of the armed forces and of civilians specifically since the Great War. Birds were used extensively during World War I delivering important logistic message from the front line. HMS Antrim served in the Great War and survived. After the war she became the first ship to be fitted with an experimental sonar system in 1920. Her bell can presently be viewed in Antrim Civic Centre. The grounds of Shane’s Castle in Antrim were used as a training ground and a campsite for the 36th Ulster Division prior to their deployment to France. Of all bell tents and parachutes during the Great War 90% were made from Irish Linen. During the Great War a service man’s basic wage was one shilling a day (5 pence). The sound of the bugle was heard throughout each day in the trenches, starting with Reveille to rouse you from slumber. ‘Flowers of the Forest’, a powerful Scottish lament, is often played by a lone piper at services of Remembrance. “I am not an Ulsterman but yesterday, the 1st July, as I followed their amazing attack, I felt that I would rather be an Ulsterman than anything else in the world.” Extract from the speech by Captain Wilfred [Wilfrid] Spencer 2st July 1916. Men from the 36th Ulster Division received 9 Victoria Crosses. Women played a vital role in field hospitals during the Great War caring for the injured, from the front line. The flags of the 16th and 10th Irish Divisions. 36th Ulster division. The Ulster Tower is a memorial to the men of the 36th Ulster Division. It is situated near the entrance to Thiepval Wood, France.