Craigavon House was the home of James Craig, a political centre during the (3rd) Home Rule crisis – an estimated 100,000 people congregated at Craigavon House on the 23rd of September, 1911, to hear Edward Carson’s inaugural speech as Unionist leader (McNeill Ch. 4 | We Will Take Nothing Else) – and a hospital during the latter part of WWI (Bangor Historical). It has fallen into disrepair, covered over by the fourteen panels seen here, in order to serve as the rallying point of the 100th anniversary commemorative parade in April (RTÉ | BBC).
Various people and units are portrayed: USSF, post house staff, motor car corps, young citizen volunteers, the Larne gun-running, Fred Crawford, Edward Carson, James Craig, the nursing corp, Ethel Burnside, the 36th Division, the Ulster Covenant.
“I am not an Ulsterman [but] yesterday, the 1st of July 1916, as I followed their amazing attack, I felt I would rather be an Ulsterman than anything else in the world.” The words of Captain Wilfrid (here given as “Wilfred”) Spender replace a Steeple Defenders board that has presumably fallen into disrepair alongside a board showing a soldier from the 36th Division running through no-man’s land (both seen previously in 2003 and 2009).
For a fuller quote, see X04435 from south Belfast.
“In memory of Vol. Denver Smith, murdered by cowards 1st January 2000. Here lies a soldier. He gave his life whilst serving his community. Lest we forget.” Smith was killed by a gang of six men with machetes and pikes; the incident was perhaps drugs-related (Guardian | BBC-NI. For the wider picture An Phoblacht | Irish Times).
The mural originally appeared with seven plaques, then with three plaques, and now with graveside mourners on either side of a single stone, and a bench and three flag-poles to the right.
The UVF flag is between the the Denver Smith and All Gave Some gables.
On the right: “They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old./Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn./At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.” from Binyon’s For The Fallen.
Ulster Tower in Thiepval, France, provides a background for 13 jigsaw pieces with partial images relating to the Great War, including a uniform with a Victoria Cross and badge of the 36th (Ulster) Division, the 10th (Irish) Division, the 16th (Irish) Division, and the Royal Irish Fusiliers (and a fourteenth piece for information).
Kilgreel Road, Antrim. The mural is more than a decade old and is bleached from the sun (the pinks were formerly brown); on the former site of The People’s Army (a UVF board).
“This artwork, commemorating the sacrifices made during the Great War and subsequent conflicts, was produced by the young people of Parkhall Youth & Community Club and was completed in 2010. It is part of a larger Re-imaging project undertaken by Parkhall Cultural Awareness Association & Parkhall Community Association. 14 jigsaw pieces are representated as that was the age of the youngest soldier to die on the Somme. The Royal Irish Fusiliers, who recruited in the Antrim area, served with the 10th Irish Division and 36th Ulster Division during World War I. The cap badge is surrounded with poppies. The poppy is an international symbol commemorating the sacrifices of members of the armed forces and of civilians specifically since the Great War. Birds were used extensively during World War I delivering important logistic message from the front line. HMS Antrim served in the Great War and survived. After the war she became the first ship to be fitted with an experimental sonar system in 1920. Her bell can presently be viewed in Antrim Civic Centre. The grounds of Shane’s Castle in Antrim were used as a training ground and a campsite for the 36th Ulster Division prior to their deployment to France. Of all bell tents and parachutes during the Great War 90% were made from Irish Linen. During the Great War a service man’s basic wage was one shilling a day (5 pence). The sound of the bugle was heard throughout each day in the trenches, starting with Reveille to rouse you from slumber. ‘Flowers of the Forest’, a powerful Scottish lament, is often played by a lone piper at services of Remembrance. “I am not an Ulsterman but yesterday, the 1st July, as I followed their amazing attack, I felt that I would rather be an Ulsterman than anything else in the world.” Extract from the speech by Captain Wilfred [Wilfrid] Spencer 2st July 1916. Men from the 36th Ulster Division received 9 Victoria Crosses. Women played a vital role in field hospitals during the Great War caring for the injured, from the front line. The flags of the 16th and 10th Irish Divisions. 36th Ulster division. The Ulster Tower is a memorial to the men of the 36th Ulster Division. It is situated near the entrance to Thiepval Wood, France.
While the demolition of the last house in the row is under way, the pair of boards on the gable wall (seen in 2012) has been mounted on some scaffolding, with their order reversed – Covenant Day on the left, Somme trench on the right.
Also included is a “Smash Sinn Fein IRA” stencil in the area.
A board to slain UVF/RHC members John Hanna (died 1991-09-10), Stevie McCrea (1989-02-18) and Sammy Mehaffy (1991-11-13), with poppies and image of WWI soldiers.
“Remembering our brother’s lost lives and the human cost of conflict, the legacy of lost hopes and dreams. We come not to mourn but to praise their memory. We keep the memory of the brave, the faithful and the few, some lie far off beyond the waves, some sleep in Ulster too. All are gone but still live on the names of those who died, and true men like you, remember them with pride.”
“36th ulster division, for they shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old, age shall not weary them nor the years condemn, at the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them.”