POTD – Armagh memorial

to the fallen soldiers of Princess Victoria’s Royal Irish Fusiliers during the South African Campaign 1899-1902

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  • Pictured on the rare occasion there arent half a dozen skate boards fluffing about on it.

  • There are a couple of small childer obscured by the memorial and the canon

  • Drumlins Rock

    My mate stood on the cannon for his wedding pics, forward into battle eh, there is also great military museum behind the trees on the right, the Boer & Crimean wars had much more infuence on Ireland than people realise..

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Indeed DR. The Boer War was keenly felt in Armagh, as there were very significant numbers of young men from the area who enlisted both with the British forces and with John McBride’s Irish Transvaal Brigade.

    Tensions in the town were very high at the time: imagine the tensions in Yorkshire if large numbers of young Muslims from Bradford and Sheffield formed a Yorkshire Helmand Brigade and went to Afghanistan to fight the British army.

    I always thought there was a terrific poignancy about young men from the same small town facing each other on a battlefield half a world away.

    There is a large memorial in the RC cemetery to Hugh Carberry, who died under MacBride’s command at Modder Spruit, and there are reports of sectarian clashes taking place throughout the town on the day the memorial was unveiled. Train loads of people came from as far away as Belfast, spoiling for a fight.

    (Hat tip to Phil McGinn’s magisterial history of the Armagh Harps GFC, the opening chapters of which paint a fantastic picture of late Victorian and Edwardian Armagh.)

    Armagh’s magnificent, no-expense-spared Boer War memorial was the response to the rebel tendency in the town. And gorgeous is is too. Always thought the story behind it, the politics behind it, was fascinating.

    (I once split my head falling off that crazy cannon. It’s more slippery than it looks!)

  • Mickles

    I miss playing ‘how many coke cans can we fit into the cannon’.

  • joeCanuck

    You learn something new every day. I had no idea that Armagh was in East belfast. Arer you perhaps confused, MP?

  • Great photo as always. Keep on moochin around

  • 2 frys 2 teas

    Pity you hadn’t caught it today with the sun shining – a real gem of a place for the City…

    best memories of it are of the Mall Presbyterian Church summer bible club when a youngster… juice and biccies round 10.00am and then the big doors were flung open… the sun beating down on the nicely cut grass and the wind in the chesnut trees and the jumpers for goal posts….

    those were the days!

  • USA

    Many will see it as just another memorial to terrorists and murderers. Nothing to be proud of at all.

    As one person commented on the link:
    “I am British. I feel deep shame and sorrow for the suffering we inflicted on innocent Boer women and children. I ask the forgiveness of their descendants for what my ancestors did, and may God also forgive us. I wept when I saw these pictures of the children in the camps”

  • Mickles thats the very reason i framed the shot as i did so as to not show the various bottles and litter down the barrel!
    I spotted a Quinn on the memorial which is in all likelihood a relative of mine too. I’ll have to do a bit of research to see if anyone in the family knows anything about that

  • Oh and Joe thats ever so naughty of you.
    Go and sit on the naughty step 🙂

  • Limerick


    Are you proud of your country’s history?

  • USA

    Not all of it.

  • Starviking

    I mind it well – that cannon was a great plaything for a young kid.

  • sonofstrongbow


    It’s not “his” country. The remnants of the true American peoples have been consigned to so-called ‘reservations’ by the Yankee colonialists who now occupy the Americans’ land.

  • Mickles

    @ mp
    Yea i figured you did that – growin up I spent manys an hour on top of that thing – never had a clue what it was all about. But on further reading, it sounds like some pretty bad shit went down in the Boer War – is the memorial glorifying Kitchener and the concentration camps then? What the hell?

  • The inscription reads

    This memorial is erected
    by their fellow countrymen
    and comrades to the memory of
    the officers, non-commissioned
    officers and men of the
    Princess Victorias Royal
    Irish Fusiliers who fell
    in the service of their
    country during the South
    African Campaign
    1899- 1902

  • Billy Pilgrim


    “it sounds like some pretty bad shit went down in the Boer War…”

    Indeed it did. I liked Andrew Marr’s description of the Boer War as “the British Empire’s Vietnam.”

    It would be much more widely remembered today had it not been followed soon afterwards by two utterly cataclysmic wars, but Boer War was the biggest disaster of the imperial period. (Say, from Waterloo to 1914.)

    And that’s just from an imperial perspective. The human cost in South Africa was staggering. And of course, the conflict famously gave to the world that wonderful invention, the concentration camp.

  • Brian

    Son of Strongbow

    The vast majority of people in America are descendants of people who came to America well after the American Indians had been relegated to reservations. What does that make them?

    I also notice that no one ever calls brazilians, argentinians, etc out for pushing aside and wiping out their own indigenous populations

  • sonofstrongbow

    Really Brian? The “vast majority” of Yankees came to America after the genocide/reservation of the survivors? For example the Wounded Knee massacre happened in 1890. You are therefore saying that most colonialists arrived in the past 120 years. Don’t think so.

    As to what it makes them? Well at best the human equivalent of vultures feeding off the still fresh corpse of the native peoples.

    Notice this; the offspring of conquistadors are as guilty as those styling themselves as ‘Americans’ in the good ole US of A.

  • USA

    By your reasoning that makes the Ulster planters “at best the human equivalent of vultures” also.

    BTW in 1860 there were approx 31 million people in the US. Today there are approx 310 million. Regardless of the demographic facts, I did not live in the 19th century and therefore cannot be held responsible for those actions. Indeed my wife’s family arrived here in the US before mine, and her family arrived from Poland in the 1920’s. So they, along with everyone else currently alive in the US, cannot be held responsible.

    Hope that helps, try to process the information and adjust your position accordingly.
    PS. I wasn’t responsible for slavery either.

  • dwatch

    USA, are any on this forum responsible for what happened in the past? But try and tell that to the leader of SF in Stormont. He continually uses this statement in his speech” Keep the fenian’s in their place” A description of Protestants attitude towards Catholics here in Northern Ireland The Fenian movement was a much stronger force in the US than ever it was in 19 century Ireland. See evidence enclosed of memorials & medals struck to remember how Canadians did keep “fenians in their place” when US fenians raided the Canadian border 1866 & 1870.


  • sonofstrongbow

    If the ‘planters’ had followed the Yankees’ example there would now be only a few hundred Catholics living on a reservation on some mountain bog.

    I’ll go with your line-in-the-sand approach to the past (you should try to peddle that one with Irish Republicans who are forever calling-up the ‘Orange State’ and what happened way back whenever). There’s been change here in Northern Ireland of late. Let’s see the Yankees follow suit. How about giving back the Black Hills for a start? You know the Americans have no interest in compensation they just want that small piece of their land back.

    Now from experience I know Yanks ain’t the sharpest tack in the box so do try to process this information. PS, black people were racially segregated and violently controlled up to the 1960s and are in the main still not living the ‘dream’ today.