Castleton Lanterns is at Shankill Messines 100

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Talk by Faye Rice at Newtownbreda Library 8th December 2016. Everyone welcome.

Talk by Faye Rice at Newtownbreda Library.  Everyone welcome.

Talk by Faye Rice at Newtownbreda Library. Everyone welcome.

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The Castleton Lanterns Exhibition is on show for the month of May in the Grove Library.

Hear about the men of the Castleton Lanterns slides – talk from Faye Rice at Grove Library on May 23rd at 11am.


Thanks to Ulster Scots Agency and Libraries NI.

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Lectures on the themes of Castleton Lanterns and a community debate on the mythology of the Somme in our society

Dear all

Thanks for your interest in our Shining a Light on the Somme Community Debate which was to be on Saturday 12th March. Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond our control, we are having to postpone the event. We will post once a new event is confirmed. Apologies for any inconvenience.

Castleton Lanterns Team

Poster for both events


To find out more information on either event, please contact

Please note due to limited capacity booking for the community debate is essential.

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Alexandra Presbyterian Church – 14 November


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Alexandra Remembers. 8th and 9th November. All Welcome.

Final Poster Alex Remembers

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Great European War Memorial at Woodvale Park

10604060_1545940582307058_330038903807976810_oAn imaginative memorial to commemorate the “lost generation” of the Great War will be erected in a north Belfast park later this month.

The Woodvale stone breaks with established tradition in that the loss of life suffered by the German army will also be recognised on the polished granite monument.

Based on the six-sided pillars of the Giant’s Causeway, five of the panels feature tributes to the British Expeditionary Force, the French army and the Belgian army as well as the Kaiser’s troops.

Each panel bears the inscription “Lost Generation” in the respective language of the various armies.

The two other panels contain an image of The Angel of Mons and the City of Belfast coat of arms.

The memorial, commissioned by the Army Benevolent Fund – The Soldiers’ Charity (ABF) – and constructed by Lurgan company Mid Ulster Stone and Granite, will be mounted on a base which allows for the placing of wreaths at each of the panels.

City of Belfast ABF chairman and local historian Bobby Foster said it was fitting that the German losses should be acknowledged on the stone.

“When we studied the First World War, particularly the Irish involvement in and around Mons, we decided then that we could be sure every German soldier didn’t get up one morning and decide to invade Belgium – so when we planned the European war memorial we decided that the Germans should be included,” he said.

Mr Foster added: “They were all combatants and they were all ordinary soldiers so they lost a generation too. It’s about commemorating the lost generation right across Europe.”

The memorial is due to be unveiled on Friday, October 17 at midday by the Lord Lieutenant of Belfast.

A piper from the Royal Irish Regiment and Dame Patricia Windsor Hawkins – the guardian of St George’s Church at Ypres in Belgium – will also be taking part in the unveiling service.

Original Article by Mark Rainey at Belfast Newsletter

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More Than A Flag at #BelFest

East Belfast answered the call to arms in World War One. Dan Gordon and Garth McConaghie work with a group of young East Belfast Bandsmen to find out why and create a special performance with songs, poetry, music and drama to commemorate this vital part of the city’s heritage.

Running from Thurs 23 – Sat 25 Oct at Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s.

Click to book here.

More than a flag

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North of Ireland Family History Society Open Day

We are attending the North of Ireland Family History Society’s Open Day this Saturday. Please come along to support it if you can.

C4 Open day 2014 A4 2 - Final


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WW1 Commemoration Service at St. Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast

Image 2 BannerCastleton Lanterns was pleased to receive invitations to attend the Commemoration Service at St Anne’s Cathedral on Monday evening, 4th August 2014, the one hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.  Six of us from Alexandra joined Karen at the service which was very well attended. There were several dignitaries there including the Deputy Mayor of Belfast, TDs, the First Minister, Secretary of State and HRH Duke of York.

Image 3 editThe Dean of Belfast, the Very Reverend John Mann called us to remember the men from all parts of this island who lost their lives whilst being conscious that the striving for peace is still a pressing necessity in our day. Heather Humphreys TD read one of the bible readings, as did the Duke of York.

A poem written by Mrs Susan Adams of Lisburn after her son was killed on 1st July 1916, was read by Jeffrey Donaldson.

Pte. Ralph Adams (17121) …Excerpts….Image 6 crosses

…In a far distant land though his body now rests,
Far from his home and the ones he loved best,
Still deep in our hearts his memory we’ll keep,
Sweet is the place where he now lies asleep…..

…They laid him to rest in the land of a stranger,
Where the guns and the cannon disturb not his sleep,
While his fond loving mother away in old Ireland,
Mourns for her son as her vigil she keeps…..

The hymns included old favourites such as ‘O God, Our Help in Ages Past’, ‘Be Thou my Vision’ and ‘All People That on Earth do Dwell’.  During the service, cadets of the Army, Navy & Air Force and two school children lit 5 candles to represent the 5 years of the First World War.  The Duke of York then lit a single candle beside a book containing the names of the Irish War Dead of World War 1.  Music from the Choir included ‘Dido’s Lament’ by Purcell and Faure’s ‘In Paradisum’.

The sermon itself, delivered by the Most Reverend Dr Richard Clarke, Primate of All Ireland, was thought-provoking, as he spoke of the ‘fusion of emotions over the Great War – sadness at the loss of so much life; pride in the unselfish actions of so many people; and horror at the inhumanity which always accompanies war’.  He also said another emotion should be a determination that if the Great War was not a war to end all wars, people should strive to bring peace and light into the world.

QuoteThe Archbishop also talked of modern day conflicts. ‘We cannot spiritually separate the violence, the carnage, and the suffering of the innocent that is under our gaze today – whether in Gaza, in Israel, in Syria, in Ukraine or in Iraq – from our memorialising of the beginnings of the First World War’ he said. ‘War must always represent the abject failure of the human spirit and of humanity itself. It can never be other and we should never pretend it is other.’

After the singing of ‘St Patrick’s Breastplate’ we all stood for an act of remembrance led by Mervyn Elder, President of the Royal British Legion. Before the service concluded with Bach’s ‘Fugue in E flat (St Anne)’ reflections were brought to us by representatives of the Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Jewish communities. Image 5 edit

It’s very difficult to visualise the numbers of men and women who died in the First World War, even the numbers of those from this island who died. We remembered them just the same. We remembered those who came home to a different world, to a world where women had a greater role, where the class system was not as defined, where there was little work and where the political situation had changed and some were ostracised in their own areas. We remembered those who came home and had to live with their memories of comradeship and horror and carnage.

We remembered especially the Castleton Lanterns men who died, those whose faces we know from the photos, whose wives and children we have photographs of, whose regiments and ships we have identified, whose stories we can now tell. We remembered them all at that service and at the Candlelight Vigil at the City Hall later that evening and we will always remember them.

Words: Faye Rice

Photos: Heather McCracken

Image 1 edit

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