East Belfast Voices from The Great War

Steve I got 13 Everglade I Stephen got a good job by laying there so he aims and objectives of the project a nun rather than taking time to explain now you will hear references to the project and hi hi Kim avoid through this presentation and also with a short video at the end which will explain it better I was really concerned before I came here that people weren’t going to turn up is this is the first time that I’ve been doing things it gets for a long time it’s the first time that I’ve spoken in the right with anybody else on the middle or not part of something wider so it was really great to see the people came in fact I came here last year to see theory at the event Fitzpatrick professor David Smith pop Fitzpatrick others make something sector seven people turned up soon and what I’m from a slightly different presentation of the ones that I would normally do in that I I was thinking about a theme for it and I wanted to use East Belfast voices from the greenhorn so what I’ve done is using bits and pieces of my own context were possible I’m gonna lie the man themselves to tell their story so for my part there will be a lot of reading a lot of maybe funny voices pre-dawn from time to time colloquialisms but where possible I will be trying to allow the man to tell their own story so excuse me for reading possibly extensively but hopefully it’ll be for the benefit of the waiter presentation the first of all I’m going to lay some context and then we’ll get into the testimonies themselves not so much in chronological order just I mean just whatever way I kind of came across him in there and they will archive on the computer and trade the link them together soup just 10 days before the United Kingdom’s decision to engage in conflict with Germany the East Belfast regiment or the Ulster Volunteer Force stage what was perhaps their grandest spectacle a route march through the center of Belfast freely armed and accompanied by two cool machine guns and a maxim gun it was reported that as many as 5,000 volunteers took part in what was a sure strength that contained all the paraphernalia associated with war however it was not the prospect of a European war for which the UVF chose to flex its muscle not summer’s day a male fast it was the prospect of a war at home on the same weekend is that elf ass period the Irish Volunteers successfully landed a consignment of weapons at Howth furthermore the Buckingham Palace cumference had broken down less than 24 hours before Ireland and in particular Ulster student at the cliffs edge with the prospect of Home Rule becoming a reality by September of 1914 as the East Belfast volunteers created and drilled with weapons throughout their districts most will have been acutely conscious of the developing European crisis so too will they have been aware that their military expertise may be required on a far greater stage why do I say this well the Belfast newsletter and the Belfast Evening Telegraph were filled with stories of the situation as it developed on Monday the third of August for example it was reported that and i quote european war has commenced today this was greeted by great sensation of Belfast as news spread quickly that the crisis are accentuated in a remarkable manner when’s the death of August continued or so i can t in the headline that the belfast public have been dreading war with Germany eleven o’clock last night the topic of conversation of Belfast and was and was about the position the United Kingdom in the ensuing crisis the street speak iam filled with people who were waiting to hear any news from London for some however the European crisis was a welcome distraction and here’s our first short testimony Frank Percy Cruiser a commander of the West Belfast UVF actually he paradoxically observed my one more was a verdant at the cost of another and he said there are ominous signs of war and we are glad to us the relief is truly great almost sends a chill down your spine even however the better political disputes had not been satisfactorily resolved the intensity of the religious and political feeling meant that it was almost impossible to deflect all of that energy entirely towards any fresh war effort John Clark McDermott another East Belfast man who served in the Great War

he later became lord chief justice for Northern Ireland said if in fact we received from a civil war it was by the Eric brick of an even more terrible conflict which was to very many of the secrets and uncertainties of the immediate pre-war years Ulster civil unease and this is being speaking night Ulster civil on these have been suspended in much the same way as the homebrew legislation itself until after the war around 15,000 Irish men were mobilized on the outbreak of the board of those approximately half were pre-war regular soldiers and the other half and roughly were pre-war reservists reservists recalled almost immediately and thus applied to those in the volunteer organizations and also those who weren’t involved in the volunteer organizations around 3,000 reservists departed the Belfast shipyards for active service during this initial period the industrialised workforce any spell class created a dense volume of man and which to recruit from I was this factor which set a spell fast apart from the rest of ireland collective pressures for enlistment were particularly effective and industries with stable and well-organized workforces which is the opposite and what one would expect to be the case professor Davis Fitzpatrick has demonstrated in the first query of investment and the heaviest crew of recruits and reservists emanated from industry’s most in demand for pre-war for more production and least affected by pre-war unemployment it is evident that men enlisted for a variety of reasons as many reasons exist I would argue as a number of recruits uneventful lays lack of prospects the potential for adventure and a group mentality were as prominent as political motives for East Belfast recruits an example was he spell fast and st john boyd who recalled in his day that when he joined he was under age and he didn’t join out of an Egret patriotic instinct rather because his true friends had already enlisted and he thought he ought to join me consideration assume to the fact that wealth and poverty coexisted in East Belfast this tank the cramped housing of the Lord ignored Road student and stark contrast to the villas in the detached housing and nearby at stranton much like the housing and living standards the motives for enlisting and would vary depending on which part of East Belfast one resided the man of stranton Belmont the NOC work for