Killyman & District Cultural Group
About our Cultural Group
Killyman District Cultural Group is a committee under the remit of:
Killyman District LOL No.1, Co. Tyrone, Killyman Royal Black District Chapter No.1, Co. Tyrone and The Association of Loyal Orangewomen in Ireland, No.1 District, Co. Tyrone.
The group’s aims are to promote, teach and enshrine our Protestant faith, heritage and culture.
In 2014, Killyman District Cultural Group began a four year programme of events commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the First World War.
The purpose of this website is to promote and inform all of news, upcoming events and the periodic sale online of commemorative items, books & publications, etc.
We have a core of enthusiastic and hard working members representing each of the District Loyal Orders who meet regularly to plan and promote events in addition to the normal workings of each organisation.
We strive to do this without malice or hatred to anyone, to further the Loyal Orders and our stance as British citizens.
of this site
Over time, we will develop this website, expanding it to include histories of each of the Orange Lodges and Royal Black Preceptories within the district along with upcoming events organised by the Cultural Group or the private lodges and preceptories within the District.
You can also follow us on Facebook
Buy the Passchendaele Jewel
To mark the Centenary of the 1917 Battles in which the 36th (Ulster) Division took part, Killyman & District Cultural Group are offering a commemorative Jewel, the purpose of which is twofold:
1. It marks the significant Battle of of Passchendaele, the next largest loss of life for the 36th (Ulster Division) since the Somme in 1916 and, the other battles of 1917 in which the Division fought with distinction.
2. Proceeds from sales will go to help place a permanent Memorial to the 36th (Ulster) Division at the National Memorial Arboretuem at Alrewas, near Lichfield, Staffordshire (England), alongside some 300 other memorials including local interest memorials to RUC, B Specials, Ulster Defence Regiment, PSNI and the Ulster Ash Grove.
You can further explore the NMA at www.thenma.org.uk
With many of our relatives associated with the Great War we feel that this project should have had a wider input from Ulster folk and we have taken a step forward to help complete the funds required for the Monument project which is being organised by 36th (Ulster) Division Memorial, Corby Branch, England. (Memorial is due to be unveiled in October 2017)
Price for 1 Jewel is £18 + £2 postage to any UK destination.
(incremental additional postage will be added at checkout for more than 1 Jewel)
(image of actual jewel below)
The 1917 Battles
The following short battle histories are included on the Jewel Insert:
On 7th June 1917, the 36th (Ulster) Division and the 16th (Irish) Division went into battle side by side at the Battle of Messines. The small town of Messines lies at the southern end of a low, rounded ridge, which stretches eight kilometres northwards towards Ypres. The ridge overlooks the flat Flanders Plain and, in 1917 was in the hands of the Germans. Its capture was vital to the Allies attack eastwards out of the Salient.
At 3.10 am, nineteen massive British mines containing a total of 600 tons of high explosives were detonated under the defenders on the ridge. Beneath an intense artillery barrage the men attacked the demoralised Germans and, by mid-afternoon, the entire ridge was in British hands.
Wytschaete, after a fierce struggle was captured by the combined efforts of the Irish and Ulster Divisions. Each Division was tasked with taking one half of the village. The battle was a success and the objectives taken.
was the next largest loss of life for the 36th (Ulster Division) since the Somme in 1916.
The battle ensued when the British launched their attack in the 3rd Battle of Ypres, but it is known as the Battle of Passchendaele - it was a series of engagements with the one objective of taking Passchendaele Village and its Ridge. It commenced on the 31st July 1917. Passchendaele was to become synonymous with slaughter.
The 36th (Ulster) Division had been held back from the original assault to be used at a later date - but, near the village St. Julien the division there was so badly battered and tired that it was decided to withdraw them and replace them much earlier than expected with the 36th (Ulster Division). This was accomplished in the rain and mud of the night of 2nd August and completed by the early hours of the next morning. There they endured for another fourteen days where they were soaked by the continual rain and suffered from the cold, lack of food and drinkable water.
Lying in trenches more akin to waterlogged scrapes, feebly protected by sandbags filled with mud, the soldiers endured constant shelling and small arms fire.
It was out of these conditions that, the 36th (Ulster) Division with the 16th Irish Division on its right, were ordered to make an attack on 16th Aug in what has become known as the Battle of Langemarck. The 36th (Ulster) Division was to advance about two and a quarter miles to reach its objective - an imaginary "Red Line". At 4.45 am the men left their trenches, pounded by high-explosives, shrapnel, and gas shells; ravaged by machine-gun fire from concrete pill boxes protected by barbed wire; saturated by rain; exposed in a featureless landscape; and hampered by the clinging mud: only a little ground on the left was gained, and by nightfall most of those still alive were back where they had started.
In the horrendous conditions, the weary Division, which had already sustained some 2,000 casualties due to enemy action during the previous couple of weeks, should never have been ordered to attack in the face of such overwhelming odds.
In capturing a few worthless yards, the attack resulted in 58 officers and 1278 men being gassed or wounded. During its sixteen days in the line, from 2nd to 18th Aug, the Division suffered a total loss of 144 officers and 3,441 men either killed, wounded or missing.
The tragedy continued on its bloody way until, on 4th Nov, the battle ended when the Canadians captured the muddy heap which had once been the village of Passchendaele, the name of which is associated for all time with the bravery and sorrow of all who fought and died there.
20 Nov - 30 Dec 1917: (Cambrai contained a strategic rail junction), including the capture of Bourlon Wood. The Germans were fully occupied in the Ypres salient and the Allies felt a surprise attack at Cambrai was likely to succeed, partly because it would use combined cavalry, air power, artillery and tanks to support infantry.
The 36th Division was assigned the role of capturing the German trenches between the Bapaume-Cambrai Road and the Nord Canal, a difficult task since these trench lines were part of the highly developed Hindenburg Line.
The initial attack went well. With not enough reserves available, the Germans counter-attacked. This was so effective that on 3rd Dec, Haig gave the order for the British units still near to Cambrai to withdraw.
Innovative as it undoubtedly was, the assault was not initially successful enough to stop the Germans from regrouping and pushing the British back. The losses, however, thankfully did not resemble those of the Somme or Passchendaele: the British lost 'only' 44,000 men during the battle, some of them from the 36th (Ulster) Division.
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