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. Adults 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. 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.
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. 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. “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.
National Museum of the Royal Navy launches an innovative digital project to map stories of the people at the Battle of Jutland The National Museum of the Royal Navy today launched an interactive map to create a record of the individuals involved in the Battle of Jutland. Following responses from descendants of Admirals Beatty and Jellicoe amongst others, the Museum is calling on the public to share, discover and remember stories of those connected with the battle. The platform has been made live in anticipation of the blockbuster exhibition ’36 Hours: Jutland 1916, The Battle that Won the War’ opening 12 May 2016 at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. The site is at http://jutland.org.uk/ The interactive map will provide an innovative way of charting the impact of the Battle of Jutland. It will convey the ‘human’ story of the battle, highlighting its scale and significance to the First World War, by demonstrating the involvement of people from all over the British Isles and further afield. The project launched with over 6,000 entries from across Britain, already showing the national impact of The Battle of Jutland. To provide a comprehensive record the Museum is calling on members of the public to share more information. Nick Jellicoe, grandson of Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, commander of the British Grand Fleet, said: “This is one of those moments where engaging with the interactive map and what the museum is providing is a real opportunity to fill in some parts of a jigsaw, a family jigsaw you’ve never been able to solve. It’s nice to think about stories from your father, grand-father or great-grandfather, and be able to pass them on. Always one of my biggest regrets is that I never talked to my father more in detail about his father. I never did, and I hope other people don’t make the same mistake.” Nicholas Beatty, Grandson of Vice Admiral Sir David Beatty said of the project, “I am delighted to add my grandfather’s story to the Jutland Interactive Map, and am sure that the legacy of his and his brave fellow seamen will continue to live on and be better understood by current and future generations. I thoroughly recommend that all descendants whose relatives fought at Jutland do the same to ensure that those who fought to maintain our naval supremacy and retain the lines of supply to the United Kingdom, all giving so much, are never forgotten.” The Battle of Jutland was the defining naval battle of the First World War, fought over 36 hours from May 31st to June 1st 1916. It is often considered a German victory due to the number of British lives lost; the British lost 6,094 seamen and the Germans 2,551 during the battle. However these figures do not represent the impact upon the British and German fleets. At the end of the battle the British maintained numerical supremacy; only two dreadnoughts were damaged, leaving twenty-three dreadnoughts and four battlecruisers still able to fight, whilst the Germans had only ten dreadnoughts. The interactive map provides a platform for living history, and the data collected will offer a richer and more accurate history of the Royal Navy. All data is mapped and linked geographically providing a clear picture of those involved, where they served and where they came from. Memories of sailors can be shared within the messages section and icons with categories including sailors, memorials, places and schools provide key information through an immersive browsing experience. The map offers layers of information, integrating a historical overlay provided by the Scottish Archive, to show the country as it was in 1916. Public response via a social media campaign has already been strong and contributed to the 6,000 entries already documented. Entries have also been assembled in collaboration with Trevor Penfold at the Imperial War Museum, and further research has been compiled by a team of 12 volunteers at the National Museum of the Royal Navy and Portsmouth Grammar School, and Karen O’Rawe of History Hub Ulster. Portsdown U3A has kindly granted access to their research project, in conjunction with a team from Portsmouth University and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The NMRN will also partner with The Royal Hospital School, Marine Archaeologist Anthony Firth and Nick Jellicoe, the grandson of Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, 1st Earl of Jellicoe. If one of your ancestors was Irish, involved in the War at Sea and you would like to be considered to attend the Commemoration of The Irish Sailor event on 31st May at HMS Caroline, don't forget to fill in the form at http://historyhubulster.co.uk/irishsailor/
Did a member of your family serve in the First World War? Were any from East Belfast? Bring along your artefacts and stories to the Titanic People First World War Roadshow in East Belfast Network Centre on Saturday 6 June 2015, from 10am - 3pm. 10.30am Launch of Row on Row, East Belfast Remembers 11am The Shipyard and the Home Front during the First World War - Philip Orr 1.30pm Researching East Belfast and the First World War - Jason Burke 2.45pm Playing of the Last post - The Hounds of Ulster History Hub Ulster member Nigel Henderson will be available all day to provide tips and pointers on conducting your own First World War family research.
