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Service and Sacrifice

 by Nigel Henderson

Service  Sacrifice 

In 2008, I helped Philip Orr (author of The Road to the Somme) in his preparations for the Remembrance Sunday service in Fitzroy Presbyterian Church, Belfast.

During the Remembrance Sunday service in 2008, a play by Philip Orr about one soldier's experience during and after the Great War was performed by some of the young people in the Church. A version narrated by Philip Orr has been turned into a video and can be viewed here
There was also a presentation listing the men from the Crescent, Donegall Pass and Fitzroy Avenue congregations who died in the two world wars.
 

The Fallen 

 

On Remembrance Sunday, as the names scrolled up, I began to think about the names
... who were these men?
... what were their family backgrounds?
... what did they do for a living?
... when and where did they die?
 

I decided to try to locate as much information as possible about these servicemen, and this booklet is the result.
 

The first section, Brothers in Arms, focuses on families where several members served in the First World War.
 

The second section, World War One Servicemen Biographies, provides more detailed personal, professional and military information, from both wartime and peacetime, about some of the First World War servicemen.
 

The third section, World War Two Biographies and Memories, contains information about men who died in the Second World War, biographical information about Sir Ian Fraser and the wartime memories – both military and civilian – of some current members of Fitzroy Presbyterian Church. Ironically, there is less base information available for the servicemen of this conflict. Whilst the Crescent Presbyterian Church Memorial Book lists those who served and those who died, the War Memorials for the Fitzroy Avenue and Donegall Pass congregations only list those men who died.
 

The fourth section focuses on the various War Memorials on which the names of (mainly First World War) servicemen appear.
 

Appendix 1 contains some First World War facts and figures relating to servicemen from the three congregations, and includes a map detailing the numbers of servicemen from various localities in the area around the three churches.
 

Appendix 2 highlights the Gallantry Awards made to members of the three congregations in both world wars.
 

Appendix 3 is a profile containing personal and military information drawn from a variety of sources (outlined in Appendix 4), for all the men who served in the First World War. The information is more comprehensive for some of the servicemen.
 

The title page at the start of each section or appendix features a recruitment poster, many of which were produced by David Allen & Sons.
 

A series of cards and letters which Gordon Dill Long Smyth sent from France to his mother living at 111 University Street can be viewed here. The Smyth family attended Fitzroy Avenue Presbyterian Church and copies of some of the material is contained in the segment relating to GDL Smyth in the World War One Servicemen Biographies section. We are indebted to Mr Pat Geary of Friends' School for preserving and transcribing these documents which provide a personal insight into the Great War.
 

The Crescent Presbyterian Church produced a richly decorated Book of Remembrance, listing men and women who served in World War Two, which can be viewed here.
 

Jim Maultsaid was a member of the Crescent congregation who maintained a diary throughout the Great War - he also produced sketches documenting life in the war zone. Many of his sketches appear in Philip Orr's book, The Road to the Somme. In June 1966, the City Week newspaper ran a series of articles entitled One Man's War about Jim Maultsaid's war experiences - the first three of the four articles can be viewed by clicking here.

 

This link ( http://s979.photobucket.com/albums/ae272/Fitzroy_WW1/ ) will take you to the Photobucket website where there are folders for:
• 1901 Ireland Census returns relating to World War One servicemen,
• 1911 Ireland Census returns relating to World War One servicemen,
• Newspaper Clippings relating to World War One servicemen,
• Photographs relating to World War One servicemen

 

I would like to acknowledge the assistance provided by:
• Pat Geary, Friends’ School in Lisburn for information relating to G.D.L. Smyth;
• Alan Curragh, Inst in the Great war website, for information and photographs relating to Instonians;
• Tommy McClimmonds and Des Blackadder from the Great War Forum;
• Jim Maultsaid, who provided personal information and photographs relating to his father, J.A.B. Maultsaid;

• Mary Lennon, who has uploaded material on her website;
• Eddie Connolly, who has transcribed extracts from the Central Presbyterian Association’s magazine and Belfast newspapers;
• Willow Murray, Archivist for the Irish Rugby Football Union, for information and photographs relating to S.B.B. Campbell and A.N. McClinton;
• Willie Wallace, Archivist for the North of Ireland Football Club for information and photographs relating to A.N. McClinton and J.S. McClinton; and
• Keith Haines, Archivist at Campbell College for information and photographs relating to S.T. Martin and N.T. Martin.
 

 

 History Documents:

 
Section 4 - War Memorials (1.8MB) 31/07/2010,
Section 3 - Second World War Memories (1.6MB) 31/07/2010,
Section 2 - Great War Servicemen Biographies (14.1MB) 31/07/2010,
Section 1 - Brothers in Arms (391.3KB) 31/07/2010,
Appendix 4 - Sources of Information (279.9KB) 31/07/2010,
Appendix 3 - Servicemen Profiles (2.6MB) 31/07/2010,
Appendix 2 - Gallantry Awards (513.0KB) 31/07/2010,
Appendix 1 - Facts and Figures (506.8KB) 31/07/2010,
One Man's War (City Week Jim Maultsaid) (1.6MB) 21/07/2009, Jim Maultsaid was a member of the Crescent congregation who maintained a diary throughout the Great War - he also produced sketches documenting life in the war zone. In June 1966, the City Week newspaper ran a series of articles entitled One Man's War about Jim Maultsaid's war experiences - this is the first three of the four articles.
Canadian Servicemen (3.1MB) 15/06/2009, The PCI Roll of Honour entries for the Crescent and Donegall Pass congregations include the names of men who served with Commonwealth or American units. These documents contain the enlistment papers (www.collectionscanada.gc.ca) for those who served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, the insignia of the units with which they served and, for those killed, the relevant page from the Canadian "Books of Remembrance" (www.vac-acc.gc.ca).
Great War Letters Cards - Transcript (128.3KB) 08/06/2009, This document contains transcriptions of cards and letters sent from France to a Mrs Smyth (111 University Street) by her son, Gordon Dill Long Smyth, and his best friend, Eric Craig; Gordon and Eric were both killed in action within one year of each other. The Smyth family attended Fitzroy Avenue Presbyterian Church and we are indebted to Mr Pat Geary of Friends' School for preserving and transcribing these documents which provide a personal insight into the Great War.

 

 

History Audios / Videos:
The Fallen
Men who died during the two World Wars
Commemoration, 31/07/2010
Hugh's Story
A soldier's experience of the Great War, written and narrated by Philip Orr (author of "The Road to the Somme")
Nigel Henderson, 19/05/2009

 

 

 

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17th December

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17th December
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