The Historical Significance of Portadown’s War Memorial

The Historical Significance of Portadown’s War Memorial

Portadown and District War Memorial was rededicated and names added on Sunday 28th September 2018.

The commemoration service saw the unveiling and rededication of the Portadown War Memorial with 101 names added.  It was unveiled by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for County Armagh The Earl of Caledon KCVO JP.  The names were researched by local Historian Richard Edgar.  This service was similar to the service that had been held in the same place by our forefathers on 13th November 1925.

Standards of the RBL

Commemoration Parade

The Band of the Royal Irish Regiment

 

Meaning of the Portadown War Memorial.

The memorial consists of a bronze statue group representing an angel alighting on the battlefield.  The angel is about a place a wreath upon the head of a wounded soldier, denoting fortitude, courage and sacrifice to his country in still trying to carry on, despite his wounds.  The base on which the the angel is mounted is composed of sandbags and a fallen gas mask, descriptive of the battlefield.

The soldier on the memorial is at the moment of his death.  As he is falling the angel of victory is placing a crown of olive leaves on his head.  This represents victory in the face of danger.  The angel will then lift his soul, and those of all the Portadown fallen heavenward. The statues stand on on a pedestal of Irish granite, upon each side of which are the bronze panels containing the names of the fallen as well as a dedication panel on the front of the memorial.

St Marks Church and Top of Town War Memorial

The unveiling of the Town War Memorial in 1925

On Friday 13th November 1925, the Portadown War Memorial was unveiled by Lieutenant-General Sir Travers Clarke in the presence of the Northern Ireland Prime Minister Sir James Craig, the Lord Primate Most Rev. Dr D’Arcy, and an enormous crowd of residents of the town and district.  During the dedication a crowd assembled in Market Street directly in front of the memorial.

Three guards of honour were formed by men from the Royal Irish Fusiliers, the Royal Irish Rifles and local ex-servicemen.  A choir under the conductorship of Mr W.F.Wood led the praise and the band of the 1st Seaforth Highlanders accompanied the choir.  There were also Girl Guides, Girls Life Brigade, Boys Brigade, Boys Life Brigade, Boy Scouts and the Orange Order.

First unveiling of town war memorial in 1925

 

Why names were not added at the time

For the younger generation to understand, what needs to be made clear is that there was no internet, TV news, radio or phones. Individuals relied on the local papers for news and appeals for names.  Literacy skills would have played big part in this, not everyone could read at this time.  The Royal British Legion point out quite clearly that no one was left off deliberately each individual had a unique story.

Names that were added

The Following 101 names from men and women of the 1st and 2nd World War were added on Sunday 28th October 2018.

