War memorials are very familiar objects, we often pass them without a second thought. Next time you pass a war memorial, stop for a moment and read some of the names. Each one belongs to a man or woman, and behind the name lies a story as individual and unique as he/she was.
This Website is dedicated to the memory of the men and women from Ulster who served in the armed forces of many Allied countries during the Great War (1914-1918) and World War II (1939-1945).
In both wars all members of the Armed Forces who joined from Ireland were volunteers. These volunteers marched away through cheering crowds with fife, drums and rifles. Many never came back. Many who did return were maimed, blinded or demented by the carnage of mechanised war which they had experienced. In many cases they returned not to a ‘Land fit for heroes’ but to a life of unemployment and poverty.
Family Members Who Volunteered.
William Holland was the older son of William (Spirit Merchant) and Sarah Holland, Main Street, Trillick, Co. Tyrone. Corporal William Holland was reported missing during the German Spring offensive on 29th March, 1918 while serving with 9 Btn. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. He has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 38 to 40, Pozieres Memorial, France, alongside thousands of others who made the supreme sacrifice. He is also commemorated on the War Memorial Clock, Christ Church, (Church of Ireland) Trillick , Co. Tyrone and on the Enniskillen War Memorial, Co. Fermanagh.
Albert Switzer, M.M. Royal Field Artillery, was the only son of Albert (Coal Merchant) and Mary Jane Switzer, Primrose Street, Belfast. He was born in 1898 and volunteered, along with his cousin and friend Willie McBride, in September, 1914, expecting to serve together. Following their basic training Willie served the entire war in India, Albert spent it on the Western front. He was at the Battle of the Somme, where 57,000 of his colleagues became casualties on the first day. He was Mentioned in Dispatches and awarded the Military Medal for his actions on the battlefield. He first travelled to the Somme as a khaki-clad teenager, and returned half a century later as an aging ex-serviceman.