example solicitors accountants leaders of Industry far from having uneventful lives and lack of prospects they removed by a sense of duty a chance to prove one sense of oneself in the officer class of the army one thing which in my belief they all had in common was the sentiment of a world war two veteran who might heard speaking on the radio recently who were interviewed stated that he enlisted in the mistaken belief that he can make a difference a rough estimate would suggest that 10,000 men with a residency and he spell fast saw service during degree of war the figure of 10,000 would not include those who were born in the years that he spell fast but hail the residency I’d say that the constituency for example the many men who emigrated before the war and find service with Australian Canadian our new zealand Imperial forces the figure would also not include the women be nice Belfast who find service with for example with Andre Ian detachment women like Gertrude Annie Taylor from the belmont area who died during her role as a VAD in 1916 and as buried in the Belfast City Cemetery what the figure of 10,000 doors represent is a variety of men who served in various units of the Army Navy and the Royal Flying Corps in liver the royal air force man likes to / Matthew clevelander the beers bridge road and flight lieutenant Henry join McCracken loop the neum he was a descendant of the Henry join McCracken who’s on the Australian War Memorial and as a consequence of copy tensed hindsight these men have been relegated to mere footnotes of the conflict that being said that is a fact that a vast majority of the service personnel have East Belfast kaiyodo Judy in the cafe attire of the British Army they find service in each and every Irish Regiment as well as English Scottish and Welsh regiments some of these Belfast’s earliest world

war bond casualties were recorded on the twenty-second of August 1914 during the opening exchanges of the conflict private Hugh Billy of the Second Sight lancashire regiment died of wounds in Belgium on the twenty-sixth of August 1914 after being taken prisoner by the German army Billy age 31 left at 21 Wolfe Street that we had a connection to 54 from street he left behind away from him Sarah he was from Toronto in Canada private barely entered the theater of war on the fourteenth of August 1914 and he was dead within 12 days another casualty from East Belfast another early casualty from East Belfast was private John McCain Simmons of the second royal in enniskillen Fusiliers he was just 19 years of age on the outbreak of the war his family resided at 55 / Telo street off the Woodstock room before the Great War John worked as a message point he was killed on a 20 second of august 1914 at the bottle of black atoll private Sims is commemorated on the creative Presbyterian Church rule of honor and also the Strand Sedna Presbyterian Church root of honor and also the Stroud time district holyrood belmont road junction private Sims had two brothers Robert and Thomas he also served in the Great War at who were also from East Belfast no not all and he spelled masts casualties during the war were military personnel civilians were affected by the war in ways that we don’t tend to concern the RMS Lusitania was a British ocean liner and briefly the world’s largest passenger ship she was launched by the Cunard Line in 1906 at a time of fierce competition in the North Atlantic treands in May in 1815 she was torpedoed and sunk bad German u-boat causing the deaths of a thousand one hundred and eighty eight passengers and crew however there were some survivors some of which I’m surprised to learn from East Belfast mr. Patrick McHenry was a passenger on the Lusitania I was on a visit home to his mother who resided at 233 Albert Bridge ruled mr. McKinley was formerly a teacher at a school in Clark the leader key in the position in New York in 1910 he was interviewed by the Belfast newsletter and he said that this was his first visit to his native Capri since he left what a visitor was describing the terrible events mr. mcKenzie said and I quote I had luncheon at the first table at one o’clock then went on deck and chatted at the gentleman friend shortly after two o’clock as I was challenging my friend I noticed a white object about 400 yards off the land it was directly at right angles and to the liner I call my friends attention to it and he said that appears to me to be a parent scoop no sooner had he uttered those words not a submarine current appeared on the surface that remained above water for a ride a minute and then disappeared again I saw white street coming towards a ship and heard ahead noise my god there’s a torpedo explained the friend me dimly saw it come quickly and I’m sorry so creepy through the water and it struck the ship but should click a reed in the wind and heaved on to one side they get me describe the scene as the passages rushed to the lifeboats and said they were ordered to get out the key and as the ship apparently seemed to be in no immediate danger the vessel was turned in the direction of Queenstown on just stay on a second torpedo struck the ship even down to his room secured to life belts he put one on her sister who was already on lifeboat then he heard the other one on himself he entered the book which contained the right a hundred people orders were given to over all the booths quickly as a chef of sinking very fast indeed something went wrong with a purely on the boat in which he was a young man cut the ropes thinking the book would fall odds key you in the water instead it turned upside down and they were all precipitated headlong into the water when he rose to the surface he felt something on top of his head and appalled putting up his hands discovered that it was the upturned from which he had fallen with great difficulty managed to get from under it and then starts swimming around and hope of finding his sister and McCann you Megan Lee continue the same as the Lusitania went dying just about 50 yards from me was awful there was a deafening explosion and all the four funnels flew out of the ship in fact she seemed to burst into pieces as she sank there’s a lifeboat 150 yards from me up site dine with about 40 people standing on I swam all over I was dragged aboard we were on the boat for almost an hour seven women and the rest real man one of the men had an arm torn almost completely off and a young fellow severed at forum with a pocket knife as we were floating about I saw a lady and

