It is likely that this is a reconstruction of The Battle of the Boyne which is held every year on the 13th July at Scarva, Co. Down. This annual event is traditionally known as 'The Sham Fight'
This film was made following the tragic sinking of the Harland and Wolff-built liner, Titanic, on 15th of April, 1912. The film is believed to contain the only authentic filmed material of the Titanic.
The newsreel starts at 01:07. Saturday 28th September when all men who could prove Ulster birth were invited to sign the Solemn League and Covenant to pledge that they would use ´all means which may be found necessary´ to prevent the setting up of a Home Rule parliament in Dublin. The Bill had already been introduced into the House of Commons in the spring. Women signed their own separate declaration. Altogether 471,414 men and women signed either the Covenant or the declaration, over 30,000 more women in fact than men. This film shows scenes from the day in Belfast including Orange lodges marching towards the City Hall, cheered by enthusiastic crowds held back by stewards (some wearing bowler hats) appointed by the organisers, the Ulster Unionist Council. The Ulster Unionist leader, Sir Edward Carson, is seen signing the Covenant in the City Hall. Carson returned from Belfast to Britain on board the ´Patriotic´ (the captain was Captain Paisley) to Liverpool where he was greeted by the local Conservative MP, F. E. Smith - Smith (known as ´Carson´s galloper´ because of his devotion to the cause) later became Lord Birkenhead and was a signatory of the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty. There is poor quality footage of Carson addressing a crowd at the dock.
|The Ulster Covenant|
Compilation of documents, stills, and film archive footage recording the events surrounding the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant.
|Belfast Unionist Demonstration|
27th September 1913 at the agricultural showgrounds at Balmoral in south Belfast. This was one of several demonstrations organised by the Ulster Unionist Council to maintain local morale and to show the public in the whole of the United Kingdom the strength of feeling in Ulster against the Third Home Rule Bill. The Ulster Volunteer Force had been formed in January 1913 and the film shows Sir Edward Carson inspecting Unionist Clubs and members of the UVF. With Carson is Lieutenant-General Sir George Richardson, veteran of the the Afghan Wars who had also led the final assault on Peking during the Boxer Rising, who had agreed to become commander-in-chief of the UVF. Also present with Carson and Richardson is Captain James Craig, the Unionist MP for County Down who in 1921 became Northern Ireland´s first Prime Minister. Some Unionist Club members are wearing the traditional Orange sash. Men on motorbikes are members of the UVF Signalling and Dispatch Rider Corps (02:02). The men on horseback (02:10) are probably members of either the Ballymena or the Enniskillen Horse of the UVF. The flag claimed to be the largest Union Jack in the world is unfurled (02:28) - it had made its first public appearance on Easter Tuesday 1912 at Balmoral when the conservative leader, Andrew Bonar Law, had addressed Unionist Clubs.
|Derry Election Day|
On 1st February 1913 the Nationalist candidate (member of the Irish Parliamentary Party), David C. Hogg defeated Colonel Pakenham, the Unionist candidate in Derry by the narrow margin of 67 votes. This was a a severe disappointment to the Unionists as it meant that the Nationalists held a majority of seats (a majority of one) in the nine-county province of Ulster.
|Suffragettes calling for arrest of Bonar Law and Carson|
This newsreel shows a suffragette march in London. This clip (especially 04:13 - 04:55) shows that Nationalist and Liberals were not the only opponents Unionists and Conservatives faced. Both Andrew Bonar Law (leader of the Conservative opposition) and Sir Edward Carson (leader of the Irish Unionists) opposed votes for women and this was the reason why suffragettes called for their arrest. However, neither Herbert Asquith (the Liberal Prime Minister) nor John Redmond (leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party) would come out in favour of votes for women. It was not until November 1918 that women were given the vote.
|Ulster's Guardians of Peace|
A brief film showing Lord Derby addressing men of the Ulster Volunteer Force sometime in 1913. Lord Derby had played a leading role in opposing the Parliament Bill which, when it became law in 1911, ensured that the House of Lords could only delay bills (including the Home Rule Bill) for three successive parliamentary sessions and no longer reject them outright. His presence on this occasion was an outward and visible demonstration of Conservative Party support for the Ulster Unionists Party´s measures of resistance to Home Rule. Derby appears 25 seconds into the clip. Three lambeg drums can be seen on the podium, Members of the UVF are singing a hymn - probably ´O God our help in ages past´. Ulster's Guardians of Peace refers to the Ulster Volunteer Force. The UVF was formed in January 1913 by Edward Carson, and was opposed to Home Rule.
