Messines 1917

Two panels commemorate the Battle Of Messines in 1917 and the role of nurses in attending to the wounded. This NIHE article says that the two nurses depicted are Annie Colhoun from London-/Derry and Margaret Dewar from Glasgow. “Margaret Dewar lost her life during the battle whilst Annie Colhoun survived and was decorated for her work during the war by the French, Serbians and British Governments.” (This presumably makes her the nurse in the right-hand panel.) An Army Nursing Service page says, however, that they were nurses at Monastir in Macedonia.
“Sub cruce candida” (“under a white cross”) is the motto of the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, though at the time of WWI it was Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service. “VAD” stands for “voluntary aid detachment” of the British Red Cross.
The soldiers wear red hands or shamrocks on their arms. The red hand is for the 36th (Ulster) Division and the cap badge in the left panel is of the 36th. The shamrock is the symbol of the 16th (Irish) Division, and the right panel shows the cap badge of the Connaught Rangers whose battalions served in both the 10th (Irish) and 16th (Irish) Divisions in WWI. Both the 36th and 16th fought at the Somme and at Messines (WP).

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Heaven When I Die

The poppy was used exclusively by the UVF (because of their shared named with the Ulster Volunteers, which became the 36th Division, which served on the western front in WWI, but in the last few years (2016-2018) it has been used frequently by the UDA in memorial murals (e.g. onetwo | three), indicated here by the lowered flags and absence of weapons. (The first UDA poppy, however, dates back to the 2012 (if not earlier) tribute to Benson Kingsberry.) For background on the inclusion of “West Belfast” alongside “North Down” in a Newtownards mural, see Ulster Defence Unions, which also contains poppies (and which in turn links to information about the Ulster Defence Union of 1893). “UDU” seems to be used here to represent a desire for greater unity among (at least some parts) of the UDA.
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Our Heritage In Your Hands

The Ulster Tower at Thiepval, France, is a replica of Helen’s Tower in Clandeboye, around which the 36th (Ulster) Brigade, formed in August 1914 from the Ulster Volunteers and Young Citizen Volunteers, began their training (see this gallery of images from North Down Museum at BBC-NI). After a year of training in Ireland and England, the Division was deployed to France in September 1915.
In the top corners are two views of the local Scrabo Tower, which can be seen to the right in the wide shot, below. Produced by muraltec.
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Today’s Local

A UVF board covers up the diamond tiling in the gable wall of the ViVO supermarket in the Glen Estate, Newtownards.
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Ulster Defence Unions

The UDA/UFF in North Down is divided into two factions, led by Dicky Barry in Newtownards and Dee Stitt in Bangor. Barry’s group is affiliated with the Shankill (west Belfast) UDA and Stitt’s with the East Belfast UDA. According to this BelTel article, their respective numbers are 600 to 150, respectively. The Peter Moloney Collection of murals has a 2007 image of a ‘west Belfast’ board in Bangor. For the UDU reference see UDA-UFF-UDF.
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What Do We Forget When We Remember?

2014-01-14 WorldWarsMid+
Two poems are featured prominently and another two alluded to in this Newtownards mural and memorial garden to WWI soldiers. The main panel features part of a work by Owen Griffiths – Lest We Forget. Robert Laurence Binyon’s For The Fallen is featured on the stone, above a line of Latin from Horace’s Odes (III.2) – On Virtue (which most famously re-appears in Owen’s Dulce Et Decorum Est). On the left and right (see the wide shot at the very bottom) there appear the mottos of the Royal Irish Rifles – ‘Quis separabit’, which comes from Romans 8:35 – and the Royal Artillery – ‘Ubique – Quo Fas Et Gloria Ducunt’, which comes from Kipling’s Ubique.
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text: X01628 X01627 X01629 X01630 13th batt. and 17th (Pioneers) batt. royal irish rifles 5th light anti-aircraft royal artillary artillery (S.R.) at the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them dulce et decorum est pro patria mori

The Best A Man Can Get

2014-01-10 NArdsBesties+
Besties Barbers stands in the centre of Newtownards and the mural above is on the side wall (in Gibson Lane). It features footballer George Best in Northern Ireland strip and sponsorship by local taxi company, Kare Kabs. The interior of the shop is decorated with more Northern Ireland football heroes.
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The Westwinds

2013-12-17 NArdsWelcome+
“Welcome [to the] loyalist Westwinds estate U.V.F.” – mural a little way down Blenheim Drive from the entrance to the Westwinds estate, Newtownards.
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Blair “Paddy” Mayne

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Robert Blair “Paddy” Mayne was a rugby player, boxer, golfer, and solicitor, and in WWII a commando and one of the first members of the SAS (Special Air Service), participating in raids behind enemy lines in Egypt and Libya (depicted in the board above), and later, as SAS commander, in France, Belgium and other countries. His many decorations, including the DSO (four times) and French Croix De Guerre and Legion D’Honneur, are pictured below. His WP page includes an explanation of the ribbon bars.
Mayne was born in Newtownards and returned there at the end of the war. His statue stands in the town’s Conway Square and this board can be found in Queen Street.
Painted by muraltec.
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text: X01622 X01625 X01624 X01623 X01626 north africa 1942 palm other honours and citations distinguished service order Lieutenant Colonel

Help Us To Help You

2014-01-12 NArdsLowFull+
A message from the local UVF in the Westwinds estate: “Our only crime was to serve you the COMMUNITY and protest ‘OUR COUNTRY.’ Now times have changed. As FORCE our belief is not only FOR GOD AND ULSTER but to you the COMMUNITY, HELP US TO HELP YOU.”
A close-up of the flags and emblem on the right hand side can be found below. There’s a flag of the 1912 UVF and YCV, and a rose and thistles and shamrock in the background, in addition to a poppy.
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