I meant to write this last week but other matters became more important.
Once upon a time when I was a child, I used to listen with fascination to the stories told by my Grandfather, father and uncles.
In the early 1960s public houses in Belfast used to close at 10.30 pm, as a consequence many people would buy “carry-outs,” before they left the bar, then return home and continue their drinking sessions at home.
One of the things which sticks in my mind about this period was the way my grandfather, father and uncles spoke about the 36th Ulster Division and the Somme.
They would always say, the 36th Ulster Division was deliberately set-up to be slaughtered at the Somme and they maintained the slaughter was planned by the politicians and high-ranking British army commanders as their way of “solving the Irish question.”
It was not just my family who held these views, it was a view which was pretty widespread among working-class Unionists. I must emphasise it seemed to be widespread but not universal.
Over the years, I never seen this point of view written in any books or articles about the Somme, it seemed to be something which was handed down by word-of-mouth from father to son.
During last week`s episode the facts emerged of how the Germans knew a great deal about the plans for the opening phase of the battle, I found this very interesting, as this is what brought to my remembrance the stories I had heard once upon a time when I was a child.
You cannot help wondering if the British High Command knew about the German`s abilities to gather intelligence from various sources and if this was used for malicious purposes?
There does seem to be an instinctive mistrust of “centralised government” or “centralised power” in the DNA of working-class Unionism.
During the times my family would sit around and talk, they also would talk about the earlier “troubles” which took place in Belfast, particularly in the York street area. As a child I would have been told about the old-time “Loyalist” gunmen and from a very young age would have known their names and identities, and even saw some of them, who were still alive in the 1960s.
The funny thing is, just like the stories of the “deliberate slaughter” of the 36th Ulster Division none of the stories about the “Loyalists” of yester- year ever appeared in book form, it was carried by word of mouth down the generations.
The crazed phenomenon of putting controversial and dangerous facts into the public domain has only been a modern innovation, and those idiots who embarked upon this new idea, only go to prove the “old-timers” were a lot shrewder and more competent when it came to fighting “The Dirty War” and concealing the facts about it in an efficient manner.
How could anyone ever be so stupid?
All in all, I can only conclude that real working class Unionists, seem to have a strikingly similar mindset to that found amongst the people`s of the Appalachian mountain areas.
“extreme mistrust of governmental authority and legal strictures,”
Author (and U.S. Senator) Jim Webb puts forth a thesis in his book Born Fighting to suggest that the character traits he ascribes to the Scotch-Irish such as loyalty to kin, extreme mistrust of governmental authority and legal strictures, and a propensity to bear arms and to use them, helped shape the American identity. In the same year that Webb’s book was released, Barry A. Vann published his second book entitled Rediscovering the South’s Celtic Heritage. Like his earlier book, From Whence They Came (1998), Vann argues that these traits have left their imprint on the Upland South. In 2008, Vann followed up his earlier work with a book entitled In Search of Ulster Scots Land: The Birth and Geotheological Imagings of a Transatlantic People which professes how these traits may manifest themselves in conservative voting patterns and religious affiliation that characterizes the Bible Belt.
Perhaps before the series “The Somme From Both Sides” finishes, it will manage to shed some light on the “deliberate slaughter” perception?
1 When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
2 And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people,
3 And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them;
4 For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.
The dark eleventh hour
Draws on and sees us sold
To every evil power
We fought against of old –
Rebellion, rapine, hate,
Oppression, wrong and greed
Are loosed to rule our fate
By England’s art and deed.
The faith in which we stand,
The laws we made and guard,
Our honour, lives, and land
Are given for reward
To murder done by night
To treason taught by day,
To folly, sloth, and spite,
And we are thrust away.
The blood our fathers spilt,
Our love, our toils, our pains
Are counted us for guilt
And only bind our chains –
Before an Empire’s eyes
The traitor claims his price.
What need of further lies?
We are the sacrifice.
We know the war prepared
On ever peaceful home
We know the hells prepared
For such as serve not Rome
The terror, threats, and bread
In market, hearth, and field –
We know, when all is said,
We perish if we yield.
Believe we dare not boast,
Believe we dare not fear:
We stand to pay the cost
In all that men hold dear.
