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Locked gates to cenotaph will open


markinbelfast
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Perhaps the healing process is beginning

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This is good news, especially for relatives of those named on the memorial. The names are in very small letters on dark metal plaques. They are almost illegible from outside the railings, as shown here:

post-3328-1193263484.jpg

A general view of the memorial, and a full list of the names, can be seen at

Memorial in Derry

Michael

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This memorial has the most ferocious image I have seen on a war memorial.

Michael

post-3328-1193263844.jpg

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I believe I'm right in saying that this is one of only two memorials in Northern Ireland to feature a sailor as well as a soldier, the other being Larne.

Nigel

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Hello all,

I don't think the opening of the War Memorial gates is a political gesture, press getting the wrong end of the stick methinks.

I have attended a number of services there when the gates are open at different times of the year.

They are open on the 12th August and 18th December for the Apprentice Boy commemorations, 12th July for the Orange commemorations and 1st July for the Somme anniversary [anywhere else other than Northern Ireland still hold these, unbroken from the 1st war? question not a statement].

And of course November the 11th.

No, i think the gates were erected to prevent the general public having access to the area around the memorial so it was not used as a short cut or a meeting place for kids, being in the centre of town.

They are only 3ft high so wouldn't stop a lot.

More like showing a little respect for those named on it perhaps, acknowledging it as a special place.

You can see the problem in English towns accross the country.

There are roughly an equal amount of Protestant and Catholic soldiers named, some 700+.

There were possibly another 300 omitted as they did not qualify to be included, based on the original committee's requirements.

Londonderry's War Memorial construction must be one of the best documented of any in the UK.

The original letters as submitted by the families are held in four bound volumes, the letters of some of those excluded are in a file as well as some passed later.

The committees minutes and the original plaque full size drawings are all available for viewing.

The local newspapers printed the list 3 times over following weeks [one Nationalist and two Unionist papers took it in turns] in order to obtain the names.

Services were always led by the 10th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers-The Derry Volunteers.

Regarding the Soldier and Sailor. They are absolutely superb. They are at an amazing scale only really noticable when you get close.

There are small details which you may not at first notice - the Soldier with his ripped tunic or the Sailor with his wragged trousers and no shoes.

Both very aggresive stances makes them stand out from any other memorial i know.

There is great cross community project on at the moment to record more details of the men and women listed.

A Londonderry man, Trevor Temple has done a cracking job so far and i only hope some of his work gets published.

See Michael's web-site for names on the memorial compiled by Trevor.

Michael, I have the list of the dead from the 2nd war as well. I'm not even sure if the council have, a lot of records were destroyed in a fire in the 70's.

My own family has 3 named and two that should have been on but were omitted.

Rob

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Re question ... you can guess where else Rob! (for 1 July!)

as for Trevor Temple ... he has done some superb research and hard work. I'll be frank, I wish his pieces had been better presented than they were (you and I know where ..)

If I'd have had him doing stuff for me I'd have bitten his arm off for that stuff and given it the presentation it deserves.

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Des,

Yes i know what you mean about Trevor's work.

I have a cd he did for me of his research on the memorial and its [like your own] well detailed.

I have obtained copies of the absent voters list for Londonderry County [North]. They are a great research tool.

I think PRONI may have them for all districts.

Londonderry City is handwritten but the County is printed.

I spent the day in Belfast lifting the 10th Inniskillings from the City book.

I will do the County one from the comfort of home.

I will keep an eye out for 12th RIR.

I have a book at my moms i meant to tell you about. Its interviews with the last veterans and is a good read, but the bit i wanted to tell you about is a photo it has of an Irish Rifles ration party taken at night.

I have seen this picture in an old 1930's magazine but the detail was poor.

I think it may be of the 12th or 15th RIR.

The one in the book is nice and clear and it gives an Imperial War Museum reference number.

I will get the number.

Rob

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Rob,

When I was last in Londonderry, I picked up a list of the dead of the Second World War from the cathedral. It warns that it is not likely to be complete, but it is certainly a good start.

Nigel

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  • 2 weeks later...

The opening of the gates is good news and hopefully there will be no repetition of some past incidents where wreaths have been stolen etc. It would be great if the gates could be open all the time - I lived in the city for two years and never saw them open - I once saw a TV cameraman having to climb over them with the aid of a bench to shoot some footage of the memorial on 11th November! (That was a year when the 11th fell during the week - the memorial was accessible on the morning of Remembrance Sunday)

Oh and you're right Liam - there are only two memorials in NI with sailor figures - Derry and Larne.

Swizz

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Allie,

The criteria for inclusion on Londonderry's war memorial was a little unclear. The main man who decided appears to be James Wilton, a Captain in the 10th Inniskillings, wounded on the 1st July.

He was on the committee for the memorial and set requirements for inclusion, mainly being that a serviceman or woman had to have been born or resided in the City for some time.

However there are a number of people omitted who do qualify but Wilton said no. And some that don't that got included.

My grandfathers cousin is not on it but his sisters fiance who came from Donegal is.

There were two of my Great Uncle's [ who is also on the memorial ] brothersd in law died as a result of wounds, one in 1918 and one in 1921. only the first is on the memorial.

Although the memorial wasn't built until 1927.

The two brothers, named Cassidy, are buried togethr in Londonderry City cemetery. One has an official CWGC memorial but the other is acknowledged on the CWGC memorial register having missed the cut off date. So you would think they would both be listed on the War Memorial.

Some years ago i spoke to my fathers cousin and she remembered the second brother as he lived with them until he died. He used to chase people with a kitchen knife thinking they were Germans. Her mother had it very hard. She watched her husband David McConnell and two brothers, Robert and James come home and die from wounds.

Regarding the missing names, the British Legion in Londonderry have put a new memorial roll togethr and they have 1100 names now.

Ther is a programme on UTV tonight about two families, one from Donegal and one from the City, Protestant and Catholic who were killed.

Rob

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