EXPLORE life in Ireland a century ago, CONTRIBUTE to a crowdsourced history project, LEARN about how a digital archive is created, DISCOVER hidden stories of 1916. Bring your family letters written between 1 November 1915 - 31 October 1916 to digitize and add to the Letters 1916 archive: WHERE: PRONI WHEN: Thursday 28th May 2015, 5.30pm to 9.00pm 5.30pm - 6.30pm Open Session - Letters 1916 - Meet the team demo, transcribe, digitise. 6.30pm- 7.45pm A year in the life: A series of talks exploring life in Ireland a century ago highlighting letters from PRONI’S collection, including Professor Susan Schreibman (Maynooth University), Ian Montgomery (Public Record Office of Northern Ireland), Stephen Scarth (Public Record Office of Northern Ireland), Jason Burke (East Belfast & The Great War) 7.45pm - 8.30pm Reception Admission is FREE, Please contact PRONI to secure your place
The Gallipoli campaign resulted in the deaths of over 100,000 Allied and Turkish servicemen in just eight months. Serving both at sea and on land, the Royal Navy and Royal Naval Division lost many men in what was to become an unmitigated military disaster of poor planning that resulted in the loss of more than 44,000 Allied lives. In contrast, the defence of Gallipoli was the Ottoman Empire’s most successful military operation of the war. One example of the local losses during the Gallipoli campaign is the loss of HMS Goliath on 13 May 1915. In total 73 men from Ireland were lost on this ship. In 1911, Coonagh, a small village in Limerick was recorded as having only 48 households of 202 people. Of these 98 were male and only 48 men were between the ages of 18 and 49 in the village. Of these men, 8 died on HMS Goliath. Seven of these men were fishermen like their fathers, the other an agricultural labourer. The impact of this loss is still felt today as Mick Cronin from Coonagh is currently fundraising for a memorial to these lost men. The ages of the men lost on the ship ranged from 17 to 55 years old, the average age being over 30. Despite the myth that World War One was a ‘young man’s war’, there were many very experienced seamen who died at sea. This includes Armourer Michael Meyler from Wexford who was 55 years old when he died, and noted as a pensioner, and Petty Officer James John Beauchamp who was 48 when he died. Following in his coastguard father’s footsteps, James was a coastguard in Castleblaney. The youngest Irishman to die on Goliath was Boy (1st Class) Philip Duffy, a Monaghan lad. His service record notes his full enlistment on 23 August 1915, however he never made it to that date and his death date precedes his enlistment date. The 73 Irish casualties who died during the sinking of HMS Goliath were from the following areas: 16 from Cork, 9 from Waterford, 9 from Belfast, 8 each from Dublin and Limerick, 6 from Wexford, 3 from Derry, 2 each from Monaghan, Down and Carlow, 1 from Antrim, Donegal, Wicklow, Kerry, Tipperary, Meath, Sligo and Louth. Another Irishman, Signaller Frederick Parnell Waterson was severely wounded in action on HMS Goliath on 3 May 1915 during operations in the Dardanelles, died on 1 June 1915 of pneumonia. Previously a plumber, Frederick is buried at the Royal Naval Cemetery in Capuccini, Malta. HMS Goliath was a pre-dreadnought battleship built by the Royal Navy in the late 19th century. Having been mothballed prior to the outbreak of the First World War, she was returned to full commission. Goliath was part of the Allied fleet supporting the landing at X and Y Beaches during the landing at Cape Helles on 25 April, sustaining some damage from the gunfire of Ottoman Turkish forts and shore batteries, and supported allied troops ashore. On the night of 12th May, Goliath was anchored in off Cape Helles, along with HMS Cornwallis and a screen of five destroyers. Around 1am the Turkish torpedo boat destroyer Muâvenet-i Millîye eluded the destroyers and closed on the battleships firing two torpedoes which struck Goliath almost simultaneously causing a massive explosion. Goliath began to capsize