Lecture By Kate Adie on Women in the First World War

On Tuesday 6 September from 1pm-2pm the former BBC Chief News Correspondent Kate Adie will be visiting the Ulster Museum to give a FREE lecture on “Women and the Legacy of the First World War”. When the First World War broke out, and a generation of men went off to fight, women emerged from the shadows of their domestic lives. Becoming a visible force in public life, they began to take up essential roles – from transport to policing, munitions to sport, entertainment and even politics. The talk will chart the move towards equal rights with men that began a century ago and consider what these women achieved for future generations. Places can be booked online at http://nmni.com/um/What-s-on/Talks---Lectures/Lecture-by-Kate-Adie-on-Women---WW1.   Adie Lecture Poster  

JUTLAND SQUARE New Wall Art Installation Commemorates Lost Jutland Sailors From These Shores

A new wall art installation in North Belfast will commemorate sailors from all over Ireland who lost their lives at the Battle of Jutland, the centenary of which falls on 31st May 2016. The Jutland Square project, funded by the NIHE Community Cohesion Unit, takes as its canvas a former graffiti black spot on Tennent Street and re-images it into a seven panel art installation created by the Shared History Workshop, using research by Karen O’Rawe. Included in the project, which has been commissioned by the Spectrum Centre-based City Of Belfast ABF (Army Benevolent Fund) group, will be an exhibition on HMS Caroline, the sole surviving warship from the Battle of Jutland, and a series of community films and lectures about the Battle by Sea Cadet officer Lt Cdr Leslie King. Exploring the theme of Youth at War, the project will also involve young people from the Greater Shankill area. Northern Ireland’s First Minister, DUP MLA Arlene Foster - who oversaw the restoration of HMS Caroline as DETI minister - will launch the Jutland Square project at the Spectrum Centre, 331 Shankill Road, Belfast at 2pm on Friday 15th April 2016. Commenting on the project, Pete Bleakley from the Shared History Workshop said, “Having run the Friends Of HMS Caroline campaign back in 2012 it gives me considerable satisfaction to be able to bring the story of the ship and the Battle Of Jutland to a wider audience through this exciting NIHE-funded project. Excellent research from History Hub Ulster means that for the first time we have a memorial to all the men from these shores who lost their lives in World War One’s biggest sea battle.” Karen O’Rawe from History Hub Ulster commented, “The Jutland Square Project is a timely reminder of the sacrifice of so many men from these shores who fought at sea. The maritime war and the impact of it on our island tends to be overlooked, but as an island nation, keeping the seas safe and the supplies flowing to feed the people of Britain and Ireland was vital.  Belfast will mark the centenary of the Battle of Jutland with a Commemoration to the Irish Sailor which will officially recognise the contribution of all those in maritime roles on the island of Ireland during the First World War period.”

Unique event creating a Sea of Lights to remember those from North Belfast who died in the First World War.

On Saturday 19th March, participants of North Belfast Remembers set sail glass bottles with LED lights and details of individual men and women from North Belfast who served in the First World War. Sea of Lights in front of HMS Caroline EditedAdults and children across North Belfast took part in workshops to tell the stories of First World War servicemen from their areas.  The adults have researched a serviceman and written a letter to a local child about his life.  Each child received a letter and designed their glass bottle to represent his story. This memorial event was the culmination of the project when the participants released their letters in painted glass bottles into the water at the Titanic Pump House near HMS Caroline. Members of the public were invited to bring their ancestor’s story and write a message for a bottle which was provided on site and was thrown into Alexandra Dock. The sea of lights was a poignant reminder of those who died in the First World War.Bottles waiting to go Adult groups taking part were: The Hubb Community Resource Centre on the Shore Road, Survivors of Trauma Centre from Cliftonville, Alexandra Presbyterian Church on the York Road, Dalariada Community Organisation, ACT North Belfast and Brantwood History Group from Skegoneill Avenue. Children’s groups taking part were the Hammer Youth Centre and Clonard Youth, the Church of God Boys Brigade on the Shankill, The Hubb Community Resource Centre on the Shore Road and Ardoyne Youth Club.   This project has been funded by Belfast City Council and Community Relations Council.

