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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Our Murdered Brethren

Orange Order Victims day is an annual commemoration (on September 1st) of the 339 members who were killed during the Troubles. The stained glass window reproduced in a board on the Newbuildings memorial garden is in the Museum of Orange Heritage in Schomberg House, south Belfast.

Compared with the garden in 2020 (see Newbuildings Victoria), there is a new NI Centenary board, and on the outside (replacing the tarps giving thanks for the NHS and commemorating the 75th anniversary of VE day) there is a celebration of the platinum jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. On the electrical box, there is a stencil in support of Bloody Sunday’s “Soldier F”, who continues to face murder charges (for the killings of William McKinney and James Wray) and five attempted murder charges after the PPS’s decision to discontinue prosecution was quashed in March (Guardian); the PPS has appealed (News Letter).

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339 Orange Order members killed during the Troubles.

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X10375 X10376 X10377 [X10378] X10371 [X10372] X10377 [X10379] X10373 faithful unto death Revelation 2:10

Time To Decide!

Here is a selection of anti-Protocol placards from the Caw, Londonderry and Newbuildings. Above: a PSNI officer with a Sinn Féin badge – “PSNI – destroying the loyalist community since 4th Nov. 2001. In the pocket of Sinn Féin.” (November 4th, 2001 is the date the PSNI was created.) For the farmer’s wife protecting the farm, see Deserted, well I can stand alone. Below: “Newbuildings says No to Irish Sea border”, “Loyalist Newbuildings will never accept a border in the Irish Sea”, “The Belfast Agreement has been broken – the deal’s off”, and “Our forefathers fought for our freedom and rights/No border in the sea or we continue the fight”.

For similar placards in Moygashel, see Belfast Agreement Null And Void.

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From The Shipyard To The Somme

The 36th (Ulster) Division Memorial Association (Fb) put on a play called From The Shipyard To The Somme (Fb | watch on youtube) in Connswater Community Centre in 2013. It follows a group of men from east Belfast who joined the Ulster Volunteers in Belfast but are now training at Abercorn barracks in Ballykinlar (later an internment camp) as members of the 36th Division, before going to the Battle Of The Somme in France.

Belfast – with one tenth of the population – provided about a third of the Irish soldier to participate in WWI. In the shipyards, Harland & Wolff responded to the slow-down in production not by putting everyone on short time but by letting go of employees, particularly unskilled employees, for whom the wages of soldiering were competitive (particularly if married), while skilled men were reclassified as “munitions workers” needed to fulfill war contracts (History Ireland | Long Kesh Inside Out).

The Somme board, which dates to about 2015, is above Connswater Commemorates and The Glorious Dead.

The plaques are to John Cochrane of the Mersey Street Area Residents Association and Margaret Proctor ?of the Connswater Community Centre?

The industrial mural on the side perhaps features the Ballymacarrett rail crash of 1945, described previously in Step Back In Time.

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X10347 X10346 X10344 X10345 Oh, Belfast may boast and justly to the progress it has made and point with pride and pleasure to its vast and varied trade Your king needs you country 36th division ulster

Lest We Forget

This is the third commemoration to Village UVF volunteer Stevie McCrea and the second to Sammy Mehaffy – see Stephen Desmond McCrea and Battalion Of The Dead, which also includes John Hanna, who has a solo board in Prince Edward Pk.

As is often now the case, the modern UVF (McCrea died 1989-02-18 from wounds sustained in the IPLO attack on the Orange Cross, and Mehaffy on 1991-11-13, shot by the IRA in nearby Lecale Street) is mixed in with the 1912 anti-Home Rule Ulster Volunteers and Young Citizen Volunteers, which are themselves blended together with WWI and the 36th (Ulster) Division of 1914-1918.

Replaced 2nd Batt B Coy and next to Taking Aim in Tavanagh St.

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This Bare And Tortured Land

The ‘bare and tortured land’ is Messines (now Mesen) in West Flanders, Belgium, where approximately 25,000 soldiers on both sides were killed or injured at the start of June, 1917, as Allied forces retook the ridge between Messines and Wytschaete.

The central figure is the 1922 bronze statue in Winchester, England, by John Tweed, depicting a soldier from the Kings Royal Rifle Corps, which does not appear to have fought at Messines, though both the 36th (Ulster) and 16th (Irish) divisions were there (WP) and this is the reason for a number of Messines murals that have been painted in recent years: see Messines 1917 and Brothers In Arms in Newtownards | Comrades In Arms in Londonderry. During the battle, Sopwith Pups (biplanes – the triplane was used by naval squadrons (Military History)) were ordered to fly low and strafe enemy targets (Key Aero | FirstWorldWar | Vintage Aviator).

The poetry – “When you and I are buried/With grasses overhead/The memory of our fights will stand/Above this bare and tortured land/We knew ere we were dead.” – appears to be original.

There is a “No ball games allowed” notice on the left-hand side.

By Dee Craig in Wellington Green, Larne

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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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X09348 X09349 X09350 Wellington Green Dee Craig central antrim regiment newington G Coy

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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X09336 X09335 X09337 Greenland Drive Larne