This is the last ´Twelfth´ before the onset of the First World War. Carson appears fifteen seconds into the clip in Belfast city centre, and he can be seen speaking on a union flag covered podium at 42 seconds in a rural setting (probably ´the Field´ at Belmont). Two days earlier, Carson had addressed a secret meeting of the Ulster Unionist Council and explained that the provisional government of Ulster would have to begin operating. He clearly expected civil war: ´I see no hopes of peace, I see nothing at present but darkness and shadows...we must be ready´.
|Sir Edward Carson in Belfast|
Carson in Belfast for the ´Twelfth´ celebrations. This time he is inspecting units of the UVF, principally the Lady Signallers and members of the Ambulance Corps. A UVF ambulance - almost certainly passed on soon after to the Ulster Division - is also inspected. Carson is clearly in a hurry, and with good reason: King George V had invited all parties connected with the Home Rule crisis to Buckingham Palace in an attempt to find a way out of the impasse. Carson´s worry was that both of the main political parties in Britain, the Liberals and the Conservatives, were moving towards partition - a solution he did not want. .
|Review of the Ulster Division|
Officials review and inspect the 36th Ulster Division. Unfortunately, there is no information on the time or location. It is likely to be sometime early in 1915 when the 36th (Ulster) Division was completing its programme of training at camps at Clandyboye, Finner, Ballykinler and Newtownards. It is possible that this is the preliminary to the parade through the centre of Belfast on 8 May 1915, when the division embarked for the south of England. This clip is best from about 01:53 to the end.
|First National Transport lands Dublin Guards on the Western Front |
This item was probably part of a compilation covering events of the First World War but made after the war was over. Although the intertitle claims that the footage shows troops on the Western Front at the start of the Big Push, the footage is actually of the Irish Army in the 1920s. See notes for further details.
|The Dear Little Shamrock|
The practice of distributing shamrock to the Irish Guards was begun by Queen Victoria and, during the First World War, Irish troops at the fromt were sent peices of the national emblem to be distributed by officers. The clip shows supervised children picking shamrock (which is no more than clover in early growth) and putting it into baskets and sacks.
Lord Wimborne, The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland being received by the officers and men of the Leinster Regiment on their state visit to Ballincurra on 21st August 1915. August 1915 was when those who volunteered in 1914 would have completed their training, ready for service either on the Western Front or at Gallipoli. Lord Wimborne received much criticism the following April (much of it unjustified) for failing to take sufficient action to prevent the Easter Rising.
|With the North and South Irish at the Front, Part 1|
Part One of a two-part compilation showing Irish Guards, 16th (Irish) Division and 36th (Ulster) Division on the Western Front between late 1915 and the middle of 1917. Source: Imperial War Museum Film Catalogue Vol 1.The First World War Archive, ed Roger Smither, England, Flicks Books, 1993. What is interesting about these films is what is not shown - and even these clips were not released until 1918. The footage is taken well behind the lines and was clearly intended to show the brighter side of trench warfare for the benefit of home consumption. The clips are all from the Western Front between 1915 and 1916 behind the lines where Irish regiments fought at Aubers Ridge, the Somme, Loos and Messines. The small pigs, bannamhs, would have been for killing and eating.
