Lisburn pays tribute to its fallen sons

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Throughout Lisburn, and the surrounding towns and villages, war memorials were erected to remember those who sacrificed their lives during the Great War.

One of the first to be erected was a wooden memorial in the centre on Lisburn, which was unveiled in 1920.

The three tier structure was built by Mr. David Pattison and an apprentice in the yard of his employers Bullock and Sons, Railway Street in about 1919.

Assisting the firm of Bullock and Sons in the design of the memorial was Mr. Cecil Webb then headmaster ‘ of Lisburn Technical College. He was the father of Mr. Anthony Webb, former Borough Surveyor of Lisburn. The temporary wooden memorial was later replaced by the more familiar permanent one that still stands at Castle Gardens.

The Castle Gardens memorial features the winged figure of victory, holding the downward pointed sword and the laurel wreath. The main Lisburn war memorial bears the inscription “To the Glorious Memory of the Lisburn Men who gave their Lives that we might Live. 1914-1918. Their Name Liveth for Evermore.”

However, this is not the only war memorial in the Lisburn area. A cross commemorates the fallen in Hillsborough and a memorial in Glenavy sits in the middle of a road junction.There are also some unusual memorials in the area. In Crumlin there is a war memorial park and gateway. The park was officially opened by Lord Massereene, who said at the time: “The park had been laid out and the gateway erected to the memory of thirty-two good men and true who made the same supreme sacrifice in the late war, to nine men and women who died on service or from the effects of illness and disease contracted on service, and to 164 men who willingly and freely gave their services to their country.”

In Ballinderry a community hall was erected in memory of the servicemen. Still in use today, the memorial hall was designed by Mr. Robert Gibson. Sir Robert H. H. Baird, K.B.E., D.L., on the occasion of his opening Ballinderry Memorial Hall said, ‘In the splendid Ulster Division and other ranks, on sea and land, in many climes the young men of Ballinderry maintained the best traditions of their loyal countryside, and though many of them, alas, sleep the long sleep in Flanders fields where poppy’s grow and in other scenes of terrible combat, they secured for us the glorious peace.’

‘I think you are to be congratulated upon the form which you decided your memorial should take to the glorious dead-and not only them, but the noble band who were spared to return to their homes, not a few bearing the honourable scars of war. This large, handsome, and thoroughly equipped hall will be of practical use to the living for many generations to came, and be a fitting monument so long as one stone shall stand upon another to those in whose honour it has been erected.’

Churches throughout Lisburn also pay their own tribute to members of their congregation who lost their lives and they serve as a fitting tribute to the men who marched off to war and never returned home. On Sunday 18th April 1920 a service was held in Railway Street Presbyterian Church for the dedication of a memorial tablet to the 134 men of Railway Street congregation who went out from among us to help in the Great War. A memorial window to the twenty-one men who were killed in action was also dedicated. Immediately before the service began the Rt Rev Dr John M Simms, Moderator of the General Assembly, unveiled the memorial tablet: the names on the tablet are shown in a photograph below. During the service Mr J Milne Barbour unveiled the memorial window.