What answer from the North?
One Law, One Land, One Throne!
If England drives us forth
We shall not fall alone.
Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands.
I have discovered the father of “Jethro Bodine” is actually of Scots/Irish and Jewish descent!
Isaiah 51:1 Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.
This article will be about my mother`s side of the family. My mother`s maiden name was Elizabeth MENABNEY.
My relatives are of the opinion that the name MENABNEY had most likely been McNABNEY at one time. People from a Scots/Irish background seemed to have been quite adroit at changing and altering their names. The family appears to have its census origins in the Lurgan area, with some of them then moving to Belfast.
In the 1911 census my mother`s family are shown as living in Klondyke St in the Shankill area. My mother is not shown in the census as she had not been born yet.
Apparently family cousins of the same name had been living in Klondyke St too but they had emigrated to Canada earlier.
In the 1920s one of my mother`s brothers emigrated to Canada, he was called Joe, he is shown as 10 years of age in the 1911 census. He never returned to N.Ireland until WW2 when he came back as a soldier in the Canadian army.
One of my cousins emigrated to the USA in the 1960s and ended up serving in the American army in Korea.
At the moment it looks like there are more Menabney`s in Canada and the USA than there are in N.Ireland.
Family background is interesting is it not?
Matthew`s Gospel starts by declaring the ancestors of the Lord Jesus Christ, as I have said before the Hebrews were meticulous at preserving their family records.
1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
2 Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;
One of my cousins spent some time documenting our family history using the modern technology which is available today. She passed me the details she had found. I have not seen her for a while so she may have made even more progress.
She went back to our Great, Great grandfather. As you can see from the 1901 census he lived in Vere St which was in the old York St area. He was a retired soldier of the 1st and 4th Foot Regiments and he knew both the English language and the Irish language.
While my Great, Great grandfather was living in 2 Vere St in 1901, my Great grandfather is recorded as living in 36 Harrisburg St, his name is James and he is 35 years of age. He has 4 sons and 2 daughters. The son called John who is 10 years of age is my grandfather.
In nearby Pitsburg St the census records a family named Salters whose head of the house is John Salters. He has a wife and 6 children, the child who is named Jane Salters and whose age is given as 10 is my grandmother.
When we move on to the 1910 census we find my grandfather John Flanagan is aged 20 and he is now married to my grandmother Jane Salters, they have a 2 year old daughter named Nellie. They are living in lodgings above a Barber`s shop in O`Dempsey St.
They later spent most of their married lives raising their family in Earl St, which was situated in the York St area. My grandfather was in the army in WW1 and was held as a prisoner of war by the Turks.
As I have shown here in this part of my family background my Great, Great grandfather knew how to speak Irish. Is it conceivable that someone who spent a large part of his life as a soldier would not have insisted his children and grandchildren should learn the Irish language if he thought there was some benefit in it for them? Most Irish speaking Protestants concluded it was no longer necessary to know or use Irish, the common language was English. That is why it fell into disuse among Protestants. To put it simply, learning Irish is a waste of time!
You can also see from this part of my family background the whole notion of a so-called “Protestant Ascendency” was just a myth, a blatant lie concocted by the Jesuits of Rome in order to demonise Protestants in general. I have no doubt the family background of 95% of the Unionist community is similar to my own, we did not enjoy or receive special privileges just because we were Protestants.
As a matter of fact, Ivan Foster highlighted this matter most succinctly a few weeks ago when explaining the remarks made by PopeLundy and the supposed discrimination “highlighted” by the so-called Civil Rights movement in the late 1960s.
Ivan Foster stated that Protestants had even more cause to protest for Civil Rights because they had been loyal to the state, yet the state had taken their loyalty and abused it. Sadly the remarks made by Ivan Foster never receive the MSM coverage they should have.“If anything, the case for the Unionist people was far stronger, because they had given unconditional support (to the Unionist Party) for generations and were still socially neglected.”
In closing this article I must point out that most of the Unionist community who live between Duncairn Gardens and Shore Crescent all originate from the old York St area and they are all related and inter-related and inter-inter related. lol lol lol lol
If you read Matthew 1 you will find the ancient Hebrews were meticulous in keeping family records.
Mathew 1:17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.