UVF, 2nd Battalion Willowfield, East Belfast Regiment (1914-18)



Address: Cherryville Street, off Woodstock Road, Ballymacarrett.
Commemorating: Members of the 2nd Battalion Willowfield, East Belfast Regiment, Ulster Volunteer Force who died in the First World War. Fallen Volunteers of 3rd Battalion, East Belfast Brigade, Ulster Volunteer Force, who lost their lives during the Troubles.
Commissioned by: UVF East Battalion.
Date unveiled: 1 July 1997
Notes: As stated in one of the lateral stones, the memorial is built on the site of the old Willowfield Unionist Club, which was officially opened by Sir Edward Carson on 16th May 1913 and was demolished in 1983, after being destroyed by fire. In recent years, a block of shops was built on the site of the old Unionist hall and it was whilst working in one of these that Volunteer Robert Seymour was killed by the IRA in June 1987. The present memorial replaces a smaller memorial erected by local Loyalists in July 1990 and it was officially opened by councillor David Ervine. The 'roll of honour' plaque listing the members of Willowfield, UVF, who made the supreme sacrifice in the Great War is a faithful replica of a brass plaque which was unveiled in the Unionist Club in 1921. With the fire and the resulting demolition of the building in 1983, all trace of this plaque was lost until 1988 when Tommy Braden, a reasercher for Farset Youth Group, discovered a photograph of it in an old newspaper with the names on it still visible. In 2000 the memorial garden was newly redesigned and the two lateral white stone panels were added. An annual commemorative ceremony is held on 1st of July by members of the Ulster Volunteer Flute Band.

Small flight of stone steps at the gate, leading to a path which ends in a wall of light brown brick, into which are inserted brass plates bearing the names of those members of the 2nd Battalion Willowfield, UVF, who lost their lives in 1914-18 and those members of East Belfast UVF who died during the more recent conflict. Central granite plaque shows the UVF symbol and reads: “In honour of our fallen comrades Ulster Volunteer Force East Belfast Vol Robert Bennett 7.2.1973 Capt Joseph Long 27.2.1977 Vol James Cordner 27.2.1977 Vol Robert Seymour 15.6.1988 Vol Roy Walker 18.8.1976 At the going down of the sun”. Two white stone panels are set one on each side of the central memorial. Left stone presents the UVF symbol on top and reads: “Lest we forget This memorial is dedicated to the men of the Willowfield Battalion East Belfast Regiment, Ulster Volunteer Force, who made the supreme sacrifice in the Great War 1914-1918. It stands on the site of the Old Willowfield Unionist Hall opened by Sir Edward Carson on May 16th 1913, as a drill hall and rifle range for Willowfield U.V.F. It was from this hall Volunteers marched to Balmoral, from there to the Green Fields of France, some never to return. ‘Sleep on dear sons of Ulster til the trumpet sounds again’ “. Right stone presents the UVF symbol and reads: “In solemn remembrance we salute the brave men of Ulster Without favour or reward they fought militant Republicanism on it’s [its] own terms Their courage dedication and sacrifice we will remember for evermore Joe Long Robert (Squeak) Seymour Charlie Logan Trevor King Billy Miller Tommy McDowell Joe Shaw Colin Caldwell Harris Boyle Wesley Somerville Geoffrey Freeman David Swanson Sinclair Johnston Robin Jackson This is a few of the many For God and Uster”.