Gallipoli commemoration at Belfast Port as part of Last Post Project

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.

HHU Turkish Warship and HMS Goliath

Senior Naval Officer Northern Ireland, Commander John Gray and History Hub Ulster Chair, Karen O’Rawe at Turkish minehunter TCG Anamur in Belfast Port commemorating the Centenary of the Gallipoli landings as part of the Last Post Project. Playing çanakkale türküsü on bağlama is Ioannis Tsioulakis and playing the Last Post on violin is Clare Galway. Also pictured are a sea cadet from TS Eagle and a marine cadet from TS Formidable.


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.

Ioannis Tsioulakis playing çanakkale türküsü on bağlama

Ioannis Tsioulakis playing çanakkale türküsü on bağlama

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.

Clare Galway playing the Last Post on violin

Clare Galway playing the Last Post on violin

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 

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WW1 Centenary: The Catholic Young Citizens: Roman Catholic Ulstermen in the 36th (Ulster) Division

Rifleman James Dooley

Rifleman James Dooley

The enlistment registers of the 14th (Young Citizen Volunteer) Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles, shows that despite the loyalist narrative that has sprung up around the 36th Ulster Division, there were a number of men who described themselves as Roman Catholic enlisting in the battalion.

There were at least 88 Roman Catholics with addresses all over Ireland who enlisted in the Young Citizen Volunteer Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles, of which 42 were from Ulster.

These men included:

  • 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.
Rifleman Jack Flynn

Rifleman Jack Flynn

The 36th Ulster Division was made up of 107th, 108th, 109th Brigades, Divisional troops, mounted troops and artillery as well as Royal Engineers, Royal Army Medical Corps and other divisional troops.  These Brigades included Royal Irish Rifles, Royal Irish Fusiliers and Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

The 14th (YCV) Royal Irish Rifles was formed in Belfast in September 1914 from the Belfast Volunteers and came under orders of 109th Brigade in 36th (Ulster) Division. The battalion moved to Bundoran in December 1914 moving on to Randalstown in January 1915.  In July 1915 they were moved to Seaford and in October 1915 they landed at Boulogne. On 18 February 1918 the battalion was disbanded in France and personnel re-allocated to other battalions of Royal Irish Rifles.

The review of the 36th Ulster Division before they embarked for France occurred in May 1915. The Belfast Newsletter of 6th May noted under the headline Young Citizens Arrive in Belfast:

Rifleman W Kerr

Rifleman William Kerr

“The 14th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles (Young Citizen Volunteers) left camp Randalstown yesterday morning, and marched via Crumlin to Belfast for the purpose of taking part in the review of the Ulster Division on Saturday. The men carried their rifles, packs, and entrenching tools, and notwithstanding the long distance they had covered – 22 miles – they appeared to be in excellent condition as they passed through the centre of the city at six o’clock in the evening on their way to the yard of Messrs. Davidson & Co. Ltd., Mountpottinger Road, where they piled arms and were dismissed.

Lieutenant-Colonel R. P. D. Spencer Chichester, the commanding officer, rode at the head of his men, and the battalion band played appropriate airs. A large number of spectators witnessed the progress of the men through the city. The battalion was accompanied by its cyclist, signalling, and ambulance detachments, as well as by its transport.

This evening the rank and file will be the guests of the officers at the Royal Hippodrome, and at six o’clock tomorrow evening they will attend a meeting in the Ulster Hall. On Sunday they will attend a Divine service in the Ulster Hall at 2:30 p.m., and at noon on Monday they will leave the city on the return march to Randalstown.”

As the Unionist Centenary Committee marks the centenary of the Review of the 36th Ulster Division with a Parade past the City Hall on Saturday 9th May, it must be remembered that the 36th Ulster Division was not only made up of Protestants. People across Ireland enlisted in the war effort for various reasons, and there were at least 88 Roman Catholics with addresses all over Ireland who enlisted in the Young Citizen Volunteers, of which 42 were from Ulster. At least 8 Roman Catholic Ulstermen in the YCV gave their lives with the Ulster Division.

Karen O’Rawe from History Hub Ulster said: “It is important that our commemorative activities acknowledge the true history of the men who served in the 36th (Ulster) Division.  The divergence between the real history of the 36th and the single minded commemoration which exists in our communities today needs to be recognised. A wholly unionist Protestant Division marching off to war is an imagined past and History Hub Ulster would like to use the opportunity of the Centenary to extend an invitation for others to tell their stories whether Catholic, Jewish or Quaker, or indeed those from other regions of Ireland and the UK who were drafted into the Ulster Division.”

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.”

The 42 men are listed below:

