Hilden, Glenmore & Lambeg War Memorial

Hilden, Glenmore and Lambeg War Memorial 

Researched by Nigel Henderson, with input from John McCormick

On Saturday 29th October 1921, a monument commemorating the men from the Hilden, Glenmore, and Lambeg areas who died in the Great War was unveiled by Mrs Anna Barbour OBE JP.

Belfast News-Letter – 31 October 1921

The monument was designed by Blackwood & Jury (Civil Engineers Architects of 41 Donegall Place, Belfast) and was built by Robert McHenry at the junction of Low Road and Mill Street on a plot of land donated by Richardson, Sons & Owden Limited of Donegall Square North, Belfast. The hexagonal monument with a domed top is built of Portland stone and is thirteen feet and six inches tall. Three of the faces are buttresses with moulded caps and bases. The other three faces are recessed and contain bronze plaques naming 117 fatalities.

Belfast Telegraph -1 November 1921

Research facilitated by History Hub Ulster has identified details for 110 of the men named on the memorial.

The first fatality belonged to the Royal Marine Light Infantry. James Holmes was born on 6th May 1896 at Low Road to Thomas Holmes and Annie Harvey. James enlisted on 31st August 1914 but died of Cerebrospinal Meningitis on 2nd March 1915, at the aged of 19, and is buried in the Portland Royal Naval Cemetery in England.

The last fatality was from one of the area’s leading families, the Ewarts of Derryvolgie House. William Basil Ewart was born on 25th September 1890 at Glenmachan House to Frederick William Ewart and Mary Anne Elizabeth Valentine. Major Ewart was deployed to France with the Royal Irish Rifles in October 1915. He married Rebe Annette Grindle on 31st July 1917 and was invalided out of army service in November. He died of Chronic Nephritis at Derryvolgie House on 13th February 1920, ages 29, and is buried in the historic Clifton Street Graveyard in Belfast. His brother, Captain Cecil Frederick Kelso Ewart, Royal Irish Rifles, was Killed in Action on 1st July 1916, aged 28, and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France.

The youngest fatality was only 17 years old. Rifleman David Martin, Royal Irish Rifles, was Killed in Action on 17th June 1916 and is buried in Authuile Military Cemetery in France. He was born on 27th April 1899 at Ballynahinch Road to David Martin and Annie Singleton.

The oldest fatality was 48 years old. Private William Neill, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who was Killed in Action on 21st August 1915 and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial on the Gallipoli Peninsula and at Lambeg Parish Church. He was born on 24th May 1867 at Ballyskeagh to John Neill and Jane McDermott and was married to Margaret Shields of Sandymount, Ballyskeagh.

Research to date shows that four men died after being taken prisoner by the Germans. Rifleman James Coburn served with the Royal Irish Rifles. He was reported missing during the Battle of St Quentin in March 1918, and it was confirmed that he was a prisoner of war two months later. He died in captivity on 14th October 1918, aged 20, and is buried in the Belgrade Cemetery in Belgium and commemorated on a family memorial in Lisburn Cemetery.

He was born on 12th December 1897 at Hillsborough to David Coburn and Emma Livingston who later lived at Wilson Street.

As one might expect from the locality, the majority of the fatalities came from the Protestant community but there are at least eighteen Roman Catholics commemorated on the memorial. Rifleman Robert Costello was deployed to the 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Rifles on the Western Front in January 1915 and was awarded the Military Medal in 1917. He died of Wounds at the Bath War Hospital on 14th January 1918, aged 28, and is buried in Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Cemetery in Lisburn. He was born on 24th August 1890 at Low Road to James Costello and Mary Grimley. A brother, Private Samuel Costello, served with the Royal Irish Rifles and the Royal Irish Regiment. He was discharged on 25th February 1919 and was allocated one of the twelve Ex-Servicemen’s Cottages built on Wallace Avenue in 1930.

 

Linen Families associated with Hilden War Memorial

Researched by Richard Graham

Hilden War Memorial is located on a traffic island bounded by Grand Street and Mill Street. The land for the memorial, in the form of an obelisk, was given to commemorate men from the Hilden, Glenmore and Lambeg area who died in the slaughter of the First World War (1914-18). The monument was designed by Percy Morgan Jury, a leading architect practising in Belfast, and a son of W J Jury, a Belfast Whiskey magnate and founder of Jury’s Hotels.

RHS Richardson

The land was gifted to the people of the area by the Richardson family, leading linen bleachers and manufacturers in the area and descendants from a Quaker family who settled in Ireland at Lisburn in the early 1700s. The Richardsons owned three linen production plants in the area: The Island Spinning Co (now LCCC Headquarters) Millbrook Bleachworks (now housing) and The Glenmore Bleachworks one of the largest of its type in Ireland. The family lived at two large estates in the Lambeg area: Glenmore House (now apartments) and Aberdelgy (now a Golf Course).