gentleman clinging to a piece of raft coming in our direction when they came near the boat the leading after day one hand and a piteous voice said for God’s CXC of me one man on the boat said if we bring any more on the boat it will go down McKenley said I can’t see people trying let’s get them on mr. Wylie who is a shirt and I help the lady on and also the man began they continued we saw three torpedo destroyers coming along I’ve great speed five miles off and start to pick up the survivors within a radius of two to three mines then a trawler came over from conceal head and cited our little white signal and they came towards us the ship was the catharina was flying a Greek flag they took us all off inside 10 minutes and we arrived at Queenstown embedment I was taken to a clothing store secured clues and afterwards they went to mr. calmness hotel a cops were where I spent the night ready in the morning I went to seven different boards seeking my sister I feel to find her and even back to the store to get some more clothes on going into the street I met my sister yards away and she became quite hysterical seeing me and I was absolutely overwhelmed another East Belfast survivor of this terrible tragedy was Miss Margaret McClintock the left Belfast three and a half years previously for New York she was making a trip home to see her sister who was living at three georges terrace and castlereagh street ms mcclintock stated that the effect of the first torpedo was to cause the ship to heal over to such an extent that the water came over the third deck of the second calvin just above the dining room where she was sitting at the time miss McClintock renda wants to the starboard side of the vessel and to get into a lifeboat but they saw the first of the boots to be lowered break apart many people being throwing and thrown into the water perhaps the same book that mr. Megan leaves on fuse it now needs to go to the port side and the she did not without much difficulty owing to the extent of the list on the battle on the festival she managed to get into a boat and they got clear just in time thanks to the plucky work of a puppy mom who pushed them off with a newer one of the ladies in the lifeboat drew the attention of a meal passion of a mere papa meal passenger to the lane as i was sending but he refused the throne his hair declaring that he could not look at such a horrible spectacle there are over 65 people in the lifeboat and after cruising arrived for two and a half hours they were picked up by a troller the transferring of the survivors being and many kisses a matter of extreme difficulty going to the exhausted condition and serious injuries of the people the end of the leader the party were picked up by a government boat and landed at Queenstown of 8830 p.m. on the friday evening the scenes are sure were intensely pathetic large numbers of people were wandering about the streets and keys looking for their friends and family the officials of the Cunard Line give us every possible assistance when telegrams were sent to relatives and friends to relieve their minds and the kisses were information and was available concerning survivors miss McClintock believed that many of the deaths were due to shock and excitement that she could she felt that the stewardesses were splendid and the man did absolutely everything they could during gibble 1915 newspapers in Sydney Australia continued the kinds of fighting with Germans in New getting of all places and which an evil force from Australia was engaged incidentally they mentioned the exploits of a blue jacket from East Belfast Nyan william j faulkner who allegedly killed twelve natives with his revolver one of the participants in the entire journey and sullivan explained by a german lying on the road was discovered and blown up and he said all this time there was fighting going on all around the enemy chiefly lives being hidden among the branches of the trees one of our men named Faulkner nicknamed on board Buffalo Bill on a kind of his marksmanship with the revolver the kind of fur no fewer than twelve natives with that weapon fired from the cover of a tree Nina spectrum Colin a German prisoner later paid tribute to Buffalo Bills shooting and he said it was sudden death he said to put one’s head above the trench without man parts shooting around solomun contend from the first transfer unit of forced march of about seven miles towards the wireless station we say to the second trench a German prisoner being sent ahead with a blue jacket carrying a white flag to the man surrender one German 26 natives responded I along with others was placed in charge of these prisoners there’s plenty to drink in their account and I gladly accepted the

Germans offer of a mineral alone I drank to the help of good old England my prisoners looking LEDs by putting up their turn the stashes William Faulkner was a son of mr. and mrs. WJ Faulkner 61 freezer street east belfast this family received a letter from them shortly after the incident posted from his ship each mas war eagle at sydney where he had been sent after you getting he mentioned that he had brought a few curie a few curios and from New Guinea a few souvenirs and that he was in the best of health while the war was developing on the Western Front and further afield the man of the Ulster division wearing kids and training to some high prepare them for what lay ahead yet battalion of the Royal Irish rifles which contained a large contingent of East Belfast man retrieving the phallic in their camp and Cody nine Tommy irvine was a soldier of the Earth battalion and he rotated his experiences a Bally candler training camp and he said I main ally kenrick it was all for the Sandhills and Roberts we built trenches on me actually thought the Germans would come up from Dom drum there was a big dog belong to one of the officers among Native community our tent and we thought was the enemy I remember that tent with candles into a tent and our hands land onto canvas on boys or you might get a kick the uniforms too didn’t erase too soon I lent my uniform to a friend who had gotten um as he want the difficult for the weekend then we Mia dreams to get the vm water away and then hotz my friend billy mills and I had a great way of harmonizing together as we worked on the huts open the roof we put together a song called the gentleman’s son and the outcast we me the stage of Holly connect and the recon cert say we saw the similar to nepali can there for the first time and they came and took a film of us working there and I saw myself in the filament issue within the cinnamon a little bit here Tommy remembered the man’s excursions into newcastle when mr. here here and fading were common Tommy other one of the smallest banner that a Titan had been a boxer so he was chosen to be a military policeman for these