Rifleman William Kerr of Forth River Gardens, Springfield Road, Belfast KIA

Rifleman James Dooley of Church View, Holywood KIA

Rifleman Charles J Blake of Crumlin Road, Belfast KIA

Corporal James Davy Maxwell of 136 Dunluce Avenue, Lisburn Road, Belfast KIA

Rifleman Robert Dennison of 71 Bridge Street, Lisburn KIA

Rifleman Patrick Hughes of Altcar Street, Belfast KIA

Lance Corporal William McGarrell of Lurgan Bane, Dromore KIA

Rifleman Martin William Jennings of 33 London Street, Belfast KIA

Rifleman John Campbell of Knockbarragh, Rostrevor

Rifleman James Magee of 45 Spruce Street, Belfast

Rifleman Alfred Wynne of 84 Lepper Street, Belfast

Rifleman John Flynn of 143 Dunluce Avenue, Belfast

Lance Corporal John McKee of Annacramp, Armagh

Rifleman Francis McNally of 20 Havana Street, Belfast

Lance Corporal John O’Brien of Bailieborough, Cavan

2nd Lieutenant James Redmond of 80 Kimberly Street, Belfast

Rifleman Peter Rooney of 43 Kilmood Street, Belfast

Rifleman Thomas Rooney of 43 Kilmood Street, Belfast

Rifleman Raymond D Warnock of 54 Ballyholme Road, Bangor

Corporal Ernest J Warnock of 54 Ballyholme Road, Bangor

Rifleman H Bryan of 24 Kingston Street, Belfast

Rifleman P Brownlee of 25 Belgrave Street, Belfast

Rifleman F Girvan of 3 Mary Place, Whitehouse, Belfast

Rifleman Thomas Hall of Ballylueas, Downpatrick

Rifleman E Russell of Tullymore, Newcastle

Rifleman W. J. Smith of 105 Albert Street, Belfast

Rifleman T Tumelty of 13 Sheriff Street, Belfast

Rifleman P Vallelly of Stanhope Street, Belfast

Rifleman F Kunan of 148 Ravenhill Road, Belfast

Rifleman William Loughran of 16 Marys Street, Belfast

Rifleman E Robinson of Magheralin, Lurgan

Rifleman P Rodgers of 5 Sunwick Street, Belfast

Rifleman Hugh Magee of Carrycowan, Martinstown

Rifleman J Macklin of 22 Valentine Street, Belfast

Rifleman T Murphy of 17 Parkview Street, Belfast

Rifleman A McVeigh of 28 Croft Road, Carnlough

Rifleman H McNamara of Ballynahinch Street, Hillsborough

Rifleman J McMullen of 23 Sherwood Street, Belfast

Rifleman J McLaughlin of 71 Derwent Street, Belfast

Rifleman E McGreevy of Ballyalton, Downpatrick

Rifleman M Quinn of Levanmore, Newry

Lance Corporal T Dogherty of Sappagh Muff, Donegal


Research: Karen O’Rawe, Chair, History Hub Ulster

Pictures: Nigel Henderson, Member, History Hub Ulster

With thanks to John McCormick

History Hub Ulster is a research group based in Belfast, but working on projects across Ulster



‘Last Post’ Gallipoli Commemoration – Ulster Folk Museum

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.

invite with logo FINAL

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




Shared History Tours In Drogheda and Dublin

Take a tour of Dublin and visit the sites most associated with the Great War.  Visit Stephen’s Green, Grangegorman Military Cemetery, National Museum Collins Barracks, The Memorial Gardens and Arbew Hill.Dublin WW1

A tour of Dublin, visiting the sites associated with the 1916 Rising and Dublin’s Military History.  Including Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square. through the day visit the GPO, Kilmainham, Dublin Castle, St. Stephens’ Green Mount Street Bridge and many other sites.

Dublin 1916

Visit the sites most associated with William’s journey to the Boyne in 1690. Visit the Boyne site, view the Williamite Sword and Mace presented to the town of Drogheda.  See the last resting place of Captain Thomas Bellingham, aide de comte to William III, throughout the Irish campaign. visit Beaulieu House and take in the Van Wyck paintings.

William of Orange Drogheda

Contact Sean Collins: or 00353 (0)89 4214394

Irish Volunteers Centenary Project Launch

The Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich Memorial Library and Archive, Armagh, would like to invite you to the launch of the ‘Irish Volunteers Centenary Project’, Wednesday, 22 April, at 7.00 p.m.

This project is based on the interviews that the late Fr Louis O Kane carried out in the late 1960s and early 1970s with many Ulster men and women, in relation to their memories of the 1913-23 Irish revolutionary period, and the War of Independence in particular. These interviews have been available to researchers for some years already, but the fragile state of many of the old reel-to-reel tapes made them difficult to access. Within the last couple of years, the recordings have been transferred to digital format and thus preserved for the future.

The ‘Irish Volunteers Centenary Project’ to be launched next week will raise public awareness of this important and in many respects unparalleled collection of historical material concerning a pivotal period in northern Irish history. Alongside the interviews are numerous documents, photographs and other items of ephemera from the same era.

The launch of the project will provide a broad outline of the events and activities to be undertaken during this two-year project, such as a conference in the autumn. A number of outreach talks will also be held in or around the parishes in which Fr O’Kane served as a priest in south Derry, south Armagh, south-east Tyrone and Co. Louth.

Whereas a few short clips from some interviews are proposed to be played at the launch event, the local outreach events will focus more on the individual personalities and their interviews. So if it does not suit you to attend the launch, you will still have the opportunity to attend some of the local events, of which we will notify you in due course.

The launch will begin at 7.00 p.m. sharp, next Wednesday, 22 April, in the Cardinal Ó Fiaich Library and Archive (beside St Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral). Prof. Eunan O’Halpin of Trinity College Dublin will be our guest speaker, and light refreshments will be served at the end.

Anyone interested in the project is welcome to attend, but as places are strictly limited we request that you make contact in advance to notify us of your attendance. You may e-mail us at or, or call the library and archive at 028/048-37522981 or 07826-328065.


The U-boat Surrender

Join Derry City & Strabane District Council on Saturday 16 May to mark the 70th anniversary of the surrender of the U-boats in Lough Foyle in 1945.

· View displays, watch a short drama about the Second World War, meet costumed characters, have your photograph taken a 1940s photo booth and join in a range of activities at the Guildhall

· Visit the Tower Museum to see some of their collection and watch a series of short films with a special £1 admission to the Tower Museum on the 16th May

· Guided tours of Harbour House, former headquarters of the Londonderry Port & Harbour during the War

· History Ireland Hedge School – War and Peace in the North West during the Second world War in the Guildhall 3-5pm

· Event runs 10 – 5pm

For more details contact the Guildhall, Tel: 028 7137 6510 or email

Uboat 1

Uboat 2

Uboat 3