But it was to another leading employer in the area, that the unveiling ceremony was entrusted – that of the Barbour family of Hilden Mill.

Hilden Mill 

The War Memorial was officially unveiled on the morning of Saturday 29th October 1921 by Mrs Anna E Barbour, OBE, the American born wife of Harold Barbour – they lived at Strathearne, Dunmurry, now Hunterhouse College. They were in fact first cousins, her father having been born at The Fort, now Fort Hill College, before moving to America.

Anna E Barbour 1876-1941

The platform party also comprised members of several other leading linen families of the area: John McCance of Suffolk House (now Colin Glen Regional Park); Malcolm Gordon (manager of Hilden Mill) of Clonmore, Lambeg (latterly a community and arts facility); Frederick W Ewart, of the enormously successful Ewarts linen dynasty, who lived at nearby Derryvolgie House (latterly the divisional HQ of the Water Service and Mrs Emily Reade, whose husband was a director of the York Street Flax Spinning Co, and who had before her marriage been a Charley of Seymour Hill.

Elsie Milne Barbour

It commemorated the lives of 117 men from the local area who lost their lives in the Great War, aged from just 17 years to 48 years old – 55 of whom have no known place of burial.

Just a few yards from the War Memorial, there is a beautiful children’s park with an interesting stone inscribed E M B Memorial Park … but who was E M B?

Sir Milne Barbour – 1 Jan 1900

Elsie Milne Barbour was the wife of Sir J Milne Barbour of Conway House, Dunmurry (latterly an hotel) the Chairman of Hilden Mill. Sadly, Elsie Barbour died during the birth of her third child, Elizabeth, in 1910 at the age of only 37 years old. In her memory, Sir Milne Barbour gave the land for the playground for local children and also built the EMB Memorial Hall which stood opposite the War Memorial until 2000.

The Barbour’s only son, John Milne Barbour, also died young in an air crash whilst flying a private plane from a Barbour plant in Scotland to Conway in 1937 at the age of 30.

EMB Memorial Hall

So, that is the story behind two of Hilden’s memorials to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country and the tragedy of the owning family of one of the largest linen thread factories in the world.

Hilden War Memorial

The Constabulary in Ballymoney, 1822-1922 by Ross Olphert

History Hub Ulster welcomes guest writers who research and write on subjects from around the Province of Ulster.  In a short series over the next few weeks, Ross Olphert writes on the ‘Constabulary on the North Coast’.  Anyone wishing to submit an article should send in ‘word’ format to research@historyhubulster.co.uk
 

Article 2 – The Constabulary in Ballymoney, 1822-1922 by Ross Olphert

Download Pdf here

A record of men who served in or claimed pension in Ballymoney or the surrounding area.

For the first article in this series please read here.
 

Ulster War Memorials from History Hub Ulster

As 2018 is the centenary of the Armistice on the Western Front, signed on 11th November 1918, History Hub Ulster felt it would be appropriate to produce a book, Ulster War Memorials to commemorate this important centenary.

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Whilst HHU Researcher Nigel Henderson had already photographed many memorials in Ulster, the main driving force behind the book, Ulster War Memorials is HHU Chair Gavin Bamford, who has had a long-standing interest in war memorials.

Belfast Cenotaph (Belfast News Letter, 20-08-1919)In the Preface to the book, Gavin says,

I first began to take an interest in war memorials whilst researching the employees of the Belfast Banking Company and the Northern Banking Company who gave their lives in the Great War. In addition to brass tablets listing those who served and the fatalities, both banks produced a series of studio portraits of the men. Currently, the brass tablets and portraits are located in the Head Office building of Northern Bank t/a Danske Bank. They are displayed in the basement and only accessible to the general public on request.”

Gavin recalls that a specific interest in war memorials that have been hidden, lost, or destroyed over time occurred whilst enjoying a cup of coffee in Flame restaurant on Howard Street in Belfast.

Garvagh War Memorial - Headlines (Northern Whig, 28-03-1924)

I noticed a plaque and, being curious, I went over to have a look. It transpired to be a commemoration of the laying of the foundation stone for the Presbyterian War Memorial Hostel in 1923. The stone had been covered over at some stage in the past, probably when the Skandia restaurant occupied the space, and had been uncovered during renovations by the current owners. They decided to retain the stone as part of the fabric and history of the building. More recently, I identified that the war memorial tablet from Elmwood Presbyterian Church in Belfast, which closed in the early 1970s, was held in a store room in Elmwood Presbyterian Church in Lisburn. Whilst, I knew about the war memorial tablets in Central Station in Belfast and Connolly Station in Dublin, I only recently discovered that a tablet had also been erected in the Londonderry terminus. It is in storage and I have initiated steps to get it renovated and re-erected. It is my hope that the memorials for the men from the three local railway companies will be brought together in one location in Weaver’s Cross, the new Belfast Transport Hub.”

