Who Went To War And Never Returned

It is usually the fourth verse from Laurence Binyon’s poem For The Fallen that is quoted on memorial stones to the fallen of the WWI but here we have the third verse: They went with songs to the battle, they were young/Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow/They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted/They fell with their faces to the foe. The stone commemorates “the men of the 36th (Ulster) Division who gave their lives for King and country at the Battle of the Somme 1st July – 18th November 1916”. It is in the garden adjacent to the West Kirk Presbyterian church (Fb) on the Shankill Road. As the image below shows, the garden is also host to many small boards to individual soldier (see previously Among The FallenXXXVI | The Sacrifice Remains The Same).
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May You Live As Nobly As They Died

Strandtown and District Unionist Club used to be at 4 Belmont Road (Strandtown Hall) and it erected this memorial to local casualties in the Great War in Portland stone on the adjacent wall,(Lord Belmont in NI) which is now part of a Christian Fellowship church. “Hereon are recorded the names of those men and women who in serving voluntarily their King and country, laid down their lives. Pass not this stone sorrow but in pride and may you live as nobly as they died.” The building currently houses Bennett’s On Belmont, a UUP headquarters, and the Victoria Ulster Unionist Association upstairs.
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The Gravel Walks

03931-2016-11-04-seamus-heaney-grave
Poet Seamus Heaney died on this day 2013 and the gravestone erected in St Mary’s, Ballaghy, on the same day the following year. The epitaph is “Walk on air against your better judgement” from the poem ‘The Gravel Walks” in The Spirit Level.
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text: X03931 1939-2013

Continuing Conflicts

Two more panels and a wide shot of the memorial garden in Frenchpark Street. Above is a verse from John McCrea’s In Flanders Fields. Below is a plaque “to the memory of all those Ulster men and women from the south Belfast area who died during the great wars 1914-18 and 1939-45, and to all those who have lost their lives during the recent troubles and continuing conflicts.”
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text: X04159 X04161 X04158

Freedom Hath Arisen

“Oft from prison bars, oft from battle flashes/Oft from heroes’ lip, oftenest from their ashes.” The phoenix is used as a symbol of resistance in one of the oldest memorial plaques in Belfast (1993) with the names of deceased IRA volunteers and locals.
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text: X04152

They Gave A Lifetime

Here is another pair of combined UVF memorial stones – from both WWI and the modern conflict. Above, the fallen comrades of 2nd battalion South Belfast are remembered by their fellow officers and volunteers in the Village’s B Company; below, the garden is dedicated to the “glory of God” in memory of the “sons of Ulster” by “all of their comrades in arms who, by divine grace, were spared to testify to their glorious deeds.” (BelTel article on the inclusion of modern-day UVF.)
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text: X04162 X04160 frenchpark st how nobly they fight and die in their final moments

Shared Space

Here are two final images from the memorial garden in Kilcooley. As mentioned in Tuesday’s post (To Keep Our Ulster Free), it seems that the combination of WWI imagery (today’s post and Across The Wire) and paramilitary memorials was not the plan approved by the Department of Social Development, which contributed funds to the project (Belfast Telegraph). A wide shot of the whole is included below.
According to an article in the Tele last Friday (2017-04-21), the Housing Executive has a list of over 100 memorial on Executive-owned land that it considers illegal. The list itself does not seem to be available and so it is not not known if the Kilcooley garden is one of these.
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To Keep Our Ulster Free

“We have slain him but we fear him/As we stand in silence now/For the hero light still lingers/Like a lantern on his brow. And the wiles of witchcraft jeer him/With the phantoms of our dead/As they moil like may mosquitoes/Round his torn and bleeding head.” Cuchulainn is invoked as a “defender of Ulster” on the UDA memorial stone in the Kilcooley estate. The Red Hand Commando and UVF stones are shown below. The three paramilitary stones were added independently of the WWI garden (BelTel).
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text: X04095 X04093 X04096 owernroe drive the death call of cuchulainn champion of ulster the sons of ulster’s best who have stood the test? would you take the oath with hand held high are you prepared to die to keep our ulster free it is up to you and me god save ulster is our cry would you weep if i should die remember me when poppies fall for our ulster i gave all tell me i have lived my life well and it has not all been in vain

Flowers By The Graveside

Single flowers (and the reflection of an Irish Tricolour) on republican gravestones in Milltown cemetery.
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text: X02963 X03745

Across The Wire

WWI soldiers from the 36th (Ulster) Division go over the top and make their way through the barbed wire. Not a mural but a painted sky on a memorial stone. Part of the Owenroe memorial garden in Bangor.
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text: X04094