Iconostases

This is a small memorial to the fallen British soldiers tucked away in Ogilvie Street, Belfast, that serves to remind the locals always to keep the sacrifice of the 36th Division always in mind. Below is the board next to it, originally seen in 2013.

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At Home And Abroad

Two types of mourner at the grave of a fallen WWI soldier: on the left, comrades in arms; on the right, members of the family they left behind.

Work on the mural began in December, 2021, but progress seems to have stalled. One of the bayonets is in outline as is the giant poppy overheard. The effect is that the scene seems to be taking place under the stars.

Ashmore Street, Belfast

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Rifleman Robert King

The Military Medal (“MM”) “for gallantry in the field” was awarded to Rifleman Robert King of the 12th Royal Irish Rifles in the dispatches of July 12th for his actions on July 1st, the first day of the Battle Of The Somme. King was from Ronald Street in Larne (RIR 12th Fb; there is also a 12th batt RIR memorial association).

The reverse of the medal can be seen in the previous version of this mural.

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Is Your Home Worth Fighting For?

“… It will be too late to fight when the enemy is at your door.” In 1914, at the time of the Larne gun-running – see the mural in the second image and (previously) Amazing Night At Larne – the enemy was the threat of Home Rule and its enforcement by British Army forces and RIC that would remain under British control for at least three years after the commencement of home rule (Home Rule And Ulster’s Resistance p. 9). A bill to amend home rule by excluding some or all of the Ulster counties was introduced in July, 1914 (WP), but both Home Rule and the amendment were put aside when the Great War began; the enemy of Unionists then became the Central Powers. The contemporary enemy is the NI Protocol and Brexit, with the powers in Westminster again suggesting a separation of Britain and (Northern) Ireland.

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Coming Back To Drumahoe

Jim Donaghy was born in the Bonds area of the Waterside but when he joined the 10th (Derry) Battalion his family was living in Drumahoe. It was to there that he returned after seeing action at The Battle Of Albert in 1916, as well as the Battle of Messines, the Battle of Langemarck, the Cambrai Operations, and the Capture Of Bourlon Wood (Reserves & Cadets | Three Cheers For The Derrys). 

“”I arrived in Larne on the ferry from Scotland and before I caught the train to Londonderry, I sent a telegram to my mother telling her I was on my way. When I arrived in Waterside Station, there was no one there to meet me so I started my long walk to Drumahoe. As I walked down Daly’s Brae in my uniform, someone must have spotted me in the distance. The bell of Clarke’s Mill at Drumahoe started to ring frantically to my mother that I was home. When I got home the house was filled with my friends, relations and neighbours. They were overjoyed.” – Jim was home – it was over at least. Cpl Jim Donaghy returning home from the First World War.”

“Cpl Jim Donaghy MBE, 10th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and his former family home 2 Fincairn Road, Drumahoe.” The mural is on the yard wall of the house, which still stands.

“In remembrance of all those who served at home and abroad.”

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Somme Memorial Cross

The ‘bend in the road’ (Crumlin Road, just before Ligoniel) is the site of the Somme Memorial Cross. It’s not clear who erected or maintains it and indeed the Union flag flying behind it has been reduced to a stump.

A little further up the road, a new ‘cultural hub’ has been proposed for the site of the old Ligoniel Orange hall (Belfast Live) which was destroyed in a fire in 2000 (BBC).

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The Flax And The Lily

The orange lily and the (pale blue) flax flower take their place around the Ulster Banner alongside the English rose and Scottish thistle, and the Irish shamrock is retained even in the presence of the lily. The flax is perhaps included because we are in the Factory area of Larne, near the site of a (former) linen mill. The Welsh daffodil is excluded. The detail above is part of a wider board “Boyne Square celebrates 100 years of Northern Ireland”; the flanking emblems of the Boyne Defenders (LOL 1297), Rangers Supporters club (Larne Branch) – which also uses the shamrock – Boyne Square Bonfire Forum, and Larne & District Great War Society and included below; the emblems of three flute bands can be seen in Norman Anderson and The Gunrunners.

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Whitehead Temperance

Benjamin West painted The Battle Of The Boyne in 1778 and his composition – with William moving from left to right on a white horse and Marshal Schomberg dying in the bottom-right corner – has become the standard representation in loyalist culture, perhaps due to versions of it appearing on the covers of songbooks for the Orange Order and the Apprentice Boys soon after (Belinda Loftus 1982 Images In Conflict). It appears here on the wall of Whitehead Orange Hall, along with a board connecting service by Irish soldiers in British forces in WWI and Afghanistan (see previously: Time Changes in east Belfast).

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Rubicon

“‘Rubicon’ – the family home of Pte. William F. McFadzean, Victoria Cross, who gave his life to save his comrades at Thiepval Wood on 1st July 1916 immediately prior to the Battle Of The Somme.” McFadzean died when he threw himself on a fallen box of grenades; for this action he was awarded the VC (WP).

The plaque is on Cregagh Road at Cregagh Park. There’s a picture of McFadzean standing outside the house at Royal Irish.

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The Men From Whitehead

“At the going down of the sun.” The smaller of the two World War memorials in Whitehead was updated last year for the 100th anniversary of the Royal British Legion. The stone (shown last, below) was originally dedicated in 1996, for the 75th anniversary. The plate on the bench reads: “In memory of Mr Royal British Legion, Hector (Sandy) McGregor, 1920-2014. ‘Service not self'”

The larger memorial (shown above) was dedicated in 2019 (Mid&East Antrim) and replaced a smaller memorial which also had the names of the locals who were killed in the world wars. “Greater love hath no man – We will remember them. In grateful memory of the men from Whitehead who gave their lives in World War I & II.” With a wreath from LOL 968.

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