almost immediately, and was lying on her beam ends when a third torpedo struck. She then rolled over and sank taking 570 of her 700 crew to the bottom, including her commanding officer. Although sighted and fired on after the first torpedo hit, Muâvenet-i Millîye escaped unscathed. Goliath was the fourth Allied pre-dreadnought battleship to be sunk in the Dardanelles. For sinking Goliath, Turkish Captain of Muâvenet-i Millîye, Ahmet Saffet Bey was promoted to rank of Commander (Major) and awarded the Gold Medal. The German consultant, Kapitänleutnant Rudolph Firle was awarded the Gold Medal by the Ottoman sultan and the Iron Cross (1st class) by the German General Staff. To read how History Hub Ulster remembered those Irishmen lost on HMS Goliath please click here. Irishmen lost on HMS Goliath were: Seaman Richard Allen RNR, from Coonagh, Limerick Seaman Maurice Cronin RNR from Coonagh, Limerick Seaman Patrick Cronin RNR from Coonagh, Limerick Seaman Patrick Darby RNR from Coonagh, Limerick Seaman John Davis RNR from Coonagh, Limerick Seaman Thomas Davis RNR from Coonagh, Limerick Seaman Thomas Grimes RNR from Coonagh, Limerick Seaman Michael Hickey RNR from Coonagh, Limerick Leading Seaman Michael Coleman RN from Aghada, Cork Stoker Thomas Webb RNR from Bantry, Cork Seaman Patrick Sweeney RNR from Castletown, Cork Petty Officer James Crowley RN from CastleLyons, Cork Seaman Robert Arnopp RNR from Kinsale, Cork Seaman Daniel Collins RNR from Kinsale, Cork Seaman John Mahony RNR from Kinsale, Cork Seaman John Mahony RNR from Kinsale, Cork Seaman Patrick Regan RNR from Kinsale, Cork Able Seaman William Geoghean RN from Queenstown, Cork Petty Officer John Keane RN from Templerobin, Cork Gunner Charles McCarthy RN from Aghada, Cork Stoker (1st) Jeremiah Kearney RN from Nackbrown, Cork Shipwright (2nd) Richard Ahern RN from Youghal, Cork ERA John Joseph O’Flaherty RN from Cork Chief Stoker Denis O’Neill RN from Cork Seaman William Dempsey RNR from Blackwater, Wexford Stoker (1st) Patrick Murphy RN from Fethard, Wexford Seaman Patrick Kavanagh RNR from Kildermot, Wexford Seaman Michael Joseph Allen RNR from New Ross, Wexford Seaman William Barron RNR from Ballyhack, Wexford Armourer Michael Meyler RN from Wexford Stoker John Garvey RNR from Bray, Wicklow Stoker Myles Doran RNR from Carnew, Wicklow Cooper Michael Cunningham RN from Clashmor, Waterford Seaman James Flynn RNR from Corbally, Waterford Seaman Michael Flynn RNR from Corbally, Waterford Able Seaman James Mason RN from Passage East, Waterford Seaman James Walsh RNR from Passage East, Waterford Stoker (1st) Michael Power RN from Tallow, Waterford Petty Officer Michael Gyles RN from Tramore, Waterford Seaman Thomas Keohan RNR from Tramore, Waterford Seaman William Power RNR from Tramore, Waterford Able Seaman Richard McClatchie RN from Clonmel, Tipperary Stoker (1st) Peter Carroll RN from Clontarf, Dublin Chief ERA Robert Byrne RN from Dublin Stoker John Larkin RNR from Ringsend, Dublin Stoker Thomas Lee RNR from Dublin Able Seaman Frederick William McDowell RN from Dublin Seaman William McGee RNR from Rush, Dublin Stoker (1st) John Steel RN from Dublin Able Seaman George Edwin Upton RN from Dublin Stoker Francis McKeown RNR from Dundalk, Louth Able Seaman John Kearney RN from Slane, Meath Chief Yeoman of Signals Robert Kilcullen RN from Waste Gardens, Sligo Able Seaman George Wood RN from Valentia, Kerry Stoker Samuel Gibson RNR from Carlow Stoker (1st) Class Hector Hiles RN from Belfast Stoker Robert Jones RNR from Belfast Stoker John Jones RNR from Belfast Stoker John McAnally RNR from Belfast Stoker Robert John McDowell RNR from Belfast Stoker Thomas Warnock RNR from Belfast Seaman Gordon Douglas Simpson RNR from Belfast Stoker (1st) Class Hugh O’Donnell RN from Belfast Stoker Charles Holland RNR from Belfast Private Alexander Harkness RMLI from Ballygarvey, Antrim Able Seaman James Kelso RN from Kilkeel, Down Stoker (1st) Class William Ernest Beringer RN from Portaferry, Down Private Robert Hutchinson RMLI from Derry Leading Seaman John Doherty RN from Derry Seaman John Joseph Dennis RNR from Waterside, Derry Able Seaman Philip Wright RN from Ballyarnett, Donegal Petty Officer (1st) James John Beauchamp RN from Castleblayney, Monaghan Boy (1st) Class Philip Duffy RN from Clones, Monaghan Research by Karen O’Rawe, Chair History Hub Ulster. Photo by Aurora
