They Said We’d Never Last

Ronnie’s hardware shop in east Belfast, vacant for many years and the site of Our Brave Defenders, was finally torn down last year and a pocket park created with murals commemorating east Belfast volunteers who died in the Great War and the UVF Regimental Band (tw), this year celebrating its 50 anniversary (video of the launch). See previously: 40th anniversary banner at the same spot (Belvoir Bar).
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X06573 X06574 X06571 X06572 St Leonard’s Cr/old Newcastle St

The Somme 1916

The ‘Liverpool No. 4 battalion’ UVF mural in Tynan Drive, Monkstown, (seen previously) has been replaced by a Dee Craig (Fb) mural to the soldiers of the Ulster Volunteers (see the ‘bleeding hand’ symbol in the apex) at the Somme. The small plaque on the fence to John Webster (a.k.a. Webber), Lee Irwin & Steven Cook, remains.
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The Irish Regiments

Various other murals pay tribute to the 10th and 16th Irish divisions alongside the 36th division (see, e.g., We Are The Dead Brothers In Arms | Killed Wounded Missing | Their Only Colour Was Khaki) but this tarp outside the Whiteabbey British Legion (Fb) shows instead the eight regiments raised in Ireland, whose battalions served not only these three but many other divisions: Royal Irish Rifles, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Royal Irish Fusiliers, Connaught Rangers, Leinster Regiment, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, Royal Irish Fusiliers [should be Royal Irish Regiment], Royal Munster Fusiliers. The geographical distribution of the regiments (royal-irish.com has a map of the recruiting districts in Ireland; for battalions, divisions served, and regimental headquarters, see WP.) The background image is of the 36th in their trenches at the Battle Of The Somme.
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Shore Road

Their Only Colour Was Khaki

This is a close-up of the painting in the window of My Old Toy Box (Fb) in Smithfield Market (BelfastCity). It includes the 36th (Ulster) Division, and 10th and 16th (Irish) Divisions. It is not clear why the 63rd (Royal Naval) Division (WP) is included as it does not appear to have any connection to Ireland. Please leave a comment if you can explain the connection.
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East Belfast Ulster Volunteers

The Union Flag/UVF side-wall is a new addition to the Ulster Volunteers/UVF memorial in London Road, east Belfast. The main panel shows WWI soldiers going over the top (see Between The Crosses) while the four portraits to its right are of deceased UVF volunteers of the 70s and 80s – Seymour, Long, Cordner, and Bennett – (see Ulster’s Brave).
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Comrades In Arms

John Meeke signed the Ulster Covenant in Dervock Orange Hall in 1912 and went to war with the Ulster Volunteers. Willie Redmond, brother of John Redmond, had been jailed three times and was a nationalist MP at Westminster when, at age 53, he signed up for service.
Major Redmond went over the top with the 16th (Irish) Division at Messines Ridge and was hit by machine-gun fire. Private Meeke, a stretcher-bearer with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in the 36th (Ulster) Division, found and stayed with Redmond under heavy fire, taking two bullets himself.
Redmond would die that night. He was awarded the Legion Of Honour by the French. His East Clare seat was taken by Éamon de Valera. Meeke survived after several surgeries. He was awarded the Military Medal by the British. After the World War, he joined the Specials and LOL 1001 in Benvarden before dying of TB in 1923 (NALIL | Irish Times | WP |BelTel).
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text: X06390 [X06389] [X06388] ebrington st

Killed Wounded Missing

This small mural in the car-park of the Waterside Arts Centre, a companion piece to We Are The Dead which lists their battles, gives casualty totals for the 10th (Irish), 36th (Ulster), and 16th (Irish) divisions of the British Army in WWI .
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The Menin Gates

The Menin Gate memorial, at the eastern edge of Ypres, Belgium, commemorates 54,896 Commonwealth soldiers who died in the area during WWI and whose bodies were not recovered. “To the armies of the British Empire who stood here from 1914 to 1918 and to those of their dead who have no known grave.” The gates in the image above are off Bonds Street, Londonderry, leading to the Ebrington Centre car park.
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We Are The Dead

The 10th (Irish) Division fought only briefly “in Flanders fields”, towards the very end of the war, having spent most of its time in Gallipoli (in the Ottoman Empire), Macedonia, Egypt, and Palestine. The 16th took part in the Somme, especially at “Guinchy” [Ginchy] and Guillemont, while the 36th were deployed on the first day (the Battle Of Albert).

The poem in the middle is the first half of John McCrae’s In Flanders Fields: “In Flanders fields the poppies blow/Between the crosses, row on row/That mark our place, and in the sky/The larks, still bravely singing, fly/Scarce heard amid the guns below.//We are the dead; short days ago/We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow/Loved and were loved, and now we lie/In Flanders fields.”

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Armistice

John 15:13 reads “Greater love hath no man than this: to lay down his life for his friends.” Fighting in the Great War ceased at 11 a.m. on November 11th, 1918, after approximately 10 million military deaths, 10 million civilian deaths, and another 20 million injured.
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