Pre 1934 Memorials in Newtownards, Co. Down.
Snow Memorial 1924
Concrete Cenotaph 1928
Following a heavy snowfall in 1924, ex-soldiers of Newtownards took full advantage of the snowfall, and constructed a ‘snow memorial.’ This was assumed to have been an attempt to embarrass the Council into constructing the long promised war memorial. If it was it was unsuccessful as the memorial wasn’t completed until 1934.
It consisted of a snow pedestal standing eight or nine feet in height with four pillars. On top of this pedestal an ex-soldier sat with the representation of a rifle through his arm, and wearing a ‘tin hat.’ and other accoutrements complete. In front was a large placard bearing the words “Lest we forget.”
Four young men named Joseph Crowthers, 42, Movilla Street, Thos. Bell, 13, Market Street, Wm. Brown, 37, Greenwell Street, and Joseph Carnduff, 16, Movilla Street Upper, all of Newtownards, were summonsed by Constable Tiernon for obstruction in Castle Street by standing on the footpath.
Four young men named Joseph Crowthers, 42, Movilla Street, Thos. Bell, 13, Market Street, Wm. Brown, 37, Greenwell Street, and Joseph Carnduff, 16, Movilla Street Upper, all of Newtownards, were summonsed by Constable Tiernon for obstruction in Castle Street by standing on the footpath. They appeared in Newtownards Petty Sessions held on Thursday 27th March, 1924.
The Constable stated that after being spoken to the defendants moved away, but reassembled again.
Defendants denied causing any obstruction, and moved away when they were spoken to. Carnduff said that they had gone down to see the snowman. (Laughter)
A fine of 2s 6d. and 2s costs was imposed in each case.
Concrete Cenotaph 1928.
But for the local branch of the British Legion, Newtownards this year would have allowed the first day of July to pass unnoticed. There was no service of any kind, but there was a little ceremony at the Headquarters in Victoria Avenue, which was most impressive in its simplicity.
For several years past, the Legion have had a temporary cenotaph in the grounds of their headquarters. This year, those who lost loved ones in the great conflict have assembled, and laid their little floral tributes at the base of it.
During the past year the members conceived the idea of erecting something of a more permanent character, and soon they had their plans in working order and have provided an excellent memorial. It is modelled exactly on the same lines as the temporary structure, but it is off solid concrete and will for many years stand as the Legion tribute to their fallen comrades.
On the face of the upright standard are the words “Our Glorious Dead;” on the first step, “In Memory of Our Fallen Comrades,” on the second step, and on the third step the words, “The Great War,” is on the third step, and then an outer verge. It is an imposing erection and it has been the object of much admiration.
Despite the torrential rains on Sunday morning, several members of the Legion assembled at the Headquarters. The Union Jack was dropped to half-mast by Mr. James Gibson, the hon, secretary the branch, who also draped the two flags on either side of the memorial. The first wreaths to be laid were beautiful creations, one of variegated-pink paeony; another of laurel and paeony rose and a third of Crawfordsburn fern, asparagus and iris. Another large bunch of flowers was then placed at the foot of the memorial, and throughout the day it was visited by many friends and sympathisers of the Legion. It should be mentioned that the work of erecting the cenotaph was carried out voluntarily by the members of the local branch of the British Legion, who are to be hartily congratulated on their work.
Newtownards Chronicle, July 7, 1928.
British Legion Headquarters in Victoria Avenue. 1925.
It should be added that ground for the headquarters, which is situated opposite the coal depot near the railway station, has been secured from the County Down Railway; and the deed for its transfer has been completed. The plans are in the hands of Mr. J. D. Gordon, A.R.I.B.A., Conway Square, Newtownards.
Newtownards Chronicle, June 13, 1925.
Temporary Cenotaph in Newtownards, July 1925.
The first difficulty with which the members were
faced with was the absence of something in the nature of a town war memorial,
but that matter was overcome by the erection of a temporary cenotaph,
which was placed in Conway Square by permission of the Urban Council. There is
no doubt that townspeople welcomed most whole-heartedly the opportunity
presented of paying tribute to the glorious dead—their fathers, sons and
brothers—and the great crowds attending at the spot during the day was striking evidence of that.
The Opening Celebrations.
At 7-30 a.m., the time at which the Ulster Division
made their attack on the 1st July, nine years ago, many members of
the legion attended at the Cenotaph and laid a beautiful wreath of
Flanders poppies and palm and surrounded with (remainder of report illegible).
Newtownards Chronicle, July 4, 1925.
Report November, 1941.
At every Armisticetide during the past, number of years wreaths of Flanders Poppies have been laid at the British Legion War Memorial, Victoria Avenue, by Mrs. Wright, mother of Captain W. M. Wright, chairman of the Newtownards British Legion.
This year, owing to illness, Mrs. Wright was unable to lay the tributes personally, but on her behalf, Miss Dome Stewart placed the wreaths at the base of the memorial on Saturday morning.
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