trips he had some rough customers to the you as it seems and he and I quote there was a tough guy called Chuck pan and there was no present Malik Henry so he fastened him to a pole in the marquee some NCOs showed him to some visiting friends one Sunday but he reared up the nearly print the tenth time heey skip one day honk off senal he got a horse and cart and steered it as far as clock before they caught him Tommy he was also a paper in the battalion bomb he had brought his paints that come one weekend an officer asked him and six others to be the nucleus of the bomb which was being formed he had a busy time as the bond here at recruitment marches our own mail fast we went all over Belfast different nights recruitin left our gear and the unionist Hall of the crater road I assume that’s the willow field you know that yeah the world feed unions clubland the woodstove men joined up behind us in the arm was thank for the work that day done we give a fellow who drained and bally candler bay and military funeral to fill dying stats into the water he did and his meat was too drunk to see of him I played the day at march from song and so all the women crying in May in 1815 they also division B it’s very well to Belfast with a huge period through the with a huge Priya through the site in July they were at all the sand home their personal and private belongings and preparation to be shipped to the south of England for completion of their training and count at sea for the Sussex with the ultra division in 1915 William Anderson sent the number of push cards to his sister Elizabeth and Belfast before the war Windham lived 29-cent leonard street east belfast I’m grateful to Elizabeth’s creep Elizabeth’s granddaughter I went into great niece Sylvia Hines for bringing them bringing forward documents to y’all’s recently at st. Mark’s Church Nellie reroute and align them to be cut well just part of the project and one of the push cards read dear sister just a few lines let you know why I’m keeping in the best of health hoping yourself and GM’s and we may are in the best also there’s very nice scenery around here and he’s talking about safer very nice scenery of mind here and I like the place very well the weather is pretty good here also this is a treat of a camp compared to

the one we left in Ireland the soup Pleasant that the boys got a holiday on the twelfth day and they enjoyed themselves I tell you even if 30 room Belfast they had sizes with them and would stay warm and they got lilies from where I do not know there was one thing they all kept super because they had no money the past off all right no more present in a hurry the cuts the Irish meal goodbye for a night Willie and Dee Willie survived the war my daughter lived with his wife syrup on the Antrim ruled in the north of the city while we’re on the topic of stashes and oranges and I wish to share a couple of stories which have a nun orange tends to them there’s been continual to be amongst historians and also a civic level as to the authenticity of such as this you can see the guy with the purple annoying sash there with a pistol some of them argue that there is a deficiency of evidence to prove that seems like this would have taken place the equally I suppose a man argue that there is also no evidence that suggests that it definitely did not happen and for that reason I’ll not be trying to settle a particular argument today but what I am going to do is add to the mystery using the stories of a couple of East Belfast men sergeant samuel Kelling first appeared in the liberal press in connection with an account of the bottle of the song by the tenant colonel Ambrose Ricardo some of you may have heard that name before he was the battalion commander of the ninth and his killing Fusiliers some in cali as he was known served in the world war with the NS getting Fusiliers was awarded medals for gallantry in that conflict it returned to civilian life before the outbreak of the Great War being in the employment of the Belfast news network for 45 years Kelly was an enthusiastic member of the velaphi battalion of the UVF he lived with his wife and his family at Dunvegan Street of the Raven hill road on the irregular or he enlisted with his brother in the eighth Royal Irish rifles the East Belfast volunteers I’m a serving a pally kenmare when he secured a transfer to the Truman battalion of the NS killing Fusiliers and this is actually quite significant I thing because it can help experience some of the unusual service histories it to come across when you research in a man of some baking in a transfer because of something that they serve within the Boer War I think it explains a lot for somebody other man that I’ve come across cali was awarded the distinguished Conduct Medal and his citation red Kelly took part in the grave advance of the first July volunteered to cross a piece of grind swept by the enemy fire in order to get in touch with the troops on the right of the sector he achieved his purpose earlier in the day when all the officers of his company had fallen he rallied the man and handled the situation with the utmost bravery working and fighting with on towering energy until we did then in March 1917 this short article appears in the bill last newsletter cross no-man’s-land wearing an orange sash and a cruise on Adam Ian Marks and a skeleton to see sergeant Kelly was decorated with his distinguished call dogmatic Mel son of william kelly madrid street on the first july 1916 crossed no-man’s-land wearing an orange sash and gallantly and cruelly LED his man in that terrible charge before FIFA so I think at the very least what this story does has proved that the legend of the dawning of the orange regalia was certainly not a figment of pushed for political and cultural invention but instead the notion of such stories whether true or not and existed almost from day one and perhaps this factor can add some weight to the argument that at least one man Sammy Kelly and perhaps a few others pulled on orange sashes over the top of their cocky tunics another first time I came to the song offensive bad veteran called George Hill said and I quote when the Baron eyes lifted on the morning of the first we went over the top and we use we had practiced it all when I to the line some of the lads have got hold of a football and kicked it ahead shouting up the blues or optic lands which I 755 living in East Belfast I find quite amusing indeed but the reason I add this brief observation to the sunny cali story is to show that I suppose in times of great uncertainty and strafe we can sometimes revert to the things that give us comfort and faith in God orange ism family or even though for once football club the back to the orange theme just briefly more recently i contacted number six district

