36th Ulster Division Memorial Association
Apprentice Boys of Derry
Confederation of Ulster Bands
Democratic Unionist Party
Grand Lodge of Ireland
Independent Loyal Orange Institution
Progressive Unionist Party
Ulster Volunteer Force Memorial Regimental Band Association.
Traditional Unionist Voice
Ulster Bands Association
Ulster Defence Union 1893
Ulster Unionist Party
Welcome to www.unionistcentenaries.com
2012 was a successful year for the Unionist Centenary Committee. What lieas ahead?
2013 – Carson’s Army – The Ulster Volunteers
Carson’s Army the Ulster Volunteer Force was formed by the Ulster Unionist Council (UUC) in January 1913 in response to the possible imposition of Home Rule in Ireland.
Prior to this groups of men had begun the process of organising themselves, practicing drill, using the many Rifle Clubs that existed and/or joining Unionist Clubs organised by Lord Templedown. It was clear to the UUC that whilst there was a structure for many groups for others this wasn’t the case.
Following the huge rally at the home of James Craig on the outskirts of east Belfast in September 1911 the Council set up a working group to plot the way forward for the Unionists of Ireland and in particular those located in the province of Ulster. The massive rally held on Easter Tuesday 1912 at Balmoral, Carson’s Trail and the hugely successful signing of the Ulster Covenant by almost an entire community were all part of the strategy drawn up by the five men who made up the “Commission” as it was known. The formation of a fighting force capable of ensuring that Ulster would remain British was the next piece of the jigsaw.
Our forefathers had demonstrated their ability to plan, organise and run a successful campaign. There is little doubt that the formation of the Ulster Volunteer Force alongside a Provisional Government would test all their skills to the maximum.
The people of Ulster need not have feared. Carson, Craig, Crawford and the other leaders of Unionism rose to the challenge. The formation of the Ulster Volunteer Force along British military lines, the various component parts such as a Transport Corp, Nursing, Signalling etc along with providing the necessary equipment and training was a huge undertaking and one that made many including the British Government sit up and take notice. What our forefathers achieved militarily was quite simply breathtaking.
Keep checking our news section for updates on how the formation of the UVF will be marked.