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The Larne Fallen

Liam McFaul, now living in the Netherlands shares his thoughts on the history of Larne men at war.

WWI soldier at war grave

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When I was growing up in Larne I would pass the "Cenotaph”, as I knew it, or the War Memorial outside the Laharna Hotel almost daily. As a small child I would view the iron figures of a determined sailor and soldier, later I would study the names and just stand wondering, who are they?

Even later I heard that they were the names of Larne men killed in wars. Mostly I heard that they were names of soldiers killed in France on the Somme or fighting the "jerry". The names cast in iron on both sides always had my interest, probably because you saw one of them as you crossed the road. It was a sort of island to one side of the busy crossing point of Main Street, Curran Road, Glenarm Road and Circular Road.

I grew up wondering about the names but never finding out. In the last 10 years I have seen many publications on the Fallen of Bangor, Ballymoney, or on internet sites worldwide. When in Larne a few years ago I visited the "Cenotaph" in its new setting. It is now set in a peaceful park beside St. Cedma's Church up in Inver. I preferred it in the old location but that has lost much of its charm since the 1908 built Laharna Hotel was demolished.

After visiting it, I went to the "new" Larne Library to see what information was to been found on the subject of the War Memorial. Outside of viewing microfilms of the Larne Times of 1914-19 there was nothing on it. This was a few years ago, so it may have changed. I was informed that there was a Larne Fallen document from the Ulster Society by Dr. David Hume, that had been researched a few years earlier.

Picture of Tommy Shields in tropical kit taken in the Red Sea just before war was declared in 1939
WWI soldiers
Allied soldiers about to go over the top

 

The Library did not have a copy and Dr. Hume suggested the old Carnegie Library which is now a museum. It was closed for repairs. After trying, but failing, at different locations to obtain a copy of the document, I started to gather my own information on the Fallen from Larne. As there is a publication in book form I have decided to publish my own information on the internet.

At the moment it is very basic stuff and I have a lot of information to add to it. Larne men it seems served in the Great War in every part of the world and some died in it. I will be putting every name that is connected with Larne on it. Not only those on the War Memorial but those born, lived in, died in or enlisted in the Larne urban area as well.

Liam's site is currently (Nov '04 ) under construction at http://larne-in-war1.irishgenealogy.net/.

See also:

Somme hero: Robert Quigg VC 1885 - 1955

Battle of the Somme

Battle of the Somme - Memorabilia

The Larne Fallen

An Enniskillen VC

Lurgan Men in the Great War

World War I: Soldiers of Down

The Peake Brothers at War 1914-18

 

YOUR REPLIES

Seamus Kelly - Dec '07
When did the Latharna Hotel close?

Moyra Dudman - Jan '07
When looking at CAMPBELL Family graves in Bangor Abbey I came across a grandson who fell in WW1. Private David Gordon PAISLEY, son of Mary Elizabeth and the late William Campbell Paisley of LARNE, CO. ANTRIM.
He served in the 1st/16th Bn., Black Watch (Royal Highlanders ) Private 265817. He was killed on 1st April 1917, and is buried in Maroeuil British Cemetery,Pas de Calais, France. On a visit to the Black Watch Museum, Perth, I discovered that he was on R&R, when the building in which they were quartered was hit by shells.
I would love to know why he had joined the Black Watch. He was aged 22 when killed,so may have been working in Scotland. `Could he have been one of the tunnellers laying mines under the German lines?

David Mc Neill - Feb '06
As Glen Brown has indicated below i have researched the records of the fallen from Larne in both World Wars and have almost completed the task. Each year i visit the Battlefields of the First World War and sometimes the Second World War and pay my respects at the graves of the men from Larne and District and also the memorials they are commemorated on. I place a poppy cross on their graves or on the memorials and mark on them - "From the people of Larne and District" .When i finally complete my records - which i hope to be quite soon i will give copies either in booklet form or computer disc to the new Museum in Larne. If anyone wants any info from me i will be only too happy to oblige.

Glen Brown - Jan '06
David McNeill of Larne, recently received, care of myself, a copy of the above contribution on 'Larne Fallen'. David found the article of interest and is corresponding with the author Liam McFaul on related matters.
In recent years, David and his brothers have made numerous visits to the battlefields of Europe.
Also in past years David had researched and compiled a record of the folk from Larne Borough that served in the various conflicts including WW1 & WW2. David kindly donated his research records to the Larne Historical Centre. This gesture will benefit many of the Larne Borough populace present and future when exploring and researching their family history.
Recently Larne Borough Council decided floodlighting the Larne Cenotaph.
An 'annual clean' of all the Cenotaphs in the Borough would leave a lasting impresion on the visitors and locals.

Glen Brown - November '05
Liam is a busy chap with many strings to his bow and still with active interest in this subject. He and I are in email contact on genealogy matters.

Like Liam I grew up when the Cenotaph was sited near the Larne Methodist Church. We were taught, that on passing the Cenotaph while wearing our BB, ATC or other uniform to salute and when wearing our ordinary clothes, to take off our cap (if worn) as a remark of respect to the Fallen. My own late father served with Irish Guards in WW1 in Europe. Fortunately he survived that Great war to end all wars and also through WW2 in the shipyards of Glasgow.

A few years ago I was a guest at the war Museum on the Bangor Road. The reality displays and staff there gave me a further insight than previously gleaned from books and films.

Those that died, served, and supported our Armed Forces, then and now. We shall remember them. Glen Brown Edinburgh 11.11.2005

 


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