of the ground Owens loads your these Belfast district with a view to ascertaining which orange lodges ested in east belfast between 19 14 and 19 18 the answer is continued within the records of schaumburg house which recently went under some transformation so I wasn’t able to access them so in the absence of this a request the permission to view the men of books and the role books of these belfast lodges of whatever they have in their possession I want to do with individual servicemen were discussed at monthly meetings as perhaps being absent injured killed unfortunately number six district possessed new form of coherent filing system and therefore in order to access the books which were particularly relevant to me from the years 14 to 18 that needed to be an inventory carried out for all the contents of the so-called board room for two days myself the McCulloch Jonathan consulted every single document than that boardroom of the dolly Ricardo range hall and in order to label them and immensely separate the ones which we needed for the gun when we eventually finding the relevant minute books and law books that was certainly worth the wheel in the rule book of an Ida funk large South dairy true blues LOL 12 or name to my surprise I found a complete list of man from that knowledge who served in the greater board laboni didn’t provide their name but also their address their regiment the regimental address there did of investment and also some additional comments interestingly it also recorded it’s for which the lodge had written to or send cards to the man at the front it also recorded that the athani written reply from the serviceman themselves and this list there were 34 min and tool besides the same guy true blues less there were other interesting things lodges expressed sympathy to brother and buries by the war others made reference to the activities of some of their own brother at the front some lodges were keen to provide support for war widows through their orange where it was fun and in other cases their collections and ballot sales in order to support brief families sewing East Belfast lodges were sending parcels of comfort to the front while others discuss the merits of prohibition during the war years and this is one of the extracts of an organized effort to send parcels to particular brethren at the front but perhaps the most astonishing thing for me I was a discussion within the minute book of the artisans temperance LOL who actually sought to discourage young men from joining the army something which in other parts of the country had been viewed a sedition resulting in jail terms for many Republicans yet here was our intelligence belfast doing exactly the same thing albeit a very loyal reasons as you’ll see in a second this was a severe than the war is april nineteen via team and the men a big rare that i quote proposal that the attention of number six district be drawn to the fact that a large number of young unionist man are joining the army through fear of conscription to call on all young man to stand fast until the question of homebrew is settled no resolution to be sent to ground lodge if the district think that this was seconded by brother JJ ferguson and the knowledge clues in time ironically for God’s sea of the king the context here is important april nineteen year teams when the so-called conscription crisis in Ireland had come to a head enactment of homeroom was a possibility if military conscription could be achieved in Ireland but with opposition from the Catholic Church as well as a chef Ian’s party who were on the rise the plans never materialized however it does explain the orange anxiety and he spell fast for both home rule on for conscription although the Easter Rising was not a tributary of the real war the two events were obviously interconnected not least in East Belfast where it seems we quite literally how hand and the rising cut them JC McLaren of the Royal Irish rifles received a bayonet wound in the arm during the attack on G gives best good factory mclogan lived at 68 belmont avenue he was a civil engineer by profession and employed by the belfast corporation he was a member of the east belfast uvf being secretary and company commander of the Strand tomba Titan he was the recipient of a service sword from his

old volunteer company look the fact that a UDF man was in kids in Easter week and what that says about our notions of one another’s history mclogan had been invalided home due to what was called in the newspaper nervous shock hence why he came to be deployed in dublin in april nineteen sixteen indeed some of the most brutal scarring of young bodies and minds to place not on the Western Front but much closer to home picture here in uniform with his father David and his grandfather Hugh is so cute Mack who joined the Royal Irish bezel years in 1916 and gain the Commission at the age of 18 years of age his first posting did not dig of overseas and stared service center Dublin and he has pictured here with other members of his unit and a bar Kiev in Sackville Street the old O’Connell Street and dublin in 1916 it is said that young cyril find his experiences in dublin in 1916 profoundly harrowing and that he was deeply traumatized by having had to shoot and kill a fellow countryman even don’t deserve in Turkey running a victory medal transferred to the British Indian Army and according to this family the only physical evidence of Searles involvement in the war was a dent and his forehead which had been caused by a boot his 10 helmet at the outbreak of the Second World War saral reinvested on the station that the officer training corps and the woman he died in 1963 and is buried in rules on steel train there is a video clip here but I’m not sure that’s going to play or not I don’t think it will never mind and in keeping with my theme of East Belfast voices I want to share with you some extracts of a witness statement from Thomas to all as he was known Wilson a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood member of the executive committee of the irish volunteers in Belfast and crucially for us a resident of the Albert Bridge room and he said crews on Easter week 1916 Dennis McCulloch tanada meeting in Dublin and on his return and for me that something serious was contemplated that the idea of armed camps during Easter week and Jane Easter week period interim for training purposes was only part of the contemplated program any person connected with the volunteers should know that arising was eminent from the preparations