A mural from 1st Shankill Somme association (Fb) commemorating the Battle of the Somme, with soldiers running through no-man’s land and the Ulster Tower memorial. With support from the Govan Somme Association, Grapes Bar, Glasgow.
Lamentations for the “killed, wounded, missing” among “the west Belfast volunteers who formed in this area”, verse 1:16 in English on the right pillar commemorating the 36th (Ulster) Division – “For these things do I weep/My eyes flow with tears” – and in Irish on the damaged left pillar commemorating the 10th & 16th Irish Divisions – “Seo iad cúis mo chaointe/No [Na?] deora le mo shuile” (the 1981 Bíobla Naofa translation is “Sin an fáth a mbím ag caoi/Agus ag sileadh na súl go fuíoch”).
“‘Remember us who gave our silent dreams within the noise of battle’s thunder/Remember us who have our hopes on golden fields once truly filled with wonder/Remember us who near Thiepval Wood because we could gave our lives own future/Remember us who at eternity’s edge are new born this day between thoughts of sacrifice and loss/Remember us, remember us’ – James Logan, Somme, July 1916”
A tribute to the 4th and 9th battalions of the Royal Irish Rifles “1912-2002 – 90th anniversary” (with the 36th Division emblem in the middle) and (on the right) “S company 1969-1974”. 1974 is the year C company, 1st battalion (west Belfast) UVF was formed.
Here are images from the four panels that comprise the WWI memorial in Mount Vernon, showing men attacking (Thiepval?) wood, the battlefields around Messines, a soldier approaching a church with a spire, and back-to-back memorials to John Condon, the Waterford [city] “boy soldier”, who died aged 14 in a gas attack – “his memory is kept alive as a symbol of the futility of war” – and William McFadzean, who won a VC for throwing himself on a dislodged box of hand grenades.
At this time (2012) the boards on the outside wall had been taken down. They would later be restored – see X06017, which also has the reverse of one the panels.
The mural in the Mount Vernon/Tigers Bay memorial garden remains the same as before (seen previously in 2006) but there is a brick surrounding wall with a plaque on the gatepost to five members – Shaw, Frame, Irvine, Caldwell, Rice, Quail – of the 3rd Belfast Battalion, Ulster Volunteer Force. “We salute also, all volunteers at home and on the mainland who served with dignity and pride.”
It took Allied forces two months (July – September, 1916) to take High Wood (Bois de Fourcaux – wood of the pitchforks, as made from the chestnut trees (Great War Forum)) as part of the battle of the Somme. The commemorative mural shown here replaces an earlier UFF piece for the Coleraine 2nd battalion of the Londonderry-North Antrim brigade. On the third side is the emblem of the UDA, surrounded with an Ulster Banner and the flag of the independent Northern Ireland – previously there had been two Ulster banners.
Five-part memorial from Freeman Memorial Flute Band (Fb) “in memory of our fallen friends, [UVF] Lt David Swanson, Vol Aubrey Reid, Vol Mark Dodds, killed on active service 2nd October 1975. Robbie Freeman, died 27th December 1997.” As is common to both republicans and loyalists, “active service” means a premature bomb explosion. Four people listed died in a car explosion at Farrenlester, just outside Coleraine – the three listed and a fourth who is variously named as Geoffrey, Robert, or Andrew Freeman. The date for “Robbie Freeman” is perhaps a relative (father?) of the Freeman who died in 1972.
East Belfast remembers both the Great War and the victims of various attacks during the troubles: in pictures: Kingsmill – Shankill – Enniskillen; in garlands of poppies: La Mon 12 dead 17th Feb 1978, Bloody Friday 21st July 1972 9 dead 130 injured, Omagh 15th Aug 1998 29 dead 300 injured, Darkley 20th Nov 1983 3 dead 7 injured, Teebane 17th Jan 1992 8 dead, Ballygawley 20th Aug 1988 8 dead 28 injured, Tullyvallen 1st Sept 1975 5 dead 6 injured.