Murdered By Cowards

The “cowards” in this case are the members of the UDA who killed Rockett in front of his girlfriend and 18 month old child in an attack on her house in the lower Oldpark, during the feud between the UVF and UDA, sparked by Johnny Adair’s “loyalist day of culture” and removal of the UVF from the lower Shankill. In response to the purge (and attacks on the Rex bar), the UVF killed Bobby Mahood and Mr Jackie Coulter. Rockett was killed by the UDA in retaliation for their deaths; 1,000 people attended Rockett’s funeral (Irish Times). After Rockett died, the UVF killed David Greer, and the UDA then killed PUP member Bertie Rice in Tiger’s Bay on October 31st.

“In proud and loving memory of Vol. Samuel Rockett, ‘B’ Coy. 1st Belfast battalion, Young Citizens Volunteers. Murdered by cowards 23rd August 2000. “At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember him.””

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A Soldier Of The Great War

“The Great War (1914-1918) 36th (Ulster) Division. This memorial is dedicated to the memory of those who fell in the Great War. May their names be held in honour and their sacrifice be remembered with pride.” Next to to the UVF Flute Band 50th anniversary mural and the Singer Sergeant painting (Observe The Sons Of Ulster).

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Her Old Tradition Of Nationhood

“Saoradh salute the men and women of violence,” namely the signatories to the 1916 Proclamation, the women of the 1970s IRA, and modern “dissidents” with home-made weapons.

The plaque on the left is to the IRA’s Pearse Jordan, next to the centenary celebration of the Proclamation, Ag Fíorú Na Poblachta. The board was been moved to this Falls Road location from Ardoyne; it replaces an anti-RUC/PSNI mural.

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Observe The Sons Of Ulster

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.”

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Pride Of The Shore

“Pride of the Shore flute band [Fb]. In memory of past members. SRT [Shore Road Tartan].” Part of the Joint Forces memorial on York Road.

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Joint Forces

At the end of September, York Road Historical Society (which does not appear to have an on-line presence) launched a new garden of remembrance to British WWI service-members in the “Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force”, symbolised by the crest of Strategic Command (formerly the Joint Forces Command).

The garden is next to the Times Bar (one | two | three | four | five) and opposite Arts For All/John Luke Gallery (one | two | three).

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X06950 X06949 “”I am not an Ulsterman but yesterday 1st July as I followed their amazing attack I felt I would rather be an Ulsterman than anything else in the world” – Captain Wilfred [Wilfrid] Spender, the Somme 1916.” at the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them lest we forget

Ghosts Of The Supermarket

Earl Street and Sussex Street used to be sandwiched between wings of the largest tobacco factory in the world, Gallahers, which took up seven acres between York Street and North Queen Street. The factory was partially demolished in 1990 and became Yorkgate shopping centre and the two streets are roughly now the back and front entrances to the Tesco supermarket. These two plaques (both on North Queen Street) are to former residents. William Campbell, a H&W joiner, might have witnessed the construction of Gallahers (in 1897 – Look Again) before dying on Titanic in 1914. Francis Liggett, an IRA volunteer, was shot and killed by British forces during an attempted robbery of the Royal. (He is also remembered in a mural in St James’s near the site of his death and home – see Liggett & Brady.)
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X06907 X06908 “William Campbell, an Apprentic Joiner at Harland & Wolff, lived in Earl Street, a site now occupied by the shopping centre. He was a member of the company’s Guarantee Group for RMS Titanic and lost his life on the voyage.” “Francis died on 18th January 1973 on IRA active service on the grounds of RVH hospital. Francis was shot dead dead by undercover British soldiers after an exchange of gun fire. 27th January 1948 – 18th January 1973. Francis family home was close to this spot.”

McVerry & McElvanna

IRA volunteer Mickey McVerry was killed by the British Army during a bomb attack on Keady RUC station in 1973. Peadar McElvanna was killed by the British Army on June 9, 1979, outside Keady, south Armagh. The 40th anniversary commemoration this year drew criticism from the DUP as it was on the same weekend as a ‘time for truth’ rally in Belfast (BelTel). The memorial shown here is in Victoria

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Close Yir Een An Remember Me

“Aye ready they stood, aye ready they fought, through conflict, blood and tears, loyal to the end, every one, the Scottish volunteers.” “Aye ready” was the motto of the 59th Scinde Rifles of the British Indian Army (and later of the Canadian Navy) but is best known from the label of Camp Coffee, in which a Highlander was served a cup of Camp by a Sikh servant (nowadays, they both have a cup of their own). In this new mural and plaque at the newly-christened “Scots Corner” (see final image), a Scottish soldier plays the pipes over a list of the “Battalion Of The Dead”, Scottish volunteers from the (modern) UVF. The list is led by William “Big Bill” Campbell, who has had a small plaque in his memory at this spot since (at least) 2014. Preacher and DUP politician George Seawright (see A Crown Of Life) is also included – he was born in Glasgow in 1951.

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Dr. William Drennan

“Dr. William Drennan 1754-1820. Patriot & radical. Born in the manse on this site.” Drennan’s father was the minister at the First Presbyterian Church on Rosemary Street where Drennan was born in 1754. He co-founded the Society of United Irishmen in 1791 (and in 1810, Inst).

There is a mural to Drennan in New Lodge.

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