The lost lives of the Battle of the Somme

Belfast City Council event with History Hub Ulster member Nigel Henderson.

The lost lives of the Battle of the Somme

Date: 21 Jun 2016

Time: 6.30pm – 9pm
Venue: Banqueting Hall, Belfast City Hall

Over 200,000 Irishmen fought in the Great War, and it’s estimated that up to 25,000 – 30,000 Irish soldiers from the Irish Divisions and others in British based Divisions died between 1914 and 1918. The most iconic Battle involving Irish soldiers was the Battle of the Somme, which began on 1 July 1916.

Nigel Henderson and Philip Orr will deliver a presentation on some of those who lost their lives, focussing on the impact that this had on communities in Belfast. The presentation will also include poetry written in Ulster and in France during the period of the Battle of the Somme.

The presentation will be followed by a dramatised reading of the Halfway House, which looks at two women who met in 1966, the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme, hearing of the experiences of their fathers who were on different sides in 1916.

Light refreshments will be served at 6.30pm.

Booking is essential, email or call 028 90270 663 to register.

Titanic People: The First World War Roadshow

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.

Titanic People

After Dresden: A play by Philip Orr

On After DresdenShrove Tuesday 1945, Allied planes drop bombs on Dresden, killing thousands of people, most of them believed to be civilians and refugees.

An Irish prisoner of war bears witness to the horror of the bombing and, in post-war years, it prompts him towards an ethic of tolerance and reconciliation.

In the 1990s, a young woman whose life has been damaged by the local conflict seeks answers to her questions about the peace process and its ethos of hope, trust and mutual forgiveness.

That young woman and that former prisoner of war meet at a reconciliation centre on the Irish coastline and exchange their heart-breaking stories.

What will be the outcome?

Belvoir Players from 30 April – 2 May 2015

Click here to book


Ireland 1912-1923 An Island in Turmoil and Transition

Ireland 1912-1923 An Island in Turmoil and Transition: A series of talks and debates about the Irish Revolutionary period and it’s political and social aftermath.

Philip Orr and Tom Hartley talk, debate and discuss each of 7 themes as below.

Every Thursday from 25th September – 6th November at various locations across Belfast.

For more info contact Séanna Walsh at Coiste na nlarchimí by emailing



Ireland and the First World War 1914-1922, Banbridge

Shared History Lecture Series “Ireland and the First World War 1914-1922”

Chaired by Dr Éamon Phoenix (Political Historian, author and broadcaster)

Iveagh Movie Studios, Banbridge town.  Series commences on Wednesday 24th September for 7 weeks.  All talks commence at 7pm sharp on successive Wednesday evenings.  Admission is free and their is no need to book.

Wednesday 24 September

“Ireland and Europe on the Brink: from Home Rule to the Guns of August” – Dr Éamon Phoenix

Wednesday 1 October

“Volunteering: Carson’s Army from the Old Town Hall to Kitchener’s Call 1913-1916” – Alan Parkinson (author, lecturer, formerly of University of London Southbank) “The North Began’: The Rise of the Irish Volunteers 1913-1916” – Éamon Phoenix

Wednesday 8 October

“The Battle of the Somme” – Philip Orr (playwright, historian, lecturer)

Wednesday 15 October

“Irish Nationalists and the Great War” – Sean Collins (historian) “Airbrushed out of History? The Great in Modern Memory, North & South” – Jim McDermott (historian)

Wednesday 22nd October

“Women in Ireland, the Vote and the War” – Dr Margaret Ward (author on Irish Women’s History; Visiting Fellow in Irish History, Queen’s University, Belfast)

Wednesday 29th October

“Ireland 1918-1922: Revolution, Partition and Civil War” – Dr Éamon Phoenix

Wednesday 5 November

“Postcards and Memorabilia of Home Rule and The Great War” – Ashley Forbes (historian) “Researching Ancestors in the First World War” – Dr Gavin Hughes (military historian, Trinity College Dublin)


This programme is delivered by Banbridge District Councils Good Relations Programme, part-financed through OFMDFM.

6th Connaught Rangers Research Group Exhibition Launch

Connaught RangersThe 6th Connaught Rangers Research Group Exhibition ‘Rediscovering the Belfast Nationalists who fought in WW1’ will take place as part of Féile An Phobail from Monday 4th August to Friday 8th August 2014 at the Falls Library (normal library opening hours).

The exhibition launches on Monday 4th August at 1pm.

Other events include:

Monday 4 August at 7pm: Remembering, Forgetting and Commemorating Ireland’s Great War: Issues for Belfast, with Professor Richard Grayson, Goldsmiths College.

Tuesday 5 August at 1pm: The Soul of the Nation: Irish republicans, war and rebellion, with Fearghal McGarry, QUB.

Wednesday 6 August at 1pm: The Great War and Unionist Memory, with Philip Orr.

Thursday 7 August at 1pm: Belfast Women and the Great War with Margaret Ward and Lynda Walker.

Friday 7 August at 1pm: The formation and history of the three Irish Divisions, with Jimmy McDermott.