  • Allen, Joesph 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers, Drumannon Annaghmore
  • Andrews, John Walker 150th Field Company Royal Engineers, Garvaghy Road
  • Bell, John George 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers, Eglish
  • Benson, Samuel U.S Army 9th Infantry Regiment 2nd Division, Tartaraghan
  • Berry, John 6th Royal Irish Rifles, Belfast ( Portadown Native)
  • Boyd, John 3rd Irish Guards, Coleraine (Portadown Native)
  • Black, Joesph 14th Royal Irish Rifles, Portadown
  • Black, Joesph Henry  15th Royal Irish Riflles, Belfast (Portadown Native )
  • Buller, David 11th Highland Light Infantry, Glasgow (Portadown Native)
  • Campbell, James 7th Royal Irish Rifles, Thomas Street
  • Cinnamond, Benjamin, 1st Royal Irish Rifles, Portadown
  • Collen, William Stewart, 6th Royal Inniskilling Fusillers, Edenderry
  • Commack, Edward 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, Belfast (Portadown Native)
  • Connor, John Royal Irish Fusiliers, Montague Street
  • Cooke, G Seaforth Highlanders, Portadown
  • Cooper, Alfred Henry 143rd Heavy Battery Royal Garrison Artillery, Portadown
  • Cordner, James Wilson (M.C) 17th Royal Irish Rifles, Portadown
  • Cox, James Joesph Irish Guards, Belfast (Portadown Native, Corcrain)
  • Craig, James Royal Irish Fusillers, Portadown
  • Davidson, Thomas 8th Royal Irish Rifles, Belfast (Portadown Native)
  • Docherty, James 2nd Royal Scots, Scotland (Portadown Native)
  • Douglas, Willam John 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers, William Street
  • Ensor, George Clark 7th Canadian Infantry, Ardress House
  • Fallon, Hugh 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Curran Street
  • Fitzpatrick, John 1st East Lancashire Regiment, Portadown
  • Finlay, James Millard 123rd Ordnance Depot Company US Army, Edenderry
  • Forde, Samuel James 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers, Cloncarrish
  • Freeburn, David 2nd Royal Irish Fusiliers, Portadown
  • Gilpin, Isaac 2nd Durham Light Infantry, Florence Court
  • Gilpin, Robert 6th Northamptonshire Regiment, Annaghmore
  • Gilmour, Robert 2nd Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, Timakeel
  • Gillespie, Francis Royal Irish Regiment, Railway Street
  • Hardy, John 5th Trench Mortar Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, Portadown
  • Haughey, Patrick 9th Royal Munster Fusiliers, Portadown
  • Henderson, Thomas 1st Royal Dublin Fusiliers, Portadown
  • Hill, Leonard 8th Royal Irish Rifles, Portadown
  • Hogarth, Herbert Plunket 7th Signal Company, Royal Engineers, High Street
  • Horner, David 2nd Kings Rifle Corps, Portadown
  • Hughes, Isaac 8th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Portadown
  • Irwin, William David 9th Royal Irish Rifles, Tarson, Kernan
  • Jackson, Arthur Saunderson 8th Royal Irish Rifles, Portadown
  • Johnston, William 13th Royal Irish Rifles, Drumcree
  • Kennedy, Francis William Canadian Expeditionary Force, Cloncarrish
  • Keough, R 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Portadown
  • Long, James 1st (Kings own) Royal Lancaster Regiment, Portadown
  • Magowan, Thomas 10th Cameroonians, Scottish Rifles, Eglish
  • Marley, Michael John 1st Royal Irish Rifles, West Street
  • Matchett, Robert John New Zealand Rifle Brigade, Birches
  • McCabe, Thomas 2nd Royal Scots Fusiliers, Portadown
  • McCann, Mathew Austrialian Infantry, Drumcree
  • McFarland, Thomas David 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, Annaghmore
  • McGuiness, Daniel 7th royal Irish Fusiliers, Belfast (Portadown Native)
  • McKenna, Joesph Michael 7th Royal Irish Fusiliers, Bann Street
  • McKeown, Charles 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers, Portadown
  • McReynolds, John Archibald 10th Royal Irish Rifles, Clonmakate
  • McVeigh, John Royal Garrison Artillery, Curran Street
  • Millar, George Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, Portadown
  • Murray, Herbert Mayne 7th Canadian Machine Gun Corps, Ballinary House
  • Nunn, Harold Edwin 1st Norfolk Regiment, Woodhouse Street
  • O’Hanlon, Samuel 1st Royal Irish Regiment, Tartaraghan
  • Patton, John 3rd Royal Irish Rifles, Portadown
  • Proctor, Archibald, Machine Gun Corps, Harford Street
  • Rea, William 73rd Canadian Infantry, Balteagh
  • Ruddell, William Alexander 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Portadown
  • Simpson, William James 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers, Annaghmore
  • Spence, William 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers, Portadown
  • Stevenson, Thomas John 26th Battalion Australian Infantry, Portadown
  • Stitt, Thomas1st Royal Irish Rifles, Portadown
  • Stratton, John H.M.S Natal Royal Navy, Park Road
  • Tate, Isobel Addey Serbian Relief Fund, Friends War Victims Relief Committee (attached to the Royal Army Medical Corps) High Street
  • Taylor, William (M.M.) 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers, Portadown
  • Turley, Edward 2nd Royal Irish Regiment, Portadown
  • Uprichard, William 2nd Royal Irish Fusiliers, Portadown
  • Walsh, James 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers, Derrycoose, Annaghmore
  • Whittle, John 1st Royal Irish Rifles, Portadown
  • Willis, Alexander 9th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Derrycoose, Annaghmore
  • Woods, Samuel James 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers, Lower Seagoe
  • Woods, Thomas 8th Royal Irish Rifles, Annaghmore
  • Wright, Robert 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers, Cranagill, Annaghmore

2nd World War

  • Bell, George Wilfred  S.S Thornliebank (Glasgow) Merchant Navy, Portadown
  • Benson, John George Pioneer Corps, Portadown
  • Burke, Aubrey 2nd Royal Ulster Rifles, Portadown
  • Cole, Norman Royal Navy H.M.S Renown, Ballinagone
  • Gibson, James 12th Battery, 3 Searchlight Regiment Royal Artillery, Portadown
  • Hamill, James S.S Ville d’Arlon Merchant Navy, Portadown
  • Hazlett, Samuel Alexander Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, Canada ( Native of Portadown)
  • Hewitt, Robert Ernest British Expeditionary Force, Lisniskey
  • Hutchinson, William Robert Toronto Scottish Regiment , Tarson
  • Kane, Samuel 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers, Tarson
  • Kane, Vincent 8 Battery 4 Light A.A. Regiment, Park Road
  • Lutton, William John Kirkpatrick H.M.S Illustrious, Royal Navy, Montague Street
  • McCullough, David, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, West Street
  • McDonald, Peter Frank 195 Squadron Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, Portadown
  • McFadden, James 1st Parachute Regiment, Army Air Corps, Grange Portadown
  • McKnight, Frederick 5th Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, Kernan
  • Morrison, John Pioneer Corps, Twinem Terrace, Knockmena
  • Pidgeon, Samuel 6th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Portadown
  • Robinson, Thomas Royal Air Force (Auxiliary Air Force), Selshion
  • Summerville, William Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Union Street
  • Topping Jocelyn, Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, Portadown
  • Whittle, James S.S Ville de Namur (Belgium), Canadian Merchant Navy, Selshion

Wreaths led on the day

Edward Saunderson and Town War Memorial

 

References  – “Portadown Heroes: A tribute to the men Commemorated on Portadown War Memorial” By James S Kane

“Portadown and District War Memorial Commemoration and Celebration Service” Booklet produced by ABC Council, Armed forces Covenant and RBL. 

 

About the Author

Comments are closed.