being mia he goes on to explain how the bellhops volunteers were to mobilize in coney island and from there they were to make their way across the shelling to join up with Mallos and his volunteers in college however confusion and mismanagement events lease covered the plans and they find themselves back in belfast by Easter Sunday evening on Monday morning I turned up to my work as usual did not notice any particular activity by police or military all during Easter week the volunteers kept quietly in contact mr McCulloch was not moving a bite at this time and his absence seem to leave the volunteers in a confused position we usually traveled out of the city to the end of the tram lines and their discussed the situation more generally there is no possibility of doing anything and discussing the matters did not seem to serve any useful purpose early in the week following Easter week there was a general rind up by the RIC in Belfast and I was arrested at my work I was taken to the new cartoon police parks and I’m from there I was taking the common room prison I’m at all the leading Belfast volunteers in the present after two days in Crumlin Road we were loaded onto furniture hands and taken by tree into Dublin we were marched from a Mean Street to Richmond parks when in richland I saw Sean McDermott one of the signatories of the proclamation being taken ID for his court-martial I also saw him later being taken away for execution Tommy urethane our friend from earlier was a skilled man with a bayonet I was useful to any patrol that was going to make contact with the Germans he would blacken his fierce and for camouflage reasons and take a supply of Mills bombs as well as a rifle and bayonet and I quote I was a PP man a permanent Patrol moon am one night on a date with Jack McVicar an ex-boxer and a fella called skids I was

been at man on the raiding party I went in front each man how’s Judy we went along this Traverse or a German trench but we made noises in the water with our readers skids jumped up in the park and went along and took the pen light of a gun here then through the head and a bunch of Germans right in the next corner we can ride and find them all was a pitiful cycle look at them then there was a dog with 60 or 70 steps down into it someone threw a couple of Mills bombs dying before they get good night and they were caught the pieces died there well three or four was alive but I’m could walk so he brought them back we didn’t like to shoot them we couldn’t just go to murder at home but we had to get away quick because of the noise of Sammys bombs alerted them they sent up flowers after us but we got back okay in order to give a flavour of high East Belfast man experience Christmas of the film in 1815 I’ve turned the tide in war Diaries all units of the size of an infantry battalion cavalry regiments artillery repeated and above were obliged to mantilla no record of their movements and activities these records are called war Diaries the it battalion the East Belfast contingent of the also division Ward area this time was scribed by Lieutenant Colonel Pelle it was the commanding officer I want to show you some extracts from and will be up to their first Christmas in 1915 13th December relieved by the 9th row and ice rifles March develops about 10-14 to December in billets lecture on chrome wheels come p and then flounders my professor Fletcher in pink the December rifleman j timely an AOSP winded maintain the december rifleman j tiny died of wounds and was buried at merely male cross was erected 21st two tranches occupied right sector second Royal Irish Regiment to the right the Titan may throw dice rifles laughter the Titan 22nd December in trenches weather very bad rifleman s Maria and Jamie can street wounded 23rd December in trenches weather very bad are at le carré data bombardment Germans retaliated there were no casualties on our side 24th December entrenches weather extremely bad flooded trenches everywhere 25th December and trenches Christmas Day Lewis come under 2nd lieutenant Abernathy caught a small party of Germans emerging from a sub thought to be a working party to the party were seen to fall new greetings Forex jeans opened fire at every opportunity relieved by the 1st battalion the royal arch Fusiliers and billets had a Christmas for the man free issue of beer on Boxing Day 1915 in january nineteen sixteen not long after the 16th irish division had reached the front a correspondent of the irish news traveled to france in order to compile a report to the newspaperman while spending time with the irish division he learned the section of the Ulster division were located close by this juxtaposition of the Irish Regiment struck him as being eminently interesting on a significant one he described how he had the opportunity of talking to the tea party of the Royal Irish rifles belonging to the Ulster division he introduced himself a journalist with the Irish news remember and received a hearty welcome both as a fellow countryman and as a fellow citizen of Ireland the troops told him of the recent death of Lieutenant McDermott the son of the Reverend dr. McDermott of Belmont church which it occur just two days previously at a spot quite close by to where he had left the men give him several individual messages to convey home to Belfast they were in beautiful as the journalist and remarkably Hardy and fit after their experiences unknown commissioned officer from my Pottinger other than jest any word of homebrew that Holden aye sir the journalist replied in the CM spirit no not since you people left with a great deal of humor Chafee conducted him to stay yeah they conducted him to a Steve awake structure where they are billeted the journalist asked them avoid the Dublin’s and the Royal Irish and he received assurances that they were all in fact pals does not matter what you are right here said one of the man who makes Belfast we are all in it and we’re