On 30 April 1915, the Lusitania was in New York, being loaded with food and medical supplies. She was also secretly loaded with munitions for Britain for the war. On the same day, Kapitänleutnant Walther Schwieger was ordered to take U-boat 20 into the Irish Channel to destroy ships going to and from Liverpool. On 1 May 1915, the Lusitania embarked on its crossing of the Atlantic with 1257 passengers and a crew of 702 under the command of Captain William Turner. On 5 May, U-20 tried to destroy but missed several ships, including several neutral ones. That day, he destroyed the Earl of Lathom. The next day he fired two torpedoes at the Candidate, a steamer from Liverpool. The same day he destroyed another ship, the Centurion. On 7 May the Lusitania entered the Irish Channel. Contrary to orders to travel at full speed in the submarine war zone around Great Britain, Captain Turner slowed the ship down because of fog. As a precaution, Captain Turner posted extra lookouts and brought the lifeboats out. Meanwhile U-20 was travelling west in the Irish Channel and sighted the Juno, a cruiser. It’s zigzag path made it difficult for a submarine to fire at and so it escaped. Captain Turner of the Lusitania did not do this because he felt that it wasted time and fuel. At 1:20pm British time, Schwieger sighted something of note. ‘Starboard ahead four funnels and two masts of a steamer with course at right angles to us’ He submerged and waited until at 1:40pm when the ship turned towards him, and fired a single torpedo. The 18 year old lookout on the Lusitania grabbed his megaphone and shouted to the bridge: ‘Torpedoes coming on the starboard side.’ Thomas Quinn, a lookout in the crow’s nest, saw the torpedo's wake and sounded the alarm. There was a large explosion at the side of the ship just ahead of the second funnel. Then there was a larger, muffled explosion from the bottom of the ship. The ship tilted to the right and although the power failed, Captain Turner attempted to steer the Lusitania toward land in an attempt to beach her. Without power the rudder and engines did not respond and the watertight doors could not be closed. Although the Lusitania had adequate lifeboats for all on board, most lifeboats simply could not be launched. Due to the list, the lifeboats on the port side could not be launched. The starboard side boats swung out so far that many passengers had to jump from the deck to the lifeboats, risking falling into the water far below. A few lifeboats were launched that contained only crew members. Other lifeboats capsized and some were damaged when the torpedo hit the ship. The Lusitania sank below the waves shortly before 2pm. It sank in only 90 metres of water, and since the ship was 239 metres long, the bow hit the bottom of the ocean while the stern was still up in the air. Captain Turner jumped into the water as the bridge was about to go under. He swam for 3 hours until he finally found a nearby lifeboat. The distress signals sent from the Lusitania reached Queenstown, where the Vice Admiral Sir Charles Coke gathered up whatever ships were available and told their captains to sail to where the Lusitania was. They arrived 2 hours after the sinking. They picked up any people still alive in the water and only 6 lifeboats. 761 survivors were collected by boats from Queenstown. 