Carrickfergus castle was built in 1177 and has seen multiple battles in the intervening years, including the Battle Of Carrickfergus in 1597 in which the MacDonnells and O’Neills defeated the forces of Elizabeth I (WP). Its military history makes it a fitting spot for a remembrance of the dead of WWI from the 36th Division.
The war memorial garden in City Way (Sandy Row) commemorates those from the Great War, World War II, and “Continuing Conflicts” which includes the “Troubles”. There is also a fourth, smaller, stone, with John Maxwell Edmonds’s memorial epitaph.
“The Great War 1914-1918: In memory of the fallen”, with John McCrae’s poem ‘In Flanders Fields‘.
“Second World War 1939-1945: Freedom is the sure possession of those have the courage to defend it. Their ideal is our legacy. Their sacrifice is our inspiration.”
“Continuing Conflicts: We remember those who have given their lives. The wounded and those who serve in continued conflicts around the world.”
“I am not an Ulsterman but yesterday, the First of July, as I followed their amazing attack, I felt that I would rather be an Ulsterman than anything else in the world. – Wilfred [Wilfrid] Spender – The Somme 1916”. Spender was born in England but served as quartermaster of the Ulster Volunteers and general staff officer of the 36th (Ulster) Division. He won the Military Cross for actions at Thiepval, and became Cabinet Secretary of the new “Northern Ireland” in 1921 (WP). His words are on one of three new murals in Belvoir Park, alongside two large flags – the Union Flag and Ulster Banner. Above the WWI mural old RHC lettering is causing the paint to fall away.
“This plaque is dedicated to those men and women of the Orange Institution who volunteered to fight in the Great War for king and empire and who made the ultimate sacrifice on foreign fields.” A WWI commemorative plaque has been added to the Orange hall in Carrickfergus (seen previously in M05249).
The Red Hand Defenders flute band will commence its march from the Clough (Co. Down) Orange hall at 12:30 and its route will take it under the Orange arch in Main Street, shown here, with King Billy flanked by portraits of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip (on the left) and soldiers from the 36th (Ulster) Division (on the right). It will visit the houses in Jordanstown, Church Grove, Church Court, and Claragh Court (PC).
William McFadzean won a VC for sacrificing himself on the morning before the Battle Of The Somme (in WWI) and is commemorated in several murals. He shares a plaque here with “Vol W Miller”, who is perhaps the (modern UVF) volunteer Billy Miller from Donegall Pass who was killed in an RUC ambush in 1983 (Long Kesh I/O). The two names on the newer plaque are unknown on-line, perhaps having survived the Troubles and recently deceased.
The title of today’s post comes from the Laurence Binyon poem For The Fallen.
The garden of remembrance in Newbuildings was opened in November, 2018, and has grown to include several boards (second image), including “Newbuildings Victoria LOL 1087 remembers our murdered brethren.” (for “Orange Victims” day in September, 2019), troops going over the top at the Somme, and a Celtic Cross with Irish-based British Army regiments (and their battles): Royal Irish Rifles, Royal Irish Fusiliers, Royal Irish Rangers, and Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. On the front railings are now tarps related to the pandemic (“Thank you to all our NHS staff and essential workers from the local Orange family. Together fighting Covid-19”) and the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
The 62 year-old painter John Singer Sergeant went to the western front in 1918 to find a scene suitable for painting on the theme of Anglo-American co-operation during the war. On the 21st of August, however, he witnessed at Arras British soldiers blinded by a German mustard gas attack, one following behind the other in a human chain, each group being directed by an orderly towards a dressing station. The War Memorials Committee agreed to change its commission and Sergeant received 600 pounds (about 34,000 in today’s money) for his painting, Gassed(WP). This copy is in St Leonard’s Crescent, part of the 50th anniversary garden and mural for the UVF regimental band and memorial for east Belfast volunteers who joined the 36th Division (which did not fight at Arras as it had been disbanded in May, 1918). The plaque below list the nine counties of Ulster and reads “To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield. Sons Of Ulster RBP 375.”