Nigel Henderson had the task of compiling material relating to war memorials in Ulster, covering all nine counties of Ulster and identifying unique and interesting examples to feature in a forty-page book. No easy task, given the wide range of types of memorials and the research presented distractions – for example, German Trophy Guns and War Memorial Orange Halls.

Irish Nurses (QAIMNS) War Memorial (Irish Times, 07-11-1921)

Though the initial concept was for a coffee table book the final product goes a lot further, whilst remaining true to the original idea of focusing on public memorials which have an aspect that is unusual or unique. There is at least one war memorial from each of the nine counties of Ulster in the book – some of the memorials are monuments (cenotaphs, obelisks, statues, etc), some had a practical or community aspect, some were introduced as competition trophies by sporting associations.

It identifies the largest war memorial constructed in Ulster in the inter-war years as well as the tallest memorial and the only war memorial that is alive. For the memorials featured, research was conducted using newspapers and other online resources to identify material about the memorials – details on who designed, sculpted or constructed the memorial, details on when memorials were dedicated and by whom.

Public or town war memorials take many different forms:
• Cenotaph (for example, Belfast, Cookstown, Larne, Newry and the County Tyrone Memorial in Omagh)
• Obelisk (for example, Ballynahinch, Kilrea, Ballymena, Tandragee, Kingscourt)
• Temple (Lurgan)
• “Victory” figure (for example, Lisburn, Portrush, Londonderry)
• Soldiers (for example, County Fermanagh Memorial in Enniskillen, Downpatrick, Dromore and Holywood)
• Celtic Cross (for example, Cregagh, Hillsborough)
• Practical/Functional (for example, Ballinderry, Castledawson)
• Clock Tower (for example, Garvagh, Waringstown)
• Tablet/Plaque (for example, Castlewellan, Moneymore, Pettigo)
• Lychgate (Crumlin)

Snowman Memorial, Newtownards, March 1924

Snowman Memorial, Newtownards, March 1924

In the book’s forward, local historian and author, Philip Orr says,

As a result, both during and after the Great War, a remarkable and diverse array of memorials was created in Ireland, as indeed happened across these islands. These local memorials often located grief and commemoration in tangible, meaningful ways within particular civic, sacred or familial spaces. Nigel Henderson’s work plays an important role in drawing our attention to the subject, a century later. Despite problems caused by Northern Ireland’s political fractures and by the lack of funds in an inter-war era of poverty and economic downturn, the work went ahead – and Nigel’s thorough and revealing account gives the reader an insight into the motivations and practice of those involved in Ulster’s own memorialisation process. Most of these projects still survive to this day, though some are long gone.”

Whilst the book does cover some church memorials and contains a chapter (Playing The Game) on memorials produced by sporting organisations, the focus is on public memorials erected to commemorate those from a defined locality. There is a chapter that relates to women who died as a result of the war, with a focus on the Irish Nurses Memorial in St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast. There is also a chapter on memorials with which the Holywood-born sculptor Sophia Rosamund Praeger was associated – these include the memorials in Campbell College and Belfast Royal Academy, several churches within the Non-Subscribing (or Unitarian) Presbyterian denomination, the Workman Clark shipyard and the County Tyrone War Memorial in Omagh.

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Release of previously unseen vintage aerial photographs of Ulster

Harland & Wolff, Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 1947. Oblique aerial photograph taken facing East.

Harland & Wolff, Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 1947. Oblique aerial photograph taken facing East.

History Hub Ulster welcomes the release of previously unseen vintage aerial photographs of Ulster by the Britain From Above website.

The site has recently published many unseen vintage aerial photographs of Ulster covering the 1920’s through to the 1950’s.

Within the archive are aerial photographs of the Antrim, Ards, Armagh, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Banbridge, Belfast, Carrickfergus, Castlereagh, Cavan , Coleraine, Cookstown, Craigavon, Derry, Donegal, Down, Dungannon, Fermanagh, Lisburn, Larne, Magherafelt, Moyle, Newry and Mourne, Newtownabbey, North Down, Omagh and Strabane areas.

The photographs will interest everyone from local historians, railway enthusiasts and heritage fans to name a few.

Britain from Above is a four year project aimed at conserving 95,000 of the oldest and most valuable photographs in the Aerofilms collection, those dating from 1919 to 1953.  Once conserved, they are scanned into digital format and made available on this website for the public to see. This project has been made possible due to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and support from The Foyle Foundation and other donors. The website launched with the first 10,000 images and as we currently have little information about the details in the images, the website provides the opportunity to share and record your memories and knowledge about the places shown in the collection.

Britain From Above website http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/ 

Gavin Bamford and Catherine Burrell, History Hub Ulster members