Ulster & the Great War, 1914-1918
Stories from the First World War of Ulster’s involvement, the events of the war and their impact and some of the men who were involved in the struggle which, it was believed, would be the War to end all Wars.
We include a look at the Battle of Jutland, the Somme, the U Boat war, the stories of individual soldiers, Ulster exiles who joined up overseas and the cost of the conflict to families and communities.
The Battle of the Somme, 1916
Ulster’s Gettysburg: Event, Sacrifice & Folk Memory
The Battle of the Somme is an event which resonates strongly among the Ulster Protestant community since so many of its members fought and died there in July 1916.
In its aftermath the Somme became a folk talisman for the Protestant community. The battle itself had many instances of outstanding bravery and courage. Ulster soldiers met all their objectives but a crucial military advantage may also have been the downfall of the Ulster Division.
This talk takes you through the events of the Battle, what the strategic objectives were, and the role of the 36th (Ulster) Division.
It also includes a first-hand account from one of the survivors interviewed by the speaker while he was a reporter with a local newspaper.
If Hitler had come…
The Nazi regime was the most evil imaginable and continues to fascinate and horrify in equal measure. During the Second World War the Nazis had a plan to invade Great Britain and also Northern Ireland. It was called Operation Sea Lion.
What would most likely have happened if that had been the case? This talk examines the extensive planning that went on both to prepare to invade and to resist.
We know some of the plans that were put in place by both the Germans and the British government in the event of invasion. We also have the example of the occupation of the Channel Islands.
Some of these rest is down to educated speculation.
Most recently delivered to: Police Historical Society, Belfast
Northern Ireland in the Second World War
During the Second World War Northern Ireland played a prominent part in the war effort through war industries as well as the availability of ports for use by the Allies.
At one point around 10% of the population was American, while other nationalities including Belgians and even German POWs were to be found in wartime Northern Ireland.
Ulstermen and women also served in the various services. And one of Ulster’s more unusual war heroes was a pigeon from the coastal village of Carnlough. Learn more about the fascinating story of Northern Ireland at War through this talk.
The Orange Order &
the First World War
For the Orange Order the First World War brought a call to service for ‘King and Country’.
Tens of thousands of members of the Protestant fraternity from Ireland, Australia, Canada, England, Scotland and elsewhere served and many lost their lives.
It is estimated that at least 60,000 Orangemen from Canada were to serve in the War and the first Australian fatality of the war was an Orangeman from Melbourne in the Naval Reserve.
Many won decorations. Irish Orangeman John Meeke rescued Captain Willie Redmond, brother of the Irish Home Rule leader John Redmond, from the battlefield, a symbolic reminder of both political divisions in Ireland and comradeship in battle.
This talk is a detailed and well researched presentation which includes material not in the public domain.