Belfast Telegraph

Revealed: The west Belfast nationalists who fought for Britain in The Great War

An exhibition currently running at Belfast City Hall lifts the lid on the 'hidden history' on the role of west Belfast nationalists in World War 1.

It has been put together by the 6th Connaught Rangers Research Group with the help of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Founded in 2006 and made up of volunteers with connections to men who fought in The Great War, the group takes its name from the regiment their relatives joined.

The group have used family stories, memorabilia, photographs, newspaper archives and military sources to uncover the story of how their relatives came to fight in WW1.

Many of the men were members of the Irish National Volunteers and were ardent supporters of the Irish Parliamentary Party who, under the leadership of John Redmond and Joe Devlin, were campaigning for 'Home Rule' for Ireland.

Throughout their research for the exhibition, the group uncovered material telling the stories of men from Protestant areas of the city such as the Shankill and the Newtownards Road who belonged to other regiments, such as the 7th Leinsters.

The group intends to continue with their work and to expand it, not only to recall the soldiers' experience at war, but also to find out what happened to them when they returned home.

The exhibition continues at Belfast City Hall until December 13.

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