1198 people died. Some Ulster passengers lost on the Lusitania were: Frank Houston, the only son of Mr and Mrs Houston of Fernbrook Cottage, Carnmoney Road. Thomas McAfee, originally from Belfast, who had moved to Toronto was coming home to enlist. He had worked at the York Street Spinning Mill and his sisters lived at Summer Street, Belfast. Also lost was his friend Robert McCready who had emigrated to Canada a few years before. He was a photographer employed by Charles ad Russell photographers, Royal Avenue, Belfast. His father was William McCready of Oldpark Road, Belfast. Some crew with Ulster addresses who died on the Lusitania were: Isaac Linton, aged 48, and Michael Corboy, aged 49 both fireman from County Down. Michael Rice, aged 60 and Patrick Campbell aged 35 both firemen from Newry. Another Newry man lost was Patrick Loughran, a trimmer aged only 19 from Queen Street in Newry. Kenneth Mackenzie, aged 25, a waiter from Belfast. Trimmer William Field from Ship Street in Belfast was also lost, aged 31. Edward Finnegan, aged 22, a trimmer from Castleblaney in Monaghan. Sadie O’Hale aged 29, a ship’s typist from Ballymena. Edward J Heighway an able seaman from Strangford was saved. Also saved were Able Seaman James Hume from Canmore Street, Belfast and Fireman Stephen Rice from Armagh. Research: Karen O'Rawe, Chair, History Hub Ulster Newspaper Pictures: Nigel Henderson, Member, History Hub Ulster
Turkish minehunter TCG ANAMUR and German minehunter FGS BAD BEVESEN were yesterday at Pollock Dock in Belfast on the Centenary of the Commencement of the land campaign on the Gallipoli Peninsula. History Hub Ulster, as part of the national Last Post Project, commemorated those naval personnel lost at Gallipoli from all countries involved in the First World War campaign. Musician Ioannis Tsioulakis played Turkish folk song Canakkale Turkusu on traditional Turkish instrument the baglama, and Clare Galway played the Last Post on violin adjacent to TCG ANAMUR berthed at in Belfast Harbour. Senior Naval Officer Northern Ireland, Commander John Gray, History Hub Ulster Chair Karen O'Rawe and sea cadets from TS Eagle and TS Formidable joined them to remember Ulster sailors lost in the Gallipoli campaign. The Gallipoli campaign resulted in the deaths of over 100,000 Allied and Turkish servicemen in just eight months. Serving both at sea and on land, the Royal Navy and Royal Naval Division lost many men in what was to become an unmitigated military disaster of poor planning that resulted in the loss of more than 44,000 Allied lives. In contrast, the defence of Gallipoli was the Ottoman Empire’s most successful military operation of the war. One example of the local Ulster losses during the Gallipoli campaign is the loss of HMS Goliath on the 13 May 1915. In total 74 Men from Ireland, at least 18 from Ulster were lost on this ship. HMS Goliath was a pre-dreadnought battleship built by the Royal Navy in the late 19th century. Having been mothballed prior to the outbreak of the First World War, she was returned to full commission. Goliath was part of the Allied fleet supporting the landing at X and Y Beaches during the landing at Cape Helles on 25 April, sustaining some damage from the gunfire of Ottoman Turkish forts and shore batteries, and supported allied troops ashore. On the night of 12th May, Goliath was anchored in off Cape Helles, along with HMS Cornwallis and a screen of five destroyers. Around 1am the Turkish torpedo boat destroyer Muâvenet-i Millîye eluded the destroyers and closed on the battleships firing two torpedoes which struck Goliath almost simultaneously causing a massive explosion. Goliath began to capsize almost immediately, and was lying on her beam ends when a third torpedo struck. She then rolled over and sank taking 570 of her 700 crew to the bottom, including her commanding officer. Although sighted and fired on after the first torpedo hit, Muâvenet-i Millîye escaped unscathed. Goliath was the fourth Allied pre-dreadnought battleship to be sunk in the Dardanelles. For sinking Goliath, Turkish Captain of Muâvenet-i Millîye, Ahmet Saffet Bey was promoted to rank of Commander (Major) and awarded the Gold Medal. The German consultant, Kapitänleutnant Rudolph Firle was awarded the Gold Medal by the Ottoman sultan and the Iron Cross (1st class) by the German General Staff. There were at least 18 Ulster casualties on board HMS Goliath: Stoker (1st) Class Hector Hiles RN aged 