|With the North and South Irish at the Front , Part 2|
Part Two of a two-part compilation showing Irish Guards, 16th (Irish) Division and 36th (Ulster) Division on the Western Front between late 1915 and the middle of 1917, and a Canadian battalion touring Ireland, 1917. Source: Imperial War Museum Film Catalogue Vol 1.The First World War Archive, ed Roger Smither, England, Flicks Books, 1993. This footage is particularly interesting because it shows northern and southern soldiers fighting during the one major occasion when they fought side by side. This was during the closing phases of the Battle of the Somme when men of the 16th Division (mostly drawn from the Irish Volunteers formed in November 1913 to defend Home Rule) were with men of the 36th (Ulster) Division (drawn almost exclusively from the Ulster Volunteer Force formed in January 1913 to prevent the imposition of Home Rule). These troops suffered horrific losses together at Guillemont and Guinchy; one of those killed was the writer and former Nationalist MP, Lieutenent Tom Kettle. The final stages were more successful when the northerners and southerners together took the village of Wytschaete (the Irish call it ´White Sheet´). However, Major Willie Redmond, Nationalist MP and brother of the Nationalist leader John Redmond, was killed. His body was brought back by men of the Ulster Division. The film show Redmond´s grave. At 56 Redmond had been the oldest man of the 16th Division.
|Aftermath of the Easter Rising |
This film from the Imperial War Museum shows Dublin before the insurrection of April 1916. Members of the Irish Volunteers - who had refused to join Redmond´s Irish National Volunteers in supporting participation on the war, and broke away in August 1916 - openly paraded the street in full uniform and equipment. The government, in particular the Irish Chief Secretary Augustine Birrell, decided that to prevent such parades would be provocative. In fact when members of the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army set out from Liberty Hall on Easter Monday 1916 to seize the General Post Office and other buildings, the authorities and the general public thought this was just a routine parade. The film shows the damage inflicted on central Dublin by the gunboat ´Helga´ and artillery firing with a high trajectory from the grounds of Trinity College and, later, from the corner of D´Olier Street and Westmoreland Street. The whole of Sackville Street (now known as O´Connell Street) was severely damaged but the worst affected were the buildings opposite the GPO where stores of paraffin created fierce fires. Liberty Hall, on the quays, was destoyed by the gunboat. The troops were able to use the Custom House as a headquarters because the insurgents had not tried to take it. The barricade made out of overturned vehicles was one of several in Sackville Street (O´Connell Street) erected during the first two days of the rising. The barricade of sandbags manned by soldiers (mainly of the Sherwood Foresters and the South Staffs regiment) almost certainly was filed at the end of the rebellion.
|Scenes in Dublin after the suppression of the Easter Rising|
Martial law was imposed during the rising and these clips show troops occupying central Dublin. Of particular interest are: Michael O'Rahilly's car in Henry Street ('The O'Rahilly', a prominent Volunteer, was killed in the last battle in Moore Street); close shots of the GPO (including the interior where Pearse and Connolly directed the rebellion); and the ruined Metropole Hotel adjacent to it. Sackville Street was still the official name for O'Connell Street. The rising lasted for several days before the leaders surrendered to British forces. A total of fifteen of the nationalist leaders were subsequently executed, and some 3,000 were interned.
|Irish Demonstrate Against Military Service|
The Easter Rising lacked popular support but following the executions nationalist opinion began to alter. A new umbrella separatist party, Sinn Fein, was set up in 1917 and it won a number of by elections. The movement was given a considerable boost when, in March 1918, the government decided to impose conscription on Ireland. Sinn Fein took the lead in opposing conscription and reaped the benefit in the general election of December 1918 when it won 73 seats. The 45-seconds rather dark film shows people signing a petition of protest.
|Sir Edward Carson addresses a mass rally in Belfast|
This French film shows Carson addressing a ´Twelfth´ demonstration on July 1918. The parades had been cancelled in July 1916 following news of 5,500 casualties suffered by the Ulster Division at the Somme. The presence of the UVF shows that not all members had joined up. Carson holds a 36th (Ulster) Division silver-topped blackthorn stick.