Public Call: North Belfast Remembers – Add your story to our Sea of Lights

Public Call: North Belfast Remembers - Add your story to our Sea of Lights: Bring your ancestor’s story, write your message in a bottle, and add to a sea of lights to remember those who died in the First World War. On Saturday 19th March at 7pm, participants of North Belfast Remembers will set sail glass bottles with LED lights and details of individual men and women from North Belfast who served in the First World War. All members of the community are invited to attend. Bring your ancestor’s story and write your own message to place into bottles which will be provided on site and can be thrown into the channel. If you would like to write a letter for a bottle, please arrive at the Titanic Pump House at 6.30pm. The event will begin at 7pm.  Members of the public will need to pay for car parking. Adults and children across North Belfast have been taking part in workshops to tell the stories of First World War servicemen from their areas.  At workshops in North Belfast, the adults have researched a serviceman and written a letter to a local child about his life.  Each child has received a letter and designed their glass bottle to represent his story. This memorial event is the culmination of the project when the participants release their letters in painted glass bottles into the water at the Titanic Pump House near HMS Caroline. The sea of lights will serve as a poignant reminder of those lost during the First World War. north belfast remembers Poster    

CWGC calls on communities in NI to reconnect with cemeteries of the First World War

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), supported by the World War One Centenary Committee in Northern Ireland, have announced details of Living Memory – a project to highlight and engage communities in Northern Ireland with the 2,700 war graves of the two world wars to be found there in 400 cemeteries and burial grounds. The Living Memory Project is designed to raise awareness of the 300,000 war graves and commemorations in the UK. Living Memory Launch In 2016, the CWGC, in partnership with Big Ideas Company, are asking the public to re-connect with the war dead buried in their own communities. CWGC wants the public to visit these sites, take a personal interest in those buried there, organise a commemoration of their own and ultimately, champion these places –  tell their friends or other local community groups that these war graves must not be forgotten. Funding and a creative resource pack will be available from March 2016 for community groups in Northern Ireland wishing to participate in this initiative. The Rt Hon Jeffrey Donaldson MP is supporting the project and said: “As chairman of the Northern Ireland World War One Centenary Committee, I am delighted to be co-hosting this event at the Linen Hall Library to highlight the fact  we have a significant number of war graves here in Northern Ireland, including many associated with those who died during the First World War.  The CWGC has undertaken excellent work to preserve and maintain these graves and I believe it’s important to increase awareness of the graves and to encourage local people to visit during the current centenary period.  The fact is that you don't have to travel to France or Belgium to visit a WW1 war grave.  There may be one in your local cemetery." Mr Colin Kerr, CWGC Director of External Relations, explained: “Living Memory is about discovering, exploring and remembering those war graves to be found in cemeteries, churchyards and burial grounds here at home. Living Memory Launch 2“When people hear about the First World War, they think of the large, set-piece battles on the Western Front, and the cemeteries and memorials there that the CWGC maintains. But there are war graves and memorials literally on your doorstep – many lie in forgotten corners of graveyards. The CWGCs Living Memory initiative aids their rediscovery and remembrance. “Living Memory presents a unique opportunity for communities to work together to gain a fuller understanding of the war’s impact and the ongoing importance of remembrance.” Big Ideas Chief Executive, Virginia Crompton, said:  “When you stand at the graveside of someone who lost their life in war some of the politics of the past fall away.  The headstone brings you back to the individual, and their family.  It’s a powerful reminder of the impact of war.  The Living Memory project is an opportunity for us all to make a very simple and human gesture in remembering those who died in the two world wars and are buried near us.  We are proud to be working with the CWGC to invite communities to take part.” Mr Ken Best was one of those who took part in a pilot of the Living Memory Project in November 2015. He said: “The opportunity to participate in the CWGC Living Memory Pilot was enthusiastically embraced by The Grammarians, the Association of Old Boys of Bangor Grammar School. The School has a long tradition of remembering the former pupils who served and died in both world wars. The Guided Walk to Bangor Cemetery in November 2015, to pay our respects at some of the war graves  opened up a new dimension to  remembering those who paid the ultimate sacrifice as well as bringing the knowledge about these graves in the town to the wider community.” To support the initiative, the CWGC is bringing a number of its unique archive documents to Northern Ireland for the very first time. The documents include details of how the CWGC commemorated a female typist, Sarah Hale, who died in the sinking of the SS Lusitania in 1915 and correspondence between CWGC Founder Fabian Ware and Belfast City Hall over the care of war graves.  