28 from Derwent Street, Belfast Stoker Robert Jones RNR aged 43 from Sandy Row, Belfast Stoker John Jones RNR aged 42 from Sugarfield Street, Belfast Stoker John McAnally RNR aged 45 from Linen Street, Belfast Stoker Robert John McDowell RNR aged 22 from Leopold Street Stoker Thomas Warnock RNR aged 37 from Marine Street, Belfast Seaman Gordon Douglas Simpson RNR aged 24 from Windsor Avenue, Belfast Stoker (1st) Class Hugh O’Donnell RN aged 40 from Cliftonville Road, Belfast Stoker Charles Holland RNR aged 44 from Belfast Private Alexander Harkness RMLI aged 29 from Ballygarvey, Antrim Able Seaman James Kelso RN age 22 from Kilkeel, Down Stoker (1st) Class William Ernest Beringer RN aged 28 from Portaferry, Down Private Robert Hutchinson RMLI aged 32 from Creggan Road, Derry Leading Seaman John Doherty RN aged 34 Culmore Road, Derry Seaman John Joseph Dennis RNR aged 22 from Clooney Terrace, Waterside, Derry Able Seaman Philip Wright RN aged 35 from Ballyarnett, Donegal Petty Officer (1st) James John Beauchamp RN aged 48 from Castleblayney, Monaghan Boy (1st) Class Philip Duffy RN aged 17 from Clones, Monaghan The Last Post project: The Last Post is a mass participation project for the First World War centenary taking place from 20-26 April that will see people unite in communities around the UK to remember the impact that the First World War had on their local area and play music from the era as a mark of commemoration. At every event held this April, the Last Post bugle call will be played to remember someone connected to the community - not just on bugles but on any instrument from piano to bagpipes, guitar to drums. Part of the First World War Centenary, The Last Post Project is funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government, Heritage Lottery Northern Ireland and Department for Communities Arts and Leisure Northern Ireland. Royal Navy: Another Ship to participate in the Gallipoli Campaign was HMS Hibernia, a King Edward VII class pre-dreadnought battleship launched in 1905. Hibernia’s Ulster connection is more modern due to her latest incarnation as the Royal Naval Reserve unit based in Lisburn. To mark Hibernia’s presence off Gallipoli, Ulster’s RNR were included in the Centenary parade in London on Saturday 25th April as part of the Naval marching contingent. Research by Karen O’Rawe, Chair History Hub Ulster. Photos by Aurora
- Foundry worker William Kerr from Whiterock who was killed in action aged 22, Alfred Wynne who died aged only 18 from the New Lodge and Robert Dennison of Lisburn who died just 4 weeks before the end of the war.
- Two Roman Catholic RIC Sergeants lost their sons in the war, Crumlin Road Gaelic speaker Charles Blake died aged 24, while East Belfast’s Martin William Jennings died aged 21.
- Roman Catholic brothers who served include the Rooney brothers. Kilkeel born and Short Strand reared, only one would return home; Peter Rooney was killed on the first day of the Somme aged only 20. Widowed mother, Ernestine of Bangor was lucky to have both of her boys Raymond and Ernest Warnock home safe after the war despite one son being wounded.
- James Davey Maxwell’s father was a Scots Presbyterian from Glasgow and his mother an English Catholic from Liverpool. Their Catholic son James was killed in action at The Battle of Langemarck, aged only 20.
- Newly married Gaelic speaker, 18 year old John McKee from Armagh was killed in action in April 1918, his wife Cecelia placing on his gravestone ‘On His Soul Sweet Jesus Have Mercy’.
- Marksman William McGarrell of Dromore died of his wounds aged 21 in the Dressing Station, his body buried in Duhallow Advanced Dressing Station Cemetery.
- Ormeau lad James Magee served till the end of the war, being promoted to Lance Corporal. He was awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal, both of which were marked as returned.
- Another Ormeau boy to survive the war was 2nd Lieutenant James Redmond from Kimberly Street who served with both the YCV and the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.