|Nurse v Tommy|
Rather whimsical piece which shows a golf match between nurses and recuperating soldiers at a military hospital. The winning nurse holds her prize - a piglet. The location is Lucan, Co Dublin (not Co Down as identified in the newsreel).
|300,000 at Demonstration (Omagh)|
This meeting almost certainly took place in the summer of 1912 in the great campaign which climaxed with Ulster Day. Carson would have been filmed had he been there and the lack of UVF contingents indicated a pre-January 1913 event. Banners of Unionist Clubs show that this was an all-Tyrone demonstration - South Tyrone, Augher, Clogher, Ballygawley, Castlederg, Killeter and Bready.
|Background to the Titanic disaster|
This piece on the Titanic was first published by the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. (© National Museums and Galleries of Northern Ireland, Ulster Folk and Transport Museum)
|Belfast Under Home Rule postcard|
This postcard from the Belfast Telegraph shows some of the fears felt by the Unionists of Northern Ireland at the prospect of Home Rule in the early years of the 20th Century. Note the demolition of the Albert Clock Tower, the poor house in the background, a Protestant Emigration Office - and the wheeling in of a statue of John Redmond, a Protestant Nationalist, who played a strong role in negotiating the parliamentary path to the Home Rule Bill. (Photograph reproduced with the kind permission of the trustees of the National Museums and Galleries of Northern Ireland)
|Britain goes to war. Belfast Telegraph 5th August 1914|
Britain Declares War on Germany. The Belfast Telegraph's report on the outbreak of World War One. (Courtesy of Belfast Newspaper Library and the Belfast Telegraph)
|Call to Arms World War One. Belfast Telegraph 5th August, 1914|
A call to arms for enlistment in the armed forces at the outbreak of World War One. (Courtesy of Belfast Newspaper Library and the Irish News)
|Daily Sketch. Bangor Rifles Seizure 1914|
Courtesy of PRONI
|Easter Rising Letter|
A letter from Miss Julia Taylor (Dublin) to Mr Savage-Armstrong of Strangford describing Dublin in the aftermath of the 1916 Rising. (Courtesy of PRONI.) The letter reads 'May 14th 1916. Dearest ? I don't think I answered a nice long letter I had from you just before the rebellion. What a time we have had - here the roar of cannon of rebel and machine guns never ceased night or day only sometime the ? ? up and there we heard nothing else and out windless ? it was awful - the house lighted by night by fires and by day we looked ? into a church ? closed, in the night there ? to be a sea of fire - soldiers home from the Front say what was Sackville St, is now like Ypres. Bit not bricked ? today say that lazy ? a 'wait and see' policy broken ?. Such terrible loss of life and destruction of property. The soldiers were nearly dead from want of food - from Monday till Friday only a batch ? biscuits and some tea. We were better off than those in Dublin as we helped each other. The first floor ? got ?. ? in command ? I was with escort of troops and last Tuesday the military came to search the village with machine guns at tops of streets and ? cars in it too, I think 3 of them dessimated straight opposite is the ? ? the Pearses and the mother and sister are still there - where you stared on ? Bridge to beyond the pillar there is only a black, smoking stinking mass. The wall or front of a house standing like a skeleton and also down to ? House - Dr ? ? in to see ? was ? 3 or 4 days - he said. Bullets were falling like a hail shower and on Tuesday and Wed there was still a little sniping - ? and round St Bartholomews was very bad - there are some of the soldiers buried in the church grounds - there are many toher things I heard but don't care to write.'
