This is the bonfire in Edgarstown, Portadown, a month shy of Eleventh Night, when it will be set alight. (The UVF banners will be removed before burning.) Since these images were taken on June 10th, a third “storey” has been added – see the Facebook page.
This time last year, Portadown True Blues flute band (Fb) was preparing for a trip to Toronto, Canada, for an international celebration of the Twelfth (News Letter) but it was cancelled on account of the pandemic. This blue board was an update of their long-standing purple mural in Edgarstown next to the Somme mural, also featured below (and previously in In Answer To The Echo Of Alarm.
“In Deo speramus”. “Edgarstown Remembers” “our forty-two fallen sons who made the ultimate sacrifice by giving their tomorrow for our today in the Great War 1914-1918.” “Dear Lord, I am just a soldier, a protector of our land/A servant called to battle when my country takes a stand./I pray for strength and courage and a heart that will forgive/For peace and understanding in a world for all to live./My family’s prayers are with me, no matter where I roam./Please listen when I’m lonely and return me safely home – Unknown”
“This park is dedicated to three brothers who made the ultimate sacrifice defending their family, town and country in the Great War: Private Alexander Hayes, Private John Hayes, Private William Hayes.” Lurgan Ancestry would appear to give the third brother as Wesley, rather than Alexander. He and John died on the first day of the Somme.
Two images today from our Portadown correspondent of the ‘Respect’ mural in the bus shelter (painted November 2018) along with (in the second image, below) the bonfire currently in place in Killicomaine, Portadown, sporting Paratroop flags and an Ulster Banner – to be taken down before lighting.
With less than a month to go until 11th night, bonfire builders are busy collecting materials for their pyres, but although they want people to “dump wood”, they don’t want to become dumps. Thanks to email@example.com for this image of the site in the Edgarstown estate (Portadown): “Dump wood – no hedge trees or shit.”
One hundred years ago today, on July 1st, 1916, the Battle of Albert began, the first of many battles in what is known collectively as the Battle of the Somme. Soldiers from the 36th (Ulster) Brigade went “over the top” at 7:28 a.m. By the end of the day, more than nineteen thousand British soldiers were dead, five thousand from the 36th.
The line “We gathered from our towns, our villages and farms, in answer to the echo of alarm” comes from the song “Armagh Brigade”; the alarm is more specifically “Carson’s loud alarm”. Below the main panel, which shows combat at close quarters, are the words of Wilfrid Spender: “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 … the Ulster Volunteer Force, from which the Division was made, has won a name that equals any in history.”