Upon reading the research by History Hub Ulster, Jeffrey Donaldson, Chairman of the NI WW1 Centenary Committee commented: "The fact that a number of recruits to the YCV Battalion were Roman Catholic, albeit a small proportion, nevertheless challenges the perception of some unionists that this unit was exclusively Protestant and the perception of some nationalists that no Catholics would associate with the organisation."
You are welcome to our 'Last Post' Gallipoli Commemoration event being held on Sunday, 26th April 2015 at 2pm at the Northern Banking Company exhibit within the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Cultra. We will be commemorating four bank officials from the Northern Banking Company who volunteered and enlisted to serve during the Great War. Warrant Officer Class 2 Thomas W Cooper was an Englishman and joined Northern Bank in 1904 as a bank porter. He was working in Grafton Street branch, Dublin when he enlisted into the 5th Bn. Royal Irish Regiment (10th Irish Division). Thomas saw service in Gallipoli, the landing at Suvla Bay and in the Salonika campaign before transferring to the Western Front. He was demobilised in April 1919 and was awarded the Star, the British War Medal and the British Victory Medal. Private Charles Kevin Fitzsimons was born on 9th November 1890. His family was from Newry and were of Roman Catholic faith. Kevin joined Northern Bank in 1909 at Head Office, Belfast. Transfers followed to Mohill, Ballycastle and Shercock. In October 1914, whilst based in Shercock branch, Kevin enlisted into the Royal Army Medical Corps as a Private. He served with the British Expeditionary Force in France and saw further action during the Suvla Bay Landings at Gallipoli and in Salonika. Later he transferred to the 2nd Bn. Royal Irish Fusiliers, which had joined the 10th Irish Division in November 1916, and further action was seen in the Salonika (Struma Valley) and Palestine (Gaza and Nablus) campaigns before being demobilised in April 1919. Fitzsimons was awarded the Star, the British War Medal and the British Victory Medal. Following demobilisation, he rejoined the Northern Bank in early 1919 at Shercock. Transfers followed to Ballycastle and then back in charge of Shercock. Further transfers followed with Dowra, Shercock, Skerries, Head Office, Oldcastle and Head Office. He died in 1953 aged 62. Lieutenant Thomas Richard Jenkins was born in Oldcastle on 5th December 1893. He was the son of Thomas F Jenkins and Mary E Jenkins who were of Church of Ireland faith. In 1911 whilst living in Moylagh, Co. Meath, Thomas joined Northern Bank, Head Office. Transfers followed with Dromore, Bailieborough and Ball’s Branch, Dublin. In October 1914, whilst he was working in Ball’s Branch, Thomas volunteered and enlisted into the Royal Dublin Fusiliers (10th Irish Division) as a Private. Jenkins saw action at Suvla Bay in the Gallipoli campaign and in the subsequent campaign against the Bulgarians in Salonika. Promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in 1917 with the Durham Light Infantry and later promoted to Lieutenant in early 1919. In early 1919, Jenkins transferred to the Military Accountancy Department, India. Demobilisation came in December 1919. He was awarded the Star, the British War Medal and the British Victory Medal. Following demobilisation, Jenkins rejoined the Northern Bank in January 1920 at Head Office. Transfers followed to Ball’s Branch, Dublin, Head Office and back to Ball’s Branch, Dublin. Jenkins left the bank in 1926. Private William Frederick Alexander Mathews was born in Dublin in 1893 and was the son of Marcus Beresford Mathews and Mrs Annie Mathews. Marcus Mathews was a bank manager and with his family lived in Henry Street, Dublin. The family were of Church of Ireland faith. In 1910, William joined Northern Bank at Ball’s branch, Dublin. The following year the family moved to Northern Bank House, Grafton Street, Dublin. In early 1914 William was transferred to Head Office in Belfast. After the outbreak of war, William volunteered and enlisted into the 7th Bn. Royal Dublin Fusiliers (10th Irish Division) as a Private. He fought in battles at Suvla Bay Landing and Chocolate Hill before being killed in action on 13th September 1915 aged 21. William was awarded the Star, the British War Medal and the British Victory Medal. He is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Turkey. Research by History Hub Ulster Treasurer Gavin Bamford