As The Stars Are Known To The Night

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.

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X07249 X07251 X07250 replaces the old Titanic mural in Ballarat St

Keep On Praying

“Ar an 9ú Iúil 1972 maraíodh Margaret Gargan 13 bliana d’aois, David McCafferty 15 d’aois, John Dougal 16 d’aois, Paddy Butler fear pósta le 6 clainne aige agus sagairt áitiúil an tAthair Noel Fitzpatrick, scaoilt ag Arm na Breataine. B’as Clós Adhmaid Corry’s sa cheantar Springhill/Westrock a bhí na saighdiúrí ag feidhmiú.” “‘And I’ll keep on praying for Ireland/The way I pray for you’ – from the poem “The Springhill Massacre” by Martin Dudley”. The new plaque was launched on July 9th, 2019 by Dudley and Brian Pettigrew, both of whom were wounded in the attack. Here is a gallery of images from the launch from Relatives For Justice.

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X07273 [X07272] [X07271] X07270 Springhill Dr

Pray For Us

A home-made sign on cardboard “NHS – stay safe” has been attached to the mural to IRA volunteers Bobby McCrudden, Mundo O’Rawe, and Pearse Jordan, and the wall below it painted with the message “Stay home – Protect the NHS – Save lives”.

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X07048 X07049 [X07050] X07095 [X07094] Divismore Way

Belfast 1941

This is only one of about 20 similar plaques erected in 2016 by Belfast City council to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the blitz of Belfast in 1941. (For images of others, see The Second World War In NI.) This is the one in Ohio Street, on the side of the Woodvale Community Centre. During the blitz, more than 900 people died, 1,500 people were injured, and half of the houses in Belfast were destroyed (WP).

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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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X07012 X07013 X07011 Disraeli St

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