Appointment of Project Management Services for Somme 100

Befast Somme 100 long logo poppy

Request for Project Management Services for Somme 100

Following the recent decision by Belfast City Council to fund History Hub Ulster’s proposal for Somme 100 events across Belfast, History Hub Ulster is requesting tender proposals from individuals or companies to manage the day to day running of the project. Please note that we will accept proposals from individuals, partnerships and companies.  Download full tender request here. Somme 100 will produce a programme of commemorative events for the 100th anniversary of the Somme, and its place within 1916 events during the First World War. Project Management will be required from April - December 2016. Fee works out at £24,000 - £28,000 Pro rata. Closes 16th March 2016. The project’s guiding principles are: Reflect the importance of global connections as well as local relevance Contemporary methods of production Community based and shared space events Collaboration Partnership across the city Inclusion, access and diversity The programme will work towards outcomes of Equality, Good Relations and Mutual Understanding.  History Hub Ulster with the input of an advisory panel will remain responsible for the creation of the programme content with the Project Manager co-ordinating and delivering the programme outputs and providing end of programme evaluation. The successful company/ indvidual (s) will work closely with the History Hub Ulster team and therefore must have proven experience in collaborative working.  The successful applicant will ideally be able to commence work immediately. History Hub Ulster reserve the right to extend this contract depending on funding and in consultation with the appointee. Download full Tender request here.

Castleton Lanterns Community debate on the mythology of the Somme in our society

Somme Community Debate hosted by History Hub Ulster member Faye Rice and the Castleton Lanterns Project.
NOTE FROM The Castleton Lanterns Team
The Shining a Light on the Somme Community Debate on Saturday 12th March has been postponed due to circumstances beyond our control. We will post once a new event is confirmed. Apologies for any inconvenience. Castleton Lanterns Team
Somme Community Debate  

Living Memory Pilot Project 2015

History Hub Ulster is honoured to have been invited to participate in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Living Memory Pilot Project 2015 and has created a short video based on the War Graves and memorials in Belfast City Cemetery as part of this project.  The video will be shown at a presentation of the Castleton Lanterns in Alexandra Presbyterian Church, Belfast at 2:00pm on Saturday 14th November 2015. Those featured are: Typist Sarah Rachel Orr (Sadie) Hale, Mercantile Marine (SS Lusitania) Sergeant Thomas Samuel Telford, Machine Gun Corps (Motors) Private David Lumsden Newel, Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) Company Serjeant Major George Frank Newel, Royal Irish Rifles Lance Corporal Walter Newel, Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) Rifleman Hugh Joseph Thompson, Royal Ulster Rifles Private Thomas Clulow, South Lancashire Regiment Air Mechanic 3rd Class Albert Edward Campbell, Royal Air Force Private Charles Banford, Royal Marine Light Infantry Trimmer William Edwin Gleave, Mercantile Marine (SS Celtic) Greaser Robert Bodie, Mercantile Marine (SS Celtic) Fireman George Richardson, Mercantile Marine (SS Celtic) Fireman Samuel Routledge, Mercantile Marine (SS Celtic) Steward Charles Jeffers, Mercantile Marine (SS Celtic) 4th Engineer Stanley MacDonald, Mercantile Marine (SS Celtic) Sergeant Charles William Evans, Royal Air Force Lieutenant John Alan Schwarz, Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve (HMS Whitaker) Signalman Lyn Edgar Landon Relf, Royal Navy (HMS Sarawak) Sapper James Orr, Royal Engineers Communities Secretary Greg Clark launched ‘The Living Memory Project’, designed to remind people of the 300,000 war graves and memorials in the UK. Many of these memorials lie in forgotten corners of graveyards; the Living Memory initiative is designed to aid their rediscovery. Communities Secretary Greg Clark said: “This year, of course, we’ve continued to mark the First World War’s centenary with a focus on the battlefields of Northern France, Belgium and Turkey. But we should take time to remember the brave men buried and commemorated here in the UK too. We owe our gratitude to those men, from across the Commonwealth as well as from the British Isles, who made the ultimate sacrifice during the First and Second World Wars. Paying respects at the war graves of Belgium or France is a life-changing experience, but the final resting places and memorials of thousands of brave men can also be found, not far from your home, in 13,000 locations across the British Isles. The Living Memory Project is a fitting way to pay tribute to that sacrifice and to learn about our shared history. I’d encourage people to get involved, and discover how they can pay their own tribute.” The Living Memory Project, part-funded by the Government, is working with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) and thirty-six local groups around the country to create remembrance events at local war memorials. Thirty-six groups will work with the CWGC to re-discover war graves, pay respect to the war dead, and share their research with the wider community. “We should make a positive decision to remember these brave people,” said Mr Clark. “They may have died long before we were born, but they died that we could be free. Their sacrifice should inspire all of us.”  The initiative will continue long after this fortnight of activity, with all communities urged to remember these hidden war heroes annually – creating a thread of memory and shared history long into the future. CWGC Director of External Relations, Colin Kerr, said: “The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s work overseas is well known, but here in the United Kingdom there is little awareness of the graves to be found in a staggering 13,000 locations, that commemorate over 300,000 Commonwealth dead of the two world wars. “We believe that this is wrong, and through the Living Memory Project aim to reconnect the British public to the commemorative heritage on their doorstep. With the support of DCLG, the Living Memory Pilot will encourage more people to discover and visit CWGC war grave sites in the British Isles, to remember the war dead in those places from the First and Second World Wars and to share and raise awareness of these 300,000 commemorations with their wider communities.  The aim is to roll the programme out nationwide in 2016 as part of the commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the Somme campaign.” The project has been devised in partnership with community engagement specialists, Big Ideas Company www.bigideascompany.org. Chief Executive Virginia Crompton said: "We are proud to be contributing to such a meaningful project supporting people across the UK to discover their local war graves."

