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The West Belfast Ulster Special Service Force (USSF) was a local Shankill unit within the West Belfast regiment of the Ulster Volunteers. It lost 90% of its men at the battle of Albert on July 1st, 1916. For more of its history see BygoneDays. Craven Street, Belfast.

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Copyright © 1988 LC

70th Anniversary Of The Somme

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On the left of the lightning bolt are the soldiers of the 36th Ulster division (U.V.F.) R.I.R (Royal Irish Rifles) on the western front in 1916; on the right are “UVF prisoners of war, Long Kesh”.

A similar mural is described by Billy Hutchinson (in his 2011 piece “Transcendental Art“) as being painted in the compounds of Long Kesh: “My favourite mural was one inspired by the British anti-war poet, Siegfried Sassoon. Suicide in the Trenches depicts a UVF volunteer split down the middle by a bolt of lightning. Half of him depicts a 36th Ulster Division soldier under heavy fire in a rainsoaked WW1 trench. The other half shows a ’70s volunteer incarcerated behind barbed wire and over-shadowed by watch towers.” Hutchinson also describes the importance of the Orange Cross welfare organisation in selling prisoner art produced inside the prison.

Craven Street, Belfast.

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Copyright © 1988 LC

Deserted! Well – I Can Stand Alone

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Side-by-side murals in Craven Street, one showing a farmer’s wife defending the farm (the stone wall) and preserving it as part of Britain (the Union flag) despite the threat of Home Rule, the other “in proud and loving memory” of three UVF volunteers assassinated by the IRA: Shankill Butcher Lenny Murphy, John Bingham, and William “Frenchie” Marchant. “Lest we forget.”

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Copyright © 1988 LC