all doing our best the journalist felt that this represented the spirit which has been engendered and by encounters with the opponent of common common enemy the manner of the also division with whom he spoke that evening we’re all from East Belfast and they shared in the prevailing cheerfulness which trench Judy seems to induce so far as these particular man were concerned they do their days in and they do their days 8 which is the alteration of Trance Tooting with the uncomplaining spirit of hard-bitten troops and their belfast sense of direct and sometimes sardonic humor has not deserted them in the warlike atmosphere of France the Irish news correspondent was then given a hardy sand off from them as the motor car sped away john-boy doing that earlier in the presentation he enlisted with the Army in 1815 as an underage boy and he freely admits in his diary that it was not a out of any great sense of patriotism but because his two friends had already done so his battalion was the 14th battalion of the Royal Irish rifles recruited most from the pre-war young citizen volunteers they traveled to the fronton october in 1915 a boy goes on to describe some pretty mundane activities in the opening weeks for example what nine miles two bullets and then soon after they want 14 miles two bullets as he says in his daily john-boy doesn’t see a trench until the last few days of to burn in fact he mentions that he spent halloween in the trenches furthermore we help this perception that the man spent four years sort of constantly in a trench but this was not the kiss boys 14th battalion would eventually settle into a routine where they would be in a night of the trenches for the six days at a time life behind the lines could be relatively comfortable and remember boy described being billeted in a house belonging to a French soldier it was at that woman contained serving at the front in December hehe undescribed staying and a fairly comfortable house there also appears having a fair degree of football play body describes intercompany matches as well as inter battalion matches for example a defeat by the tenth battalion and the scaling Fusiliers i’m also a 1-1 boxing day draw with the 11th battalion and thus killing Fusiliers in fact according to his diary december appears to be among such a weighted by football boy doesn’t give much description of what life was like in say the trenches how many events he does it turns out to be a positive picture that he paints i quote went into support trenches on easter monday unique experience for a holiday time is a very good dog ate in a word for six days great place what struck me about Boyd’s a kite was the monotony of the war and the boredom of war also the divorcing to occur around him as if he were an amateur actor but suddenly and unexpectedly find himself on stage at the West End london by july 1916 he will I ever be required to pair crucial role in this drama boy described his rule in the first July 1916 a suspect onion followed the 11th and ass killing in Fusiliers over the top after heavy fighting and having those sins he remembered asking his corporal for the time as corporal being the only one with a watch he said it was 730 p.m. in other words told Boyd had been an action for 12 hours with her to rest the Corporal indicated that they would soon be relieved some hope Joan reckoned and his Danny Jones head by machine home Ryan shortly after the exchange with his corporal this was around 8pm the Corporal bound east his arm sentient backwards towards hit their own trenches he helped across no-man’s-land Moonves him three times in order to do so he eventually returned to safety and then to the aid station where he was tended to by Canadian nurse they returned to a cup of tea and a rind of bread and John absolutely the best meal I’ve ever eaten especially after months of hard biscuits and broody beef john-boy Diane comes to an abrupt end landed at berlin on monday arrived oxford hospital fourth of july at this point we can presume the John Boyd’s war ended after Tommy Irvin when the first July 1916 Tommy had spent the previous night b’seder as he described a big sandy heard fellow with whom he had once boxed on the beers ridge road in East Belfast and shouted to him until both managed to fall asleep for a short life the east go fast men were last to leave for the German lines Tommy Irvin was one of the leader was in one of the latter wheels of that battalion and just

ahead of him was the sandy her fell from the vs bridge room beside whom he had slept the night before he came falling stumbling back into the trench beside tummy as first Tommy could not see what was wrong then the model with his knife and blood spurted it–and right beats tommy grabbed him and held him and the blood sucked into his tunic he pushed back the man’s helmet discovered along the split in his forehead caused by shellfire Tommy and another soldier dragged the window friend to one side I’m prepared to go over straightaway themselves Tommy as he ran over no man’s land fell the stinging heat on a shoulder but thought nothing over leader he realized he had been hit by shrapnel when he got to the German lines he joined the other Belfast man and helping consolidate the kiens already mid Tommy had come back up the trenches from ground court and people others emerged from dillards tummy through his grenades dying a dog rate as if he were throwing a cricket balls he remembered that i showed it the very down amongst is still there was confusion all around somebody showed screw that way so i did sure enough somebody got me in the leg so I news for him a German I got shot in the fifth then I tried to walk back and I couldn’t have been shot a big fella called down here or bring me back I like they’ve gotten the most imp Germans with my banner because they moved us dying like pieces of wood it was terrible it was cruel tommy was badly enough injured to be brought and by the stretch uppers his fighting career was over to Tommy regaining consciousness and clarity as one of the window that appeared that he was receiving more of us than he deserved though he had two wounds one of the shoulder one of the leg much of the blood on his clothes was not in fact his belong to the comrade who had fallen back into his arms mortally wounded early the previous morning this plus the choking out of the Picardy soil combined to me a camera in an absolute mess as he recalled Tommy could clearly hear a French voice repeat over and over again bhura garcon para Garcon soon he was taken by tree into hospital where they operated upon his egg I just want the face with a short lesson 10 minute video regarding a collection of letters which were finding kinda Calvin and they are connected to the st. Mark’s Church dundela and just off the Holyrood road and the the documentary adequately explains everything about them but you will hear our sort of final East Belfast voices from the war today at the bottom of an old tea chest and a former bishops house in kalin the lid was lifted on a piece of history from the first world war inside in a dusty envelope 10 letters were discovered written by soldiers at the Western Front it’s Christmas 1917 the letter writers in the trenches from the parish of dundela in East Belfast they write home to their vector and the parishioners thanking them for sending out parcels of conference under the Ninth Field Ambulance British Expeditionary Force second of every 90 mile time dear mr Barton I have just received the parcel from some marks containing comforts for which I send my many thanks I need hardly see it how useful these little things are out here where the weather conditions vary so much and where one has not always a very enticing place worst to spend his origin however you can only carry on hoping that this will be our last year five year and the next christmas and new year will be spent in the more congenial atmosphere of our own homes again thanking you for your useful gifts and trusting the mrs. Bartman under self are enjoying good health I remain Sincerely Yours Ernest p power the envelope containing the letters was pointing he marked soldiers presence by the man who received them Reverend Arthur Martin flag drove dundela during

