Their Sacrifice, Our Freedom

“At the outbreak of the Great War in August 1914, when Lord Kitchener, the War Minister, was desperately looking for men, he had asked Sir Edward Carson for a brigade consisting of four battalions. Carson offered him a division consisting of twelve battalions, uniformed and equipped at Ulster’s expense. The UVF was transformed rapidly into the 36th (Ulster) Division. On the 1st July 1916 the 36 (Ulster) Division took part in the Somme Offensive. Nine Victoria Crosses were awarded for acts of valour on that day. Men of the 36th (Ulster) Division won four of these. Of those, three were awarded posthumously. Of the 9,000 men of the Division who took part in the attack scarcely 2,500 answered roll call on the 3 July; while of 400 officers, more than 250 were killed or wounded. The Division lost 5,500 officers and other ranks killed, wounded and missing as a result of the first two days of the Somme offensive. The illustration depicted is derived from a drawing by Jim Maultsaid, an American citizen. He joined the 14th Royal Irish Rifles, which was drawn from members of an organisation called the Young Citizens Volunteers.” “As we scrambled over the trench the YCV flag appeared.” Thorndyke Street, Belfast. For more, see the Extramural Activity post on this panel.

M02303 M03632 [X00026]

Copyright © 2005, 2007 Peter Moloney

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