North Belfast Remembers Job Opportunities

We are looking for three people to help with our project North Belfast Remembers. Application details at the bottom of the page. Project: A series of arts and heritage based events aiming to connect the local community with the Decade of Centenaries and the First World War.  It aims to engage the community with their local history and begin a dialogue about the place of remembrance in today's society. It provides an opportunity for intergenerational storytelling aiming to enable older people and children to understand the importance of each other in the community. NORTH BELFAST REMEMBERS PROJECT MANAGER December 2015 – March 2016 (78 hours total / £12 per hour / Freelance) Roughly 4 hours per week, rising to 8 hours per week in March 2016. Role: Project Management of 10 research workshops, 5 art workshops and a final larger scale event in March 2016 Essential: 3 years project management experience / an interest in history / ability to work to own timetable and within budget / time management skills /Ability to engage with all members of our community Desirable: Experience having worked with older people and children / knowledge of North Belfast particularly BT14 / BT15 _______________________________________________________________________________ NORTH BELFAST REMEMBERS ARTIST 5 x 60 mins children’s workshops in February and March 2016 (plus 5 x 60 mins prep time)  (10 hours total / £30 per hour / Freelance) Brief: Artist for 5 arts workshops of 20 children each, aged 8 – 12 years old in community venues in North Belfast. The brief will be discussed in more detail with the chosen artist, but will involve decorating glass bottles. Essential: 3 years arts experience / an interest in history / ability to work to own timetable and within budget / /Ability to engage with all members of our community / Experience working with children Desirable: Knowledge of North Belfast particularly BT14 / BT15 ________________________________________________________________________________ NORTH BELFAST REMEMBERS RESEARCHER December 2015  (20 hours research / £12 per hour / Freelance) January – February 2016  (20 hours workshop delivery/ £12 per hour / Freelance) Role: Research of ww1 servicemen from North Belfast and delivery of 10 x 90 minute research workshops for older people in community venues in North Belfast. (plus 10 x 30 min prep time) Essential: 3 years research experience / an interest in history / ability to work to own timetable and within budget / time management skills / ability to engage with all members of our community Desirable: Experience having worked with older people / knowledge of North Belfast particularly BT14 / BT15 ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Applications: Please send cover letter and CV to research@historyhubulster.co.uk Closing Date: Wednesday 25th November 2015     Please note this email is not monitored daily and we cannot acknowledge every application. Belfast City Council 2015 (Master) CRC logo

VE Day (Victory in Europe Day) – 70th Anniversary

Bonfires, effigies and gramophones, parades, bunting and fairy lights: How Lisburn celebrated VE Day on 8 May 1945

