Belfast Telegraph

Can you solve the mystery of this old brass plaque missing from a Somme mural?

By Laura Abernethy

This mysterious plaque commemorating a Somme Captain was found in a box of scrap metal by UUP councillor Doug Beattie.

Now he’s on a mission to get it back to its rightful home in the year of the 100th anniversary of the battle.

The plaque reads “This mural was unveiled by Mrs Ruth Thornely on 1st July 1989.

“Mrs Thornely is the wife of the late captain F. B. Thornely M.C. who is depicted leading the assualt by 11th (Service Battalion) The Royal Irish Rifles (South Antrim Volunteers) on the morning of 1st July 1916 at the Battle of the Somme.”

Mr Beattie, a former soldier who earned the Military Cross himself for serving in Afghanistan, said he found the plaque among some bits and pieces that were given to him by a friend.

He said: “I was given it by somebody that I know. It was just some bits and pieces of scrap metal in a box. I looked through it and found this and it’s clearly for a mural somewhere. I thought it would be nice to try and return it if the mural is still in existence.”

“I’m in East Belfast and this stuff has come from Newtownabbey or East Belfast so I’m imagining it’s somewhere around here.”

“I think it was presented by the wife of the man in the picture. I’m not sure if she’s still alive but I’d like to track it down and give it back to someone who owns it.”

Do you know where this plaque was originally placed? Contact Doug Beattie on Twitter.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


From Belfast Telegraph