|Easter Rising Letter|
Letter describing Dublin City after the Easter Rising in 1916. (Courtesy of PRONI.) The letter reads - 'From Raymond describing the appearance of Dublin after the Sinn Fein rebellion (received May 7th 1916)' 'Addressed to Mr Savage-Armstrong, Strangford House, Strangford, Co. Down', 'My dear ?, I was not able to get on yesterday to Limerick so stayed the night here. The train which should have got in to ? St at 1pm got in at about 3pm and the train from Kingsbridge started at 3 we stopped at every station on the way down and went at Dublin Wicklow and Wexford speed. There were only two trains south from Kingsbridge yesterday but I hear all trains will be running today. I start by the 12.20. I saw ? who was very busy and had 4 nights without ?. ? was here on his way to Mesopotamia. I had not seen him for 10 years he had been at ? and had spent the week with the 3rd ? Rangers hunting rebels in Wexford who finally surrendered. Stephens Green closed to public. One hears odd shots at night still. They had not been able to keep up the 2nd Batt ? Rangers as there were so few recruits. ? Br only very slightly damaged and no visible damage along the line. Troops about ? and pickets lying about streets and patriots ? about constantly. There are a good many cyclist boys in the country I think for hunting down the rebels. Must stop now. Ever your loving son. Raymond.
|Gun Running in Ulster 1914|
Front page report on gun-running by the UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force), who were arming to resist the Home Rule crisis and to co-ordinate the activities of other Unionist paramilitary groups. (Courtesy of PRONI)
|Hamel Front Trench|
This photo, from the Ulster Museum, shows soldiers from Northern Ireland at the front in France, 1915. (Photograph Reproduced with the Kind Permission of the of the Trustees of the National Museums & Galleries of Northern Ireland and the Ulster Museum, Belfast)
The Hampshire Regiment, stationed on the Ulster border following the disruptions of 1922. (Photograph Reproduced with the Kind Permission of the of the Trustees of the National Museums & Galleries of Northern Ireland and the Ulster Museum, Belfast)
|Home Guard Exercise|
This photo of the Ulster Home Guard on manoeuvre in the streets of Belfast during World War Two. (Photograph reproduced with the kind permission of the trustees of the National Museums and Galleries of Northern Ireland)
|On Board a Transporter|
Soldiers from Northern Ireland en route to France in 1915 during World War One. Photo courtesy of Ulster Museum, Belfast. (Photograph reproduced with the kind permission of the trustees of the National Museums and Galleries of Northern Ireland)
|Proclamation of the Irish Republic|
Text of the Proclamation of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) which accompanied the 1916 Rising. The Proclamation was the work of the military council established in May 1915 by the supreme council of the IRB. Signatories included Patrick Pearse, Joseph Mary Plunkett, Thomas McDonagh, Eamon Ceannt and Eoin McNeill. (Courtesy of Conflict Archive on the Internet (CAIN) Website)
|Randlestown Bathing Place 1915|
Northern Ireland soldiers relaxing at Randalstown Bathing Place before leaving for the front during World War One. (Photograph Reproduced with the Kind Permission of the of the Trustees of the National Museums & Galleries of Northern Ireland and the Ulster Museum, Belfast)
|The Graphic. Anti Home Rule Demonstration|
The Graphic magazine reports on a Unionist Anti-Home Rule demonstration in Belfast on April 13th 1912. (Courtesy of PRONI)
|The Graphic. Ulster Covenant Illustration|
Dramatic illustration of Ulster Day in the magazine, The Graphic. (Courtesy of PRONI)
|The Graphic. Ulster Covenant Report|
Report on the signing of the Ulster Covenant against Home Rule (The Graphic). (Courtesy of PRONI)
|Ticket for Inspection of Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) by Sir Edward Carson |
© National Museums and Galleries of Northern Ireland, Ulster Folk and Transport Museum
Titanic at dock in Belfast Harbour. (Harland & Wolff Photograph Collection © N.M.G.N.I. Ulster Folk and Transport Museum)
|Titanic disaster. Irish News 16th April 1912|
The Irish News announcement of the sinking of Titanic, built in Belfast's Harland and Wolff shipyards. (Courtesy of Belfast Newspaper Library and the Irish News)
A signed copy of the Ulster Covenant. (Courtesy of PRONI)
|With the Gun Runners of Ulster leaflet|
Leaflet telling the story of the Ulster Gun Running Operation in 1914. (© National Museums and Galleries of Northern Ireland, Ulster Folk and Transport Museum)