By the end of April 1945 it was clear that World War 2 was coming to an end.  The German Chancellor, Adolf Hitler had taken his own life on the last day of April.  His successor, Admiral Donitz authorised the military surrender of Germany which took place on 7th May 1945.  The British Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill declared the following day to be known as VE Day (Victory in Europe Day).  A public holiday of two days was declared. Life in Lisburn was the same as in any other place in Northern Ireland.  Among the advertisements in the weekly Lisburn Standard were the following:  Girls Training Corps holding a parade and display; Wallace High School entry requirements; Welcome & Christian Workers' Union Mission Sunday School and Lisburn Variety Theatre with its Saturday Night Show.  The annual RVH 'house to house' collection went on as normal. The Lisburn Standard was a weekly paper and the news relating to VE Day was written and published on Friday 11th May 1945.  The paper described the events from Monday 7th May - a radio broadcast warned the nation to 'stand by' for an important announcement to be broadcast at 4pm.  The locals listened to their radio sets at home and at work but no announcement came. The local Urban District Council meeting took place that night.  At 7.45pm, the meeting was disturbed by a telephone call to Mr T H McConnell the Town Clerk.   The caller said that the Prime Minister, Mr Churchill would announce VE Day at 3pm the following day, Tuesday.  In addition, both Tuesday and Wednesday would be observed as general holidays.  The local ARP (Air Raid Precautions) Officer, Mr R H Gibson soon broadcast the news over loud-speakers in Market Square, where it was then spread by pedestrians all over the town.  Members of nursing, domestic and outdoor staff who were to work on the public holidays would be given two days double pay or two days holiday at a later date. Although the official celebrations were to start the next day, the townspeople showed their relief and pleasure in no uncertain manner.  At 3pm, Mr Churchill's broadcast was relayed around Market Square to an attentive crowd who cheered when it was finished.  An open-air religious service was held after the King made his speech. Streets were packed and crowds paraded up and down until the wee hours of Tuesday morning.  A squad of Belgian soldiers billeted in Lisburn marched to Dunmurry and then back to Knockmore, singing 'Tipperary' and other songs made popular in wartime.  They lighted an impromptu bonfire in Seymour Street, brought out a melodion and danced for hours. By the next day, the town had been plentifully decorated and looked really well.  There were flags, bunting and decorations making the streets a riot of colour.  At night, fairy lights and the glow of bonfires added to the gaiety of the scene.  A few shop fronts were boarded up, but not many, with most shops displaying patriotic colours.  Messrs J C Patterson's premises in Bow Street and the Picture House looked well with their fairy lights.  Other grounds and buildings attracted considerable attention and the effect was impressive.  Once again the celebrations lasted into the wee small hours. After a break of a few hours, the celebrations continued into Wednesday evening.  Everyone was out, young and old, in gay attire.  The girls were in their light summer dresses for it was an ideal, warm summer day.  (The paper emphasised that it was now at liberty to describe the weather without regard to security).  Parties were numerous and animated.  In the streets, the people forgot their habitual reserve and sang, danced and made merry with one another as though they were all acquainted.  Bonfires burned.  Effigies of Adolf Hitler were burnt with zest.  Gramophone records were relayed over improvised loud-speaker systems.  Children were entertained by street groups.   There was no thought of bed in most people's mind.  Anyone who tried got no sleep at all. Wednesday was more subdued, until the night came.  By then, most folk were thoroughly tired out.  There was talk of just having the task of 'knocking-out Japan'.  No one could tell when VA Day (Victory in Asia Day) would come. Celebrations weren't just for Lisburn; Dunmurry went wild with joy.  Impromptu bands paraded on the Monday night through to Wednesday.  Mr Robert Green and a large team of local boys worked on a huge bonfire.  It was lit on the Tuesday night by Mrs Beattie J.P.  Again, an effigy of Hitler and his detested and discredited swastika perished in the flames.  Finaghy too, had its bonfire and a Hitler effigy burnt. Following the declaration of peace, advertising changed in the following week’s Lisburn Standard.   The Belfast Savings Bank told of the 'Dove of Peace' spreading its wings.  A 'Victory Queen' contest was announced.  Christ Church was to hold a 'Thanksgiving for Victory' service and Railway Street Presbyterian Church would hold a 'Thanksgiving and Dedication' service. Research - Gavin Bamford, Member, History Hub Ulster Thanks also to Catherine Burrell, member History Hub Ulster and Lisburn Museum.