The Dead We Honour Here

“The dead we honour here made the noble sacrifice for a cause that should never be forgotten.” A new board has been added to the memorial to the Ulster Volunteers on the Newtownards Road at St Leonard’s Crescent (the old Newcastle Street) over the bricked-up windows of the Belvoir Bar (see previously Not For Sale). The annual parade of the Belvoir Somme Association took place at the end of September (youtube)

The portrait of Carson was previously on the corner of Welland Street. The UVF Band mural is to the right of the memorial: see The Great War and They Said We’d Never Last.

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Ulster’s VC Heroes david nelson ernest wright alexander william mcfadzean edmund de win richard annesley west hugh colvin james somers jams duffy robert morrow edward barry stewart bingham thomas hughes robert hill hanna robert quigg john spencer dunville eric norman frankland bell james crichton geoffrey st. george shillington cather james anson otho brooke john alexander sinton dedicated to the women of east belfast that served in wwi and wwii

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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Ulster Welcomes Her King & Queen

… to the state opening of the first parliament of Northern Ireland – with new prime minister James Craig – at Belfast City Hall on June 22nd, 1921. The monarchs in question are King George V and Queen Mary. Pathé has video of the royal arrival and travel to City Hall. In his speech, George appealed “to all Irishmen to pause, to stretch out the hand of forbearance and conciliation, to forgive and to forget, and to join in making for the land which they love a new era of peace, contentment, and goodwill.”

For the coat of arms, see previously The Lion And The Elk. It is not clear whom the twelve framed portraits depict. The six gentlemen in the background are the members of the original Executive Committee, which served as a cabinet to the Commons and Senate – for a full list, with offices, and the original photograph, see WP. Carson’s statue at the entrance to Stormont is on the left. The photograph of spectators at the parade (on the far left) can be seen in this News Letter article. The photograph of the royals in their carriage can be seen here and of the King inspecting the guard here.

The project was undertaken by Rathcoole Friends of the Somme (Fb), with support from the Housing Executive’s Community Cohesion unit.

See also Floreat Ultona in south Belfast.

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Undefeated

“We have given much, we have much to give”. Earlier murals on this wall in the Caw (2015 | 2011) were similarly divided into Ulster Volunteers/Ulster Division on the left and the modern UVF on the right. But this version shows a UVF “hooded gunman” whereas before on both sides there were graveside mourners. There is also a very rare (and possibly unique) reference to the H-Blocks, rather than the Long Kesh cages – a watchtower and walls are included above Carson’s portrait.

On the left are the Union Flag, Covenant, the Clyde Valley, graveside mourner in WWI, and Carson. On the right a UVF hooded gunman, the PUP emblem and slogan “Country Before Party”, and the flag of the UVF (Londonderry company).

The plaque, which has been retained from previously, reads “In proud memory of our fallen comrades from the Nelson Drive flute band. Glorious on the graves of heroes, kindly on all those who have suffered for the cause. Thus will shine the dawn. They gave their tomorrow for our today.”

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First Newtownards Somme & Historical Society

This is new, more extensive display from The First Newtownards Somme & Historical Society (Fb)(replacing The Pride Of Ulster). There are seven panels about the Ulster Volunteers and the 36th Division, plus an eighth panel on the Ulster Special Constabulary. The formation of the Ulster Volunteers (anti-Home Rule poster | anti-Home Rule postcard), formation of the 36th (Ulster) Division, the 13 battalions of the division, the Battle Of The Somme, JP Beadle’s Attack Of The Ulster Division (Royal Irish), the Ulster Tower, the USC (B Specials), the Victoria Cross.

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Those Old Grey Walls Still Firmly Standing

The sights and sounds of Irish Street and Londonderry: (clockwise from right) a verse from Londonderry On The Foyle (youtube) in a frame of the walls of the city of Derry – “But once more I’m coming home aboard a steamship/On Lough Foyle once more I’m passing by Culmore/And I see those old grey walls still firmly standing/There ’round my city Londonderry on the Foyle”; East Bank (Irish Street) Protestant Boys (Fb) on parade; Carson and the signing of the 1912 Covenant; St Columb’s Cathedral; Irish Street FC (Fb).

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It’s A Long Way To Tullygarley

The previous Tullygarley mural on this wall included images of the local area in addition to the emblem of the 36th Division and the Clyde Valley but the new one is devoted solely to the years 1912-1918. On the left is the Ulster Covenant and the Clyde Valley, then an image of Drumalis House, Larne, which was a training ground for the Ulster Volunteers (see silent film from 1914 at BFI and photo of Carson presenting colours at Drumalis) and the base from which the gunrunning was staged, along with Carson acknowledging the troops at Glencairn (in Belfast). In the third image, the 36th (Ulster) Division goes over the top and sits in trenches. Finally, there is a ‘Local Area Roll of Honour’ listing 60 locals who died in WWI.

The odd-man-out image – of paint peeling to reveal a red hand – shows the re-emergence of a mural from 1999 on the side wall.

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The Red Hand And The Winning Hand

Three images of Home Rule vintage are resurrected on Village lamp-posts to fit the situation of the current moment:

“The red hand and the winning hand” is an anti-Home Rule postcard (NMNI) featuring Craig, Bonar Law, Wallace, and Carson as the four aces, in addition to the red hand itself as joker or wild card. Carson and Craig need no introduction; Andrew Bonar Law was the leader of the (opposition) Conservative Party at the time of the third Home Rule bill (WP), while Colonel Robert Hugh Wallace was grand master of the Belfast Orange Order and as such the main organiser of protests against the bill (DIB).

“It’s our flag – fight for it, work for it” is an Australian recruitment poster from WWI (NMNI).

“Against home rule – hand up!” shows a nine-county Ulster, including Donegal, Cavan, Monaghan (and “Derry”) with the red hand emanating from Tyrone, the Red Hand County, symbol of the O’Neills (WP).

For the Northern Ireland coat of arms, see The Lion And The Elk and (much on a much earlier mural in the Shankill) Quis Separabit.

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Guns For Ulster

Carson, Crawford, and Craig are lionised as restisters of devolvement of Ireland to Dublin in the early twentieth century. Despite calling Home Rule “the most nefarious conspiracy that has ever been hatched against a free people” and vowing to fight it by “all means necessary”, including the Ulster Volunteers armed by Crawford’s “guns for Ulster”, Edward Carson “warned Ulster Unionist leaders not to alienate norther Catholics, as he foresaw this would make Northern Ireland unstable.”
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Out Of The Rubble

The Covenant and Somme boards originally on the corner of Barrington Gardens before demolition (see July 1st) have been mounted together on a metal frame in the construction area.
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