the war he kept them safe along with other memorabilia from his time there and brought them with him when he became visible kill born in nineteen thirty and we learned from the Landers high years and providing it long as the service who now a community and looking after all mostly the wives and the children of the man who are not different and as a service man I suppose you could ask for nothing more from a minister not service package woman to picture magnet ease when you have other things on your mind today they are safely housed in the representative church body library 3rd group of local researchers from the East Belfast and Great War project have come to see them for the first time the project started for us in 2013 22 the TL end of last year the word account for me is a personal journey back in 2009 at Queen’s University when I wrote a dissertation called East Belfast the UVF in degree of War II the three main elements of the project which I have identified out of the database which will go online we want to have that online searchable for the general public in 2016 we also have a community engagement at aspect where we want to transfer our skills and empower community groups been able to kinder own research on w warm you feel that that’s very important and the third about element is the drink itself which we want to write a book which will tell the story of the Korean War look from the perspective of the Man Man from east belfast the letters are significant because they are the only known letters by men from East Belfast to survive there’s expectation when the file of Barton’s don’t della papers is opened for the first time and Jason this is the final the end of the letters in the Treasury Inspector service so you’ll find those first then they examine the operative of ten letters themselves did you read me disabilities yes this is the only rational the bottom of the teachers did strike a chord rotation it’s just so different places no magical get over here and I was going to be 26 of january nineteen getting somewhere dear sir I take the pleasure and opportunity of writing near these dreams to let you know i received your parcel of converse all night for which I send you my very best bikes they will come in very useful at the present time for the weather here no is very cold it helps to live most heart of it when they get something from their friends at home I have nothing more to say just mine so I close again thanking you for your kindness your sincerity genuine her soon this one’s family evocative the first thing you see here is active service so you’re in no doubt that this is conflict that is on active service France to the vector and members of the marks church Don della I thank you all for your kind thoughts of me and also for the very useful box of comfort you sent the box contained just the things that needed I think most by the men in the trenches socks are great the mountain but the weather is bad and blood is everywhere in the midst and bone heavier are desirable if not essential weather weather is cooled we have both kinds of weather on our last trip in the line so you can imagine I thankful I want that your partial paranoid the day before the battalion went into the trenches so we can see

here that’s 28 the genuine 1918 and as the man were writing these letters on the front line the people back home in dundela I just completed their Christmas in New Year as prepared by harsha vardhan and it’s taken on till the end of January for the parcels which they made up in building two Christmases part of their christmas celebration it’s taking before christmas to generally for them actually to receive them and after time and she was this was very easy to read absolutely it’s both our aim Bruce and I believe it does Robert Bruce please convey my sincere thanks to the person who serves in marks but they’re very useful and much appreciated gift which our life sadly often think of the many hobby of ours I had in the quad I hope that god willing I shall endeavor to render and renew old acquaintances the content of the ledgers conveys the awfulness of the conflict so clearly the discovery of these letters is important for reconstructing local history and the contribution of these men to the great war effort there’s nothing quite compares to get your hands on the authentic real document sir especially the kingdom researcher and a historian it reminded me almost upon to see the old newspapers and our class in the newspaper elaborate it doesn’t quite compare to see them on the on the computer screen you know what I don’t think the man who wrote these letters bootiful 1900 years ago will be traveling from Belfast that they are cv-library in dublin in order to get these letters I to their archive be so impressed by them that interpret them and speak of like them under context in the degree of ward you that’s a week after something bigger that we’re actually working on so since then I was recorded with a this time last year we’ve continued the research into the letters and we’ve discovered some incredible things for example one of the most of the letter writers survey by the way I think they all survived after but one who betray us radio who was in the Home Guard then during the Second World War and I literally on his own doorstep during the Blitz so after coming through the bottle of Combray and things they got the Germans eventually caught up with him on his own doorstep I’m another man and is the relative of a current culture than food football club so when I get ill and feel involved in the project ever hoping to do a feature-length thing maybe for our tea or something and thanks for coming thanks for listening to me and burn with me as I can trundle through that and I don’t to see you all again in the near future and another event they use Belfast in the paperwork thank you